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.
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.
Graduates with an MSc degree in Food Science from our program have rewarding careers as quality assurance technicians or managers in the food industry, as instructors or researchers at universities, colleges and government research centres, and as technicians in analytical laboratories.
Some graduates have gone on to obtain a Ph.D. degree in food science, while others have pursued further education in fields such as business administration, education, human kinetics, human nutrition and law.
The Master of Food Science (MFS) program was launched in 2007 with a focus to prepare students for professional work in the food industry or government. Since its inception, the MFS program has trained up to 30 graduate students per year.
After completing two semesters of course work, the program culminates with a 15‑week summer practicum in which the students get hands-on experience, working on a project in an industry or government setting. Throughout the years students have helped local, national and international food sectors to solve problems and provide advances in food safety, risk assessment, product development, sensory analysis and process validation studies.
Many of our alumni have commented that the combination of courses and practicum in this program has helped them to develop skills required for the current job market. In consultation with students, alumni and industry, the program continues to evolve, incorporating current topics relevant to the food sector.
MFS program is the only program in Canada to offer a one-year, non-thesis Master of Food Science degree. The program is unique in combining graduate level courses with a high quality practicum experience.
Every year a number of practicum sites either hire or extend their student’s contract. Although not all practicums result in an offer for post-graduation employment, some employers use their professional networks to refer graduates to their colleagues within the food sector.
Our graduates are hired by local and international companies and government agencies in positions of Quality Assurance Coordinator, Quality Control Manager, Technical Director, Research and Development Specialist, Product Design Specialist, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Specialist, Process Scientist and Consultant. A few graduates have pursued further studies towards a Ph.D. degree. You are encouraged to visit our Linkedin website to meet some of our graduates.