M.Sc. Thesis-Based Timeline

 See the following sample schedule to track your progress. (Shift timelines for a Winter start.)

  • Residency requirement: You must be present (in the Department at the U of A) for at least 2 terms of full-time study
  • Program length: You are encouraged to finish your Master’s program within 2 years; at most, you could take up to 4 years - continuation after this time requires a Program Extension that must be approved by both the department and FGSR
Year Timeframe Tasks

Year 1
Course Work

(Fall - Term 1)

  • CMPUT 603
  • 2 other courses

(Winter - Term 2)

  •  2 courses


  • Identify supervisor
  • Choose MSc topic

May - August

  • Refine and finalize selection of research topic
  • Begin research

Year 2
Research & Completion

September - ...

  • Continue research
  • Publish your results
  • Write thesis

At least 9 weeks (45 business days)
prior to Defense

1 week (5 business days)
prior to Defense

  • Thesis seminar (unless combined with Defense)

Defense date

  • Thesis seminar (if combined with Defense)
  • Defense

Within 2 weeks
after Defense

for Spring Convocation

for Fall Convocation


  • Meet FGSR convocation requirements
    • Apply for convocation through Bear Tracks
  • Pay outstanding fees by the convocation deadline (typically 2 months prior)