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 the deficient area(s) at UBC or a recognized post-secondary institution to meet the admission requirements of the program. The tuition levels for the program can be found here.

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
  • LWS 510 (3) Land and Water Seminar Series
  • AT LEAST ONE of LWS 515 (3) Integrated Watershed Management (Term 1) OR LWS 517 (3) Land and Water Resources Evaluation (Term 1) (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. 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 supervised by a UBC Faculty member with the potential of co-supervision by a recognized professional (such as a Professional Agrologist, Biologist, Forester, Geoscientist) 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 Email:
Graduate Admissions
Lia Maria Dragan, Graduate Admission and Administrative Coordinator Faculty of Land and Food Systems 291-2357 Main Mall Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: 604.822.4593 Fax: 604.822.4400 Email: Web:

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 English Proficiency Requirements.

How to apply:

The following is a summary of the 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; and 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.
Application Deadline: January 1st for both domestic and international students. The application period for the 2020-21 academic year is closed. MLWS will consider late applications from qualified candidates, given the applicant is able to provide a strong rationale to the Program Director. Please contact us at if you are interested in applying.

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

After submitting your application:
The MLWS admissions committee and the Faculty of Graduate Studies will evaluate your completed application. In addition to GPA and academic background, the committee will review references, English language capability, work experience, extra-curricular activities and other factors that can contribute to your success in the program. Applicants will be notified of our decision starting in mid-February. If you are accepted to the MLWS program, you will receive a formal letter of admission from UBC via mail and an offer letter from the program via email. To confirm your acceptance you must:
  • Formally accept your offer of admission on the Graduate Studies Online Application system.
  • Submit a non-refundable deposit.
  • Send your official transcripts to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office.
  • Fulfill any other conditions described in your offer of admission.
(View application instructions below)

For program inquiries, please contact us at: