Masters of Science

The first two semesters are typically spent taking courses, after which students have the option of pursuing the Thesis Option (involving doing research and writing a thesis) or the Project Option (involving taking three more courses, and doing a smaller research project). Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. and who have demonstrated sufficient scholastic and research abilities have the possibility of being fast-tracked to the Ph.D. program, without having to fulfill the requirements of the Masters Program.

All newly accepted graduate students must register on a full-time basis. All full-time M.Sc. students should take at least 12 credits per term (graduate courses are weighted either 3 or 4 credits), although special accommodations can sometimes be obtained. A normal work load for first year students is six (6) courses in addition to the Thesis Literature Review course. All new students enroll in the thesis option. Transfer to the project option is possible after the second term in the program.

Minimum requirement of the thesis option M.Sc. degree are:

  • Three full-time terms of residence
  • Thesis Literature Review course COMP-601
  • Six courses (a course usually represents three lecture hours per week for one term)
  • Thesis with significant scholarly content
  • Courses and thesis must total 45 credits

Computer Science (Thesis) (45 credits)

Thesis Courses (24 credits)

22 credits selected from:

  • COMP 691 Thesis Research 1 (3 credits)
  • COMP 696 Thesis Research 2 (3 credits)
  • COMP 697 Thesis Research 3 (4 credits)
  • COMP 698 Thesis Research 4 (10 credits)
  • COMP 699 Thesis Research 5 (12 credits)

Students with an appropriate background can substitute 3 credits by COMP 696 and 4 credits by COMP 697.

Required Course

  • COMP 601 Thesis Literature Review (2 credits)

Complementary Courses (21 credits)

At least 21 credits of 500-, 600-, or 700-level COMP courses, including at least 12 credits of 4-credit courses.

M.Sc. students may register for the Summer term, if they wish, in order to complete their residence requirements. It typically takes a year to complete the thesis. It is strongly recommended that students intending to proceed to a Ph.D. follow this program.

Computer Science (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

After completion of their second term, students may request (from the M.Sc. Committee) to take the M.Sc. Project Option. This program requires additional courses and a project in lieu of a thesis. Minimum requirements for M.Sc. Project Option are as follows:

Research Project (15 credits)

  • COMP 693 Research Project 1 (3 credits)
  • COMP 694 Research Project 2 (6 credits)
  • COMP 695 Research Project 3 (6 credits)

Complementary Courses (30 credits)

30 credits (nine courses), of which 12 credits must be of 4-credit courses at the 500, 600, or 700 level of COMP courses.

Annual Progress Report

Each student must meet annually with his/her supervisor or co-supervisors to assess the progress made during the previous year, and describe plans for the coming year. The progress form below must be filled by the student, discussed with the supervisor, and signed by both. A progress before must be filled each year (except the first year) before September 30th, and submitted to Ann Jack.

Annual Progress Form (PDF document)

Fast-tracking from the Masters to the Ph.D. program

Excellent Masters students who intend to pursue doctoral studies can apply to be "fast-tracked" to the Ph.D. program, after having completed two terms of course work in the master's program (normally 6 regular courses). Each fast-tracking application will be evaluated by the Ph.D. committee, in concert with the proposed Ph.D. supervisor, on a case-by-case basis. Evaluation criteria will include excellence of the academic record and achievements in research. M. Sc. students interested in fast-tracking to the Ph.D. program should discuss this option with their supervisor.


For more information, please contact Ann Jack.