Master of Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering (MSc)
Chemical and Chemical & Biological engineers create and develop processes to change raw materials into the products that society depends on; food, chemicals, fuels, energy, metals, pharmaceuticals, paper, plastics, and personal care products. Chemical and process engineers help to manage natural resources, protect the environment, control health and safety procedures, and recycle materials, while developing and managing the processes which make the products we use.
The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering was established in 1999 at UBC, and reflects the growing need for engineers in the fields of biotechnology, biomedical and bio-resource engineering. At present there are 24 full-time faculty in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, together with a support staff of 17.
We have established a world-class reputation in several areas of chemical engineering science including fluid-solids contacting, pulp and paper engineering, heat exchanger fouling and, more recently, biotechnology.
The Department is actively engaged in applied research, CHBE faculty-led research provides innovative and sustainable solutions to pressing local and global challenges to industry and society.
- Energy and Fuels: Sustainable clean energy and fuels supply and use
- Natural Resources: Managing and maximizing the value of Canada’s forest and fossil carbon reserves
- Environment: Mitigating climate change/pollution; Clean water and biodiversity security
- Health: Rising medical costs in the face of aging population; Cancer and other deadly diseases
- Industry: Increasing pressure from emerging economies
Solutions to the above challenges are inextricably linked to our understanding of complex chemical and biological systems.
Students with a background in Engineering will receive a Master of Applied Science degree whereas students without Engineering background will receive a Master of Science degree.
What makes the program unique?
Research funding per grant holder is amongst the highest for chemical engineering departments in Canada. Several faculty members have won national and international recognition for their research contributions and many former students have gone on to become leaders in industry and academia in Canada and abroad.
The Department facilities include a building with extensive custom research labs designed for quality world class research activities.
Contact the program
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.
2) Meet Deadlines
May 2022 Intake
Application Open Date01 September 2021
September 2022 Intake
Application Open Date01 October 2021
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.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering (MSc)
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.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,052.34 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,126.20 (check cost calculator)|
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, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
Applicants who are interested in catalysis research with a focus on programs addressing waste generation, environmental compatibility, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources may consider the SusSyn program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities. Applicants who are interested in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine may consider the IsoSiM program.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
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 Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 April 2021]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Baldwin, Susan (Bioprocess engineering, bioremediation, biomedical reaction modelling)
Berlinguette, Curtis (Combinatorial Chemistry; CO2 conversion and utilization; clean energy; advanced solar cells; electrochromic windows; dynamic windows; hydrogen fuels production; catalysis; robotics and automation; machine learning / artificial intelligence)
Bi, Xiaotao (Chemical engineering; Biomass and Bioenergy; Electrostatics of Powders; Fluidization; Fuel Cells Water Management; Green Engineering; Industrial Symbiosis; Life Cycle Analysis; Multiphase Chemical Reactors; Particle technology)
Cao, Yankai (Chemical engineering; Optimization, Control and Operations Research; Solar and Wind Energy; Artificial Intelligence; Large Scale Optimization)
Cranston, Emily (Nanoparticle synthesis, properties and applications; Bio-based materials and nanocellulose; Atomic force microscopy (forces, adhesion, friction, imaging); Colloid and interface science; Polymer chemistry; Cellulose nanocrystals; Bioproducts; Foams, emulsions, aerogels)
Ellis, Naoko (Chemical engineering; Chemical Processes; CO2 capture and utilization; Interdisciplinary teaching and learning; multiphase systems; thermochemical conversion of biomass)
Englezos, Petros (Carbon capture engineering; Natural gas hydrates and other clathrates: science, engineering and novel applications; CO2 capture & storage; Novel materials from forest bio-resources, High-value papermaking)
Feng, James (Chemical engineering; Mathematics and statistics; Biophysics; Complex fluids; Fluid mechanics; Mathematical biology)
Foster, Johan (Chemical engineering; 3D Printing; Biomaterials; Biomedical Devices; Bioproducts; Cellulose Nanomaterials; Fibers; Polymers)
Frostad, John (Chemical engineering; Food sciences (including food engineering); Emulsions; Fluid mechanics; Foams; Functional Foods; Interfacial Phenomena; Interfacial Rheology; Novel Instrumentation; Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods; Physics of Soft Matter; Sensory Analysis)
Gopaluni, Bhushan (Modelling and experiment design, identification for control)
Gyenge, Elod Lajos (Electrochemical engineering, fuel cells, batteries, electrodes)
Hatzikiriakos, Savvas (Polymer melt and suspension rheology, food rheology, polymer melt processing, superhydrophobicity, surface science, winter sports expert, ski/skate performance and snow/ice friction. )
Haynes, Charles (Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers)
Lau, Anthony K (Environmental engineering, waste-to-resource recycling, composting, odor control, biohydrogen energy )
Martinez, Mark (Chemical engineering; Complex fluids; Flow visualization; Fluid mechanics)
Mohseni, Madjid (Chemical engineering; Drinking Water; Chemical Pollutants; Used Water; Clean Technologies; Advanced oxidation; Drinking water quality and treatment; Electrochemical water treatment processes; UV based water purification and treatment; Water re-use)
Piret, James (Biomedical engineering, regenerative medicine Cell-based therapies have the potential to provide improved treatments for major diseases such as cancer and diabetes)
Rojas, Orlando (Nanopolysaccharides (based on cellulose, chitin, starches and others); Bacterial nanocelluloses; Cellulose derivatives; Lignins, colloidal lignins, nanolignins and their uses; Renewable biopolymers (hemicelluloses, proteins, chitin and chitosan, alginates and others); Multiphase systems (emulsions, foams, dispersed systems), gels, aerogels; Films, filaments and hybrid materials; Nanocomposites; Bioactive systems; Fiber processing; Pulp and paper)
Smith, Kevin (Fossil Fuels; Biomass (Energy); Chemical Processes; Applied catalysis)
Srebnik, Simcha (Chemical engineering; Bioinspired engineering and biomimetic design; Carbon nanotubes; Developing models for interfacial polymerization membraned; Diffusion in nanostructured materials; Functional materials; Hierarchical modeling; Mechanical properties of polymers melts and polymer networks; Molecular simulation of polymers and composite materials; Molecular simulations; Optimization of protein-imprinted polymers; Polymers and biopolymers; Protein folding and stability; Statistical thermodynamics of polymers and biopolymers; Understanding polymer-carbon nanotube interactions)
Taghipour, Fariborz (Clean Technologies; Solar and Wind Energy; Drinking Water; solar fuels; Artificial Photosynthetic Systems; UV Photoreactors; UV-LED Reactors; UV Microplasma; Modeling of Chemical and Biochemical Reactors; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD))
Trajano, Heather (Chemical engineering; Biomass (Energy); Wood; Pulp and paper; Biochemicals; Biomass extractives recovery and utilization; Biorefining; catalysis; Hemicellulose; Kinetics; Pretreatment)
Upham, David Chester (Chemical engineering; Energy Transformation and Energy Using; catalysis; Energy; Greenhouse gas mitigation)
Sample Thesis Submissions
Chemical and Biological Engineering provides innovative and sustainable solutions to pressing local and global challenges to industry and society, with faculty being engaged in the following broad areas:
- Chemical Process Engineering,
- Energy and Materials,
- Environmental Engineering.