Financial support

The School of Computing Science provides generous support for our PhD and M.Sc. thesis students. Beginning fall 2016, the minimum funding levels for research-oriented graduate students are as follows:

  • Ph.D. students making satisfactory progress are supported for a minimum of four years (48 months), at $22,000 or more per year.
  • M.Sc. Thesis students making satisfactory progress are supported for a minimum of five semesters at $20,000 or more per year.

Please note that all financial commitments are made on an individual basis and the terms of funding support will be set out in the offer and/or admission letter that students receive.

Students in the Professional Master's Big Data program are not funded by the School through graduate fellowships or RAs. Students should arrange their own financial resources for both living and educational expenses.

Financial support provided to funded graduate students comes from a combination of sources that include, but are not limited to:

Research Assistantship (RA)

RA support comes from research grants held by the student's supervisor(s). The amount and duration of this support is determined between the supported students and their supervisor(s).

Teaching Assistantship (TA)

TAs are assigned to computer science undergraduate courses. TAs for these courses are expected to perform duties such as grading, supervising labs, and/or giving tutorials. The amount of pay depends on the number of base units (BUs) assigned. TA requirements are annouced to graduate students each term, and interested students are to complete an online TA application during the application period.  Questions regarding TA applications should be directed to

SFU Graduate Fellowships (SFU GFs)

SFU GFs are available throughout the academic year and are typically in the amount of $6,500 per semester.  The annual application deadline is in the spring/summer semester. Eligible funded students are required to submit their completed applications to the School of Computing Science where they will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Committee who will make recommendations to the Office of Graduate Studies. More information can be found at the Office of the Graduate Studies website: SFU GFs.

FAS Graduate Fellowships (FAS GFs)

The Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) also awards GFs, typically for $6,500 per semester and with the same application deadline as SFU GFs. However, FAS GFs are funded on a matching basis; half of the fellowship is funded by the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the other half (in the form of an RA) is funded by the student's supervisor(s).  More information can be found at the Office of the Graduate Studies website: FAS GFs.

Computing Science Graduate Fellowships (CS GFs)

The School of Computing Science offers its own graduate fellowships. As of fall 2016, these fellowships will be awarded to incoming M.Sc. thesis and PhD students in their first term of enrollment. Each eligible student will receive one CSGF, in the amount of at least $6,000, during their tenure at SFU CS.  

President's PhD Scholarships (PS)

The PS rewards PhD students who have made excellent progress in their degree completion. The key eligibility criterion is that students must complete all degree requirements, except for the thesis defence, within 12 terms of full-time registration. The scholarship is valued at $6,500 and awarded a maximum of once per student. For more information, refer to the Office of Graduate Studies website: President's Ph.D. Scholarship.

Industrial internships

Currently, the MITACS Accelerate Internship Program is a major source of support for our students.  A company, an academic supervisor, and a graduate student form a collaborative team so that research can be conducted on behalf of the employer.  Typical total funding is $15,000 per internship with 50-50 contributions from MITACS and the participating company, with the student receiving a minimum of $10,000 for a four-month internship.

Graduate Co-op Program

The Computing Science Graduate Co-op program is the first graduate co-op program to launch at SFU and is available to all of our graduate students, including M.Sc. course and Big Data students. A student can participate in up to 3 co-op work terms, and depending on which graduate program you are registered in, your work in co-op may be eligible for course credits. We strive to provide students with job placements in the industry with salaries typically ranging from $2,200 to $3,500 per month (this varies for each individual placement).

Sessional Appointments

Sessionals teach undergraduate courses in place of regular faculty members when there is demand. Availability is posted prior to start of the semester. 

Major External Scholarships

Please visit the Office of the Graduate Studies website for information on major external scholarships including those offered by NSERC. Applicants who hold NSERC postgraduate scholarships can expect competitive top-ups.

For all information on financial support available to SFU graduate students, including various internal scholarships, minor travel and research awards, etc., please visit the Office of the Graduate Studies website on Scholarships and Awards.