Master of Food Science (MFS)
The Master of Food Science (MFS) program was launched in 2007 with a focus to prepare students for professional work in the food industry or government. Since its inception, the MFS program has trained up to 30 graduate students per year.
In the one-year program, you’ll gain a solid theoretical foundation in food science alongside valuable practical experience in the industry. You’ll build connections, gain teamwork and communication skills, and learn theory that you can apply globally.
Choose from a variety of courses in this flexible program and tailor your learning for the career you want and the background you already have. The emphasis in this professional program is on problem-based learning, so a thesis is not required – instead, you’ll gain valuable practical experience in a 3.5 month industry practicum.
What makes the program unique?
MFS program is the only program in Canada to offer a one-year, non-thesis Master of Food Science degree. The program is unique in combining graduate level courses with a high quality practicum experience.
Every year a number of practicum sites either hire or extend their student’s contract. Although not all practicums result in an offer for post-graduation employment, some employers use their professional networks to refer graduates to their colleagues within the food sector.
Many of our alumni have commented that the combination of courses and practicum in this program has helped them to develop skills required for the current job market. In consultation with students, alumni and industry, the program continues to evolve, incorporating current topics relevant to the food sector.
After completing two semesters of course work, the program culminates with a 15‑week summer practicum in which the students get hands-on experience, working on a project in an industry or government setting. Throughout the years students have helped local, national and international food sectors to solve problems and provide advances in food safety, risk assessment, product development, sensory analysis and process validation studies.
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 90
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
Prior degree, course and other requirements
Prior Degree Requirements
Undergraduate degree in Food Science or related subject.
The following subjects are prerequisites for the program and normally are taken before entering the program.
Non Food Science Courses:
- Organic Chemistry - 2 courses
- Biochemistry - 2 courses
- Calculus - 1 course
- Physics - 2 courses
- Statistics - 1 course
- Microbiology- 2 courses
And in the area of Food Science: four courses (12 credits) from the following six core courses or equivalent.
- Food Process Science (FNH 309)
- Food Chemistry I (FNH 301)
- Food Analysis (FNH 302)
- Food Laws, Regulations, & Quality Assurance (FNH 403)
- Micro Organisms in Food Systems (FNH 313)
- Principles in Food Engineering (FNH 300)
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2023 Intake
Application Open Date15 September 2022
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Course-based programs may assign academic advisors to cohorts of students, but usually do not require applicants to reach out to individual professors / faculty members to seek commitment as their supervisor. Please do not contact faculty members if you are applying to this program.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
The MFS practicum is a 6 credit course offered in the third term of the program. All students are placed in practicum sites at the beginning of May, after they have completed all required courses, including a practicum-preparatory workshop.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$4,486.21||$14,171.08|
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||Not applicable|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (check cost calculator)|
|Deposit to accept offer (if admitted)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options.
Program Funding Packages
Professional / course-based programs usually do not provide merit-based funding. However, the MFS program offers merit-based scholarships.
Organizations may provide their employees with tuition benefits as part of an employment package to support lifelong learning of their workforce.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
Professional / course-based programs usually do not provide merit-based funding. Some programs may offer bursaries.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Food Science (MFS). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
Food Science offers opportunities in the areas of food analysis, food biotechnology, food chemistry, food microbiology, food process science, food quality evaluation, food safety and toxicology, and wine biotechnology.