M.Sc. Program

Detailed Program Requirements

Thesis-Based Masters

Based on research from their chosen area, these M.Sc. students are expected to write a thesis.

Course-Based Masters

As of July 2021, the general Course-Based MSc in Computing Science is no longer offered and has been discontinued indefinitely. Other course-based programs such as MSc in Multimedia (MM) and MSc in Internetworking (MINT) are still available.

Current Students: Students in the course-based M.Sc program are required to complete 30 credits in graduate courses, including a 6-credit capstone course. 


Background Requirements

Admission to the M.Sc. program is highly competitive. To apply to the Masters Program (M.Sc.) a four-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent, is required. Your undergraduate program should be similar to our B.Sc. Specialization in Computing Science program. Normally three-year degrees do not meet the university requirements.

After you are admitted to our graduate program, you may have to take some of our undergraduate courses to complete background requirements. You will be advised about your background requirements prior to registration.You must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale, over the last 20 half courses to apply.


When applying, M.Sc. thesis students are required to select a research area and name up to 3 professors as potential supervisors. Browse through our research areas and faculty members to find a professor whose research is of interest to you. By choosing a name, you will be directing the professor's attention to your application. You are not required to contact this professor before you apply.

Students from other Disciplines

Within the last few years, we have received a significant number of enquiries from students interested in our graduate program, falling into one of the following categories:

  • Outstanding graduates from other disciplines with weak or non-existent background in Computing Science
  • Students with undergraduate degrees in Computing Science obtained many years ago
  • Students with other types of deficiencies that would render them inadmissible to our program in the standard way

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider admitting such students to our graduate program, provided that they fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • They have become established in their profession, with a serious practical experience in Computing Science
  • Their accomplishments in their primary discipline are truly outstanding (for example, they hold a scholarship from a respectable funding agency like NSERC, AIF, SSHRC, CIHR)

The student must demonstrate knowledge equivalent to having successfully completed 6 undergraduate Computing Science courses in the following four areas:

  • Theory
  • Computer Systems and Architecture
  • Software
  • Applications

The background requirement may be satisfied by:

  • Having taken courses in the listed areas at recognized institutions prior to applying to our graduate program
  • Taking the respective course or courses in the area at our Department (in some cases, alternative courses may be acceptable and will be determined at the time of admission) or a combination of the above

One example of a possible set of courses is as follows:

  • Theory: CMPUT 304
  • Computer Systems and Architecture: CMPUT 379, CMPUT 429
  • Software: CMPUT 301
  • Applications: CMPUT 291, CMPUT 411

Fast Track to a Ph.D.

An outstanding student admitted may be eligible to upgrade their status to the Ph.D. program without completing the M.Sc. However, this will happen only if the student is interested to go directly to the Ph.D, the student's performance during the first year of the M.Sc. program lends sufficient and tangible evidence of their superb ability in courses and in research and there is strong support from at least two faculty members in the Department.