Program Outline

The program for full time students requires a minimum of two years to complete and consists of two terms of lectures and two terms of individually supervised research.

Term 1

The program starts regularly each fall, and we offer several specific introductory courses for electronic commerce each fall term. A full time student is expected to take four courses, including an eCommerce overview course (ECMM 6000: Overview of Electronic Commerce), usually two of three introductory courses to specific disciplines (ECMM 6010: Technology Issues for Electronic Commerce/ECMM 6020: Business Issues for Electronic Commerce/ECMM 6030: Issues in Law and Policy for Electronic Commerce) which are not in the specialty area of the students, and one elective from computer science, business, or law.

Term 2

The second term is dedicated to more specific studies leading to the specialization of each student. A full course load consists of four courses, the mandatory research methods course (ECMM 6040: Research Methods) and three electives. Elective courses are graduate courses from Business, Computer Science and Law which are relevant for electronic commerce and some special offerings for electronic commerce (ECMM 60XX). These are typically courses from the list of pre-approved elective courses (see below), but it is also possible to take other relevant courses with the permission of the executive committee.

Breadth requirement

It is necessary that the electives chosen by each student cover at least two of the three areas in the program. For example, a student who takes mainly business courses must take at least one elective from computer science or law.

Elective Courses

Candidates may study electives from graduate level courses in the Faculty of Computer Science, School of Business Administration, School of Public Administration, and the Schulich School of Law if appropriate for the program and prerequisites are met.

It is not guaranteed that all courses listed will be offered each academic year.

Approved stream courses include the following:

Technology Oriented Courses
  • ECMM 6014.03: Databases, Data Warehouses and Data Mining for Electronic Commerce
  • ECMM 6018.03: Enterprise Networking for Electronic Commerce
  • CSCI 6xxx.03 Graduate computer science elective - prerequisite: Permission of instructor or program coordinator
Business Oriented Courses
  • ECMM 6022.03: IT Project Management (recommended)
  • ECMM 6024.03: New Venture Creation (prerequisites: permission of instructor)
  • BUSI 6313.03: Organizational Change
  • BUSI 6420.03: Marketing Informatics
  • BUSI 6517.03: Managing the Information Resource (prerequisite: permission of instructor)
  • BUSI 6522.03: Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (prerequisite: permission of instructor)
  • BUSI 6516.03: Database Management Systems (prerequisite: BUSI 5511.03: Management Information Systems or permission of instructor)
  • BUSI 6409.03: Internet Marketing
  • PUAD 6556.03: E-Government: International Experiences and Perspective or ECMM 6026.03: Management of Information (E-Government): International Experiences and Prospectives
  • PUAD 6500.03: Business and Government
  • INFO 6640.03: Electronic Access to Information
  • INFO 6540.03: Database Management Systems
  • INFO 6370.03: Records Management
Policy Oriented Courses

Further studies in the law specialization may include:

  • LAWS 2130.03: International Trade Transactions
  • LAWS 2159.03: Advanced Health Law
  • LAWS 2183.03: Privacy Law
  • LAWS 2178.03: Intellectual Property

Industrial Internship

The internship is a placement within an organization related to electronic commerce, or electronic government. The employer agrees to ensure that the content of the placement is related to electronic commerce. Approval of the placement by the electronic commerce Executive Committee is required. It is ultimately up to the student to secure a placement, however, the Executive Committee makes every effort to have a pool of potential placements available for students. Students must have completed at least three core courses and three elective courses (or have received special permission from the electronic commerce Executive Committee) before starting their internship. The Internship is only required in the Research Paper and Research Project option.

Individually-supervised Research Component

An individually-supervised research component is carried out under the supervision of a specialist in an area in which the student wants to specialize. This further study can be related to the internship, but it is academic in nature (e.g. a business case, a survey, or a computer implementation). A written report is expected upon completion.

There are three program options for the research component of the program:

Research Paper + two Additional Electives

This program option offers the study of a specific topic beyond the typical coverage in a course and requires a written report that is evaluated by a reader from one of the three Faculties of Computer Science, Management, or Law. No public presentation is required, and it is not expected to generate new data or theories. This option must be augmented with two additional elective courses relevant to the area of specialization. This option also requires an Internship.

Research Project

This program option typically focuses on an implementation of specific solutions or a thorough analysis of a specific topic with a significant contribution, and requires a comprehensive report and a public presentation. Research projects will be conducted and evaluated under standard guidelines of the Faculty of Graduate Studies for masters' level projects, and requires a supervisor (from any institution) and a reader from one of the three Faculties at Dalhousie (Computer Science, Management, Law) who is a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. This option requires an Internship.


Students interested in pursuing a research topic in E-Commerce in more depth may, with approval of the electronic commerce Executive Committee, elect to do a thesis instead of a research project. Such a thesis would be conducted and evaluated under standard Faculty of Graduate Studies thesis guidelines. A thesis must make an original research contribution (see Faculty of Graduate Studies thesis guidelines) of considerable scientific, legal, or management interest that would qualify for a publication in a major conference or professional journal. This option requires a public thesis defense. No Internship is required for this option.