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A Guide for International Students on Masters in Software Engineering in Canada

Sonal Vaid Sonal Vaid
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in Software Engineering in Canada are offered as Masters in Engineering (M.Eng.) and Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.) degrees. Some other engineering degrees similar to software engineering offered by universities in Canada are Masters in Software Systems or Master of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MEng) with a specialization in Software Engineering.

  • A postgraduate program in software engineering from top Canadian universities costs around 13,000 USD to 39,000 USD. 
  • Masters in Software Engineering is a 1-2 year duration program. 
  • Students have to undertake a relevant internship in the final year of study. 
  • A software engineer in Canada can earn up to 97,000 USD annually.

Why study Masters in Software Engineering in Canada?

  • According to the Canadian government, the start of 2020 saw over 20,000 job openings for software engineers in Canada.
  • According to the data provided by Emolument, IT and Software Development are among the top 10 highest paying jobs in Canada. 
  • Software Engineers median salary in Canada ranges between 35,000 USD to 100,000 USD in various regions of Canada. 
City-wise Salaries for Software Engineers in Canada

Top Universities in Canada Offering Masters in Software Engineering

According to Time Higher Education World University Ranking of 2020, the following are the best universities offering Masters in Software Engineering in Canada

UniversityTHE Ranking 2020 Program OfferedTotal Program Fee 
McMaster University72MASc. in Software Engineering38,241 USD
University of Calgary201-250MEng in Electrical and Computer Engineering: Software Engineering Specialization13,837 USD
Western University201-250Masters in Software Engineering 19,495 USD
Concordia University601-800MEng in Software Engineering; MASc in Software Engineering38,990 USD
University of Regina601-800Masters in Software Systems Engineering (MEng)18,341 USD

Universities Offering other programs in Software Engineering: 

Curriculum of Masters in Software Engineering in Canada

Masters in Software Engineering mainly focuses on the application frameworks, software engineering for web-based applications, software reverse engineering, software processes for organizations, and reengineering and reuse. 

Besides this, the curriculum also includes software design and architecture, engineering large-scale analytics systems, data engineering, data mining and machine learning, dependability and reliability of software systems, project management, web development, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Admission Process for Masters in Software Engineering in Canada

Admission process in Canada for a Masters in Software Engineering 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 to Masters in Software Engineering in Canada.

How to Apply

Students can apply through the official websites of the university. Deadline and application fee of top universities offering Masters in Software Engineering in Canada are: 

UniversityApplication FeeApplication Deadline
McMaster University84 USDMarch 30
University of Calgary111 USDRolling Admission
Western University92 USDFall: March 1; Winter: July 1
Concordia University (MASc)79 USDFall: June 1; Winter: July 1; Summer: February 1
Concordia University (MEng)79 USDFall: February 1; Winter: July 1
University of Regina77 USDFall: January 31; Winter: July 31

Admission Requirements for International Students

  • Bachelor's Degree: Students should have a four-year bachelor’s degree/graduate diploma in engineering or science or mathematics or computer science from an accredited university or college. Minimum grades required at the undergraduate level to be eligible for admission for some universities are specified below: 
    • McMaster University: B+ or 77-79%
    • University of Calgary: 3.0 GPA over the last two years of the degree
    • Western University: 70% average in the last two years of study
  • Transcripts: Students are required to submit official transcripts of the previous education. Some institutes may request certified copies of the documents. International students must provide certified English/French language translations for transcripts that are not in English language.
  • Letter of Reference: Recommendation letters may be required for admissions in some universities. Students are required to submit around 2-3 letters of recommendation to most universities for Masters in Software Engineering in Canada admission.
  • Statement of Purpose/Statement of Intent: Some universities may ask students to submit a statement of purpose along with the application.
  • Resume/CV: Students may be asked to submit a resume or CV with detailed academic and work experiences along with the application.
  • Other Documents: Other documents that might be required in a few cases are experience certificate, portfolio of work, etc.

Proof of English 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 some universities are as follows:

UniversityTOEFL iBT (minimum score)IELTS (minimum score)
McMaster University806.5
University of Calgary866.5
University of Western Ontario866.5
Concordia University75-846.0
University of Regina23 each band7.0

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

Cost for Studying Masters in Software Engineering in Canada

The cost of studying abroad in Canada for an international student can be distributed into three broad categories: pre-arrival costs, cost of study, and cost of living. The section below caters to the estimated expenses that are to be paid by international students while studying a Masters in Software Engineering in Canada. 

Pre-arrival Cost

Pre-arrival costs include expenses paid to cover the registration for standardized exams, application for a student visa to Canada, airfare, program application fee, etc. The following table indicates the one-time major costs for an international student planning to study in Canada.

Type of ExpenseCost (USD)
Program Application Fees$76 - $111 
Visa Application Fees$235 
Health Insurance$10,000
IELTS Fees$185 - $190 
TOEFL Fees$160 - $250 
Airfare$450 - $1400 

Fees for Masters in Software Engineering of Canadian Universities

Western University has the highest fee of 19,495 USD per year among the top universities offering Masters in Software Engineering in Canada. 

Annual Fee

Cost of Living

According to Expatistan, the annual cost of living in Canada for a single person is calculated to be 25,104 USD. For an international student, these expenses include accommodation, books & material, transportation, etc. Following table suggests an average amount required while studying in Canada: 

  • Housing: 10,032 USD - 19,812 USD (annual)
  • Basic Utilities: 996 USD - 1,560 USD (annual)
  • Transportation: 1,020 USD (annual)
  • Books: 700 USD 

International Scholarships for Masters in Software Engineering in Canada

Various scholarships for international students in Canada pursuing a masters degree are offered by universities, government agencies, and third-party websites. Some of the popular scholarships available for Masters in Software Engineering students are as follows:

ScholarshipAmount Offered (USD)University
Concordia International Tuition Award of Excellence29,183 USD/yearConcordia University
Education Future International Scholarship2,786 USD -13,930 USD/yearUniversity of Regina
Ontario Graduate Scholarship3,781 USD/semesterMcMaster University
Entrance Awards9,200 USD - 26,000 USD/yearCalgary University
Ontario Graduate Scholarship3,781 USD/semesterWestern University

A few universities also offer graduate students of computer science and software engineering with positions as teaching assistants within the department.

Career Prospects after Masters in Software Engineering in Canada

With the ever-growing development in computers, smartphones, mobile, etc., the demand for software developers is also increasing. As a result, the field of software engineering is currently one of the explosively growing sectors for jobs in Canada and everywhere else in the world. 

High Paying jobs in Canada

Employers usually look for following skills while hiring software engineers: 

  • Coding and Programming: Knowledge of algorithms and a programming language such as Java, Python, .net/C#, Mean, Ruby, etc.
  • Software Development: Analytic skill regarding users’ needs is required in order to design, test, and develop software according to those needs.
  • Object-oriented Design (OOD): Object-oriented design skill encompasses four key principles- Abstraction, Encapsulation, Inheritance, and Polymorphism.
  • Software Testing and Debugging: Knowledge of Software testing and debugging is required in order to think analytically about how a system can be put together.
  • Problem Solving and Deductive Reasoning: Being able to pinpoint software errors as well as using deductive reasoning to solve those issues are crucial to software engineering jobs.

Need for new applications on PC, smartphones, and tablets is one of the reasons for the increase in jobs for software engineering graduates. Also, the health sector, medical insurance, and reinsurance carriers industry need innovative software programs to manage new policy enrollments in healthcare as well as administer existing policies digitally. As the number of users of this digital platform is increasing over time, demand for software engineers, developers, protectors as well as managers is also growing. Thus, making higher education in Canada for a Masters in Software Engineering a good choice. 


Ques. What are the best universities for software engineering in Canada?

Ans. McMaster University, University of Calgary, University of Western Ontario, Concordia University and University of Regina are some of the best universities of Canada offering Masters in Software Engineering in Canada.

Ques. Is 1 year Masters in Software Engineering offered in Canada?

Ans. Many top-ranked universities in Canada offer 1 year Masters in Software Engineering including University of Calgary, University of Waterloo and University of British Columbia. 

Ques. What are the requirements for getting admission in MS in Software Engineering in Canada?

Ans. A 4-year bachelor's degree in engineering, science, mathematics or computer science is required. Some universities require submission of additional documents like CV, statement of purpose, letters of references, etc. 

Ques. How much does it cost to study Masters in Software Engineering in Canada?

Ans. Program fee of best Canadian universities offering masters in software engineering is around 13,000 USD to 39,000 USD. Apart from this, living costs in Canada vary with the province. However, an international student can expect an average annual expenditure of 25,104 USD. 

Ques. What are the job prospects after completing a Masters in Software Engineering from Canada?

Ans. A software engineer graduate from Canada can expect to earn an average salary of 60,000 USD per annum. Jobs are offered as software developers, java developers, software designers, development managers, etc.

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