Master of Computer Science (MCSc)

Admission Requirements and Procedures

To be admitted, students must have:  

  1. A bachelor's degree in Computer Science, or a closely related discipline.
  2. A GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4.3.
  3. One or more indicators of English proficiency.

We assess an individual’s base knowledge in computing relative to our third year undergraduate Bachelor of Computer Science core courses (CSCI 3110, CSCI 3120, CSCI 3130, CSCI 3137, and CSCI 3171). Applicants who demonstrate minor deficiencies in this knowledge base will have the corresponding undergraduate courses added as a requirement of their MCS program.

In practice, each faculty member can only supervise a small number of students, so admission is highly competitive. Barely meeting the above requirements is typically insufficient for acceptance. An ideal applicant would have:

  • Evidence of research aptitude
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 3.7 out of 4.3
  • A faculty member who is willing to be your supervisor 
  • A first class or honours degree or equivalent
  • Strong reference letters from professors who have themselves published high-quality research in computer science or related fields
  • A strong CV with some industry or volunteer experience
  • A well thought out research proposal that fits with your prospective supervisor's available projects 

Only complete applications that have been submitted by the appropriate deadline will be considered. A completed application includes:

  • An application to the university Registrar’s Office with the application fee paid
  • A current CV
  • A research proposal
  • 2 letters of reference
  • An acceptable English language proficiency result (if applicable)
  • Unofficial transcripts for each previous academic program in which you have participated

Applications that remain incomplete for more than 3 months from the application submission date may be closed.

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Program Structure

The MCS program is available as either a full-time or a part-time program. The program uses a program fee for tuition. The program typically takes 4-6 semesters to complete. 

Course Requirements

In addition to any undergraduate courses assigned at the time of admission, MCS students are required to complete 12 credit hours of computer science graduate courses at the 6000-level or above. The credit hours can include at most 3 credit hours of directed studies courses.

After completing their course work, MCS students register in CSCI 9000 (master’s thesis) every semester until they successfully defend their thesis. 

All MCS students must enrol in REGN 9999 every term to continue their program of studies. MCS students are also required to take the graduate seminar course (CSCI 6999) every term until they pass the course (typically in three terms).  

Thesis Defence

All MCS candidates must complete and defend a thesis pursuant to regulations set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The thesis must demonstrate a scholarly contribution worthy of a Masters degree. MCS students are expected to defend their thesis at the end of their fifth semester. Actual completion times vary based on each student's individual circumstances. 

Award of Degree

A candidate will only be awarded the MCS degree once they have satisfied all the program requirements.



Academic Regulations

Program Requirements

The requirements for a MCSc degree consist of not less than 12 credit hours and a thesis selected upon the advice of the thesis supervisor. The thesis is equivalent to 18 credit hours.

The thesis shall be written under the guidance of a thesis supervisor, and must be satisfactory to an examining committee established by the Faculty. The candidate must present an oral thesis defence.

Registration Requirement and Duration of Studies

A student is required to register each academic term to maintain eligibility to continue in the program. Students who enter the program meeting normal admission requirements may be able to complete the requirements in 16 months. For information on maximum time limits for completion of program requirements, leaves of absence, and extensions, see the Faculty of Graduate Studies Regulations in this calendar.