Financial support

The School of Computing Science provides generous support to thesis based PhD and MSc students. Minimum funding levels are as follows:

  • PhD - $24,000 per year for four years
  • MSc - $21,000 per year for two years

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

Students must make satisfactory progress in their programs to maintain their eligibility for funding.

Professional Master's students are not funded by the School. 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 Assistantships (RA) and Teaching Assistantships (TA)

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). For questions about RA, please email csrahelp@sfu.ca.

Students engaging in research for their thesis are considered 'Scholarship RAs'. If the research is not related to their thesis, they are considered 'True RAs'. 

True RAs are considered employees of SFU. For more information, please visit Research Personnel Initiative. For tax information, please visit here

TAs are assigned to computer science 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 announced 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 cmptappl@sfu.ca.

Graduate Fellowships

The following Graduate Fellowships are used by the department to meet funding minimums by an internal nomination process. Graduate Fellowship is allocated to PhD students only.  Please review the Milestones Requirement to maintain eligibility. 

SFU Graduate Fellowships (SFU-GF)

SFU GFs are available throughout the academic year and are typically in the amount of $7,000 per semester.  Eligible funded students will be notified after an internal nomination process by the School of Computing Science whereby 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.

Faculty of Applied Sciences Graduate Fellowships (FAS-GF)

The Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) also awards GFs, typically for $6,500 per semester. Eligible students will be notified. 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-GF)

The School of Computing Science offers its own graduate fellowships. CSGFs are used by the School of Computing Science to meet funding guidelines for all students. This, like the SFU GFs, follows the same internal nomination process, whereby students are notified once funding is allocated.

*PhD students receive $8,000 in Graduate Fellowship (GF) once a year. As SFU GFs are $7000, PhD students receive a $1000 CS GF for a total of $8000 in Graudate Fellowship. A combination of two different GFs (i.e. SFU GF + CS GF) can make up the total of $8000. *

External Awards

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.

To see computing science specific external scholarships, visit our external scholarships page

Other Funding Sources

Industrial Internships

The MITACS Accelerate Internship Program is a potential source of support.  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.

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 $7,000 and awarded a maximum of once per student. For more information, refer to the Office of Graduate Studies website: President's PhD Scholarship.

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. 

Internal + DOnor Funded Awards

Student deadline is typically in June and email reminders are sent to your SFU email. 

For more information, refer to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website: Internal + Donor Funded Awards.

Major Entrance Awards

Student Responsibilities 

Students are responsible for their studies and managing their program, inclduing being aware of important deadlines and enrollment requirements. 

Students must enroll in the thesis capstone course every term they are active (enrolled in courses), or conducting research. Failing to enroll in the capstone course will change your enrollment status to 'discontinued' at the end of the term. Not enrolling in the capstone course will cause disruption of any funding payments, including Graudate Fellowships, TA/RAships, and scholarships.  

  • PhD students must enroll in CMPT 899 - PhD Thesis 
  • MSc students must enroll in CMPT 898 - MSc Thesis

If you have not enrolled in the capstone course for the current semester, please fill out a Course Add Form with your supervisor's signature and email it to the Graduate Program Assistant at cs_graduate_program_assistant@sfu.ca.

Please regularly check your SFU email as we send important announcements and updates, including award and scholarship opportunities.

Students are encouraged to stay proactive and check in with their supervisors and graduate staff on funding plans for the academic year. For GF deferral requests, please email cs_graduate_program_coordinator@sfu.ca.

 

Financial Support Overview & Funding Timeline 

 Funding Type   PhD Students   MSc Students 
 Research Assistantship (RA)   Yes   Yes
 Teaching Assistantship (TA)   Yes  Yes 
 Graduate Fellowship (GF)
  • SFU GF - by nomination
  • CS GF - by nomination 
  • FAS GF - by nomination 
 Yes  No
Donor Funded Awards   Yes   Yes
Entrance Awards   Yes  Yes
  • Supervisors and students are encouraged to discuss funding plans in advance. Students on leave (i.e. medical leave, internship) should discuss with their supervisor(s) for GF deferrals. Graduate Fellowship (GF) deferral requests should be emailed to cs_graduate_program_coordinator@sfu.ca a semester in advance. 
  • Supervisors will receive the upcoming term's GF nomination list for review. For any changes and questions about students' Graduate Fellowship, please email cs_graduate_program_coordinator@sfu.ca.