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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Program Enquiries

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

Meet a Representative

Virtual Office Hours

Date: Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

In this session, we'll provide advice on applying to grad school and answer your questions. Ask us anything about applying to grad school at UBC! 

This is a general session from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and is not program-specific. 

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.

Course Requirements

The Ph.D. program requirements are as follows:

Food Science Courses numbered 500 and above: 9 credits minimum. PhD Seminar [Food Science 600 (3)] must be included in the 9 credits. Food Science graduate courses completed during an M.Sc. program may satisfy this requirement, except for the PhD Seminar course

Ph.D. Thesis (FOOD 649)

Additional coursework may be selected in consultation with the student's supervisory committee. All Ph.D. students are required to take a comprehensive examination. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research thesis demonstrating ability to conduct significant and original scientific research.

Course Work (all 3 credit units)

FOOD 520 Advances in Food Analysis

FOOD 521 Advances in Food Biotechnology

FOOD 522 Advances in Food Chemistry

FOOD 523 Advances in Food Microbiology

FOOD 524 Advances in Food Process Science

FOOD 525 Advances in Food Toxicology

FOOD 526 Research Methods in Food Science

FOOD 527 Special Topics in Food Science

Please note classes may not be offered each year. Check with the UBC Calendar course schedule to determine specific courses offered in the current year.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 01 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 01 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
15 April 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 June 2022
Transcript Deadline: 01 June 2022
Referee Deadline: 01 July 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 June 2022
Transcript Deadline: 01 June 2022
Referee Deadline: 01 July 2022

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$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,732.53$3,043.77
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,197.59$9,131.31
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,052.34 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,126.20 (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 2021 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 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 $22,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 10 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research/academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $38,441.
  • 6 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 6 students was $7,129.
  • 6 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 6 students was $14,299.
  • 10 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 10 students was $18,585.
  • 2 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 2 students was $35,000.

Study Period: Sep 2019 to Aug 2020 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
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

 20202019201820172016
Applications132426114
Offers56612
New registrations44512
Total enrolment1215141111

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 5 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 3.33 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 5.13 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: 22 April 2021]. 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: 29 October 2020].

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
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.
2012 Dr. Goldson studied enzyme activity in a micro-organism, specifically a form of yeast. She investigated the way in which the enzyme known as PAL reacts with two specific amino acids. Dr. Goldson's findings contribute to our understanding of the enzyme's ability to react with both, which has implications for how the enzyme is able to differentiate between them.
2011 Dr. Zhang studied clostridial necrotic enteritis, which is an intestinal disease of broiler chickens. He developed a process using microwave vacuum dehydration technology to protect the natural antimicrobial lysozyme from heat damage. This development will contribute to the improvement of heat resistance of biomaterials and also to animal health.
2011 Dr. Chen separated and characterized Maillard reaction products with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities from a glucose-lysine model. This study showed that Maillard reaction products could be used to protect against intestinal inflammation.
2010 Using various chemical and cell-based methods, Dr. Samaranayaka studied the potential of fish protein-derived peptides to act as antioxidative agents and their structure activity relationships. Findings from this work will aid development of functional foods that target reducing oxidative stress and various free radical-induced diseases in the human body.
2008 Dr. Friesen examined sustainable alternative feed ingredients for the aquaculture industry. Atlantic salmon and sablefish were fed these new diets and she showed the alternative ingredients to be safe and nutritious food products because they were low in persistent organic pollutants and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Pages

Further 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 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
15 September 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 January 2022
International Applicant Deadline
01 January 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
15 April 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 June 2022
International Applicant Deadline
01 June 2022
 
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