Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry

  • Please note that the application period for Winter 2023 has closed
  • Fall 2023 application deadline for international students is January 15, 2023 (or earlier, if specified by the department below)
  • Fall 2023 application deadline for Canadian students varies by department (see below)

Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry


  • Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry
  • Macdonald-Stewart Building, Room MS1-033
  • Macdonald Campus of McGill University
  • 21,111 Lakeshore Road
  • Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue QC H9X 3V9
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-7838
  • Email: gradstudies.macdonald [at]
  • Website:

About Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry

The Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry offers M.Sc. (thesis and non-thesis) and Ph.D. programs. These programs provide training in evolving interdisciplinary areas of:

  • food quality;
  • food safety/food microbiology;
  • food chemistry;
  • food biotechnology;
  • functional ingredients;
  • applied infrared spectroscopy;
  • food processing;
  • thermal generation of aromas and toxicants;
  • marine biochemistry;
  • food chemical toxicants.

The Department has key infrastructure with all major equipment necessary for conducting research in all these areas. Our graduate program provides strong mentoring/advisory support while maintaining high flexibility for individual research projects.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

The program offers advanced food science courses in a broad range of areas. Applicants with a strong background in food science or microbiology or chemistry/biochemistry or post-harvest processing with a strong interest in eventually pursuing doctoral research are encouraged to apply. Students must complete a total of 45 credits including ten graduate-level courses, the graduate seminar, and the research project. The program may be completed in three to four academic terms (12 to 16 months). Entry is possible from other disciplines; however, students may be required to complete selected undergraduate courses as determined by the Department at the time of admission in order to orient themselves to food science. Subsequent career paths include work within the food industry and government agencies.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry (Thesis) (45 credits)

This program is a research-based degree in various areas related to food science for candidates entering the M.Sc. program without restrictions (i.e., not requiring a Qualifying term/year). Entry into the M.Sc. (Thesis) program also hinges on the availability of supervisory staff and financing. Therefore, it is advisable that the applicant for the M.Sc. (Thesis) degree select the M.Sc. (Non-Thesis) as a second choice in the application form, to enhance the possibility of entry into the Food Science graduate program. Subsequent career paths include work within the food industry, government agencies, and in research.

Master of Science (M.Sc.) Food Science & Agricultural Chemistry: Food Safety (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

The program is intended to train graduate students as specialists in food safety with the expectation that graduates will be well prepared academically to take on the challenging food safety events and issues that emerge both in Canada and globally. The program will cover food safety through the entire food supply chain from food production through processing/manufacturing to the food consumer; the courses which make up the program reflect the food safety considerations at the different stages of the farm to table food supply chain.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry

A Ph.D. in food science is suitable for students with an M.Sc. degree in food science or related areas who wish to become independent researchers and/or leaders in the field of food science. Candidates with a B.Sc. degree applying for the Ph.D. need to register first for the M.Sc. degree. In cases where the candidates are performing well during their first year, they may be permitted to fast track to the Ph.D. degree. Entry into the Ph.D. graduate program hinges on the availability of supervisory staff and financing.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022).

Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.Sc. programs (thesis or non-thesis) must be graduates of a university of recognized reputation and hold a B.Sc. in Food Science or a related discipline such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Microbiology with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.4/4.0 (second class–upper division). Applicants to the Ph.D. program must hold an M.Sc. degree in Food Science or related areas with a minimum CGPA of 3.4 in their M.Sc. and a minimum GPA of 3.6 for the last two years of their B.Sc. degree. High grades are expected in courses considered by the academic unit to be preparatory to the graduate program.

Qualifying Students

Some applicants whose academic degrees and standing entitle them to serious consideration for admission to graduate studies, but who are considered inadequately prepared in the subject selected may be admitted to a Qualifying program if they have met the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies minimum CGPA of 3.0/4.0. The course(s) to be taken in a Qualifying program will be prescribed by the academic unit concerned. Qualifying students are registered in graduate studies, but not as candidates for a degree. Only one Qualifying year is permitted. Successful completion of a Qualifying program does not guarantee admission to a degree program.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available but limited and highly competitive. It is suggested that students give serious consideration to their financial planning before submitting an application. Normally, a student will not be accepted unless adequate financial support can be provided through a scholarship/award and/or by the student’s supervisor. Academic units cannot guarantee financial support via teaching assistantships.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

  • Final acceptance to the M.Sc. Thesis or Ph.D. program depends on a faculty member agreeing to serve as the student's supervisor. A supervisor is not required for acceptance to the M.Sc. Non-Thesis program.
  • The GRE – not required, but highly recommended.
  • Proof of funding (all graduate programs, international applicants only): Documents must be provided in the application to prove that funding is available for the entire duration of the applied-for degree (including tuition, fees, surcharges, books and supplies, living and personal expenses, and any mandatory medical insurance required for the applicant's studies).
  • An interview with the applicant may be requested by the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry in order to assist in the evaluation of the application.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at

  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill Students (any citizenship)
Fall Term: Sept. 15 Jan. 15 Jan.15 Jan. 15
Winter Term*: Feb. 15* Aug. 31* Aug. 31* Aug. 31*
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A

* Admission to the Winter term is open for thesis programs only.

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

International applicants are advised to apply well in advance of these dates because immigration procedures may be lengthy.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022).
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