Master of Science in Food Science (MSc)
Food scientists integrate and apply fundamental knowledge from multiple disciplines to ensure a safe, nutritious, sustainable and high quality food supply, and to establish scientifically sound principles that guide policy and regulations pertaining to food on a global scale.
Since its inception in 1969, the Food Science Program at UBC has been a leader in providing opportunities for advanced study and research in Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Process Science, Microbiology, Safety and Toxicology, Biotechnology, Quality Evaluation and Wine Biotechnology.
What makes the program unique?
The innovative research conducted by UBC Food Science faculty members and students has led to national and international recognition in the form of awards and collaborations with research centres and universities both in Canada and around the world.
The program is uniquely situated in a Faculty that focuses on education and research to address issues around food, nutrition & health, and the responsible use of finite land and water resources to ensure a sustainable and safe food supply. In addition to laboratories equipped for chemical, analytical, molecular biology and microbiological (including Biosafety level 2) based research on food, the program houses pilot plant and sensory evaluation facilities for research requiring food-grade specifications.
Students can also access research facilities at UBC, such as the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, BioImaging Facility and Michael Smith Laboratories, as well as through collaborations with other institutions including Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and the Department of Fisheries & Oceans.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
Before you apply, please make sure you meet/exceed the admission requirements and most importantly have a supervisor confirmed.
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
The following subjects are prerequisites for the M. Sc. program and normally are taken before entering the program. Should a student have deficiencies in any of these areas, it may be possible to make up these deficiencies during the M.Sc. program. However, only up to 6 credits of Food Science core courses may be counted as credit towards the MSc requirements.
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.
- 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)
For a complete list of required documents please visit: https://www.landfood.ubc.ca/graduate/admissions/
2) Meet Deadlines
January 2024 Intake
Application Open Date15 April 2023
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 Food Science (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.
Ongoing research areas include the study of nutraceuticals and bioactive compounds derived from food; biophotonic, nano-biosensing and nano-optical imaging; carbohydrate chemistry and enzymology; molecular biology and metabolic engineering of wine yeasts; farm-to-fork food safety systems; stress response mechanisms of foodborne pathogens; structure-function relationships of food and non-food related enzymes.
Students may be involved in research projects in collaboration with adjunct faculty and researchers from other university departments, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, or other research centres.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, B.C.
- fruit quality and processing
- sensory evaluation
- food microbiology
- food chemistry
- functional foods
- post-harvest physiology
British Columbia Institute of Technology
- food processing
- thermal processing
Other food science facilities are accessed through the Wine Research Centre, Biotechnology Laboratory, the Networks of Centres of Excellence, the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, the Michael Smith Laboratories, and through collaborations with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, as well as with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,802.52||$3,166.73|
|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)||$1,081.64 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $18,517.90 (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
Financial support for graduate students within LFS typically comes from one or more of four basic sources:
- merit-based awards administered by the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (including Affiliated Fellowships and LFS Departmental Awards),
- teaching and research assistantships,
- need-based awards and
- direct awards from external agencies such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Effective January 1, 2016, all newly admitted graduate students in research-based MSc and PhD program will be supported by a minimum funding package at $16,000/year for 2 years for M.Sc. students and $18,000/year for 4 years for Ph.D. students provided they maintain good academic standing. Students are expected to be proactive in applying for awards and scholarships.
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 Food Science (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
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.
Dee, Derek (Environment and natural resources economics; Food sciences (including food engineering); Natural resource management; Agri-food Transformation Products; aspartic proteases; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Biophysics; Enzymes and Proteins; food chemistry; food proteins; funtional amyloid; meat analogues; Nanomaterials; Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods; prions; protein aggregation; protein engineering; Protein Folding; protein nanofibrils; Proteins; psychrophilic enzymes)
Frostad, John (Chemical engineering; Food sciences (including food engineering); Emulsions; Fluid mechanics; Foams; Functional Foods; Interfacial Phenomena; Interfacial Rheology; Novel Instrumentation; Physics of Soft Matter; Agricultural Sprays)
Kitts, David (Food chemistry and toxicology, cellular and molecular mechanism, oncology)
Measday, Vivien (Chromosome segregation in the budding yeast using molecular biology and genomic tools)
Pratap-Singh, Anubhav (Environment and natural resources economics; Food sciences (including food engineering); Natural resource management; Agri-food Transformation Products; cold plasma; food engineering; food processing; Functional Foods; heat transfer; high pressure; mass transfer; novel non-thermal processing; Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods; pasteurization; pulsed light; sterilization)
Wang Kazun, Siyun (Food sciences (including food engineering); Agri-food Transformation Products; Microbiology; Bioactive Molecules; Food microbiology; Food safety)
Yada, Rickey (Enzymes (including kinetics and mechanisms, and biocatalyst); Other biological sciences; Food science; Food protein chemistry; Structure-function relationships; Enzymes; aspartic proteases)
Yang, Tianxi (Develop novel Point-of-Care tools for food safety monitoring; Design smart nano-enabled agrichemicals for precision agriculture; Create sustainable and multifunctional packaging materials to improve food safety and quality)
Sample Thesis Submissions
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.