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.

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UBC Grad School Info Session

Date: Monday, 21 September 2020
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Office for this online webinar. They will provide an overview of UBC and our graduate programs, as well as application advice and more!

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Date: Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Time: 09:00 to 10:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Office for this online session. They'll be joined by admissons staff and our Graduate Student Ambassadors to answer 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.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

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.

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 Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
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.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$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)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (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

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.

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 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.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications242611410
Offers66124
New registrations45124
Total enrolment151411119
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.

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.

  • 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, food proteins, meat analogues)
  • 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)
  • 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 (Enzymes (including kinetics and mechanisms, and biocatalyst), Other biological sciences, Food science, Food protein chemistry, Structure-function relationships, Enzymes, aspartic proteases)

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Fong worked on understanding Salmonella, a foodborne pathogen, and bacteriophages, the viruses that predate these bacteria. She identified several bacteriophages with high efficacy in controlling Salmonella that would be of high value to the food industry. Her research sheds insight into mitigation of this human pathogen in the food chain.
2020 Dr. Hakeem developed innovative strategies for replacing antibiotics in agri-foods systems. He identified how synergistic combinations work collectively against Campylobacter jejuni. He also developed a nanoscale packaging system to inactivate this pathogenic bacterium in poultry meats to enhance food safety and public health.
2019 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.
2018 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.
2018 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.
2018 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.
2015 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.
2014 Dr. Kovacevic studied Listeria mono-cyto-gen-es, a foodborne bacterium that causes disease in humans. She found some bacteria are more likely to cause disease, and they possess genetic elements that improve their survival in the food chain. This research highlights the need for better control and detection of high-risk Listeria strains.
2013 Dr. Saenz-Garza developed a Vacuum Microwave technique for protecting natural antimicrobials that are capable of preventing the growth of destructive microorganisms in food. She subsequently tested controlled release of the encapsulated antimicrobial for the preservation of fresh apple slices, as a model for increasing the shelf life of fresh cut fruit.
2013 Dr. Elisia examined the effects of different types of vitamin E on the risk of intestinal inflammation in infants. She discovered that the type of vitamin E present in vegetable oil and infant formula is associated with more inflammation than the vitamin E dominant in human milk. These findings will contribute to research into infant health and feeding.

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Further Program Information

Specialization

Food Science offers opportunities in the areas of food analysis, food biotechnology, food chemistry, food microbiology, food process science, food quality evaluation, food safety and toxicology, and wine biotechnology.

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-JU
 

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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