Admission header img

Photo by: Martin Dee, UBC Communications & Marketing

Admissions Requirements:

For admission to the Master of Land and Water Systems (MLWS) degree program, applicants must:

  1. Meet the admissions requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
  2. Should have a science-based bachelor’s degree preferably in one of the following disciplines: soil science, agricultural sciences, environmental science, geology, geography, ecology, forestry, or civil engineering.

A background in introductory (first-year university equivalence) economics, geology, physical geography and soil science is beneficial but not required for admission into the program.

Application for admission must include a letter outlining the applicant’s intent for pursuing the MLWS degree and how it will enhance their career goals and previous experience. Applicants may be interviewed by an advisor from the MLWS degree program to determine their candidacy and suggest ways to address any academic deficiencies. Interested applicants who do not meet the MLWS pre-requisites should contact the Academic Coordinator for consultation.

Admission may be contingent on concurrent completion of first-year introductory courses in deficient area(s) at UBC or a recognized post-secondary institution to meet the admission requirements of the program.

Program Requirements:

The MLWS degree requires 33 credits of course work, consisting of 21 credits of required courses plus 12 credits of electives.

Required Courses:
  • LWS 510 (3) Land and Water Seminar Series
  • LWS 550 (3) Professional Communication Strategies
  • LWS 501 (3) Advanced Soil Processes
  • FRE 302 (3) Small Business Management
  • LWS 548 (6) Major Project
  • At least one of LWS 515 (3) Integrated Watershed Management or LWS 517 (3) Land and Water Resources Evaluation (syllabus will be posted soon) (Note: Student can get credit for both towards the degree)

Of the 33 credits, a maximum of 6 credits may be at the 300 – 400 level, and 27 credits must be at the 500 – level or higher. Transfer credits for equivalent course content are acceptable but must be approved by the MLWS Director prior to entry into the program.

The MLWS degree program is designed to be taken on a full-time basis. The program’s course sequence is scheduled from September to April, and the capstone LWS 548 Major Project is completed from May to August, thus completing the degree in 12 months of intensive study. Completing the MLWS program requirements in a period longer than 12 months (part-time), must be discussed and approved by the Program Director prior to the student’s program commencement.

Each student is required to complete a Major Project, modelled after a “professional paper” (LWS 548). This may be conducted off-campus and is co-supervised by a recognized professional (such as a Professional Agrologist, Biologist, Forester, Geoscientist), and a UBC Faculty member approved by the Academic Coordinator.

The MLWS program will allow students to gain credit towards accreditation in existing appropriate professional organizations and does not propose any new professional accreditation.


MLWS Program Inquiries
Julie Wilson, Academic Coordinator
Master of Land and Water Systems
112A-2357 Main Mall Vancouver
BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.6360
Fax: 604.822.4400
Graduate Admissions
Shelley Small, Graduate Programs Manager
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
344-2357 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.4593
Fax: 604.822.4400


How to apply:

The following is a summary of materials required for a complete application:
  • Apply for the Master in Land and Water Systems program by filling out the Online Application Form through the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  APPLY NOW
  • Statement of Intent. Provide a letter that outlines your intent for pursuing the MLWS degree and how it will enhance your academic and professional expertise. Describe your career objectives upon completion of your degree. Maximum 500 words.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV). Provide an up-to-date CV that summarizes your education (degrees, diplomas, continuing education); work experience; professional certifications; academic and professional awards; achievements, honours, or other distinctions you have received; volunteer experience.
  • Reference Letters. You will need to include a total of three (3) letters of reference in your application. At least one reference must be academic, and at least one reference must be related to professional or work experience in an appropriate field.

Admission may be contingent on concurrent completion of first-year introductory courses in deficient area(s) at UBC or a recognized post-secondary institution to meet the graduating requirements of the program.

For more information about application requirements, please contact:

Lia Maria Dragan
Graduate Programs Assistant
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Tel: 604.822.4593

English language requirement:

IELTS test: A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.
TOEFL: The minimum overall TOEFL score required for all applicants to the Faculty of Graduate Studies is 90.

For more information, visit