Master of Science in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (MSc)

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.

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Date: Monday, 28 September 2020
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Date: Tuesday, 06 October 2020
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join Dr Julian Dierkes, Associate Dean, Funding, with Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as they talk about funding opportunities for PhD's at UBC. Dr Dierkes will provide an overview of the different awards and scholarship available to incoming PhD students as well as providing some tips and advice on applying. We'll also be answering your questions.

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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

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 01 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 01 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2021

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 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.

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$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (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

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.

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.

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

 20192018201720162015
Applications13717159
Offers64543
New registrations44443
Total enrolment1210101013

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 71.43% based on 14 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 10 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 1.83 years and the maximum time is 5.67 years with an average of 2.81 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: 10 March 2020]. 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: 27 October 2019].

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.

  • Barichello, Richard (Capitlization of Government program benefits , quota systems and markets, agricultural policy, trade,industrial and agricultural pocliy reform in South East Asian Countries, economics of raw material export)
  • Black, Jennifer (Community Health / Public Health; Nutrition; Public health; food environments; social determinants of health; food banks; school food environments)
  • Carrillo, Juli (Plant-insect interactions; Agroecology; Invasive species; evolution; Ecology; community ecology; Environmental Change; Plant evolution; Population Ecology)
  • Gulati, Sumeet (Economics of Urban Transportation; Effectiveness of Carbon Taxes; Effectiveness of Environmental Policy; Economics of Human Wildlife Conflict; Political Economy of Environmental and Trade Policy; International Trade and its Effect on the Environment)
  • Jovel, Eduardo (Ethnobotany, mycology, natural product chemistry and Aboriginal health)
  • 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)
  • Riseman, Andrew (plant breeding; plant genetics; horticulture; roots; stress physiology, Plant breeding, intercrop interactions, nutrient use efficiency, root physiology, biotic/abtioic stressor)
  • Smukler, Sean (agriculture, environment, sustainable development, ecosystem services )
  • Wittman, Hannah (Social Movements; Environment and Society; Dynamics of Social Transformations; Agriculture; food sovereignty; Sustainable agriculture; socio-ecological systems; agro-ecology)

Open Research Positions

This list of possible research projects is non-exhaustive. It only shows positions that are specifically advertised in the G+PS website.

Further Program 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
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
01 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

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

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