FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions by prospective students. Please read this section carefully before e-mailing us your inquiries. Chances are your most burning questions are addressed below. If anything is unclear or if your questions are not among the frequently asked ones, please contact us at the e-mail address at the bottom of this page.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Do you have a spring intake for the program?
We do not currently offer a spring or winter intake. Students begin the program in the fall of each year. Applications open in October for a program start date in September the following year.
Can I take the program part-time or in the evening?
Currently, we are only offering a full-time program and do not offer evening classes or part-time options.
Which campus houses the program?
The program and all its courses are held at the Burnaby campus.
Who is the target audience for this "professional" program?
By "professional" we are referring to program graduates who will be looking for jobs in industry once they complete their degree. This is not a research-oriented master's program. Our recruitment efforts are focused on students who have sufficient computing science backgrounds.
What is the tuition fee structure for the Professional Master's in Computer Science?
What is the official name of the program? What is the name of the degree granted at completion?
The official name of the program is "Professional Master of Science in Computer Science". Concentrations are offered in Big Data, Visual Computing and Cybersecurity. The name of the degree granted is "Master of Science".
Will I be assigned a supervisor once I have been accepted into the program?
Please do not approach any SFU Computing Science professors asking them to be your supervisor. This is not a research program, so an academic supervisor is not needed.
Do students in the Professional Master's Program in Computer Science qualify for research funding opportunitites?
The program has neither a significant research component, nor any thesis work with research faculty. Therefore, there are no research scholarships available for students in this program. However, all successful applicants are considered for entrance scholarships of up to $30,000 CAD. More information can be found on the About the Program page.
The program structure requires that all students participate in a co-op semester. What if I have already done a graduate co-op semester at SFU?
All students in the program must participate in co-op during the course of their degree, whether they have completed another SFU co-op or not.
Is there a minimum GPA requirement for admission to the program?
We follow the SFU Graduate Regulation 1.3.3 which requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses for students who have completed their degrees at an institution in Canada. All graduate work is also considered. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of scholarship. Please do not contact us about waiving the requirement. Instead please use your application materials (your CV, etc.) to make the case that your professional experience is relevant and should be considered along with your GPA.
Students who have completed their degrees outside of Canada, please see here for minimum admission requirements.
Is there a minimum English language requirement (TOEFL/IELTS) for admission to the program?
The TOEFL/IELTS minimum scores are explained in this section on English Language Competence by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office at SFU.
I do not think I require a TOEFL or IELTS score. Who do I contact about having this admission requirement waived?
If you have a degree from a recognized instituiton where English is the language of instruction and examination in a country where English is the primary language, you do not need to take a test or apply for an English proficiency waiver. For a list of eligible countries, please click here. If you have a degree from an institution that does not meet this criteria, you can apply for a waiver through the Dean of Graduate Studies (for more information, please see the previous link of eligible countries and scroll to the bottom of the page). Please note that waivers are only granted very rarely.
Do I need a GRE or GMAT score to apply?
We do not require a GRE or GMAT score for admission to the program.
When should I arrange to send an official university transcript? Where should it be sent?
When you apply via our online system, you must upload a digital copy of your transcript (official or unofficial). You should only arrange for submission of your official transcript(s) when you receive an offer of admission. Transcript(s) can be sent directly to:
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Maggie Benston Student Services Centre 1100
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada V5A 1S6
Who makes decisions regarding admission to the program?
Admission decisions are made by the Professional Master's Program Director in consultation with the School's Graduate Program Admissions Committee. Except in unusual circumstances, applications are reviewed by a minimum of two faculty members before final decisions are made.
I have a degree in bioinformatics/economics/statistics/etc. and I do not meet the prerequisite course requirements. What are my options?
Exceptional applicants who do not have a sufficient computer science background* may receive a qualifying offer of admission, which requires them to successfully complete up to four prerequisite courses before they are offered full admission into Professional Master's Program in Computer Science.
*UBC’s Master of Data Science program produces qualified data scientists with a unique set of specialized computational and statistical skills who can help businesses and organizations across all domains. The program is open to students with any undergraduate degree who are inquisitive and have a passion for learning.
I have ordered my transcripts and they should have arrived at SFU by now. Can you confirm that my transcripts have been received?
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to confirm receipt of official transcripts to each individual applicant. However, you can check if your transcript was received by logging into the application system and looking at your document checklist. The transcript has a "Received" date listed next to it. If the "Received" date is after the date you uploaded the document, that means it is the date we received the official hard-copy transcript in the office. For example, if you uploaded the transcript sometime in October, but the "received date" shows April 22nd, then you know we received the transcript in the office on April 22nd.
I have requested that my official English test score be sent to SFU a while ago. Why has it not been entered into the application system yet?
In order for your test score to be matched with your application in the system, it is important that the name you have provided on both the application and the English test score matches. The same goes for your date of birth. If you think there might have been a mistake or if you have concerns about the timeline, please contact the Graduate Studies Office. Be sure to provide your TRF number or a copy of your test result, so it can be retrieved manually and matched to your application. Do not e-mail the program, as we are not the department that receives your scores. It is important to note that some delays may be due to heavy processing times.
How do I check the status of my application?
To check the status of your application, login at https://go.sfu.ca/paprd/gradapplication.html with your User ID and password and select 'View Application Status' from the Application Services page. Through the Application Services page, you can also update your personal information and review the status of documents that are required for evaluation of your application (eg. test scores, transcripts, references, etc.). The information displayed here is updated as items are received. If you completed your application prior to the document deadline, consider your application status to be "under review." We typically issue offers in March and April, so successful applicants will hear from us then. Around May 1st, all applicants are notified of final decisions.
If my application status is incomplete, will I still be considered for admission to the program?
Admission to our program is very competitive. Therefore, incomplete applications are usually not reviewed for admission.
I have received an offer of admission from one of the specializations (Big Data, Cybersecurity, Visual Computing) within the Professional Master's Program and want to switch to another specilization (e.g. received an offer from the Visual Computing specialization and want to switch over to the Big Data specialization). Is this possible to do?
We generally do not accept requests to switch between specializations in the program. Applicants who are interested in multiple specializations are encouraged to apply to them and receive an admission decision on each of their application.
We are not accepting requests to change specializations at this time.
I have applied to the MSc Thesis program in the School of Computing Science and now want to switch to the Professional Master's Program in Computer Science (Big Data, Visual Computing or Cybersecurity). Can I do this?
If you haven't begun your program yet, please contact us about switching programs.
Transfers between programs that are in progress are not possible. If students wish to switch to a different program, they must apply to that program by the admission deadline and wait for an admission offer to be made.