best universities for data science in canada

Masters in Data Science in Canada is a 10-16 month long course with an average tuition fee of around 17,000 USD. Available as mainstream and a specialization, MS in data science is offered as a specialization of Masters in Computer Science, Big Data, or Mathematics. Data Science is a multidisciplinary field including data cleansing, preparation, and analysis. Studying data science allows the candidate to find actionable insights from large sets of structured and raw data. 

Why Data Science from Canada?

  • Average salary for an entry-level data scientist is around 60,000 USD annually.
  • The total number of data scientists has doubled over the past four years and there is still a shortage of around 19,000 professionals according to Canada Big Data Consortium.
  • A booming opportunity of around 4 million jobs involving data science in the upcoming 5 years.
  • The demand for data scientists is 50% higher than that of software engineers.

Top Universities offering Masters in Data Science in Canada

International students who wish to study Masters in Data Science in Canada can apply for the following top universities:

UniversityProgramAnnual Tuition Fees (USD)
University of British ColumbiaMasters in Data Science33,400
Ryerson UniversityMasters in Data Science17,400
University of TorontoMasters of Science in Allied Computing- Data Science27,000
Carleton UniversityMasters in Computer Science- Data Science (collaborative masters)MSDAI- 3,400 MMath- 10,650
University of Waterloo*MDSAI** and MMath in Data Science11,400-16,220
HEC MontrealMS Data Science and Business Analytics20,353-20,730

* There are two more specializations available with the University of Waterloo in MMath-Statistics, Data Science and MMath-CS, Data Science. However, admissions to these programs will be discontinued as of winter 2020.

**Masters in data science and artificial intelligence

Courses at Data Science & Analytics Colleges in Canada

When planning to study masters in data science, you can additionally consider pursuing related degrees. Some of the related degrees for students looking for masters in data science in Canada are as follows:

  1. MS Computing and Data Analytics: Saint Mary’s University
  2. MS Big Data Analytics: Trent University
  3. Masters in Computer Science (Big Data Specialization): SFU (Simon Fraser University)
  4. Masters in Data Analytics: University of New Brunswick, UWO,and Acadia University. 

Some universities like University of CalgarySheridan CollegeMcGill University and others offer various different programs in data science. For details about the data science courses in Canada, click here.

Masters in Data Science in Canada: Course Details

The course duration for masters in data science in Canada is mostly around 1 to 1.5 years. Some universities offer 8 months of on-campus study followed by an 8-months internship. The data science courses in Canada may also be available along with data analysis as a single program.

Data Science vs Data Analytics

Often data science and data analytics are used interchangeably. However, the two programs vary from each other. With a focus on processing and performing statistical analysis on pre-set data, data analysis helps in communication and visualization of data. Given below is a table addressing other differences between the programs:

Basis of DifferenceData ScienceData Analysis
Major FieldsMachine learning, AI, search engine engineering, corporate analyticsGaming, healthcare, travel, industries with immediate data needs.
GoalHelps in finding the right questionsHelps in finding actionable data

Data Science Vs Big Data

When deciding on which related program to pursue international student may face a confusion with his/her choice. Given below is a basic difference in the two fields to help you make a better decision

Basis of DifferenceData ScienceBig Data
Major FieldsMachine learning, AI, search engine engineering, corporate analyticsCustomer, compliance, financial analysis; data communication and retail
GoalHelps in data cleansing, preparation and analysisUsed to analyze insights for leading to better decisions and strategic business moves. 


Exploring the data, followed by its schematic preparation. A model or an approach type is selected for finding insights from the data. Around the idea, a model is built and the insights are communicated in a comprehensible manner. The following diagram represents the processes involved in data science and interpretation. Processes_involved_in_data_science

Figure: Processes involved in data science

Data Scientist Qualifications

For any student who wishes to study a data science course, it is important to note that they must possess the following skills. These help in excelling as a data scientist:

  • Mathematics and statistics: Required good grounding in Bayesian statistics, probability, and hypothesis testing.
  • Artificial intelligence: Machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision along with modern computational approach.
  • Distributed processing: Knowledge of splitting the large data and processing tasks available to several machines.
  • Domain knowledge: Understanding and knowledge of specific domains and applications.
  • Formulating problems: Data science involves proposing and testing hypotheses, which requires finding commonalities across what appears to be a different issue.
  • Data presentation and visualization: Ability to communicate findings from the data in a readily comprehensible and succinct way.

Admission Process for Masters in Data Science in Canada

The admission process for masters in data science in Canada varies from university to university. The admissions are, however, offered mostly for winter, summer, and fall sessions. International applicants are required to have completed 16 years of education for applying for a master’s in data science in Canada.Looking for Admissions here? or need Help?Register Now

Where to Apply

International applicants can apply through the official websites of the universities offering the program.

Eligibility Criteria for MS in Data Science in Canada

  • Four years of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer sciences, business analytics, economics, statistics or related subjects.
  • Applicants must have an average GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.33. This is equivalent to 73-76% or a B on the grade scale for Indian Students.
  • Other university-specific admission requirements are tabulated below:
UniversityMinimum Eligibility
University of British ColumbiaProfessional experience (optional but desirable), 65% or 8 on a 10 point scale in UG degree.
University of Toronto77-79% or B+ grade in bachelor’s
Carleton UniversityGRE/GMAT score 
Ryerson UniversityB grade or a score of 73-76%
University of WaterlooAverage of 78% or B+ grade, 1 year of senior-level experience in statistics or CS. 
HEC MontrealGMAT- 600, GRE, TAGE MAGE- 300
French language proficiency: TEF/TCF- B2 to C1 level

Masters in Data Science in Canada Admission Requirements

For admission in masters programs in Canada applicants are required to provide the following documents:

  1. Transcripts: Applicants are required to submit official transcripts of the previous education. Some institutes may request certified copies of the documents. International applicants must provide certified English/French language translations for transcripts that are not in the English language.
  2. Proof of Language Proficiency: Proof for English language proficiency must be submitted by international students belonging to non-native English speaking countries. Applicants can submit test scores from TOEFL, IELTS and other standardized English language test scores. The minimum test score requirements for the universities are as follows:
UniversityTOEFL iBT (minimum score)IELTS (minimum score)
University of British Columbia100 7.0 (band score- 6.5)
University of Toronto937 (band score- 6.5)
Carleton University100 7 (band score- 6.5)
Ryerson University937
University of Waterloo1007.5 (band score-7)
HEC Montreal95-1147-8

Note: The English language proficiency tests accepted at different universities may vary. Applicants must ensure that the test taken is accepted at the selected university.

  1. Letter of Reference: LORs may be required for admissions in some universities. Applicants are required to submit around 2-3 LORs in most universities for masters in data science.
  2. Statement of Purpose/Statement of Intent: Some universities may ask applicants to submit a statement of purpose along with the applications.
  3. Resume/CV: Applicants may be asked to submit a resume or CV with a detailed academic and work experience along with the application.

Admission Decisions for Masters in Data Science Admissions 

Post-application deadlines, the admission decisions are released within a time frame of 6-8 weeks. The applicants for masters in data science in Canada are reviewed on overall academic performance, professional references, and related information available in the CV. The decisions may be delayed in certain cases.

Cost for Studying Masters in Data Science in Canada

For an international applicant planning to study in Canada, the costs for studying can be widely distributed into three categories. These are pre-arrival costs, cost of study, and cost of living. The cost of studying or the tuition fee MS in Data Science in Canada varies from 11,600 USD to 33,000 USD.

Pre-arrival Costs

Given below is a table indicating the one-time major costs involved for an international student planning to study abroad.

Type of ExpenseCost (USD)
Program Application Fees76-136*
Visa Application Fees235**
Health Insurance10,000
IELTS Fees185-190
TOEFL Fees160-250

*Depends on the university

**150 USD for a Canadian Study Permit and 85 USD is Biometric fees.

Tuition Fees of Data Science for Canadian Universities

The annual tuition for pursuing masters in data science in Canada ranges between 10,000 USD to 35,000 USD. This will cost an Indian student around 7,00,000 to 23,00,000 INR. Given below is a graphical image comparing the tuitions of the popular universities offering masters in data science in Canada:Tuition fees for MS Data science in Canada (USD)

Other Expenses for Studying in Canada

International students in Canada spend a large amount while studying on expenses other than tuition. The expenses include the cost of living, books & material, transportation, etc. The table given below suggests an average of minimum expenses required for studying in that specific university:

UniversityCost of Living (USD/year)Books and Materials (USD/year)
University of British Columbia12,700 1,058
University of Toronto6,050-11,350756
Carleton University6,050-10,100910
Ryerson University6,730-14,300831-7,487
University of Waterloo1,750-3,205756-910
HEC Montreal4968264

Food and beverages cost an international student around 3000-4000 USD in and around all the above-mentioned universities.

Masters in Data Science in Canada with Scholarships

There are various scholarships available for international students pursuing masters in Canada. Some of the popular scholarships available to students pursuing MS in Data Science are as follows:

ScholarshipAmount Offered (USD)University
Master of Data Science International Scholarship18,874 /yearUniversity of British Columbia
School of Graduate Studies University-wide awards5293.75/semesterUniversity of Toronto
Ontario Graduate Scholarship3781/semesterCarleton University
Ontario Graduate Scholarship3781/semesterRyerson University
Ontario Graduate Scholarship3781/semesterUniversity of Waterloo
Entrance ScholarshipVariesHEC Montreal

Scholarship Details

Masters in Data Science International Scholarship: University of British Columbia offers an entrance scholarship to its international student enrolling in the master’s program in data science. An amount up to 18,874 USD is offered annually on merit-basis.

The School of Graduate Studies University-Wide Awards: Offered to international graduate students with financial need and academic excellence. The scholarship application is available during winter and the results for the same are announced by July. Applicants must fill in a School of Graduate Studies financial need assessment form for applying.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship: Offered to masters and doctorate international students pursuing an education in Ontario province. Ontario Graduate Scholarship offers an amount of 1,325 USD per year.

Entrance Scholarship: Differential Tuition Fees Exemption is an entrance scholarship offered to newly admitted international applicants for MS programs. The scholarship eligibility and amount is subject to differential tuition of MS programs.

Job Prospects Post-Graduation in Data Science in Canada

Data science is currently one of the explosively growing job sectors in the world. Some of the leading data science careers and median salaries for a postgraduate in data science course in Canada are as follows:

Job ProspectMedian Salary (USD/year)Job ProspectMedian Salary (USD/year)
Business Analyst78,574Sr. Data Scientist120,000
Business Intelligence Analyst77638Data Architect81,000
Business Intelligence Developer81945Application Architect110,000
Data Engineer120,000Machine Learning Engineer140,000
Data Scientist107,500Machine learning scientist162,625
Data Analyst60,416Data Mining Engineer80,673

Data Science Course in Canada vs USA

The number of universities offering international students with a data science course is more in the USA in comparison with Canada. Factors to consider for an applicant looking for higher education in data science abroad are as follows:

  • School Selection: the USA has a higher number of universities offering data science courses in comparison with Canada. Some of the popular colleges/universities offering data science in the USA are as follows:
  • Cost Efficiency: The overall cost of studying in the USA is extremely high in comparison with Canada. This makes Canada a better study destination.
  • Job opportunities: With more job opportunities, the USA also has a higher number of applicants looking for these jobs. However, Canada does have a comparatively lesser number of job opportunities but also has lesser candidates.
  • Work permit hassle: Getting a Canadian work permit is easier than H1B (work permit for the USA). This plays a major role for applicants who wish to stay abroad post-study.
  • Healthcare: Canada offers free healthcare to all individuals legally residing in the country. However, health insurance covers in the USA are expensive and mandatory for studying and working in the country..
  • Immigrant friendly: Canada trumps over the USA in this category with its immigrant-friendly laws and welcoming atmosphere.

Masters in Data Science from Canada is a lucrative program of study for graduates of computer science or similar programs. With an abundance of job prospects in the field, a master’s degree in Data Science will not just help you secure high-paying jobs, but also give you an extensive understanding of how various big companies like Amazon and Netflix collect and use data to establish a prominent market.

The possible benefits of a Data Science degree from Canada are manyfold and immense. It is not just businesses that prosper with the application of Data Science, but the customers too. The customers benefit by seeing more relevant content, while businesses prosper by targeting the appropriate audience. As a matter of fact, the proper application of Data Science is capable of uplifting economies and countries alike.

It goes without saying that a Masters’s (MS) degree from a technologically advanced and educationally adept country like Canada is a good idea for any prospective students planning higher studies from abroad. This field of study is a trending subject and the demand for experts in it is only going up- not just in Canada, but across the world.