Admission to all three master's programs is competitive: only the best qualified applicants are offered a seat. Therefore, it is imperative that students familiarize themselves with the admission requirements in order to ensure they submit a strong application. Since conditional and qualifying admission offers are made very rarely and only in exceptional cases, students who qualify for regular admission have higher chances of acceptance than those who only qualify for conditional or qualifying admission.


In order for students to succeed in any of our three programs, it is expected that they have the following knowledge/experience prior to beginning their studies:

  • Ability to program in Java, Python and C++. Familiarity with programming and ability to learn new languages. Students planning to take courses in computer graphics, computer vision, etc. may not need Java and C++ but need Matlab.
  • Knowledge of advanced math - calculus, linear algebra and advanced statistics.
  • Knowledge of data structures and algorithms, databases, and operating systems.


Regular admission is the preferred route for this program. To qualify, students must satisfy the admission requirements laid out here as well as the University's admission requirements for a master's program, as stated in SFU Graduate Regulation 1.3.6a

Students who have completed their degrees in Canada

Students must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent in computer science or a related field with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.00/4.33 (B) or the equivalent. Alternatively, a minimum GPA of 3.33/4.33 on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses will also meet the GPA requirements for admission to the program. All graduate work is also considered.

Students who have completed their degrees outside of Canada

Students applying to this program must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent in computer science or a related field. Please see here for minimum equivalent qualifications, academic standing and required credential for students who have completed their degree outside of Canada. The academic requirement is listed by country. 


The language of instruction, examination and communication in our program is English. Students whose primary language is not English must meet SFU's English proficiency requirements as set out in the Graduate General Regulation 1.3.3. Applicants who have completed a degree at a recognized post-secondary institution where the language of instruction and examination is English in a country where English is the primary language are not required to submit proof of English proficiency. Please view the list of accepted countries here.

All other applicants are required to provide proof of English proficiency. For more detailed information on the requirements, please visit the Graduate Studies page on English Language Requirements.


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, use your application materials (your CV, statement of purpose, etc.) to make the case that your professional experience is relevant and should be considered along with your GPA.

The School's graduate admissions committee may also, at its discretion, offer admission to the program to exceptional students whose undergraduate degree is not in computer science or a related field. Such students typically make up for the lack of program-specific education through relevant work experience, course work, or certificates, diplomas, etc.

For more information on qualifying and conditional admission, please view Graduate Admissions Regulations 1.3.8 and 1.3.9.

Please note: Conditional and qualifying admission are offered only in exceptional circumstances. 


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