Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Fola Shade
Computer Science is one of the most popular areas of study in the world and for good reason. Technology is constantly evolving, so there is an ongoing need for creative, educated computer scientists to develop new and better ways of using these systems. Most universities in Canada now offer some form of computer science education. However, it’s not always easy to figure out which schools offer the best programs. Thankfully, Maclean’s annual university rankings covers computer science programs. To help make your decision easier, we’re counting down the top 10 universities for computer science in Canada!
10. Carleton University
Kicking off the list of the best computer science universities in Canada is Carleton University. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Carleton began their School of Computer Science in 1980. Originally, students only had access to a Bachelor of Computer Science degree. However, Carleton now offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. With specializations in Computer Game Development, Computer and Internet Security, Data Science, and many others, Carleton’s School of Computer Science has a lot to offer.
9. University of Ottawa
The University of Ottawa’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science focuses on processing fundamentals and their real world applications. UOttawa merged its computer science and engineering faculties in 1997 and now offers several specializations. Students can take advantage of the Accelerated Stream system, which allows for the completion of an Honours BSc and Master of Computer Science within five years.
8. McMaster University
Much like the University of Ottawa, McMaster’s computer science program is hosted by its Faculty of Engineering. The great thing about this is that students will be exposed not just to programming, but information systems design and database development too. McMaster offers a variety of specializations, including Mechatronics, Software Engineering, and even eHealth. Best of all, McMaster boasts excellent job prospects, as 100 percent of computer science graduates find employment within two years of graduation.
7. Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC’s Simon Fraser University may not be the first school that comes to mind for computer science, but it stands with the best in Canada. SFU is internationally recognized for its research facilities, which have won many awards. The university boasts a large international student population, accounting for 19 percent of the total student body. The computer science program has a unique partnership with China’s Zhejiang University. Undergraduate students can obtain two degrees and learn Mandarin at the same time!
6. University of Alberta
The Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. It’s the oldest, having been founded in 1964 – more than a decade before the first personal computer hit the market. Today, the department offers courses and research opportunities in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer Games, Robotics, and Computer Graphics. The University of Alberta has helped develop some of the fastest computers in the world! The supercomputers used by the U.S. Department of Energy integrate technology developed by a team of University of Alberta computer scientists.
5. McGill University
McGill is widely regarded as one of Canada’s best universities, so it’s no surprise its computer science department is top ranked. McGill’s School of Computer Science ranks second in Canada for research funding and has 34 faculty members, 60 Ph.D. students, and over 100 Masters students. McGill students have their choice of 10 program options in computer science, with the possibility of paid work terms to help gain valuable on-the-job experience.
4. University of Montreal
McGill isn’t the only university in Montreal with a respected computer science department. Université de Montréal is a French language university and member of the U15, a group made up of Canada’s top 15 research universities. Montreal’s Department of Computer Science and Operations Research is tiered and flexible, with four bachelor degree options, multiple postgraduate degree options, and a large faculty.
3. University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is one of the best schools in the world for computer science. With over 70 courses available and a faculty made up of 80+ industry experts, UW’s computer science department sets students up for success. Co-op education is a major focus at Waterloo, allowing students to graduate with up to 2 years of paid work experience. Better yet, UW is located in the heart of Canada’s tech sector, so students have access to hundreds of local companies in need of computer scientists.
For more information, be sure to read our University of Waterloo profile!
2. University of British Columbia
UBC is one of Canada’s most beautiful campuses and happens to have one of the oldest (and greatest) computer science departments in the country. Founded in 1968, UBC’s department of computer science is one of Canada’s leading research institutions. Undergraduates have the choice of six different Major programs, including a unique Combined Major in Business and Computer Science. With a large and diverse student body, incredible location, and excellent reputation, it doesn’t get much better than UBC for studying computer science.
1. University of Toronto
Topping the list of the best universities for computer science in Canada is the University of Toronto. Ranked among the top 25 universities in the world for computer science, U of T has been at the forefront of the field for over 50 years. U of T has seen an increase in international student enrolment in recent years. By 2021, it’s predicted that foreign students will make up 20 percent of the university’s student body!
Why Study Masters in Computer Science in Canada?
- Lower tuition fees and immigration friendly policies make Canada one of the perfect study destinations for pursuing MS in computer science.
- In global peace index Canada ranks amongst the safest countries in the world.
- Increasing job scope in various profiles of computer science industry makes pursuing MS in computer science in Canada a lucrative program. As per JobBank Canada, the rise in number of employees requried is discussed below, the data applies for the years 2017-2026
- New job openings of 52,300 is expected for web programmers
- 20,700 new job openings are expected for software engineer
- 10,100 new job opening are expected for computer engineers
Such stats and data suggests that pursuing a MS in computer science in Canada will not disappoint an international applicant.
Masters in Computer Science in Canada: Top Universities
For students seeking admission to Masters in Computer Science program, Canada is a favoured destination. 24 universities in Canada rank among the top 600 universities in the world that offer a renowned degree in Computer Science. The following table shows the top 10 Canadian universities that offer Computer Science, along with the number of international students enrolled and the cost of pursuing the program in Canada.
|University Name||Ranking (THE)||Program Fees (USD)||Percentage of International Students|
|University of Toronto||#23||79,900||21%|
|University of Waterloo||#40||21,126||20%|
|University of British Columbia||#43||13,428||30%|
|University of Alberta||#101-125||14,5550||26%|
|University of Ottawa||#176-200||41,278||19%|
|Simon Fraser University||#201-250||23,760||30%|
The strong presence of international students in these universities suggests that the universities not only make it to the top ranking list but also are popular among international students.
Key Features of MS in Computer Science in Canada
Masters in Computer Science ranks among the top 3 in Canada for its wide range of specializations, lower tuition and better job opportunities. The following section elaborates more upon its features:
- Top 10 popularly opted specializations in Masters in Computer Science are offered in Canada. They are- Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Data Analytics, Robotics, Human-Computer Interaction, etc. Students interested in the data science field can also opt for Masters in Data Science in Canada.
- There are 3 types of Masters of Computer Sciences offered in Canada that can be chosen by students according to their career interests:
- MACS: Master of Applied Computer Sciences, a 16-month research-based course which requires a thesis submission at the end of the course.
- M.Eng: Master of Computer Science and Engineering, is a 16-month professional graduate course.
- MSc: Master of Computer Science, is a 2-year course which requires independent research work from the applicant.
- Computer Science postgraduates are offered a 3 years work extension period through Postgraduate Work Permit Programme (PGWPP) post their study in Canada.
- Around 7 university-specific scholarships and various externally funded scholarships are offered to international Computer Science postgraduates.
Masters in Computer Science in Canada: Admissions
Admissions in Canada for international students for masters degree usually take place in 3 sessions, that is, Fall, Winter and Summer. The duration of a full-time Masters course varies from 16 months to 2 years, which includes coursework of 4 graduate courses.
How to Apply for MS in Computer Science in Canada: Prospective MS Computer Science applicants can apply via the official website of the respective university in Canada. For some universities applicants can also apply through provincial common application portals, like ApplyAlberta, OUAC, etc.
Masters in Computer Science in Canada: Eligibility
The eligibility criteria for the top 10 universities in Canada are more or less common. While the application requirements vary from university to university. To be eligible to pursue a Masters in Computer Science from Canada, international applicants must fulfil the following criteria:
- International applicants must have 16 years of education. The break up being 10+2+4, proof of which is mandatory.
- A bachelor’s in computer science from Canada or it’s equivalent from any other country, undergraduates of other disciplines related to computer science are also eligible to apply
- GPA of 3.25 or above on a 4.0 point scale or a CGPA of 7 to 8 on a scale of 10 is required.* The percentile equivalent of the same is 80-85%.
- Applicant must also have taken the GRE and scores must not be older than 2 years.
- Admission eligibility also depends upon strong programming skills of the applicant.
*Note: Scores may vary in some cases, depending upon the country of origin of the applicant.
The requried documents when international applicants are making applications with universities offering MS in computer science in Canada are listed below. Usually, documents are requested post-admission offer letter is released. List of documents that must be submitted along with the application are:
- Transcripts of high school and college
- Marksheets and degrees along with the date of conferral
- Statement of Purpose (SOP) or a personal essay of 2 pages, that talks about the career goals, areas of interest for research and the applicant’s skills and qualifications.
- 2-3 letters of recommendation are mandatory for submission. At least 2 academic recommendations affirming the applicant’s ability to conduct independent research.
- Standardized Test Score of GRE must be officially sent to the respective university. It is recommended for international students willing to pursue a Masters or PhD from any Canadian University. The average score required for admission consideration is 260 out of 340.
- Proof of English Language Proficiency: Tests required to study in Canada by international students are mentioned in the table below. These tests are valid for 2 years from the test date:
The above-mentioned scores are mere approximations, the applicants must check the admission and score requirements before proceeding with the application.
*Note: Some universities also accept CAE/CPE or CanTest/CAEL along with other tests or in lieu of the above-mentioned tests.
Admission Decisions at Canadian Univerisities: Admission decisions are usually released within 40 days of application submission from Canadian universities for admission to Masters in Computer Science program. Application evaluations are holistic, this is the reason why admission offers are released within this timeframe.
Masters in Computer Science without GRE in Canada
A total of 16 universities offer a masters degree in Computer Science in Canada without demanding GRE scores as part of the admission requirements.
- There are no additional conditions to suffice the non-requirement of GRE.
- Canadian Universities demand GRE from international students as their educational background is from outside Canada.
- Some universities do not mention minimum GRE scores but require them for a holistic admission application evaluation.
Following is a list of those universities which do not require GRE, to grant admissions to international students in MS in Computer Science in Canada:
What is the Cost of Studying Masters in Computer Science in Canada?
The annual cost of studying a MS in Computer Science in Canada is 47,779 USD for an M.Eng/MSc degree which is comparatively cheaper to MS in Computer Science in USA (average 55,000 USD). Students willing to pursue MACS will have to pay around 61,133 USD due to a higher tuition fee requirement since it is a professional course.