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Masters in Computer Science in Canada: Top Universities, Admission Eligibility, Cost, Scholarships & Job Prospects

Aishwarya Bhatnagar Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in Computer Science in Canada are of three types- MSc, MACS and M.Eng. Students can pursue the degree in 1.5- 2 years if enrolled in a full-time program. The cost of pursuing MS in Computer Science in Canada ranges from 50,000 USD to 62,000 USD.

Around 33 universities in Canada offer MS in Computer Science. Computer Science as a subject ranks among the top 10 subjects in Canada, popularly opted by international students. Canada on the whole, has a good scope for professional progress with more than 11,500 job vacancies.

  • 12 Canadian Universities rank among the top 300 universities globally for offering a Masters in Computer Science.
  • According to Maclean's Canadian Universities’ Rankings, Masters in Computer Science in Canada ranks #1 in program and research reputation.
  • The estimated expense for studying Masters in Computer Science in Canada for one academic year is:
    • 47,778 USD for M.Eng or MSc degree in Computer Science.
    • 61,133 USD for MASC degree in Computer Science.
  • Scholarships for international students range from 500 USD to 23,000 USD for pursuing Masters in Computer Science in Canada.
  • Computer Science postgraduates are offered monthly packages as high as 110,000 USD in Canada by companies like Amazon, CGI, Sterling Turner, etc.

Key Features of Masters in Computer Science in Canada

Masters in Computer Science ranks among the top 3 in Canada for its wide range of specializations, lower tuition and better job opportunities. The following section elaborates more upon its features:

  • Top 10 popularly opted specializations in Masters in Computer Science are offered in Canada. They are- Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Data Analytics, Robotics, Human-Computer Interaction, etc. Students interested in the data science field can also opt for Masters in Data Science in Canada.
  • There are 3 types of Masters of Computer Sciences offered in Canada that can be chosen by students according to their career interests:
    • MACS: Master of Applied Computer Sciences, a 16-month research-based course which requires a thesis submission at the end of the course.
    • M.Eng: Master of Computer Science and Engineering, is a 16-month professional graduate course.
    • MSc: Master of Computer Science, is a 2-year course which requires independent research work from the applicant.
  • Computer Science postgraduates are offered a 3 years work extension period through Postgraduate Work Permit Programme (PGWPP) post their study in Canada.
  • Around 7 university-specific scholarships and various externally funded scholarships are offered to international Computer Science postgraduates.

Top Ranking Universities in Canada for Masters in Computer Science

For students seeking admission to Masters in Computer Science program, Canada is a favoured destination. 24 universities in Canada rank among the top 600 universities in the world that offer a renowned degree in Computer Science.

The following table shows the top 10 Canadian universities that offer Computer Science, along with the number of international students enrolled:

University NameRanking (THE)Percentage of International Students
University of Toronto #2321%
University of Montreal#3122%
University of Waterloo#4020%
University of British Columbia#4330%
McGill University#6628%
University of Alberta#101-12526%
McMaster University#101-12517%
University of Ottawa#176-20019%
Simon Fraser University#201-25030%
Queen’s University#251-30013%
Universite de Sherbrooke#251-3007%
University of Victoria#251-30020%

What is the Cost of Studying Masters in Computer Science in Canada?

The annual cost of studying a Masters in Computer Science in Canada is 47,779 USD for an M.Eng/MSc degree which is comparatively cheaper to MS in Computer Science in USA (average 55,000 USD). Students willing to pursue MACS will have to pay around 61,133 USD due to a higher tuition fee requirement since it is a professional course.

Factors Affecting the Cost of MS in Computer Science in Canada

Other than the one-time fee payments, there are other factors that influence the cost. Some of these factors are:

Tuition FeeRent 
Food Activity Fee
Travel Laboratory Fee (if any)
Personal ExpensesPrivate Loans
Accommodation Location: Urban/SuburbanUtility Bills

Estimate of Expenses in Canada

Initial Expenses for Students Applying for a Masters in Computer Science

A few payments are made on or before or along with the admission application, which are one-time. The following is a list of those aspects of an admission application that come under this category:

Expenses Cost (in USD)
Pre-Departure to Canada
GRE Test Fee205
University Application Fee114
Visa Application Fee235*
Health Insurance607
Official Financial Statement10,000
Post-Arrival in Canada
Hotel Accommodation200 - 800
Meals 45 (per day)
Airfare1,400

*150 USD for a study permit, 85 USD for biometric.

Monthly Student Expenses in Canada

Payments made by international students are on a monthly basis for subsistence in Canada. Some of the commonly estimated range of various costs of living in Canada include:

Expenses Cost (in USD)
Off-campus Accommodation7,728
Local Transportation 980
Food & Beverage3,700
Personal & Miscellaneous4,000

Annual Expenses for Students Pursuing MS in Computer Science in Canada

The annual expenses that a student needs to pay while pursuing a Masters in Computer Science approximate to 37,778 excluding the one-time fee payments. The tuition fee for MS in Computer Science varies depending upon the choice between MS/M.Eng or MACS.

The following table shows the tuition fee for various universities in Canada for studying Masters in Computer Science, for one academic year:

University NameTuition Fee (per year cost)
University of TorontoMSc: 19,745 USD
MACS: 42,453 USD 
University of Alberta21,711 USD
Queen’s University11,162 USD
Simon Fraser University8,678 USD
Lakehead University19,223 USD
Concordia University14,857 USD
Carleton UniversityMACS: 39,722 USD
University of British Columbia6,822 USD
University of Waterloo6,443 USD
McMaster University13,645 USD

Overall a 4% increase in the tuition fee was recorded for the recent admissions, in comparison to 2017 admissions.

Masters in Computer Science in Canada with Scholarship

Out of 33 universities in Canada, almost 6 universities offer scholarships directly to international students while pursuing a Masters in Computer Science. The scholarship amount offered by universities offering MS in Computer Science starts from 500 USD and can go up to 23,000 USD.

Some universities either require an additional application along with the admission application or automatically consider the students for a scholarship.

University-specific scholarships

  • University of Calgary: Offers 23,000 USD to first-year students pursuing MS in Computer Science for 2 years, if no major scholarship has been offered to the international student.
  • University of Waterloo: David R. Cheriton Graduate Scholarships worth 10,000 USD is offered to international students pursuing Masters in Computer Science from this university.
  • University of Manitoba: The scholarships are offered by the university as well as the faculty. These are:
    • University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships: An amount of 14,000 USD is offered to students enrolled in the Master of Computer Science course, for two consecutive years.
    • Stephane Durocher a faculty member of the Computer Science department offers only one graduate student an amount of 16,000 USD for 2 years.
  • University of Northern British Columbia: UNBC offers an award of 1,000 USD under Computer Science Entrance Award, to students in the first year of Master of Computer Science.
  • University of British Columbia: Offers 2 scholarships for international students who are pursuing an MS in Computer Science. Students are automatically considered for these scholarships:
    • International Major Entrance Scholarships
    • Outstanding International Student Award
  • University of the Fraser Valley: UFV offers an externally funded scholarship called WowAuto’s Scholarship for students enrolled in a full-time Masters in Computer Science course. An amount of 500 USD is offered annually to graduate students.

Masters in Computer Science in Canada Admission Process

Admissions in Canada for international students for MS, usually take place in 3 sessions, that is, Fall, Winter and Summer. The duration of a full-time Masters course varies from 16 months to 2 years, which includes coursework of 4 graduate courses.

Eligibility for MS in Computer Science in Canada

The eligibility criteria for the top 10 universities in Canada are more or less common. While the application requirements vary from university to university. To be eligible to pursue a Masters in Computer Science from Canada, international applicants must fulfil the following criteria:

  • International applicants must have 16 years of education. The break up being 10+2+4, proof of which is mandatory.
  • A bachelor’s in computer science from Canada or it’s equivalent from any other country, undergraduates of other disciplines related to computer science are also eligible to apply
  • GPA of 3.25 or above on a 4.0 point scale or a CGPA of 7 to 8 on a scale of 10 is required.*
  • Applicant must also have taken the GRE and scores must not be older than 2 years.
  • Admission eligibility also depends upon strong programming skills of the applicant.

*Note: Scores may vary in some cases, depending upon the country of origin of the applicant.

Masters in Computer Science in Canada Admission Requirements

The basic admission requirements commonly acceptable by a majority of Canadian universities, offering Masters in Computer Science are as follows:

  • How to Apply for MS in Computer Science in Canada: Prospective MS Computer Science applicants can apply via the official website of the respective university in Canada.
  • Documents Required: Usually, documents are requested post-admission offer letter is released. List of documents that must be submitted along with the application are:
    • Transcripts of high school and college
    • Marksheets and degrees along with the date of conferral
    • Statement of Purpose (SOP) or a personal essay of 2 pages, that talks about the career goals, areas of interest for research and the applicant’s skills and qualifications.
    • 2-3 letters of recommendation are mandatory for submission. At least 2 academic recommendations affirming the applicant’s ability to conduct independent research.
  • Standardized Test Score of GRE must be officially sent to the respective university. It is recommended for international students willing to pursue a Masters or PhD from any Canadian University. The average score required for admission consideration is 260 out of 340.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency:Tests required to study in Canada by international students are mentioned in the table below. These tests are valid for 2 years from the test date:
Test NameMinimum Required Score
TOEFLiBT: 86
PBT: 575
IELTS6.5 - 7.0
PTE61 - 66
MELAB85% or higher

The above-mentioned scores are mere approximations, the applicants must check the admission and score requirements before proceeding with the application.

*Note: Some universities also accept CAE/CPE or CanTest/CAEL along with other tests or in lieu of the above-mentioned tests.

Admission Decisions for Masters in Computer Science in Canada

Admission decisions are usually released within 40 days of application submission from Canadian universities for admission to Masters in Computer Science program. Application evaluations are holistic, this is the reason why admission offers are released within this timeframe.

Masters in Computer Science without GRE in Canada

A total of 16 universities offer a masters degree in Computer Science in Canada without demanding GRE scores as part of the admission requirements.

  • There are no additional conditions to suffice the non-requirement of GRE.
  • Canadian Universities demand GRE from international students as their educational background is from outside Canada.
  • Some universities do not mention minimum GRE scores but require them for a holistic admission application evaluation.

Following is a list of those universities which do not require GRE, to grant admissions to international students in Masters in Computer Science in Canada:

University of TorontoLakehead UniversityDalhousie UniversityBrock University
Concordia UniversityCarleton UniversityLaurentian UniversityUniversity of Windsor
Laval UniversityUniversity of ManitobaUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Prince Edward Island
University of LethbridgeUniversity of the Fraser ValleyUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaRegina University

Job Opportunities for Computer Science Postgraduates in Canada

Post Masters in Computer Science in Canada, international students usually apply for a PGWPP within 90 days of course completion, to work in Canada, rather than leaving for their home country.

  • Salary of Computer Science postgraduates who are professionally experienced, get in hand salaries starting from 92,000 USD. some other professions and their starting monthly salaries offered in Canada are as follows:
    • Software Engineer: 92,199 USD 
    • Artificial Intelligence/Data Scientists: 100,000 USD
    • Data Engineer: 135,000 USD
    • Software Developer: 97,738 USD
  • Popular companies like Amazon Can, CGI, Scotiabank, Sterling Turner, etc. recruit Computer Science postgrads from various Canadian universities.
  • The starting salary for Computer Science postgraduates is the lowest in Montreal- 49,223 USD, while it is the highest in Vancouver- 103,750 USD.
  • According to the recent survey by Canadian universities of 2016, it was found that Computer Science graduates are the highest paid in Canada.

Pursuing a Masters in Computer Science in Canada proves to be a boon for international students in terms of education quality, a wide variety of specializations to choose from, research experience, better job opportunities, good in-hand salary, work experience and finally applying for immigration to Canada as a skilled worker. With an overall increase in enrollment of 10.6% for Computer Science admissions for 2016-17, it is estimated that a multi-fold surge in enrollments for the same will be witnessed for the upcoming admission sessions.

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