Master of Science in Forestry (MSc)

Overview

The Master of Science in Forestry (MSc) is a research (thesis) based Master's program. Students receive training in research techniques, and also make contributions in their own right to the body of knowledge. The type of work undertaken by an MSc in Forestry student tends to be focused, looking at a specific problem, and is generally completed within 2-3 years.

What makes the program unique?

We have approximately 85-95 thesis-based master’s students in any given year, which is about 30% of our total Forestry graduate student population. In addition to being part of the Faculty of Forestry, MSc students are also considered members of one of our three Faculty departments, based on their supervisor’s affiliation.

The Faculty of Forestry offers excellent courses and cutting edge research across a spectrum of disciplines related to forestry, and opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Graduate students work with leading scientists in state-of-the-art facilities within the Forest Sciences Centre and at any of two research forests. We are one of the largest graduate units on campus, with over 300 students enrolled in our 7 degree programs. We attract students from around the world, with over 40 countries represented in our community. Given the global nature of modern forestry, the experience our students gain by working with colleagues from around the world is a subtle but effective means of creating the global citizens that UBC aspires to produce.

Program Structure

The MSc in Forestry program requires completion of a thesis, a Forestry oral communications course (FRST 544 or approved alternate), and other approved courses for a total of 30 credits. Thesis work can be worth 6, 12, or 18 credits, with the corresponding number of course credits adjusted accordingly. In addition to FRST 544, FRST 545 (Scientific Writing) is recommended for all international students. FRST 547 (Forestry in BC) is strongly recommended for all students from outside of British Columbia, or from non-forestry backgrounds.

Thesis credit weight and courses are selected at the start of your program, in consultation with your supervisor. The master’s defense must be successfully passed, and the completed master’s thesis must meet the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate & Post-doctoral Studies. Time in program for Forestry MASc/MSc students varies, depending on the nature of the student’s research. The average timeline is 3 years

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Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
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: 100

Reading

23

Writing

24

Speaking

22

Listening

23

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

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

Course Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science (MSc) program requires an academic background in science, applied science, agricultural sciences, social science or forestry.  

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 March 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 March 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 March 2023
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 March 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 March 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 March 2023

January 2024 Intake

Application Open Date
01 February 2023
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2023
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 July 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 July 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 July 2023

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

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.

Supervision

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 Forestry (MSc)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.

Citizenship Verification

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

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$112.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,767.18$3,104.64
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,301.54$9,313.92
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,057.05 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,366.20 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
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.

Financial Support

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

Funding availability should be discussed with prospective supervisors prior to submitting a program application. We require supervisors have available a minimum 2-year Master’s funding package of $18,200 annually. Some faculty may require prospective students to secure awards or scholarships to form part or all of the funding package. Refer to our financial support page for specific information and further details about awards, financial aid and research funding opportunities.

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.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

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.

Cost Calculator

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 Forestry (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20212020201920182017
Applications6961707252
Offers4631373931
New registrations4029353730
Total enrolment12311211510489

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 96% based on 67 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 73 graduations between 2017 - 2020 the minimum time to completion is 0.66 years and the maximum time is 5.49 years with an average of 2.65 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 7 April 2022]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 19 October 2021].

Research Supervisors

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.

  • Nesbitt, Lorien (Forestry sciences; Environmental justice; urban forestry; Liveable and equitable urban environments; Socio-ecological interactions in cities; climate change; Ecosystem services; Cities)
  • Nikolakis, William (Aboriginal Forestry, Forest Management, Land-use Change)
  • Park, Keun (Smart city design and development and related analysis; Landscape studies (except architecture); Urban design and studies; Geographic information system (GIS and GPS) applications; Land transportation systems engineering, n.e.c.; Design of healthy, just, and resilient cities through urban nature; Environmental justice; Human behaviour; Landscape planning; Public health; urban design; urban forestry; Urban planning)
  • Prescott, Cindy (Ecological and Ecophysiological Processes; Ecosystem (Aquatic and Terrestrial); Landscape and Restoration; Land and Soil; ecological restoration; soil organic matter; nutrient cycling)
  • Renneckar, Scott (Advanced renewable materials, biopolymer structure characterization, Clean fractionation of biomass, Electrospinning Fibers, Nanocellulose, Self-assembly of biopolymers)
  • Rhemtulla, Jeanine (Forestry sciences; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; Ecological Trends; Landscape and Restoration; Environment Management and Protection; Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; Conservation & Poverty Alleviation; Ecosystem services; Landscape ecology & spatial analysis; Reforestation; socio-ecological systems; Temperate & tropical forest & agroforestry systems)
  • Richardson, John (Natural sciences; Ecology; freshwater biology; food webs; streams; forest)
  • Roeser, Dominik (Forest Operations; Wildfire Operations; Biomass supply systems; Feedstock quality improvements; Technology transfer of harvesting technologies in different operational environments; Small scale harvesting systems; Small scale bioenergy solutions)
  • Saddler, John (Biotechnology, microbiology)
  • Sayer, Jeffrey (Forestry sciences; biodiversity; Communities and Livelihoods; Forest policy; Forest conservation in Indonesia; Land-use Change; Reconciling conservation and development in tropical forest landscapes; sustainability; Tropical Landscapes and Livelihoods; Tropical forest conservation)
  • Simard, Suzanne (forestry silviculture soils mycorrhizae forest ecology, Biodiversity, climate change, conservation, ecology, ecosystems, forest biology, forest management, microbiology, silviculture, soil science, sustainability)
  • Smith, Gregory (Engineering, wood products)
  • Sowlati, Taraneh (Wood Science, Industrial Engineering in Wood Science)
  • Sunderland, Terence (Earth and related environmental sciences; Social and economic geography; biodiversity; Communications; Communities and Livelihoods; conservation; Conservation Biology; Ecosystem services; Environmental communication; Forest policy; Land-use Change; Landscape ecology; Natural Resource Management; social science; sustainability; Tropical Landscapes and Livelihoods; Developing countries; Forest management)
  • Tu, Qingshi (Forestry sciences; Biomass (Energy); Sustainable Development; Modelization and Simulation; Biofuels and bioproducts; climate change; Computational modeling; Forest biorefineries; Industrial ecology; Life cycle assessment; Sustainable bioeconomy)
  • van der Ven, Hamish (Sustainable supply chain governance, Impacts of online activism on business behaviour)
  • Wang, Tongli (climate models, climate change adaptation, ecosystem climate projection, species range projection, assistant migratoin )
  • Wang, Guangyu (business management, climate change, conservation, forest management, forest policy, land-use change)
  • Wiesner, Felix (Fire Safety; Timber Construction; Timber Engineering; Wood Products)
  • Wolkovich, Elizabeth (Forestry sciences; biodiversity; climate change; Conservation science; Global change; Plant communities; Plant invasions; Population and ecosystem ecology; Temporal ecology; Winegrapes)
  • Zerriffi, Hisham (Forestry sciences; Biomass (Energy); Energy Transformation and Energy Using; International development; Environment and Society; Ideological, Political, Economical and Social Environments of Social Transformations; Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection; energy poverty)

Pages

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Information

Specialization

Forestry offers advanced study in natural and social science, management, and economic aspects of forestry and wood science, in an interdisciplinary setting.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGMMSC-KE

Classification

 

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September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 March 2023
International Applicant Deadline
15 March 2023

January 2024 Intake

Application Open Date
01 February 2023
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 July 2023
International Applicant Deadline
15 July 2023
 
Supervisor Search
 

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