Frequently Asked Questions

The Master of Land and Water Systems is a professional program, meaning it is course based and a thesis is not required. From program start to finish takes one year (three terms), whereas research-based graduate programs can take 2-5 years.

The professional Master’s program is ideal for students who plan to work as practitioners, managers, planners and policy makers in the natural resources field.

The MLWS program does not in itself provide recognized professional certification, but completing the program can help to meet the requirements (e.g., Articling, Internship, Professional Development Activities, etc.) of a professional certification program (e.g. BCIA, ABCFP, APEGBC, etc.)

Although the MLWS program has been designed to be completed in one 12-month period, there may be cases where students need to take courses in a subsequent Academic Year in order to complete the requirements for the degree.

These students will continue to pay regular installments: $6,078.18 plus student fees for domestic students and $9,843.67 plus student fees for international students, and as outlined above due in September, January and May. Tuition levels do not vary with the number of credits taken.

For students who become ill and request a leave or are required to leave for a term (or two), the regular domestic and international graduate student On-leave fee will apply.

Through the Western Deans' Agreement (WDA), MLWS students are eligible to take courses at the following universities without charge:

  • University of Alberta
  • Athabasca University
  • Brandon University
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Victoria

At this time, only elective courses may be taken at one of the above universities (300-level and up), and must have prior approval from the MLWS Academic Coordinator and your (co) Supervisor.

If you have already completed a course at an eligible university (within the last 5 years) and the MLWS program approves it, you must fill out the WDA form (see link below) to have the credit transferred to the MLWS program at UBC.

See the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for more information on the Western Deans' Agreement.

You will need to contact Dr. Hans Schreier, the Watershed Management Certificate Coordinator and 1) request an evaluation of your progress towards the certificate, and 2) state why you would like to transfer to the MLWS program. Dr. Schreier will review your request and make a recommendation to the Academic Coordinator regarding feasibility of transfer and any advanced/transfer credit.

You will need to apply to the MLWS program and will be reviewed as a new application. The MLWS program will notify successful candidates of the advanced/transfer credit that will be credited to the MLWS degree.

For information on UBC scholarships, you can visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website and also read their Graduate Awards FAQ. Also visit the Faculty of Land and Food Systems Grad blog. A few are highlighted below.

Affiliated Fellowships Masters Program Award

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies offers approximately 50 Affiliated Fellowships each year to meritorious students for full-time study and/or research leading to a graduate degree. Awards are made on the basis of academic excellence, with applications open to current and prospective full-time UBC graduate students regardless of citizenship or visa status. Fellowship values range from $175 to $16,000. Please note that the deadline for applications is on February 1, 2019. For more information about applying, visit

MasterCard Foundation Scholarship

Full scholarships are available for academically promising graduate students from Sub-Saharan African countries (i.e., Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, etc.). Please note that the deadline for Admissibility Submissions is on November 16, 2018 and completed Application Packages are due January 1, 2019. For more information about applying, visit

Canadian Water Resources Association Scholarships

The CWRA annually offers five scholarships awarded to graduate students whose programs of study focus on applied, natural, or social science aspects of water resources. The scholarships range from $1500 to $5000. The deadline for application is January 31, 2019. For more information about applying, visit

BC Institute of Agrologists Scholarships

To support future agrologists in achieving their career in agrology, the BC Institute of Agrologists (BCIA) will award up to two $1500 scholarships annually. The deadline for application is October 15, 2018. For more information about applying, visit

Scholarships and Housing Available at Green College

Green College is a graduate residence on the UBC campus, with a mandate to promote exchange between academic disciplines at the graduate and postdoctoral levels. Students may apply for residence at the College at any stage of their UBC academic career and, on admission, sign standard UBC 12-month housing contracts. Applicants for admission to Green College who will be beginning their UBC degree programs in 2018-19 will automatically be considered for graduate entrance scholarships. There is a separate application process for those wishing to become resident members of the College. For further information and an online application form, visit

In case of any conflict the MLWS Program Director will attempt to resolve the concern. If this is not successful, the Director will appoint a committee of three with a representative from The Faculty of Land and Food Systems, a Chair (UBC), and the co-supervisor to meet with the student.

The result will be transmitted in writing to the Director with copy to all members and the Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.