Questions for your Supervisor

The following is a list of talking points for prospective graduate students to discuss with their supervisors after receiving an offer of admission to the graduate program but before accepting this offer.  


  1. Where are your former students now?  What are their career trajectories? What did they start out doing after completing their degree?
  2. Are opportunities available that are not obvious from the department website? E.g., do you know of specific opportunities through the SFU Co-op Program or Mitacs Internship Program that I should consider? 
  3. Should I take any graduate courses or skills workshops outside the department? 
  4. If I wish to participate in the SFU Co-op Program or an off-campus internship, will you be supportive of this choice? Are you aware of any restrictions? At what point in my program should I do an internship/co-op term? As an international student, which steps are required to comply with immigration law while working off campus?   (Note: International students interested in internships and/or co-ops should consult the SFU Co-op Office soon after arrival, as visas for off-campus work can take at least 9 weeks to secure.  Co-op work terms are normally not allowed in the last semester of a degree program.  Students should be aware that teaching or research assistantships are typically unavailable during paid internships.)
  5. What level of communication is required to be successful in the program? Which courses or workshops are available to hone my English language and academic writing skills?
  6. What level of computing proficiency is required to be successful in the program?  Which courses or workshops are available to hone my computing skills?
  7. When is my expected term of completion?

M.Sc. students

  1. Am I expected to complete 24 or 30 credit hours of course work given my particular academic background?
  2. How many courses am I expected to take in each of the terms of the program?
  3. Am I expected to take all the "core" courses in the M.Sc. program?  Note: The last core course, STAT 852, is typically taken in students' second fall term. 
  4. If I complete all my required course credits but wish to take additional courses before engaging in and completing the research project, will you support this choice? And will financial support (via TA or RA work) be available to me during this time?