University of British Columbia: Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems (MSc, PhD)

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Food Systems
Masters Degree
General info

 Sustainable food systems will require more than technological advances, and must integrate economic, social and environmental relationships, thus involving community, land and food systems.

New solutions will demand that researchers and policy makers approach the task differently from in the past. We can no longer expect solutions to come from a single discipline. The Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems graduate program offers you the opportunity to focus on such key complex issues. It encourages you to use holistic approaches that integrate knowledge from across disciplines to find solutions relevant to diverse communities.

The Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program (ISLFS) is for graduate students wishing to work within emerging interdisciplinary fields.

Masters students will complete and present their research proposal along with most of their courses within the first year of their program. Normally they will be expected to defend their dissertation at the end of their second year. Doctoral students will usually complete course work and their candidacy exam within two years, and the defence of their doctoral dissertation in their third or fourth years.

The minimum course requirements for Masters degrees are 30 credits, of which at least 18 must be numbered 500 and above. A maximum of 6 credits at the undergraduate level in courses numbered 300 to 499 may be counted toward the requirements of a master’s degree. The M.Sc. research thesis (LFS 549) is 12 credits.

Coursework, selected in consultation with the student’s supervisory committee, includes graduate courses in Land and Food Systems and from other areas relevant to each student’s research. Please consult the UBC Calendar for course timetable details.

Outline of program(s) for typical students (details of the required courses can be found here):

LFS 500 (3)
Electives (15) in consultation with the student’s advisory committee
LFS 549 (12)
Total Credits 30

LFS 500 (3)
LFS 649 (0)
Students are expected to demonstrate a strong competency in methodologies and may, therefore, be required to take additional coursework.


  • A comprehensive examination for Ph.D. students
  • Defence of the thesis for Ph.D. and M.Sc. students.

About The Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook

The Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook is a free database of degree programs, consultants, scholarships, funding, conferences, and other education and training resources for professionals and students focused on food systems work. It is published by the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems in collaboration with the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN). The Lyson Center is a project of the Center for Transformative Action (a 501c3 nonprofit organization affiliated with Cornell University).


Contact Duncan Hilchey with any questions or comments.