Overview

Food scientists integrate and apply fundamental knowledge from multiple disciplines to ensure a safe, nutritious, sustainable and high quality food supply, and to establish scientifically sound principles that guide policy and regulations pertaining to food on a global scale.

Since its inception in 1969, the Food Science Program at UBC has been a leader in providing opportunities for advanced study and research in Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Process Science, Microbiology, Safety and Toxicology, Biotechnology, Quality Evaluation and Wine Biotechnology. Ongoing research areas include the study of nutraceuticals and bioactive compounds derived from food; biophotonic, nano-biosensing and nano-optical imaging; carbohydrate chemistry and enzymology; molecular biology and metabolic engineering of wine yeasts; farm-to-fork food safety systems; stress response mechanisms of foodborne pathogens; structure-function relationships of food and non-food related enzymes.

What makes the program unique?

The innovative research conducted by UBC Food Science faculty members and students has led to national and international recognition in the form of awards and collaborations with research centres and universities both in Canada and around the world. 

The program is uniquely situated in a Faculty that focuses on education and research to address issues around food, nutrition & health, and the responsible use of finite land and water resources to ensure a sustainable and safe food supply. In addition to laboratories equipped for chemical, analytical, molecular biology and microbiological (including Biosafety level 2) based research on food, the program houses pilot plant and sensory evaluation facilities for research requiring food-grade specifications.

Students can also access research facilities at UBC, such as the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, BioImaging Facility and Michael Smith Laboratories, as well as through collaborations with other institutions including Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and the Department of Fisheries & Oceans.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Agriculture and Forestry
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Food Science
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Meet a UBC representative

October Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Thursday, 10 October 2019
Time: 15:00 to 16:00
Join our Graduate Student Ambassadors who will be available to answer questions about their experiences at UBC, including topics such as accommodation, moving to a new city/province/country and settling in, making friends, being an international student, and more. This session is open to participants interested in different programs across all faculties at UBC. Please note that we will not be able to provide answers to questions regarding application or admissions policies or any that involve specific personal information.

Application Notes

Before you apply, please make sure you meet/exceed the admission requirements and most importantly have a supervisor confirmed.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?

Yes

Prior degree requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program will normally possess a M.Sc. degree in Food Science or a related area, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Transfer from the M.Sc. to the Ph.D. program is permitted under regulations set forth by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

14 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 13 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (2)
University of the West Indies
British Columbia Institute of Technology
University of Northern British Columbia
Beijing Normal University
Purdue University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
EnWave Corp. (2)
Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Research Centre
Mark Anthony Group
LimmaTech Biologics
POS Bio-Sciences
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Vice President (2)
Food Scientist
Postdoctoral Fellow
Director
Scientist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Graduates with a PhD degree in Food Science from our program have gone on to pursue successful careers in academia and research at universities, colleges and government research centres. They may hold senior research and/or management positions in multi-national food companies, analytical testing laboratories or consulting companies, or establish independent business or consultancies. 

Our graduates are making their mark in numerous parts of the world, including Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the United States, and many other countries.

Alumni on Success

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (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.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications261141013
Offers61243
New registrations51241
Total enrolment14111197
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

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.

  • Allen, Kevin (why foodborne pathogens continue to be a significant issue in our food chain; antimicrobial resistance of zoonotic foodborne pathogens; factors which may contribute to pathogen contamination of produce (e.g. Norovirus, E. coli O157:H7 and other STEC, Salmonella, etc.). )
  • Dee, Derek (Proteins, Enzymes and Proteins, Agri-food Transformation Products, Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, Nanomaterials, Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods, protein folding, protein aggregation, biophysics, food chemistry, protein engineering, funtional amyloid, protein nanofibrils, psychrophilic enzymes, aspartic proteases, prions)
  • Frostad, John (Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods, Fluid Mechanics, Emulsions, Foams, Functional Foods, Interfacial Rheology, Interfacial Phenomena, Sensory Analysis, Novel Instrumentation, Physics of Soft Matter, See my website: food.chbe.ubc.ca/opportunities/)
  • Kitts, David (Food chemistry and toxicology, cellular and molecular mechanism, oncology)
  • Lu, Xiaonan (Sensors and Devices, Microbiology, Combinatorial Chemistry, Agriculture, Food safety, Food microbiology, Analytical chemistry, Molecular microbiology, Nanotechnology, Advanced material, Microfluidic "lab-on-a-chip", Sensor, Gut microbiome, Food microbiome)
  • Measday, Vivien (Chromosome segregation in the budding yeast using molecular biology and genomic tools)
  • Pratap Singh, Anubhav (Agri-food Transformation Products, Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods, food processing, novel non-thermal processing, functional foods, pulsed light, high pressure, cold plasma, pasteurization, sterilization, heat transfer, mass transfer, food engineering)
  • Scaman, Christine (Glycosidases, Enzyme mechanism, Food carbohydrate chemistry)
  • Wang, Siyun (Agri-food Transformation Products, Microbiology, Bioactive Molecules, Food Safety, Food Microbiology)
  • Yada, Rickey (molecular biology, nanotechnology, food technology )

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Yaxi Hu
    "Dr. Hu developed several novel analytical techniques to rapidly and accurately determine food adulteration. The methods developed in her studies can be applied by governmental laboratories and the food industry to better guarantee the authenticity of food products and protect consumers from economic loss and potential health risks." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Jinsong Feng
    "Dr. Feng showed how a leading foodborne pathogen called Campylobacter jejuni responds to environmental stress and survives in particular states. This study demonstrates the potential risk of fragile microorganism in the environment and food system. His work will contribute to food security." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Ningjian Liang
    "Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid (or CGA) found in plants may provide health benefits. Dr. Liang studied the effect of CGA isomers present in coffee. She discovered that these isomers mitigated oxidative stress and inflammation. Her findings are important for understanding the potential influence of CGA isomers on human intestinal health." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Patricia Anne Hingston
    "Dr. Hingston identified genetic elements associated with strains of the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes that possess enhanced tolerances to food-related stresses. This research has improved our understanding of stress tolerance in Listeria monocytogenes and may be used to assess the risks associated with strains found in foods." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Isabelle Lacroix
    "Dr. Lacroix examined the anti-diabetes properties of dietary proteins. She showed that dairy proteins are sources of peptides, able to inhibit DPP-IV, an enzyme involved in blood glucose regulation. Findings from her work suggest the potential of food proteins to complement existing treatments with pharmaceutical drugs, for managing type 2 diabetes." (May 2015)
 
 
 

Supervisor Search

 

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