Tuition and Financial Aid


MFRE tuition fees apply to the 12-month period (from the beginning of September to the end of August) required to complete the MFRE degree. Tuition is divided into three equal installments, due in September, January and May.

Because MFRE is a professional degree it needs to be “full cost recovery” which means tuition levels need to be significantly higher than for the traditional M.A. or M.Sc. research degrees. Although the tuition levels are higher, the overall costs of completing the MFRE degree could well be lower than research degrees that require a thesis and can take two or three times longer to complete. Tuition levels for the MFRE degree are consistent with other related professional master’s programs at UBC and at other Canadian and American universities, such as Master of Agribusiness, MBA, and Master of Management degrees. If you compare the MFRE tuition levels to other leading universities that are as highly ranked as UBC you will find that they are not high.

The 2018/19 tuition for the MFRE degree program is expected to be $21,364 Cdn for domestic (Canadian) students and $41,369 Cdn (approx. $33,000 US) for international students. The tuition level for domestic students is lower than for international students in recognition of Canadian taxpayers’ significant contribution to this program. UBC, like most universities in Canada, is a public institution supported by taxpayer dollars of domestic residents.

Student Fees

All UBC students are assessed student fees. These help cover the costs of resources available to students, including health benefits and bus transit pass. Graduate students pay about $906 Cnd. per year in student fees.

The MFRE program has been designed to be completed in one 12-month period. In a very unusual case where a student needed to take a course in the subsequent Academic Year to complete the requirements for the degree they would be required to pay their full regular installment for tuition and student fees.

We want to stress that MFRE has been designed to be a very intensive program so that it can be completed within 12 months. Both Term 1 and Term 2 involve a full course load which will keep you busy during the week with classes and during the weekends with assignments to do and papers to write. The Graduating Project during Term 3 is worth 6 credits and likewise involves a full time commitment. Given the intensity of the program over the full 12 months, we strongly discourage any MFRE students from taking on part-time employment. We realize the financial challenges of undertaking a professional masters program, but experience shows that trying to work at the same time takes away from success in the MFRE program. If a student feels they need to work part-time to finance the MFRE program, it is usually best to postpone taking the program until finances improve.

We want to stress that we do not have access to emergency funding to help students who find themselves in financial difficulties. Again, if you are concerned whether you can finance a professional masters degree in an expensive city like Vancouver, it is best to postpone your application until you are more confident of your financial situation.

A. Entrance scholarships

1. Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) Award

The MFRE program offers several scholarship opportunities to students through the Master of Food and Resource Economics Award which is funded through proceeds from student tuition.

The criteria for selection include academic merit, student financial need, and the recipient’s potential contribution to the MFRE program. Examples of potential contribution include: (i) bringing diversity to the program because you are from a country that is usually not represented (or under-represented) in the MFRE cohort of students; (ii) bringing relevant experience to the program; for example, you have been working for a food import-export company, or as a policy analyst for the Ministry of Environment, or as a volunteer for an NGO working in agricultural development.

Examples of MFRE award opportunities:

  • Scholarships of at least $1000 are offered by the MFRE program to outstanding students who are considering enrolling in the MFRE program. They are used to attract the very top students who can serve as models and provide leadership to their cohort of students. They are available for both domestic and international students.
  • Outstanding international students who will bring diversity from their country or ethnic group that is under-represented in the MFRE program; note that this does not have to be an overseas country, in fact the MFRE program also wants to attract more students from our neighbouring countries in North America (i.e. the U.S. and Mexico).
  • Outstanding domestic students (Canadian/Permanent Resident) who have had first-hand experience in the food and/or agricultural sectors in Canada, and will contribute that experience to the MFRE program will be considered for an MFRE award in the amount of $7000.
  • In exceptional circumstances, awards are available to applicants who the MFRE program administrators feel would make an invaluable contribution, but who would otherwise be prevented from accepting an offer to the MFRE program due to great financial hardship.

The MFRE Award is paid out in three equal installments (September, January and May). Installments 2 and 3 are contingent upon student maintaining satisfactory academic standing.

2. For a student from China

Canadian Agri-Food Trading Inc. together with the MFRE program offer an annual $1,000 scholarship to an outstanding incoming international student from China. This award will appear on a student’s academic history (transcript) as “Canadian Agri-Food Trading Intl. Graduate Scholarship in Land & Food Systems.”

3. Bernard Lapointe Graduate Entrance Scholarship in Food & Resource Economics

Since 2008, Bernard Lapointe (an MSc AGEC alum) has funded an annual bursary to help students in need. In 2014, this bursary was changed to the annual Bernard Lapointe Graduate Entrance Scholarship in Food & Resource Economics and valued at $1,200.00.

4. LFS Awards/Scholarships

The Faculty of Land and Food Systems has a small number of endowed awards/scholarships that MFRE students are eligible for. These include the A.F. Barss Memorial Scholarship, and the John Schildroth Memorial Scholarship.

B. Scholarships for which students must apply

1. MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at UBC 

For students from Sub-Saharan Africa.

2. UBC Affiliated Fellowships (Deadline: December 1st in the year prior to enrolling in MFRE)

For international and domestic students.

3. Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program (Deadline: December 1st in the year prior to enrolling in MFRE)

For Canadian or Permanent Residents.

4. Dr. Karl C. Ivarson Agricultural Scholarship 

For students from the province of Alberta.

C. Teaching Assistantships

Each year there are a few Teaching Assistant (TA) opportunities for MFRE students to TA undergraduate Food and Resource Economics (FRE) courses. These are only available to exceptional students because of the time commitments required by the MFRE program. Also, they are only available to students who have taken UBC courses because these students are familiar with the expectations of UBC undergraduate courses that they would be TAing. If you are interested in a TA position you should indicate that on your application to MFRE, including why you would make a good TA and how you can handle the extra work load.

D. Country specific scholarships

The MFRE program has had students enroll from the following countries with scholarship support from their home countries: