A Master’s degree in Computer Science is an advanced academic program that focuses on the principles, theories, and applications of computing technology. When we talk about a computer science masters in Canada, there are various options available. You can opt for a Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Engineering in Computer Science, or Master of Arts in Computer Science. A full-time computer science masters in Canada can be completed within 2 years.
Pursuing a computer science masters in Canada provides students with access to world-class education, cutting-edge research, and a vibrant academic community. These programs provide students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of computer science, expand their professional networks, develop advanced skills, and gain hands-on experience through internships and co-op opportunities that are highly valued in today’s job market. Through this blog, you will get a comprehensive guide to computer science masters in Canada.
Reasons for Pursuing Computer Science Masters in Canada
If you are interested in knowing more about the benefits of pursuing computer science masters in Canada, take a look at the points below:
- Quality Education: Canada is known for its high-quality education system, and many of its universities such as the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia among others offer world-class computer science programs. Pursuing a computer science masters in Canada can provide you with an excellent education that can prepare you for a successful career in the field.
- Research Opportunities: Canada has a vibrant research community in computer science that can provide you with access to cutting-edge research opportunities. You may have the chance to work with renowned professors and researchers, contribute to important projects, and attend conferences and workshops.
- Diversity and Culture: Canada is a multicultural country with embracing immigration policies that welcome international students from all over the world. Canada is a bilingual country where English and French are spoken. Here, language won’t be a barrier for you while pursuing computer science masters in Canada. Students in Canada can enjoy a high standard of living, with access to excellent healthcare, public transportation, and social services.
- Student Friendly: Canada is a safe and welcoming country, with a reputation for tolerance and diversity. Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Quebec are among the QS Best Student Cities 2022 and can be considered as your top choice for computer science masters in Canada. Students in Canada can also take advantage of opportunities to explore the country’s natural beauty and cultural attractions, from skiing in the mountains to visiting museums and galleries in major cities
- Financial Support: Although the tuition fees in Canada can be high for international students, there are also many scholarships and financial aid options available. Many universities offer financial support to international students pursuing computer science masters in Canada in the form of scholarships, fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships, which can help to offset the cost of tuition and living expenses.
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Computer Science Masters in Canada: Overview
General Eligibility Requirements
Having complete knowledge about the requirements for computer science masters in Canada is essential. You will have to fulfil the following basic eligibility criteria for admission to any Canadian university:
- Educational Requirements: You must have completed a 4-year first-class bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution to get into one of the leading universities for computer science masters in Canada. It is recommended to have a degree in computer science or a related field, such as mathematics or engineering.
- Language Proficiency: International students must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking a recognized language proficiency test, such as IELTS or TOEFL. An IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 or equivalent in other exams is recommended.
- Entrance Exam Scores: Some universities require international students to submit scores from standardized tests, such as GRE. The minimum scores required may vary depending on the university, however, a score of 305 is recommended.
- Visa Requirements: International students must obtain a Canadian study permit or visa to study computer science masters in Canada. The requirements for a study permit will vary depending on your country of origin and the length of the program.
- Letters of Recommendation: At least two or three letters of recommendation from professors or employers who can attest to your academic and/or professional abilities are required.
- Personal Statement: A statement of purpose or essay explaining why you want to pursue a computer science masters in Canada and how the program will help you achieve your career goals is important for evaluating your application.
- Resume/CV: An updated resume or CV outlining your academic and professional experiences must be included along with your application.
Applying for a computer science masters in Canada requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a willingness to follow the application requirements closely. The application process for a computer science masters in Canada can vary depending on the university and the specific program you are applying to. Take a look at the general step-wise process to apply:
- Shortlist programs: Begin by researching different computer science masters in Canada to find the one that best fits your needs and interests. You can explore universities’ websites, attend virtual information sessions, and speak with current students or faculty members to learn more about the programs.
- Check admission process and requirements: Once you have identified the program you are interested in, check the admission requirements. Most Canadian universities have online application systems that allow you to submit your application and supporting documents electronically. Follow the instructions carefully, paying attention to any specific requirements or deadlines.
- Pay application fee: You will usually need to pay an application fee when submitting your application. The fee can vary depending on the program and university, so be sure to check the specific requirements.
- Wait for the admission decision: After you submit your application, you will need to wait for the university to make an admission decision. This can take several weeks or months, depending on the volume of applications.
- Accept the offer and apply for a visa: If you are accepted into the program, you will need to accept the admission offer and apply for a study permit or visa. The university will provide you with information on how to apply for a study permit, which is required for international students to study in Canada.
10 Popular Universities for Computer Science Masters in Canada
It is always a good idea to research and compare different universities to find the one that best fits your needs and interests. Here are some of the top universities for computer science masters in Canada:
University of Toronto
It is a public research university offering over 700 undergraduate, 280 graduate, 76 combined programs, and a lot more all under one roof. The university is known for its rigorous academic programs and research excellence. The student life at the University of Toronto is diverse and engaging with an international-student ratio of 95.6, a range of sports teams, and numerous cultural events and activities.
University of British Columbia
UBC is another well-known public research university that has been around for over 100 years. It has campuses in Vancouver and Okanagan. The university is one of the top 20 public universities in the world and the 3rd best university in Canada according to QS rankings. UBC has a vibrant student life, with many extracurricular activities, clubs, and events for students to participate in. The campus is also known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including forests, beaches, and mountains.
University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is a public research university located in Waterloo, Canada. UWaterloo has over 300 student-run clubs and organizations, and a strong entrepreneurial culture, offering an opportunity for every student to nurture their creativity. The campus is also home to numerous research centres and institutes, including the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
University of Alberta
The University of Alberta is an Edmonton-based public research university that provides a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in areas such as arts, science, engineering, law, and medicine. UAlberta has a vibrant student life, with over 450 clubs and organizations and a strong athletics program. The university is also known for its research excellence, with many world-renowned research centres and institutes located on campus.
McGill University is the highest-ranked Canadian university, ranking 31st in the QS World University Rankings 2022. It is a public research university located in Montreal, with an enrollment of around 40,000 students of which 30% are international students. Apart from computer science masters in Canada, it is also the leading name among medical doctoral universities for 18 consecutive years.
Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, is a public research university ranked 13th in Canada in QS World University Rankings 2023. It is worth noting that the university secured 6th place in Canada and is within the world’s top 125 universities in Computer Science according to THE World University Rankings 2023. The university is also known for its innovative approach to education and its strong ties to industry and community partners.
University of Victoria
The University of Victoria (UVic) is a public research university located in Victoria, Canada. It offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs in humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, and business. UVic has a thriving student life, with over 200 clubs and organizations, as well as a strong emphasis on sustainability and community engagement. The university is also known for its stunning natural surroundings, located on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish Peoples.
University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is one of the top comprehensive public research universities. Located in Calgary, the university’s main campus offers a scenic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. There are 4 other campuses of the university: Downtown Campus, Foothills, Spyhill, and Qatar. With an enrollment of more than 33,000 students, the university offers over 250 programs through its 14 faculties.
Western University, also known as the University of Western Ontario, is a public research university located in London, Canada. It offers a welcoming student life with nearly 5,000 international students from 129 different countries, over 200 clubs and organizations, and a strong athletics program. It ranks among the top 1% of universities globally and is known for its education, research, and healthcare. The university is also a founding member of the U15, a group of Canada’s most distinguished research universities.
Carleton University is a public comprehensive university located in Ottawa, Canada. The university is home to various faculties, including business, engineering, humanities, social sciences, and science. At Carleton, you will enjoy a vibrant student life, with over 200 clubs and organizations and a strong focus on community engagement.
Study Cost for Computer Science Masters in Canada
It is important for international students to understand the estimated cost of studying computer science masters in Canada. The approximate fee for a master’s degree in Canada is around CAD 15,000-65,000. The living costs for international students in Canada are around CAD 1,500-2,000 per month depending on your preference, accommodation type, location, etc.
Canadian universities charge much lower tuition fees compared to US universities offering computer science masters. While the tuition fees at top-level universities can go up to CAD 65,000, you will also find universities offering the program for CAD 10,000. Let us take a look at the tuition fees for computer science masters in Canada at some of the best universities for international students:
|University||Program||International tuition (in CAD)|
|University of Toronto||Master of Science in Computer Science||39,870 – 57,290|
|University of British Columbia||Master of Science in Computer Science||33,280 – 40,384|
|University of Waterloo||Master of Mathematics in Computer Science||18,570 – 37,035|
|McGill University||Master of Science in Computer Science||21,300 – 27,355|
|University of Alberta||Master of Science in Computing Science||17,417 – 20,974|
|Simon Fraser University||Master of Science in Computing Science||20,625 – 27,100|
Cost of Living in Canada for International Students
For an Indian student, the average cost of living in Canada is around 5,87,000-7,05,000 INR per year. Living expenses are not covered under any financial aid options so it is important to prepare a budget of your expenses and compare the various options available for accommodation, transportation, meal plans, etc. Here is a table showing estimated expenses for international students in Canada:
|Expense||Estimated Cost (CAD)|
|Accommodation||400 – 1500/month|
|Food||250 – 500/month|
|Transportation||80 – 150/month|
|Health Insurance||600 – 1000/year|
|Phone and Internet||50 – 100/month|
|Books and Supplies||1000 – 2000/year|
|Entertainment||100 – 300/month|
|Miscellaneous||100 – 300/month|
Scholarships & Aid
Universities offering computer science masters in Canada offer merit-based scholarships to international students at the time of admission. You can also avail of various scholarships awarded by the government and private organizations. Here are 5 scholarships for Indian students pursuing a computer science masters degree in Canada:
|Name of Scholarship||Details|
|Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships||Open to international students, including Indian students, pursuing a doctoral or master’s degree in Canada. It provides a stipend of CAD 50,000 per year for up to three years.|
|Ontario Graduate Scholarship||It is available for Indian students, pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in Ontario. It provides a stipend of CAD 15,000 for one year.|
|Canada Graduate Scholarship||It is available to international students, including Indian students, pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in Canada. It provides a stipend of CAD 17,500 for one year.|
|Mitacs Globalink Research Award||It provides a stipend of CAD 6,000 for a 12-24 week research project to international students pursuing a master’s degree in Canada.|
|Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarship||A stipend of CAD 26,500 per year for up to two years are awarded to international students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in Alberta.|
Part-Time Work Opportunities in Canada
International students in Canada are permitted to work part-time while attending classes. There are several part-time job opportunities on-campus as well as off-campus available for international students to help fund their master’s degree in computer science in Canada. To work off-campus in Canada, you must first obtain a valid work permit and ensure that your work does not interfere with your academic commitments. The minimum hourly pay of CAD 10 in Canada. Here are some part-time work opportunities that are available for international students in Canada:
- On-campus jobs: Many Canadian universities and colleges offer part-time jobs to students within the campus, such as working in the library, campus bookstore, student centre, or as a research assistant. These jobs are usually convenient for students as they can easily fit them into their study schedule.
- Off-campus jobs: International students can work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as summer holidays or winter break. Students can work in industries such as retail, hospitality, baby sitter, dog walking, and customer service.
- Internships and co-op programs: The academic curriculum of many universities in Canada offers internship and co-op programs to students. These programs provide students with valuable work experience and skills while earning money.
Scope After Computer Science Masters
The scope of opportunities after completing a computer science master’s degree is vast and varied. The return on investment after a computer science masters in Canada is worth considering. The average investment required for a master’s degree in Canada is around CAD 20,000 – CAD 40,000 whereas the potential salary of a computer science graduate is around CAD 95,000 per year. Here are some potential career paths after computer science masters in Canada along with their average salaries:
|Job Role||Average Salary (INR)|
|Software Development Manager||24,00,000|
|Machine Learning Engineer||12,00,000|
Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada
Before wrapping up the discussion on computer science masters in Canada, let us answer whether Indian students can work in Canada after their masters or not? Luckily the answer is yes. You can absolutely work after graduating with a computer science masters in Canada. All you have to do is apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). With a work permit in Canada, you will be allowed to temporarily live and work in Canada once you graduate from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). It also opens doors for permanent residency in Canada.
What’s the Verdict?
In conclusion, pursuing a computer science masters in Canada can be a rewarding investment in one’s education and future career prospects. However, admission to these programs can be competitive, and the coursework can be challenging, requiring a strong foundation in computer science fundamentals. Additionally, the cost of tuition fees can be high, particularly for international students.
To get admission into one of the leading universities, you must demonstrate excellent academic records, relevant work experience, and strong recommendations to be considered. Nevertheless, with hard work, dedication, and a passion for the field, you can pursue a computer science masters in Canada and develop advanced skills and knowledge that pave the way for a bright future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is MS in computer science in Canada difficult?
Generally speaking, computer science masters in Canada are highly regarded and competitive, and they require a strong foundation in computer science fundamentals, such as programming, algorithms, data structures, and mathematics. Students are expected to complete challenging coursework, research projects, and possibly a thesis or dissertation that adds to the difficulty level.
- Is GRE required for MS CS in Canada?
The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not always required for admission to a computer science masters in Canada. Some universities may require the GRE as part of their application process, while others may not. Even if the university does not require the GRE, they may consider it as a supplementary document to evaluate the applicant’s academic potential. Therefore, it is advisable to check with the university if submitting the GRE score is recommended or optional, even if it is not mandatory.
- How much is a Masters degree in Computer Science in Canada?
On average, international students can expect to pay between CAD 20,000 to CAD 40,000 per year in tuition fees for a computer science masters in Canada. However, the fees can be higher for top-ranked universities or specialized programs. Apart from tuition fees, you must also consider other expenses such as accommodation, food, textbooks, health insurance, and transportation, which can vary based on their location and lifestyle.
- Which university is better for Masters in Computer Science in Canada?
Some of the top-ranked universities for pursuing computer science masters in Canada include the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Alberta. These universities have strong reputations for their research, faculty, and alumni networks, and they offer a diverse range of specializations within the field of computer science.