Master of Science in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (MSc)

Quick Facts

Master of Science
Mode of delivery
On campus
Resources, Environment and Sustainability
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty of Science

In light of recent events, many programs are willing to extend their application deadlines. Please inquire with individual programs if late applications will be accepted.


The Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a problem-focused and curiosity-driven interdisciplinary research institute and graduate program, with interest and expertise in a wide range of topics under the realm of environment and sustainability. Our mission is to foster sustainable futures through integrated research and learning about the linkages among human and natural systems, and to support decision making from local to global scales. More often than not, we achieve this through collaborations across students and faculty in a manner that recognizes our collective skills, intellectual histories and methodological approaches, and yet encourages our interdependencies as we consider real world problems.

The Resources, Environment and Sustainability (RES) graduate program provides a home for such interdisciplinary students, focusing on the integration of the biophysical (ecological), socio-economic, and political realities of resources within the context of a sustainable, healthy environment.

What makes the program unique?

Over fifty percent of our core faculty are Canada Research Chairs and faculty mentoring has led to a high success rate of our students winning major fellowships and scholarships. There are multi-year funding packages offered for top applicants to the RES program. RES has over 400 alumni since the graduate program started in 1994.




TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement


IELTS Overall Score Requirement


Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

Highly recommended

Funding Sources

There is no guarantee of funding for Master’s students in RES program. That being said, many of our master’s students receive funding during their program and/or are successful in various scholarships/award competitions.

RES typically distributes one-time entrance awards to the majority of incoming students. The amount of these awards varies year to year, however over the last three years the awards have been in the range of $3000-$5000. This amount is in addition to any funding you may receive from a faculty grant, external scholarship or award.

Funding for Master’s students can come in the form of a Research Assistant (RA) position with a faculty member, a Teaching Assistant (TA) position as well as from various scholarships and awards.

However, as there is no guarantee of funding for your program, it is important to have a discussion with a potential supervisor about what funding might be available to you prior to accepting any offer of admission to the program.

Lastly, Canadians and Permanent Residents are eligible for government student loans and UBC bursaries.

Career Options

Our current students, alumni and faculty lead and serve on numerous international, national, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and regional bodies dedicated to protecting the environment and improving well-being.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$100.00$162.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,569.22$2,756.86
Tuition per year$4,707.66$8,270.58
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$857.00 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $13,561.00 (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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Affiliated Faculty Members

  • Bowie, William (infections (travel, sexually transmitted diseases, water borne, vector borne, zoonotic); bioterrorism; antibiotic use; public health issues related to communicable disease; climate change, environmental degredation, inequities and infection, Social, economic and environmental factors which put people at risk for infection)
  • Chan, Kai (ecosystem services; ecosystem-based management; biodiversity conservation; sustainability science; social-ecological systems; environmental assessment; environmental policy, Conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, policy and ethics)
  • Chang, Stephanie (Community vulnerability and resilience to natural disasters)
  • Cheung, Wai Lung (Impacts of fishing and climate change on marine ecosystems and their goods and services)
  • Christensen, Villy (ecosystem modeling, global ocean, IPBES, Ecopath, Ecosystem modeling of aquatic ecosystems, management systems that are resilient to climate change, policy)
  • Dowlatabadi, Hadi (Energy technologies and policy Climate change mitigation, adaptation and policy Complex systems, Energy, Policy and Decision-making, Resource governance and management)
  • Harris, Leila (Water politics and governance, nature-society, developmental and environmental issues in the global south)
  • Johnson, Mark (watershed, hydrology, carbon cycling, biogeochemistry, Water and Sustainability, ecohydrology, Watershed Biogeochemistry)
  • Kandlikar, Milind (Climate Change, Air Pollution, Extended Producer Responsibility, Human Development, Agricultural Biotechnology, Information Technology in Developing Countries, Technology innovation, human development and global environment)
  • McAllister, Murdoch (Statistical methods for fisheries risk assessment, estimation, decision analysis and management strategy evaluation)
  • Oberg, Gunilla (Use of knowledge in environmental decision making, Chlorine biogeochemistry in soil)
  • Pauly, Daniel (World fisheries, marine life, global catch, Management of fisheries, and to ecosystem modeling)
  • Ramankutty, Navin (Global agriculture and food security, land use and cover change, global environmental change, global climate change, earth system science, ecosystem services, climate-vegetation interactions, global biogeochemical cycles)
  • Satterfield, Theresa (Sustainable development, environmental health, First Nation & land management, social and cultural consequences of contamination)
  • Sumaila, Ussif Rashid (Bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries)
  • Trites, Andrew (marine mammals, seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins, fisheries competition, population biology, ecology, Marine mamals research centre, biology of marine mammals, population dynamics, bioenergetics, fisheries)
  • Wittman, Hannah (food security, local food systems, sustainable agriculture, social economy, community development, , Rural and environmental sociology, agrarian citizenship, food security and food sovereignty, community and rural development, agrarian political economy, social movements)
  • Zhao, Jiaying (Poverty, sustainability, psychology, cognition, decision making, judgment, perception, attention, learning )

Further Program Information


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