M.Sc. Program Requirements



M.Sc. students are encouraged to finish their Master's program within 2 years.

M.Sc. Thesis-Based Timeline M.Sc. Course-Based Timeline-->

Thesis-Based Masters Requirements

Most students complete these requirements in their first year. Minimum requirements include:

Note: Students enrolled in Statistical Machine Learning have their own set of course / thesis topic requirements.


You will present a technical seminar, based on your thesis research, to the Department prior to the final oral exam.

Assuming all members of the committee agree, students are allowed to combine this seminar presentation with their defense by defending immediately after the presentation. As long as all committee members will be in attendance, the student will NOT be required to begin the defense with a 15-20 minutes summary.

Seminar Guidelines

Dissertation (Thesis)

To demonstrate that you are capable of doing research that results in high quality publications, Master's students must produce a written dissertation. A M.Sc. thesis typically consists of a:

  • Thorough, integrated literature survey in a specific technical area
  • Critical analysis of approaches and results
  • Discussion of areas requiring further work
  • Report on research undertaken by the student (this must be non-trivial, but not necessarily sufficiently original for publication in the open literature)

FGSR states: "A master's thesis should reveal the candidate is able to work in a scholarly manner and is acquainted with the principal works published on the subject of the thesis. As far as possible it should be an original contribution."

Dissertation Guidelines

Final Oral Examination (Defense)

An examining committee will review your thesis to determine that it meets acceptable standards. The committee conducts an oral examination to test your knowledge of the thesis subject and related fields.

Final Oral Exam Guidelines

Course-Based Masters Requirements

Students in the course-based M.Sc. program are not required to write a thesis, but are required to complete 30 credits in graduate courses (10 courses), including:

Students can transfer into the course-based M.Sc. program only after consultation with their graduate supervisor, graduate advisor and after obtaining written consent from the Graduate Associate Chair.


The University of Alberta holds two convocations each year:

  • Spring Convocation in June
  • Fall Convocation in November

Convocation Deadlines and Details