We are no longer accepting applications for the Fall 2019 intake. Applications for the Fall 2020 intake will open in October 2019.


Visual computing encompasses all computer science disciplines which study the acquisition, analysis, manipulation, and creation of 2D or 3D visual content. This includes computer graphics, computer vision, HCI, and visualization, serving numerous applications in design and manufacturing, education, medicine, geographical information systems, robotics, computer games, visual effects (VFX), as well as emerging areas such as AR/VR/MR, autonomous driving, and 3D printing.

Our professional master's program in computer science, visual computing specialization is the first professional graduate program in Canada with a distinct focus on visual computing.

Vancouver’s AR/VR market is estimated to reach $100 billion by 2025, according to Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.


In recent years, the digital media and visual computing sector has gained prominence in British Columbia and beyond. Currently, there are 900 companies in the province in this sector, with over 60 VFX and animation studios in Vancouver alone comprising the world’s largest cluster of domestic and foreign-owned studios.

In 2017, alternative realities (augmented, virtual, and mixed realities) reached a critical mass. In a short time span, Google, Apple, and Sony released major hardware devices and software toolkits that are pushing the boundaries in AR/VR technology. Google's AR/VR division "Daydream" and Apple have been in a hiring spree recently, going after qualified personnel with expertise in computer graphics, computer vision, and HCI. A flourishing of venture investments and start-up companies in autonomous driving, 3D printing, and AR/MR further contribute to a thriving visual computing marketplace.


The School of Computing Science at SFU boasts tremendous strength in visual computing. Currently, more than 12 faculty members conduct research and training in the core and related areas, offering one of the most comprehensive curricula in visual computing.

A prominent computer science ranking website,, which ranks universities and individual researchers based on their publication records in the very top venues in computer science, ranks SFU #12 in the world counting top publications in computer graphics and computer vision (as of January 2018).

The School has a strong track record in training highly qualified personnel in visual computing. Our doctoral graduates in computer graphics, computer vision, HCI, and visualization now hold faculty positions at Waterloo, Western, Calgary, Victoria, Carleton, Boston University, and the University of Florida, just to name a few, while other graduates work with top companies, including Apple, EA, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat.