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. 

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 program?

Graduates of our program 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 computer science backgrounds.

What is the tuition fee structure for this program?

What is the name of the degree awarded at completion?

The official names of the programs are:

  • Master of Science in Big Data: The name of the degree awarded is "Master of Science". 
  • Master of Cybersecurity: The name of the degree awarded is "Master of Cybersecurity".
  • Master of Visual Computing: The name of the degree awarded is "Master of Visual Computing".

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 this program 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 $15,000 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 see here

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. Instructions on how to submit your transcript is outline in this section on Transcripts on the Graduate Studies website.

Who makes decisions regarding admission to the program?

Admission decisions are made by the 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 our program.

I have ordered my transcripts and they should have arrived at SFU by now. Can you confirm that my transcripts have been received?

Only students who receive an admission offer are required to submit official transcripts to SFU. If you have a degree in progress, your offer of admission letter will confirm if that degree must be awarded before you begin your studies at SFU. If the degree must be completed, do not send your official transcript from that institution until your degree is awarded and appearing on your transcript. To check your admission status including receipt of official transcripts, please log into goSFU and review your To Do List. Once all the documents pertaining to your admission conditions are received in the system, the goSFU system will indicate this and allow you to enroll. 

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. Note that it may take up to 3 weeks for the official scores to be received after you make the request with your test center. While you are waiting for your language test scores to be received in the application portal, you may upload your unofficial results. 

How do I check the status of my application?

To check the status of your application, login at 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 applied to the MSc Thesis program in the School of Computing Science and now want to switch to this program. 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.


If you are unable to find answers here, you can contact us through our ticketing system.