Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Overview

The MSc program in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems provides opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge base and gain research experiences.  ILSFS students work on diverse and often interdisciplinary research topics that address priority food systems questions and challenges ranging in scope from food production, processing, distribution, access, consumption, to management of food waste. Applied research projects in ISLFS often explore sustainable solutions to food systems challenges and often address environmental, economic or social dimensions of food systems. 

What makes the program unique?

The Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program (ISLFS) is for graduate students wishing to work within emerging interdisciplinary fields.

 

Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Admission Information & Requirements

Program Instructions

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

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 6.5

Reading

6.0

Writing

6.0

Speaking

6.0

Listening

6.0

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

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
15 April 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 June 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 June 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 June 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 June 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 September 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 September 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 September 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 September 2024
Transcript Deadline: 01 September 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 September 2024

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 thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Science in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (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.

Research Information

Research Highlights

The Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems programs provide opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge base and gain more advanced research experiences. ISLFS students work on diverse and often interdisciplinary research areas
that address priority food systems questions and challenges ranging in scope from food production, processing, distribution, access, consumption and dietary practices, to the management of food waste. Applied research projects in ISLFS often address sustainable solutions to food systems challenges that may address environmental, economic and social dimensions of food systems.

Program Components

Master’s students will complete and present their research proposal along with most of their courses within the first year of their program. Normally they will be expected to defend their dissertation at the end of their second year.

The minimum course requirements for master’s degrees are 30 credits, of which at least 18 must be numbered 500 and above. A maximum of 6 credits at the undergraduate level in courses numbered 300 to 499 may be counted toward the requirements of a master’s degree. The MSc research thesis (LFS 549) is 12 credits.

Coursework, selected in consultation with the student’s supervisory committee, includes graduate courses in Land and Food Systems and from other areas relevant to each student’s research. Please consult the UBC Calendar for course timetable details. Outline of the program for typical students (details of the required courses can be found here):

Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems (MSc, PhD) - Faculty of Land and Food Systems (ubc.ca)

MSc

  • LFS 500 (3)
  • electives (15) in consultation with the student’s advisory committee
  • LFS 549 (12)
  • Total Credits 30

Research Facilities

Campus partners

  • UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI)
  • Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm
  • The Orchard Garden
  • Think & EatGreen@School

Community partners

  • British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture
  • The Vancouver Fruit Tree Project
  • Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC)
  • Canadian Association for Food Studies
  • Bits and Bytes
  • Farm Folk/City Folk
  • BC Food Systems Network
  • Food Secure Canada

 

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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

Financial support for graduate students within LFS typically comes from one or more of four basic sources:

  1. merit-based awards administered by the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (including Affiliated Fellowships and LFS Departmental Awards),
  2. teaching and research assistantships,
  3. need-based awards and
  4. 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. 

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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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.

Career Options

Graduates from the ISLFS MSc program have the skills necessary to contribute to research, evaluation, policy development, advocacy, and practice.  Graduates may go on to advanced study including PhD work, and often find employment opportunities in governmental or non-profit organizations.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Science in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

ENROLMENT DATA

 20222021202020192018
Applications1288138
Offers43264
New Registrations43244
Total Enrolment101213117

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 62% based on 14 students admitted between 2014 - 2017. Based on 8 graduations between 2019 - 2022 the minimum time to completion is 2.05 years and the maximum time is 4.11 years with an average of 2.85 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Master of Science in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (MSc)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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.

  • Barichello, Richard (Agricultural economics)
  • Black, Jennifer (Human nutrition and dietetics; Community Health / Public Health; food banks; food environments; Nutrition; Public health; school food environments; social determinants of health)
  • Carrillo, Juli (Plant-insect interactions; Agroecology; Invasive species; evolution; Ecology; community ecology; Environmental Change; Plant evolution; Population Ecology)
  • Cornelis, Jean Thomas (Earth and related environmental sciences; Pedology; Biogeochemistry; Soil-Plant Interactions)
  • Gulati, Sumeet (Agricultural economics; Economics of Human Wildlife Conflict; Economics of Urban Transportation; Effectiveness of Carbon Taxes; Effectiveness of Environmental Policy; International Trade and its Effect on the Environment; Political Economy of Environmental and Trade Policy)
  • Jovel Ayala, Eduardo (Ethnobotany, mycology, natural product chemistry and Aboriginal health)
  • Margulis, Matias (International Organization; Globalization; Human Rights and Liberties, Collective Rights; Global Governance; International Political Economy; United Nations; World Trade Organization; Food and Agriculture; Human Rights)
  • McAusland, Carol (Interactions between globalization and public good provision, impacts of trade liberalization on environmental politics, potential use of trade policy to stem damages from exotic species introductions and biological invasions Environmental impacts of international trade, implications of skilled labor migration for the global provision of public goods)
  • Noack, Frederik (Interaction of economic development and the environment)
  • Riseman, Andrew (plant breeding; plant genetics; horticulture; roots; stress physiology, Plant breeding, intercrop interactions, nutrient use efficiency, root physiology, biotic/abtioic stressor)
  • Smukler, Sean (Natural sciences; Agricultural ecology; Soil health; Climate change adaptation and mitigation; Ecosystem services)
  • Wittman, Hannah (Sociology and related studies; Farming systems research; food sovereignty; Sustainable agriculture; socio-ecological systems; Agroecology)

Further Information

ISLFS students work on diverse and often interdisciplinary research areas to address priority food systems questions and challenges ranging in scope from food production, processing, distribution, access, consumption and dietary practices, to the management of food waste. Applied research projects in ISLFS often address sustainable solutions to food systems challenges that may address environmental, economic and social dimensions of food systems.

Program Identifier

VGMMSC-N1
 
 

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
15 April 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 June 2024
International Applicant Deadline
01 June 2024

May 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
15 July 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 September 2024
International Applicant Deadline
01 September 2024
 
Supervisor Search
 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update contact details for application inquiries, please use this form.

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