phd in food science in canada

Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by

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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.



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.

Application deadlines for the PGD and M.Agr. programs are:

To start in September (PGD and M.Agr.) – February 1 (application must be complete and all documents uploaded)

An applicant’s suitability will be evaluated by the admissions committee based on background, marks, and space available.

Applications for the M.Sc. and PhD programs are accepted year round.


Terms start in September, May and January. International applications should be completed (and student accepted) at least three months prior to the start of the term to allow time for processing of student visa documents.

ProgramExpected LengthProject and/or thesisCourse based
P.G.D.1 year
M.Agr.1 year – project based
M.Sc.2 years
Ph.D.4 years

Saskatchewan is known as the “bread basket of Canada,” referring to its strength as a primary producer of agricultural commodities and its contributions to agro-biological science and biotechnology. These areas extend the scope of agriculture to food and bioproducts. The Food and Bioproducts Sciences Department has two streams of research; food science and applied microbiology. Food Science applies principles from chemistry, biology, microbiology and engineering to the study of food and the development of food technology and to non-food uses of agricultural materials.

Faculty interests include: value-added crop utilization; novel techniques to detect food adulteration; lipid quality and utilization; food nanotechnology; food enzymology; meat quality; microbial bioproducts; lipid biotechnology; food and environmental microbiology; protein quality and utilization; and mycology, microbial biotechnology and bioproducts.

The Department of Food and Bioproducts is housed in the state-of-the-art College of Agriculture building, a prominent edifice on the beautiful USask campus. This research-driven unit focuses on small class size, ready access to and help from faculty supervisors, and hands-on experiential training in numerous high-caliber facilities, including: food and bioproduct chemistry and analysis laboratories; food microbiology laboratories; molecular and environmental microbiology laboratories; product development and sensory evaluation laboratories; biotechnology research facilities; and food and bioproduct processing facilities.

Research supervisors

We recommend that you contact the faculty that are doing research in an area that interests you before beginning a formal application. PGD and M.Agr. applicants do not require doing so.

NameResearch areas
Yongfeng AiCarbohydrate quality and utilization, dietary fiber, crop quality and processing.
Christopher EskiwNutrigenomics, Molecular Geontology, Genome Organization
Supratim GhoshFood nanotechnology
Darren KorberMetagenomics and proteomics of biofilm communities in dense clays, microbial stress response and antimicrobial resistance, encapsulated probiotics,
Nicholas LowFood authenticity and traceability, Structure-function-mechanism studies of fruit phenolics and their antioxidant capacities, Carbohydrate chemistry
Michael NickersonProtein quality and utilization
Xiao QiuMolecular biology and biotechnology of nutraceuticals, bioactive lipids and industrial biochemicals.
Phyllis ShandQuality and processsing of meat and meat products, protein functionality and gelation, utilization of pulses in meat processing
Takuji TanakaEnzyme structure-function relationship studies, Enzyme utilization in food and bioproduct processing
Vladimir VujanovicMolecular Mycology and Biotechnology, Microbiome and Endosymbionts, Biocontrol, Mycotoxins

Tuition and funding


Students accepted into the PGD and M.Agr. programs must be able to support themselves through their entire program as no financial support is available for them. They are also not eligible to apply for academic awards.

Students accepted into the M.Sc. and PhD programs receive financial support from their supervisor’s research funds. Students are also able to apply for academic awards and funds to support the student experience.

In addition to potential funding from your department, there are scholarships and awards available to all eligible students. There are also special programs for international students from China and Mexico.


Thesis or project based program

Graduate students in a thesis or project based program pay tuition three times a year for as long as they are enrolled in their program.

September 1 – December 31, 2020$1,420.00 CAD$2,243.60 CAD
January 1 – April 30, 2021$1,420.00 CAD$2,243.60 CAD
May 1 – August 31, 2021$1,420.00 CAD$2,243.60 CAD
Total per academic year$4,260.00 CAD$6,730.80 CAD

Course based program

Students in course based programs pay tuition for each class they take. Every class is assigned a number of credit units (usually three) which determines the cost. If a student is not enrolled in any classes for a term, they will need to register in a ‘Maintenance of Status’ class that is 3 credits to stay in their program.

P.G.D. students do not need to register in the Maintenance of Status course as long as they take a single class every academic year.

Cost per graduate credit unit$229.50 CAD$362.61 CAD
Maintenance of Status course$688.50 CAD$1087.83 CAD
Cost per 3 credit unit graduate class$688.50 CAD$1087.83 CAD

Student fees

In addition to tuition above, students also pay fees for programs like health and dental insurance, a bus pass, and other campus services. The amount you need to pay depends on if you are taking classes full time or part time, and if you are on campus or not. The table below assumes you are on campus full-time.

Fall 2020Winter 2021Spring 2021Summer 2021
Student fees$699.04 CAD$299.28 CAD$27.50 CAD$27.50 CAD

Tuition information is accurate for the current academic year and does not include student fees. For detailed tuition and fees information, visit the official tuition website.

Admission requirements

Postgraduate Diploma

Master of Agriculture

Master of Science

Doctor of Philosophy – Direct Entry

Doctor of Philosophy – Non-Direct Entry

Application process

Find a supervisor

Using the list above, find a potential supervisor, read about the work they are currently doing and their past publications. If you think you’d like to work with them, contact them and describe your research interests and past academic experience. If they are accepting students, they will instruct you to begin a formal application.

Submit an online application

Once you begin an application, choose one of the following application forms in the system:

  • Graduate (B) Fall term start – September
  • Graduate (C) Winter term start – January
  • Graduate (D) Spring term start – May

During the application, you’ll be asked for:

  • Personal information such as your name, address, etc.
  • Contact information of your three referees
    • For your letters of recommendation, two of your referees must be academic contacts, and the third may be academic or professional
  • Your academic history from all previous post-secondary institutions

The application takes about 30 minutes to complete. You may save your application and return to it later as long as you remember the Login ID and PIN you’ve created.

At the end of the application, you will need to pay a non-refundable $90 application fee. Your application will not be processed until payment is received. It is recommended that you pay online with a credit card. If you do not pay online when completing your application, you will need to use an alternate form of payment.

 If you are a past or current student you may begin an application in the admissions channel of PAWS.

Submitting required documents

Once you’ve completed an online application, you will need to upload the following documents:

Please note that in most cases, you will need to allow one business day after paying your application fee before you are permitted to upload documents.


 Proof of English language proficiency (if required)

Submit additional documents

Canadian Food Science PhD/Doctorate Programs

Food Science PhD and doctorate graduate and postgraduate degree programs offered by universities in Canada.

Canada University Programs | Graduate Food Science Programs | Food Science Programs |

Postgraduate Studies in Food Science

Food Science
University of Guelph [www][profile]
Ontario Agricultural College
Department of Food Science [www]
Doctor of Philosophy, graduate studies
Food Science
University of British Columbia [www][profile]
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Doctor of Philosophy, graduate studies
Food Science
Memorial University of Newfoundland [www][profile]
Faculty of Science
Department of Biochemistry [www]
Doctor of Philosophy, graduate studies
Food Science
McGill University [www][profile]
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry [www]
Doctor of Philosophy, graduate studies
Food Science and Bioresource Technology
University of Alberta [www][profile]
Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science [www]
Doctor of Philosophy, graduate studies
Food Science and Technology
Dalhousie University [www][profile]
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science [www]
Doctor of Philosophy, graduate studies

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