Master of Science in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (MSc)
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.
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.
2) Meet Deadlines
May 2023 Intake
Application Open Date15 July 2022
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 Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (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.
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.
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):
- LFS 500 (3)
- electives (15) in consultation with the student’s advisory committee
- LFS 549 (12)
- Total Credits 30
- UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI)
- Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm
- The Orchard Garden
- Think & EatGreen@School
- 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
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,767.18||$3,104.64|
|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)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (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
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.
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 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.
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.
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, 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)
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 (agriculture, environment, sustainable development, ecosystem services )
Wittman, Hannah (Sociology and related studies; Farming systems research; food sovereignty; Sustainable agriculture; socio-ecological systems; Agroecology)
Sample Thesis Submissions
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.