Master of Science

MSc Degree Requirements 

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-based 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. Course-based MSc students are not provided funding. Students who plan to continue to a PhD program are encouraged to enter the thesis-based MSc 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 (the course-based MSc in Statistics requires *21 in approved graduate courses and a project of *3), 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 programs are designed to be completed in 20-24 months. However, the course-based MSc in Statistics is designed to be completed in one year.