Master of Science

MSc Degree Requirements 

*Note that the regulations spelled out below are only an approximate summary.  For details, see the official Regulations and Guidelines for Graduate Programs.

The minimum requirements for obtaining an MSc degree in a thesis program are the satisfactory completion of six single-term graduate courses and a thesis.  For the course-based program, the minimum requirements are the satisfactory completion of eight single-term graduate courses and an approved project.  Normally, the project component for those specializing in Statistics will consist of work on consulting problems.  The MSc degree requirements can be completed in one year if the student pursues the course-based route; students in the thesis program usually take slightly longer to complete the degree.

The course-based MSc degree is primarily intended as a terminal degree, to be followed by employment in a related occupation.  For this reason, course-based MSc students are not normally admitted with a full-time teaching assistantship.  Students who plan to continue to a PhD program, and then to a research-related career, are encouraged to enter the thesis-based M.Sc program.

Entrance requirements

Candidates for the MSc degree will normally have a BSc (Honors or Specialization) degree or the equivalent from a recognized university, with a strong background in applied or pure mathematics and/or statistics.  For some specialization areas, other BSc degrees, for instance in Physics or Computing Science, will also be considered.

Students with strong backgrounds in the area but specializing for the first time will be required to take additional course work. Candidates whose background is deemed to be lacking may be registered as Qualifying Students (see the Regulations and Guidelines for Graduate Programs for details).

Most successful applicants have a background comparable to our Honors program in Mathematics or Statistics.

For a detailed list of background knowledge, click here(PDF, 98kb).

Program requirements

The minimum requirement for an MSc degree is either *18 in approved graduate courses and a thesis, or *24 in approved graduate courses and a project equivalent to *6, though some programs have higher requirements.  The minimum period of residence is two four-month terms of full-time attendance at the University of Alberta.

Length of program

The MSc program will normally be completed in 20 months; however, it may be done in a minimum of one year if the student pursues the course-based route in Statistics.