Food Science (MSc, PhD)

The Food Science Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in the areas of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Food Process Science, Food Microbiology, Food Safety and Toxicology, Food Biotechnology, Food Quality Evaluation and Wine Biotechnology.

Graduate training in Food Science normally involves a combination of courses in both basic and applied sciences, with research leading to a thesis. Students are encouraged to publish their research results in refereed journals.

Coursework is selected in consultation with the student’s supervisory committee and includes graduate courses in food science and from other disciplines relevant to each student’s research area.

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of British Columbia.

In addition, applicants to the graduate programs in Food Science are expected to have completed pre-requisite fundamental undergraduate courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, calculus, physics, statistics and microbiology. Applicants who lack some of these prerequisites and/or who do not have previous undergraduate background courses in the field of food science (Food process science; Food chemistry; Food analysis; Food laws, regulations & quality assurance; Micro-organisms in food systems; and Principles in food engineering) may be required to take additional coursework for their program.

Specifically, students must have completed, as pre- or co-requisites, the equivalent of four courses (12 credits) from the following six core courses in food science:

  • FNH 309 Food Process Science
  • FNH 301 Food Chemistry I
  • FNH 302 Food Analysis
  • FNH 403 Food Laws, Regulations, & Quality Assurance
  • FNH 313 Micro Organisms in Food Systems
  • FNH 300 Principles in Food Engineering

Please note that the program receives many applications meeting the minimum program admission requirements. Admission is recommended for a select number of candidates who demonstrate outstanding academic standing and research potential or background, and who have a confirmed research supervisor.

For students who wish to be considered for scholarships, preference is given to those who submit a complete application (including all required supporting documentation to enable to full file review and evaluation) to Graduate Studies before January 31. Additional information at Scholarships and Financial Aid.

M.Sc. program

Students admitted to the M.Sc. degree program will possess a B.Sc. degree in Food Science or a related area, and must meet the general requirements for Master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Ph.D. program

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 and Postdoctoral Studies.


The M.Sc. program requirements are as follows:

  • Courses: 12 credits (minimum requirement), including:
    • FOOD 500 (M.Sc. Seminar)
    • At least 6 credits of Food Science courses at the Graduate level
    • Other courses that may include a maximum of 3 credits of senior-undergraduate level courses (numbered 300 and above).
  • FOOD 549 (M.Sc. Thesis): 18 credits

Additional coursework may be recommended upon consultation with the student's supervisory committee.


The Ph.D. program requirements are as follows:

  • FOOD 600 (Ph.D. Seminar)
  • At least 6 credits of Food Science courses at the Graduate level. Food Science graduate courses completed during an M.Sc. program may satisfy this requirement
  • FOOD 649 Ph.D. Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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.

Food Science Graduate Courses


Kevin Allen

NOT accepting students

Assistant Professor Molecular Food Microbiology; Stress response/physiology and adaptive processes; Biofilm physiology and dynamics; Bacterial survival; Antimicrobial resistance and transmission mechanisms; Sanitation microbiology; E. coli O157:H7/STEC vaccines; Food safety
David Kitts Associate Dean; Professor Food chemistry, toxicology, functional foods

Eunice Li-Chan

NOT accepting students

Professor; Food proteins & peptides, structure-function relationships, vibrational spectroscopy, food analysis
xiaonan-lu Xiaonan Lu Assistant Professor

Biophotonic, nano-biosensing and nano-optical imaging technique; food chemical and microbiological (pathogenic bacteria and highly-contagious virus) safety

Vivian Measday Associate Professor Yeast fitness during fermentation, chromosome segregation, functional genomics
Christine Scaman Associate Dean; Associate Professor Carbohydrate chemistry, enzymology, N-linked glycosylation, food analysis

Brent Skura

NOT accepting students

Associate Professor Emeritus Food Microbiology, immunoglobulins, lactofericin, ozone, salmon quality, food spoilage, food safety
Hennie van Vuuren Professor Adaptation of wine yeasts to fermentation stress; functional genomics, proteomics, metabolic engineering.
cropped-siyun-wang.jpg Siyun Wang Assistant Professor Molecular food safety and development of farm-to-fork food safety systems; Stress response mechanisms in foodborne pathogens
cropped-rickey-yada.jpg Rickey Yada Dean; Professor Structure-function relationships of food and non-food related enzymes using molecular biology and various physico-chemical techniques; carbohydrate metabolism in potatoes as it related to process quality; various applications of food-related nanoscale science and technology

Students may also be involved in research projects in collaboration with adjunct faculty and researchers from other university departments, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, or other research centres.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, B.C.
  • Fruit quality and processing
  • Viticulture
  • Sensory evaluation
  • Food microbiology
  • Food chemistry
  • Functional foods
  • Post harvest physiology
British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Food processing
  • Thermal processing
Fisheries & Oceans Canada
  • Aquaculture
Forbes Medi-Tech Functional foods
  • Food chemistry, food microbiology

Other food science facilities are accessed through the Wine Research Centre, Biotechnology Laboratory, the Networks of Centres of Excellence, the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, and the Michael Smith Laboratories, and through collaborations with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Graduates of our program have gone on to pursue successful careers in academia and research at universities, colleges and government research centres, or as quality assurance and research & development scientists or managers in the food industry, analytical testing laboratories and consulting companies.