Please note:

To view the current Academic Calendar, go to

School of Computing Science | Faculty of Applied Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2023

Computing Science

Master of Science

The master of science (MSc) in computing science is a research-intensive program that has a primary emphasis on the MSc thesis. The program provides an environment for education in theoretical and applied computer science. Through training in formal coursework and hands-on research in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer systems and networks, computer graphics, and data mining, graduates will be capable of working with integrity to design, improve, and apply cutting-edge computational techniques to support a career in academia, industry or the public sector.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar and have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in computing science or a related field. Direct admission is only permitted into the thesis option.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work and the requirements from either a thesis, project or course option for a minimum of 30 units.

Course work must be selected in consultation with the supervisor or graduate program chair.

Students must complete

five graduate courses in Computing Science for a minimum of 15 units

and requirements from one of the options below

Thesis Option

students must complete

CMPT 700 - Technical Writing and Research Communication (3)

Covers technical writing and communication skills for research in computing science. Introduces students to scholarly publication procedures, research collaboration norms, ethics and intellectual property issues, as well as broadly useful tools for writing about and presenting research. Includes research seminar attendance and practicing constructive critique and feedback for ongoing research. The objective is to train well-rounded graduate students, to advance their ability to communicate and review scientific research, to introduce broadly used research software tools, and to become knowledgeable about issues surrounding computing science research.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Manolis Savva
Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
SWH 10061, Burnaby

and a thesis

CMPT 898 - MSc Thesis (18)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD

Project Option

and three additional graduate courses in Computing Science for a minimum of nine units

and a project

CMPT 897 - MSc Project (10)

Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD

Course Option

and five additional graduate courses in Computing Science for a minimum of 15 units

and portfolio

CMPT 896 - MSc Course Option Portfolio (0)

Required for students enrolled in the MSc course option. Students may only enroll for this course during the term in which he/she enrolls for his/her 10th course. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 TBD

Accelerated Master's

SFU students accepted in the accelerated master’s within the School of Computing Science may apply a maximum of nine graduate course units, taken while completing the bachelor’s degree, towards the upper division electives of the bachelor’s program and the requirements of the master’s degree. These courses need to be selected in consultation with the supervisor. For more information go to:

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements in five terms.

Other Information

Course Work

Students are required to complete breadth requirements selected from five different areas. This is to be done in consultation with the supervisor or graduate program chair if the supervisor has not been appointed yet. For more information on breadth requirements and restrictions, see program website.

Supervisory Committee

A supervisory committee consists of the student's supervisor, at least one other computing science faculty member, and others (typically faculty) as appropriate. The choice of supervisor should be made by mutual consent of the graduate student and faculty member based on commonality of research interests. The student and supervisor should consult on the remainder of the committee members.

Transfer from MSc to PhD Program

As per GGR 1.3.7b, students who are enrolled in the MSc program may apply to transfer to the doctor of philosophy (PhD) program after two terms and normally before the seventh term. Students must have a CGPA of 3.5 or above, completed 75% of the required master's course work and evidence must be provided that the student is capable of undertaking substantial original research.

Thesis Option

Students in the thesis option will demonstrate depth of knowledge in their research area through a thesis defence based on their independent work. Students should consult with their supervisory committee members, and formulate and submit a written thesis proposal for approval no later than the third term. Thesis students enroll in CMPT 898 during the terms in which they are conducting thesis research.

Under special circumstances, students in the thesis option, with approval of the graduate program chair, may transfer to the course or project option.

Project Option

Students in the project option will choose an area of specialization and submit a project report. Project topics may include a comprehensive survey of the literature of some computing science related research areas; implementation and evaluation of existing techniques/algorithms; development of interesting software/hardware applications. Project students enroll in CMPT 897 during the terms in which they are conducting project work. The project is examined as a thesis and will need to be submitted to the library as per Graduate General Regulation 1.10.4.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.