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MS in CS in Canada • AdmitAbroad

MS in CS in Canada

Admit Abroad - MS in CS in Canada

Table of contents:

Why pursue Computer Science in Canada

Owing to high salaries and strong demand for tech professionals, Computer Science has been one of the most popular fields to  pursue in the last decade.

While most Indians have traditionally considered the United States for Computer Science, increasingly, Indians are considering Canada for pursuing their MS in CS. The reasons for this are as below:

  1. High-Quality Universities: 3 Canadian universities rank in the top 25 in the world for Computer Science and 10 Canadian universities rank in the top 250. This shows the high quality of Computer Science programs in Canada.
  2. Easy Pathway to Immigration: While those in the United States have to wait for years on end to secure their Green Card (i.e. Permanent Residency Status); students who pursue a Masters’ in Computer Science in Canada can get a 3 year work permit followed by Permanent Residency.
  3. Strong Demand by the industry: The tech sector in Canada is growing at 5.3% annually and 55% of the tech entrepreneurs in Canada have gone on record to say that they find it difficult to find skilled professionals in this area. To retain talent, companies have been raising wages by 15%-20% annually. According to the Canadian government, professionals in the tech industry earn CAD 83,300 (Rs 50 lakhs) on average. This is 46% higher than the national average!
  4. Increased investment by American Companies: Several American companies have begun investing heavily in Canada. Amazon plans to hire 3,000 people in Vancouver by 2023 and Salesforce has pledged a $2 billion investment into its Canadian expansion. This in turn will further increase the demand for tech talent in Canada.
  5. Acceptance of 3 year undergraduate degrees: While most American universities require students to have pursued a 4 year undergraduate degree, several Canadian universities accept students with a 3 year undergraduate degree. This makes Canada an attractive choice for students who have pursued BSc(IT) or BSc(CS) programs.

Where do graduates in Computer Science Work?

Those who graduate in this field work in two types of companies:

  1. Product Companies: These companies make their own products or services. They build large scale consumer facing apps, databases, office and productivity software. Companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Uber and Oracle all fall in this category.
  2. Consulting and Outsourcing: These companies implement large projects for clients. They make ERPs and automate processes for clients. Companies like TCS, Capgemini, Accenture and Infosys fall in this category.

Both categories of companies recruit graduates in one of two areas: frontend and backend technologies. To make this clearer, we’ll describe these areas using the example of Whatsapp.

  1. Frontend technologies: Students recruited to work on frontend technologies build user interfaces for websites / apps / web-apps. They work on technologies like Javascript, HTML, CSS, React, Angular etc. So the keyboard you use to type messages, the interface on whatsapp groups – all such things are built by a frontend developer.
  • Backend technologies: Those who work on app backends focus on building the application logic, storing data in and maintaining databases and on data processing. They use technologies like Java, Ruby, Python and Kotlin. With
    reference to the whatsapp example – the logic and encryption to send messages from one user to another, compression algorithms to reduce size of messages and storage of messages on servers for backup are all built by the backend developer.

The typical job titles such people hold in companies are:

  • Mobile Application Developer
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Systems Engineer
  • Systems architect
  • Software Developer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Devops Engineer
  • Full Stack Developer
  • Frontend Developer
  • Backend Developer

Eligibility Criteria, Universities and Cost

There are more than 40 universities in Canada that offer postgraduate programs in CS or CS allied fields. The eligibility criteria is different for each, but the good universities typically require the following:

  • An undergraduate degree in CS or IT (though some universities might be ok with a non – CS undergraduate degree).
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. This translates to a “B” grade or 65%-70%.
  • An English Language Test Score.Most universities accept the IELTS and TOEFL. Students need to score at least 90 on the TOEFL or get a band 6.5 score on the IELTS. Some top universities might need 100 on the TOEFL or band 7.0 on the IELTS.
  • Top programs do not require a GRE score, but they all mention that students with strong GRE scores have an advantage over other applicants

Here are the top 10 universities for CS programs at the postgraduate level in Canada according to QS rankings:

QS – CS World Rank University CS / CS Allied Programs Available
12 University of Toronto MSc in Applied Computing- Data Science

MSc in Applied Computing – Quantum Computing

MS in Computer Science

21 University of British Columbia MSc in Computer Science

MSc in Data Science

25 University of Waterloo MSc in Computer Science

MSc in Quantum Information

44 McGill University MSc in Computer Science

MSc in Computer Science – Bioinformatics

48 Universite de Montreal MSc in Computer Science

MSc in Computer Science – Bioinformatics

MSc in Computer Science – Machine Learning

MSc in Computer Science –Computational Finance

104 University of Alberta MSc in Computer Science

Master of Science in Internetworking

Masters in Statistical Machine Learning

Masters in Multimedia

114 Simon Fraser University MSc in Computing Science (Research Based)

MSc in Professional Computer Science

148 Queen’s University at Kingston MSc in Computer Science

MSc in Digital Product Management

151-200 University of Calgary MSc in Computer Science

MSc in Computational Media Design

MS in Data Science and Analytics

201-250 University of Ottawa MSc in Computer Science (Plain / AI / Bioinformatics)

MSc in Digital Transformation and Innovation (Plain / Data Science /
UX Design)

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These universities are extremely selective and select approximately only 10%-15% of the students who apply. To give you a sense of how competitive they are, here’s the typical profile of students who get into these top 10 MS in CS programs:

  • A TOEFL score of at least 100 / IELTS score of at least band 7.0
  • A GPA of 9.0/10.0 or higher from a top tier institute (IITs, NITs, BITs, Regional Engineering Colleges etc.)
  • 1 high impact major project:
    1. a project that invents a new technique / technology OR
    2. a project that improves on an existing technology OR
    3. a project which solves a large problem which was not solved so far
  • 1-2 CS related internships with high growth start-ups, large multinationals or reputed universities
  • 1-2 research papers published in national or international level journals
  • 1-2 victories in national / international level coding / development competitions

If this sounds too difficult – don’t worry. The good news is that there are plentyof great universities / colleges that are much easier to get into – but which offer comparable quality of education and career outcomes.

Here are some great universities that students can get into which are much easier to get into:

University CS / CS Allied Programs Available
University of Windsor Master of Applied Computing
University of Regina Master of Science – Computer Science

Master of Science – Data Science

Master of Science – Human Centred Computing

Lakehead University Master of Science – Computer Science

Master of Science – Artificial Intelligence

Thompson Rivers University Master of Science – Data Science
Fairleigh Dickinson University Master of Science – Database Administration

Master of Science – Advanced Computer Programming

Master of Science – Applied Computer Science

Centennial College Graduate Certificate – Internet of Things
Sheridan College Graduate Certificate – Game Development

Graduate Certificate – Digital Product Design

Conestoga College Graduate Certificate – Web Development

Graduate Certificate – Virtual Reality Production

Algonquin College Graduate Certificate – Cyber Security Analysis

Graduate Certificate – AI Software Development

Fanshawe College Graduate Certificate – Mobile Application Development

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The average tuition fee for a 2 years masters’ program in computer science is Rs 40 lakhs and the average tuition fee for a graduate certificate program is Rs 17 lakhs.

Application Procedure for a Masters in CS in Canada

  • Collate the following documents:
  • Register as an applicant on the university’s online application portal, fill in all details and submit the documents listed above.
  • In addition to the above, some universities might require students to also submit a Personal Statement (a document that elaborates on the personal factors that have motivated a student to pursue an MS in CS) and might need to appear for an online or in person interview.


Specializations in Computer Science

On entering a Masters in CS program, students could specialize in one of many areas. These are listed below:

Specialization What students learn Example Use Cases
Computer Science Theory Designing new algorithms to solve complex problems efficiently Creating an algorithm to sort users of an app by age
Machine Learning Building algorithms that enable computers to learn from past data without programming them explicitly to do so Making software to predict the of cancer before symptoms appear
Artificial Intelligence Leverage techniques / technologies which enable computers to think like humans Programming a self-driving car
Cybersecurity Develop robust systems to keep computers secure from theft, fraud, and other malpractice Creating the security network that protects’ people’s whatsapp data
and chats
Software Engineering Design and develop large scale applications for computers and mobile devices Building an online banking system for the largest Indian bank
Human Computer Interaction Learn tools and techniques to design frictionless, aesthetically pleasing user experiences Designing a user interface to simplify the student visa process
Data Science Learn how to clean and make sense of data. Derive insights to aid decision making Identifying the right marketing channel for a retail company based on past marketing data
Cloud Computing Learn programming languages used to support large cloud based systems Building and deploying Netflix’s cloud  architecture to host all its content
Game Development Learn languages to develop game physics, design levels in games Creating games for PCs, the Playstation and Xbox

Our hope is that this article gave you an overview of the different career paths and universities available to those who wish to pursue a career in Computer Science in Canada. If you do have any further queries or questions, do reach out to our experts and get your study abroad journey started today.


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