Frequently Asked Questions

The best resource of information on our graduate program is online here. However, if you cannot find the answer to your question, or need specific material and are not able to find it online, please contact us:

My undergraduate degree isn't in Engineering. Can I still apply?

No, in order to apply for the MASc or MEng, you must have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Engineering Science or a related area.

In order to apply for the Ph.D., you must have a Master's degree (or nearing completion) in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, computer science or a related field.

Can my employer write a reference?

Yes. The main thing is that your references are good and are coming from a credible source. Although we would prefer at least one academic reference, references from well known companies or any source that shed light on your personality are encouraged.

Do you require GRE, TOEFL, and/or IELTS?

The GRE is not required.

International applicants whose primary language is not English will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language. to check your country, please visit here, under International Admission Requirements.

For more information please see:

What are the minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores?

The most update-to-date requirements can be found here.

What if I have a low TOEFL, and/or IELTS score?

It is highly recommended that you achieve the minimum score BEFORE applying as you cannot complete your online application without the minimum score.

When should I apply and how long does it take to get an answer?

There are three application cycles every year:

Starting Semester Application period open / Deadline School Decision Deadline
Spring (January) May 1 - June 14 October 1*
Summer (May) August 1 - September 15 February 1*
Fall (September) October 16 - January 15 June 1*

*Please note of the following conditions:

1.    Decision deadline date can be indefinite depending on the volume of applications received. The deadline will move to the nearest work day if it falls on a statutory holiday or weekend. 

2.    DUE TO VOLUME OF APPLICATIONS RECEIVED, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONFIRM RECEIPT OF DOCUMENTS. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documents are sent in to complete their application. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

If my application is unsuccessful, can it be reconsidered at a later date?

Applications are only considered for the semester to which they apply, and will not be carried over.  If your application is unsuccessful and you wish to reapply, you will have to commence a new application and repay the application fee.

Can I pay the application fee after I am admitted or after my arrival at SFU?


I have not taken the TOEFL/IELTS yet. How should I fill out the appropriate fields in the application form?

Once you have taken the test, please contact with your score information and your application information in order to retrieve your scores.

Do you have a part-time program?

We do not have any part-time programs. However, our MEng program can be taken part-time by taking less than 6 course units a term. If you are an international student, please ensure you check all your study permit/visa requirements before studying park time.

The MASc, on the other hand, is a full-time program in which primary emphasis is on the thesis, rather than course work. It is more exploratory than the MEng, and hence the areas of study cover a greater range.

How long does it usually take to get a MEng, MASc and/or PhD?

For students starting their program Fall 2016 or later:

The maximum amount of time to finish the MEng program is 9 terms from the date of first enrollment in the program.

The maximum amount of time to finish the MASc program is 9 terms from the date of first enrollment in the program.

The maximum amount of time to finish the PhD program is 18 terms from the date of first enrollment in the program.

How many courses does a MEng, MASc and/or Ph.D. degree require?

Details can be found in the SFU Calendar.

What are the areas of specialty in the School?

The strength of our research programs lie mainly in these areas:

  1. Biomedical Engineering
  2. Communications
  3. Microelectronics
  4. Systems and Robotics

Please have a look at our Research page for our programs of research.

Look here for a summary of faculty and their research interests.

How much is tuition?

Specific tuition charges can be found here. Please note that the fees are subject to change each term.

What is the typical cost of being a graduate student at SFU?

The typical costs of being a graduate student at SFU can comprise many things (from tuition, rent, books, etc.).  A detailed breakdown of estimated costs is available here.

However, the Dean of Graduate Studies suggests that you budget approximately $25,000 per year in costs in order to be a graduate student at SFU.

Are there Scholarships?

Applicants should review our Dean of Graduate Studies website for more information about Entrance Scholarships.  Some are by nomination only and others can be applied for by current students or applicants, but the majority are competition-based and the School can only nominate 1-2 students.  It is highly encouraged to Applicants that THEY NOT budget for the successful receipt of these scholarships.

For Canadian Students an important one to apply is the NSERC scholarship. Information about the NSERC scholarship with program details and deadlines can be found at:

International Students who are not Canadian citizens and who require financial assistance to attend SFU must seek such assistance in their country of origin before arrival in Canada.

Many of the outside awards offered to students at SFU (for instance, NSERC) are restricted to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

How does the School provide support to students?

You should discuss funding with a potential senior supervisor before commencing your application so you have a realistic idea of your potential support and costs. Please also refer to the Graduate Student Funding Policy here.