Masters in Data Science in Canada: Top Universities, Admission Process, Cost, Scholarships, & Job Prospects

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    Masters in Data Science in Canada is a 10-16 month-long course with an average tuition fee of around 17,000 USD. For an Indian student who wishes to study at data science colleges in Canada, this cost equals around 12 Lakhs INR. Available as mainstream and specialization of Masters in Computer Science, Big Data, or Mathematics. Masters in Data Science is a multidisciplinary field including data cleansing, preparation, and analysis. Studying data science allows the candidate to find actionable insights from large sets of structured and raw data. With MS in Data Science degree in Canada, you can make an average of 70,000-90,000 USD a year.  

    International students looking forward to pursuing MS in data science in Canada need a score of 73% or more in their bachelor's, IELTS score (other ELP equivalent tests), and for some universities GMAT scores to get into the program. Merely fulfilling the admission criteria for master's in data science for Canadian colleges does not ensure guaranteed admission. Hence, applicants must try having impressive SOPs, LORs, and CV to support their application package

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    Top Universities offering Masters in Data Science in Canada

    International students who wish to study Masters in Data Science in Canada can apply to the following top universities:

    University Program Annual Tuition Fees (USD) Brochure
    University of British Columbia Masters in Data Science 33,400 Download Brochure
    Ryerson University Masters in Data Science 17,400 Download Brochure
    University of Toronto Masters of Science in Allied Computing- Data Science 27,000 Download Brochure
    Carleton University Masters in Computer Science- Data Science (collaborative masters) MSDAI- 3,400 MMath- 10,650 Download Brochure
    University of Waterloo* MDSAI** and MMath in Data Science 11,400-16,220 Download Brochure
    HEC Montreal MS Data Science and Business Analytics 20,353-20,730 Download Brochure

    * There are two more specializations available with the University of Waterloo in MMath-Statistics, Data Science and MMath-CS, Data Science. However, admissions to these programs will be discontinued as of winter 2020.

    **Masters in data science and artificial intelligence

    Courses at Data Science & Analytics Colleges in Canada

    When planning to study master's in data science, you can additionally consider pursuing related degrees. Some of the related degrees for students looking for masters in data science in Canada are as follows:

    1. MS Computing and Data Analytics: Saint Mary’s University
    2. MS Big Data Analytics: Trent University
    3. Masters in Computer Science (Big Data Specialization): SFU (Simon Fraser University)
    4. Masters in Data Analytics: University of New Brunswick, UWO, and Acadia University. 

    Some universities like University of CalgarySheridan CollegeMcGill University, and others offer various PG diploma programs in Canada in data science. 

    Why Data Science from Canada?

    • The average salary for an entry-level data scientist is around 60,000 USD annually.
    • The total number of data scientists has doubled over the past four years and there is still a shortage of around 19,000 professionals according to Canada Big Data Consortium.
    • A booming opportunity of around 4 million jobs involving data science in the upcoming 5 years.
    • The demand for data scientists is 50% higher than that of software engineers.

    By studying abroad in Canada, you choose to study in one of the strongest economies in the world. The country offers you a high standard of living, top-level education, and a welcoming environment to thrive and survive through the duration of your course. 

    Masters in Data Science in Canada: Course Details

    The course duration for masters in data science in Canada is mostly around 1 to 1.5 years. Some universities offer 8 months of on-campus study followed by an 8-months internship. The data science courses in Canada may also be available along with data analysis as a single program.

    Data Science vs Data Analytics

    Often data science and data analytics are used interchangeably. However, the two programs vary from each other. With a focus on processing and performing statistical analysis on pre-set data, data analysis helps in the communication and visualization of data. Given below is a table addressing other differences between the programs:

    Basis of Difference Data Science Data Analysis
    Scope Macro Micro
    Major Fields Machine learning, AI, search engine engineering, corporate analytics Gaming, healthcare, travel, industries with immediate data needs.
    Goal Helps in finding the right questions Helps in finding actionable data

    Data Science vs Big Data

    When deciding on which related program to pursue international students may face confusion with his/her choice. Given below is a basic difference in the two fields to help you make a better decision

    Basis of Difference Data Science Big Data
    Scope Micro Macro
    Major Fields Machine learning, AI, search engine engineering, corporate analytics Customer, compliance, financial analysis; data communication and retail
    Goal Helps in data cleansing, preparation, and analysis Used to analyze insights for leading to better decisions and strategic business moves. 


    Exploring the data, followed by its schematic preparation. A model or an approach type is selected for finding insights from the data. Around the idea, a model is built and the insights are communicated in a comprehensible manner. The following diagram represents the processes involved in data science and interpretation. 


    Figure: Processes involved in data science

    Data Scientist Qualifications

    For any student who wishes to study a data science course, it is important to note that they must possess the following skills. These help in excelling as a data scientist:

    • Mathematics and statistics: Required good grounding in Bayesian statistics, probability, and hypothesis testing.
    • Artificial intelligence: Machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision along with modern computational approach.
    • Distributed processing: Knowledge of splitting the large data and processing tasks available to several machines.
    • Domain knowledge: Understanding and knowledge of specific domains and applications.
    • Formulating problems: Data science involves proposing and testing hypotheses, which requires finding commonalities across what appears to be a different issue.
    • Data presentation and visualization: Ability to communicate findings from the data in a readily comprehensible and succinct way.

    Admission Process for Masters in Data Science in Canada

    The admission process for masters in data science in Canada varies from university to university. The admissions are, however, offered mostly for winter, summer, and fall sessions. International applicants are required to have completed 16 years of education for applying for a master's in data science in Canada.

    Where to Apply

    International applicants can apply through the official websites of the universities offering the program.

    Eligibility Criteria for MS in Data Science in Canada

    • Four years of a bachelor's degree in engineering, computer sciences, business analytics, economics, statistics or related subjects.
    • Applicants must have an average GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.33. This is equivalent to 73-76% or a B on the grade scale for Indian Students.
    • Other university-specific admission requirements are tabulated below:
    University Minimum Eligibility
    University of British Columbia Professional experience (optional but desirable), 65% or 8 on a 10 point scale in UG degree.
    University of Toronto 77-79% or B+ grade in bachelor’s
    Carleton University GRE/GMAT score 
    Ryerson University B grade or a score of 73-76%
    University of Waterloo Average of 78% or B+ grade, 1 year of senior-level experience in statistics or CS. 
    HEC Montreal GMAT- 600, GRE, TAGE MAGE- 300
    French language proficiency: TEF/TCF- B2 to C1 level

    Masters in Data Science in Canada Admission Requirements

    For admission in masters programs in Canada applicants are required to provide the following documents:

    1. Transcripts: Applicants are required to submit official transcripts of the previous education. Some institutes may request certified copies of the documents. International applicants must provide certified English/French language translations for transcripts that are not in the English language.
    2. Proof of Language Proficiency: Proof for English language proficiency must be submitted by international students belonging to non-native English-speaking countries. Applicants can submit test scores from TOEFL, IELTS, and other standardized English language test scores. The minimum test score requirements for the universities are as follows:
    University TOEFL iBT (minimum score) IELTS (minimum score)
    University of British Columbia 100  7.0 (band score- 6.5)
    University of Toronto 93 7 (band score- 6.5)
    Carleton University 100  7 (band score- 6.5)
    Ryerson University 93 7
    University of Waterloo 100 7.5 (band score-7)
    HEC Montreal 95-114 7-8

    Note: The English language proficiency tests accepted at different universities may vary. Applicants must ensure that the test taken is accepted at the selected university.

    1. Letter of Reference: LORs may be required for admissions in some universities. Applicants are required to submit around 2-3 LORs in most universities for masters in data science.
    2. Statement of Purpose/Statement of Intent: Some universities may ask applicants to submit a statement of purpose along with the applications.
    3. Resume/CV: Applicants may be asked to submit a resume or CV with a detailed academic and work experience along with the application.

    Admission Decisions for Masters in Data Science Admissions 

    Post-application deadlines, the admission decisions are released within a time frame of 6-8 weeks. The applicants for masters in data science in Canada are reviewed on overall academic performance, professional references, and related information available in the CV. The decisions may be delayed in certain cases.

    Cost for Studying Masters in Data Science in Canada

    For an international applicant planning to study in Canada, the costs for studying can be widely distributed into three categories. These are pre-arrival costs, cost of study, and cost of living. The cost of studying or the tuition fee MS in Data Science in Canada varies from 11,600 USD to 33,000 USD.

    Pre-arrival Costs

    Given below is a table indicating the one-time major costs involved for an international student planning to study abroad.

    Type of Expense Cost (USD)
    Program Application Fees 76-136*
    Visa Application Fees 235**
    Health Insurance 10,000
    IELTS Fees 185-190
    TOEFL Fees 160-250
    Airfare 450-1400

    *Depends on the university

    **150 USD for a Canadian Study Permit and 85 USD is Biometric fees.

    Tuition Fees of Data Science for Canadian Universities

    The annual tuition for pursuing masters in data science in Canada ranges from 10,000 USD to 35,000 USD. This will cost an Indian student around 7,00,000 to 23,00,000 INR. Given below is a graphical image comparing the tuitions of the popular universities offering masters in data science in Canada:

    Tuition fees for MS Data science in Canada (USD)

    Tuition Fees for Indian Students

    University Fees (INR)
    UBC 24.5 lakhs
    Ryerson University 12.77 lakhs
    U of T 19.82 lakhs
    Carleton University 7.8 lakhs
    University of Waterloo 11.91 lakhs
    HEC Montreal 15.22 lakhs

    Cost of Living in Canada

    International students in Canada spend a large amount while studying on expenses other than tuition. The expenses include the cost of living, books & material, transportation, etc. The table given below suggests an average of minimum expenses required for studying in that specific university:

    University Cost of Living (USD/year) Books and Materials (USD/year)
    University of British Columbia 12,700  1,058
    University of Toronto 6,050-11,350 756
    Carleton University 6,050-10,100 910
    Ryerson University 6,730-14,300 831-7,487
    University of Waterloo 1,750-3,205 756-910
    HEC Montreal 4968 264

    Food and beverages cost an international student around 3000-4000 USD in and around all the above-mentioned universities.

    Masters in Data Science in Canada with Scholarships

    There are various scholarships available for international students pursuing masters in Canada. Some of the popular scholarships available to students pursuing MS in Data Science are as follows:

    Scholarship Amount Offered (USD) University
    Master of Data Science International Scholarship 18,874 /year University of British Columbia
    School of Graduate Studies University-wide awards 5293.75/semester University of Toronto
    Ontario Graduate Scholarship 3781/semester Carleton University
    Ontario Graduate Scholarship 3781/semester Ryerson University
    Ontario Graduate Scholarship 3781/semester University of Waterloo
    Entrance Scholarship Varies HEC Montreal

    Scholarship Details

    Masters in Data Science International Scholarship: University of British Columbia offers an entrance scholarship to its international student enrolling in the master's program in data science. An amount up to 18,874 USD is offered annually on merit-basis.

    The School of Graduate Studies University-Wide Awards: Offered to international graduate students with financial need and academic excellence. The scholarship application is available during winter and the results for the same are announced by July. Applicants must fill in a School of Graduate Studies financial need assessment form for applying.

    Ontario Graduate Scholarship: Offered to masters and doctorate international students pursuing an education in Ontario province. Ontario Graduate Scholarship offers an amount of 1,325 USD per year.

    Entrance Scholarship: Differential Tuition Fees Exemption is an entrance scholarship offered to newly admitted international applicants for MS programs. The scholarship eligibility and amount is subject to differential tuition of MS programs.

    Job Prospects Post-Graduation in Data Science in Canada

    Data science is currently one of the explosively growing job sectors in the world. Some of the leading data science careers and median salaries for a postgraduate in data science course in Canada are as follows:

    Job Prospect Median Salary (USD/year) Job Prospect Median Salary (USD/year)
    Business Analyst 78,574 Sr. Data Scientist 120,000
    Business Intelligence Analyst 77638 Data Architect 81,000
    Business Intelligence Developer 81945 Application Architect 110,000
    Data Engineer 120,000 Machine Learning Engineer 140,000
    Data Scientist 107,500 Machine learning scientist 162,625
    Data Analyst 60,416 Data Mining Engineer 80,673

    Data Science Course in Canada vs USA

    The number of universities offering international students with a data science course is more in the USA in comparison with Canada. Factors to consider for an applicant looking for higher education in data science abroad are as follows:

    • School Selection: the USA has a higher number of universities offering data science courses in comparison with Canada. Some of the popular colleges/universities offering data science in the USA are as follows:
    • Cost Efficiency: The overall cost of studying in the USA is extremely high in comparison with Canada. This makes Canada a better study destination.
    • Job opportunities: With more job opportunities, the USA also has a higher number of applicants looking for these jobs. However, Canada does have a comparatively lesser number of job opportunities but also has lesser candidates.
    • Work permit hassle: Getting a Canadian work permit is easier than H1B (work permit for the USA). This plays a major role for applicants who wish to stay abroad post-study.
    • Healthcare: Canada offers free healthcare to all individuals legally residing in the country. However, health insurance covers in the USA are expensive and mandatory for studying and working in the country..
    • Immigrant friendly: Canada trumps over the USA in this category with its immigrant-friendly laws and welcoming atmosphere.

    Masters in Data Science from Canada is a lucrative program of study for graduates of computer science or similar programs. With an abundance of job prospects in the field, a master's degree in Data Science will not just help you secure high-paying jobs, but also give you an extensive understanding of how various big companies like Amazon and Netflix collect and use data to establish a prominent market.

    The possible benefits of a Data Science degree from Canada are manyfold and immense. It is not just businesses that prosper with the application of Data Science, but the customers too. The customers benefit by seeing more relevant content, while businesses prosper by targeting the appropriate audience. As a matter of fact, the proper application of Data Science is capable of uplifting economies and countries alike.

    It goes without saying that a Masters's (MS) degree from a technologically advanced and educationally adept country like Canada is a good idea for any prospective students planning higher studies from abroad. This field of study is a trending subject and the demand for experts in it is only going up- not just in Canada, but across the world.


    Ques. What are the basic eligibility criteria for pursuing MS in Data Science in Canada?

    Ans. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, mathematics or a related field. Applicants must also have basic knowledge of programming concepts and mathematics.

    Ques. What is the average cost for studying MS in data science in Canada for Indian students?

    Ans. An estimated minimum cost for studying masters in Canada for an Indian student is around 9,20,000 INR.

    Ques. What are the minimum English language requirements for studying MS in Data Science from Canada?

    Ans. The specific requirements for each university vary. However, the applicants are required to have a minimum score of 7 for IELTS and 93-114 for TOEFL iBT.

    Ques. What are the different program types of MS in data science?

    Ans. The data science course is available as mainstream as well as a specialization program in big data, data management & analytics, statistical machine learning, computer science, and mathematics.

    Ques. What are the companies that hire data science postgraduates?

    Ans. Some of the top companies offering jobs to data science postgraduates include Wipro, Cognizant, Netflix, Amazon, Latent View, Fractal Analytics, Genpact, Capgemini, etc.

    Ques. What is the average salary package for a data science postgraduate?

    Ans. Data science postgraduates at an entry-level can land into a job paying an average salary of 80,000-120,000 USD per annum.

    Ques. Where can I pursue Masters in Data Science in Canada?

    Ans. Some of the top universities in Canada offering MS in data science are UBC, University of Toronto, Ryerson Univeristy, Carleton University, University of Waterloo, HEC Montreal, etc.

    Ques. Is Canada good for MS in Data Science?

    Ans. Yes, with universities like UBC and University of Toronto offering masters in data science in Canada. These are some academically renowned universities across the world and are considered as one of the top job oriented universities. Hence, pursuing masters in data science in Canada is worth it.