Applications and Admissions

The Department of Computing Science only accepts new graduate students for the Fall semester.

  • We do not admit students in Winter, Spring or Summer semesters.
  • CS/GARS Application Deadline: 
    Jan 31 11:59pm MST System Closure to current applications for uploading any pending, missing, or incomplete documentation such as reference letters, transcripts, degrees, etc. All applicants that are missing their GARS applications by Jan 31 will be rejected. 
  • FGSR/GSMS Application Deadline EXTENDED: 
    Feb 13 11:59pm MST System Closure to current applications for uploading any pending, missing, or incomplete documentation such as reference letters, transcripts, degrees, etc. 
  • All applicants should be checking their GSMS Applicant Portal to monitor any pending actions that may be required. It is the student's responsibility to check their applicant portal to determine the status of their application, if anything is missing or incomplete, to follow up with their references, and submit additional/required documentation prior to the deadline of Feb 13 11:59pm MST.
  • All required documents for applications must be received by GSMS by Feb 13, 2021, 11:59pm MST in order for applications to be considered. All GSMS applications that are incomplete by the end of Feb 13 will be rejected.
  • If you intend to be considered for more than one program, you will need to complete separate applications. You will only be considered for the program you submit an application for.

*The Multimedia course-based program is still accepting domestic applications until July 31. 


  • Statistical Machine Learning: Applicants for Masters in Statistical Machine Learning should apply to the Masters Thesis-based program. You can indicate your interest in SML in your application when you choose your area of interest. We are not able to admit students directly into the SML program at the time of admission to the CS graduate program. Whether a student is eventually admitted into the SML program is conditional on his/her ability to find a supervisor in SML after arriving.
  • Multimedia: Apply directly to FGSR only. Program requirements and application procedure.

Applying for Graduate Admission

  1. Minimum requirements
    • Make sure you meet the background and minimum requirements for application. (M.Sc., Ph.D.).
  2. Gather the required documents
  3. Select a research area and potential supervisors
    • Browse through our research areas or student research opportunities to find a professor whose research is of interest to you.
    • Ph.D. applicants are required to contact prospective supervisors directly to discuss funding and supervision.
  4. Review the requirements for acceptance of uploaded transcripts
  5. Apply to FGSR on GSMS
    • You will need to pay the $100 CDN non-refundable application fee via Visa or MasterCard. Please note that as of July 5, 2021, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is no longer able to waive the graduate application fee for students from specific countries; all applicants are required to pay the non-refundable application fee. For additional information, please contact
    • Deadline 1: Application registration: Jan 15, 2021
    • Deadline 2: All pending GSMS documents submitted: Feb 13, 2021
  6. Apply to the Department's review system (GARS)
    • Please register with the same email address used on your FGSR application.
    • You will require the 8-digit Admissions Number (beginning with "160") from your GSMS application in order to proceed.
    • Deadline: GARS application submitted: Jan 31, 2021
    •  **NOTE: You are required to submit a GARS application in order to have your application reviewed.

  7. Wait for a decision. Refer to the FGSR applicant portal for your application status. It is the student's responsibility to check their applicant portal to determine the status of their application, if anything is missing or incomplete, to follow up with their references, and submit additional/required documentation prior to the deadline of Feb 13 11:59pm MST. Bear Tracks is not used for reviewing applications so application status in Bear Tracks may not be accurate.
    ** NOTE: Your application will not be reviewed until both your U of A FGSR application (step 5) and Department review application (GARS) (step 6) are COMPLETE. This includes the submission of all necessary documentation. **
  8. If you are admitted, send official documents to FGSR
    • Official documents (transcripts, degree certificates, etc.) may be required upon receiving the conditional offer of admission letter.
    • Documents must be sent directly from the post-secondary institution to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research office.
    • If you have questions related to sending official documents to FGSR and the status of your application including reference letters, please contact
  9. Obtain your study permit
    • To study in Canada, you must obtain a study permit from the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate.
    • Depending on your country of origin, you (and your spouse and children) may also need to obtain a visitor visa. You will need to apply for these documents before you arrive in Canada.
    • To apply for a Study Permit, you will need to wait for your official letter of admission (from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research) and a letter of financial support (provided by us, the Department of Computing Science).
    • We suggest that you contact your nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate for more information immediately after submitting your application.
    • Application to Study in Canada, Study Permits

Required Documents

Following is the list of documents and information required for your application.

  • We do not require paper copies - please upload / add these documents / information to your online application or the Department's review system.
  • You will only have to mail official documents to FGSR if you are admitted.

Three Letters of Reference

  • Applicants must submit a minimum of three reference letters.
  • Reference letters must meet the following criteria: 
    • Include referee's full name, contact information and signature
    • Include student applicant's full name
    • Typed/written on official letterhead
    • Up-to-date for current application year
  • If a reference letter is missing any of the above mentioned information it will be rejected. To be acceptable, referees must correct and resubmit their letter. If not corrected and resubmitted, an application may be rejected in its entirety due to non-compliance of three reference letters meeting all criteria.  
  • Two of the referees should hold academic positions at an institution from which you graduated.
  • If you have lost contact with your former professors or you are not able to obtain two academic references, then it is up to you to determine the best references to list under your circumstances.

English Language Proficiency

You must have a degree from an academic institution recognized by the University of Alberta in which the language of instruction is English. Otherwise you must take one of the following English Language Tests. (ELP exemptions)

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    Minimum score = 600 paper, 250 computer based, 100 internet with a minimum score of 21 per section.
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery)
    Minimum score = 90.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    Overall band score of 7.0, with a score of at least 6.0 on each test band.
  • CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment)
    Overall minimum score of 70 with at least 60 on each subtest.
  • PTE (Academic)
    Overall minimum score of 68.
  • Duolingo English Test (taken after February 1, 2020) 
    Overall minimum score of 120, with no subscore below 100.

The Department of Computing Science reserves the right to require a demonstration of English language proficiency.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Upload your CV.


  • Scan and upload official marksheets/transcripts from all the post-secondary institutions that you have attended, in the original language and in English.

Final Degree Certificates (if applicable)

  • Scan and upload final degree certificates in original language and in English. (See FAQs below for more about acceptable English translations.)
  • Graduates from North American Universities are not required to submit degree certificates.

Additional Documents for Ph.D. Applicants

In addition, Ph.D. applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Statement of Purpose: This statement should outline your research goals in relation to the research being done by the Computing Science faculty member(s) listed on your application.
  • Abstract of M.Sc. Thesis

Optional Documents


  • The GRE is not required, however, for applicants who have received their degree outside of Canada, we highly recommend taking the GRE (General).
    • It can help your application if you do not have a degree from a well-known North American university.
    • It can help if your GPA is not very high.
  • Strong applicants obtain a minimum score of 155 on the quantitative and 4.0 on the analytical writing section.
    • GRE Code: 0402
    • Institution Code: 0963

Additional FAQs on program requirements, applying to the grad program, financial aid and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an acceptable English translation?

    Official Certified English translations of original language documents must be literal word-for-word translations presenting the same order of information and format as the original.

    No information may be left out, altered, or added. This means that all grades, comments, dates, and discussion must be included.

    The translation must convey the information and format of the original.

  • What is an official document?

    An official document is issued by the institution awarding the degree and has been certified by an authorized official of that institution.

    If official transcripts cannot be obtained, applicants should supply certified true copies of official transcripts and certified statements confirming degrees awarded and academic standing achieved. Certification of transcripts and degrees must be effected by imprinting them with the official seal of the institution or by endorsing them by hand with the original signature of the responsible university officer (eg, Registrar, Admissions Officer, President). Photocopies that are not certified in this way are not acceptable for official admission purposes.

    Copies of transcripts certified by a notary public are only accepted in exceptional circumstances and never from a North American institution.