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Admission requirements for graduate students

The master's and PhD degree programs in computer science have been designed to attract students with a broad range of interests who may have specialized in a variety of disciplines as undergraduate students.

The number of inquiries for graduate studies in the Faculty of Computer Science greatly exceeds the number of places available in the faculty. Thus it is unlikely that an applicant whose academic standing does not place him/her in the top 20 per cent of his/her class at the bachelor's and/or master's level will be considered for acceptance.

Admission requirements

The minimum entry requirements for the master's program are an undergraduate degree in computer science (or related discipline such as engineering or science), with a minimum GPA of B for the MCS by coursework and MACSec and normally a minimum of B+ for the MCS by thesis or report program. Applicants are expected to have a formal background in the following areas of computer science: software engineering, data structures, operating systems, algorithms and computer architecture.

The BCS/MCS and BScCS/MCS accelerated program offers an opportunity for undergraduate students in the BCS honours program to follow a planned streamlined path to the MCS degree program and allow for a faster completion of the MCS program.

The minimum entry requirements for the PhD program are a research-based master's degree in computer science or related area with first-class standing from a recognized university.

Students must have a supervisor at UNB before being accepted into the PhD program. In exceptional circumstances students enrolled in a master's program in computer science may transfer into the PhD program.

Students with a course-based master's degree will need to demonstrate their research potential before being accepted into the PhD program.

English is both the working language and the primary language of instruction and examination at the University of New Brunswick. It is therefore essential that you are able to function effectively in English, both orally and in written form.

All international applicants to the School of Graduate Studies whose mother tongue is not English are required to demonstrate that they have a sufficiently good command of the English language to enable them to participate fully in academic life. This includes international applicants who are landed immigrants or residents in Canada.

Proficiency in English must be demonstrated by one of the means listed in the Requirements for International Applicants of the School of Graduate Studies; this proficiency requirement will not be waived. The School of Graduate Studies will not issue the final "Certificate of Acceptance" until the English proficiency requirement is met.

Applicants for any of the graduate programs in computer science are not required to submit GRE scores. However, if the applicant's academic background is from a non-Canadian university and cannot be adequately assessed (usually due to our lack of familiarity with the university), we may require that the general GRE be written and scores submitted.

Applicants who want to ensure that their application is complete by the deadline, and can be considered for the coming academic year, should submit GRE scores (or contact us in advance to discuss academic background).

Good GRE scores can also strengthen an application and we encourage those who have GRE scores to submit them. We consider the GRE scores together with other documented evidence of academic strengths, such as transcripts and letters of reference, and normally want a minimum score of 600 for the Quantitative Section and a minimum score of 3.5 for the Analytical Writing Section.

GRE test scores must be received by the University of New Brunswick directly from the testing agency.

Admission to the Master's and PhD programs is a competitive process. The above-mentioned minimum entry requirements are necessary but not sufficient. The Graduate Academic Unit (GAU) of Computer Science determines the admissibility of an applicant for a computer science degree program and recommends acceptance to the School of Graduate Studies. This acceptance can be unconditional, conditional (e.g., on completion of the current degree program) or probationary.

Letter of admission

Once accepted, the School of Graduate Studies issues a Letter of Admission to the applicant. Admission to a graduate study program does not imply an offer of financial assistance.

Preferred research areas

The desired research area can be specified on the application form. The Faculty of Computer Science makes every effort to accommodate this request. However, due to overcrowding of popular areas, changing research directions and the occasional non-availability of supervisors, it cannot be guaranteed that all requests can be met.

If work in a particular research area is a condition of studies, the applicant must make arrangements with a faculty member for supervision prior to commencing graduate studies.

Full-time and part-time studies

Graduate studies can be pursued either by full-time or part-time attendance. Because part-time studies normally mean long-term obligations on the part of the student and the university in carrying out research or making available courses, research and supervision resources, respectively, special regulations apply in these cases.

Applicants for a part-time PhD program need to adhere strictly to the regulations set out by the School of Graduate Studies.

Applicants for a part-time master's program need to have arranged for a supervisor and need to submit a study plan prior to admission. The study plan must clearly indicate the time and effort the student will invest in the graduate program. It must also include the expected course program (by course names) and details of the research work to be carried out. A time schedule of the courses to be taken and milestones towards the completion of the research work are also required. The study plan must be approved by the prospective supervisor.

The time limit for part-time master's studies is normally four years but can be approved for a longer period at admission time. The time limit for part-time PhD studies is limited to seven years.

Accepted MCS students usually enter the program at the beginning of the academic year (i.e., September). Students will normally have their course program completed, and be ready for research, by the summer term of the following year. MCS applicants can potentially start at other times of the year if they have a supervisor and are ready to do research. PhD students may start at other times, upon consultation with their supervisor.

Applying for graduate studies in computer science

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible as it can take several months before admission can be considered. Early submission is particularly important if a request for financial assistance is made.

Apply now

International applicants who are applying from outside Canada should apply at least six months in advance.

All graduate applications will be considered by the graduate committee of computer science only after they are complete, and the application fee has been paid. This can be a lengthy process taking several months, and potential graduate students are advised to apply sufficiently in advance of the desired entry date for the graduate program.

A Letter of Admission from the School of Graduate Studies constitutes the sole admission to a graduate program. Admission to a graduate study program does not imply an offer of financial assistance.

Important dates

For September admission (MCS, MCSC. MACSec and PhD)

Dec. 15 Early application deadline for fall intake for MCS, MCSC, MACSec and PhD programs (applications completed by this date will be reviewed for early acceptance)
Jan. 15 Application deadline for fall intake for MCS, MCSC, MACSec and PhD programs
March 31 Decisions are made on all applications completed by Jan. 15


For January admission (MCS and PhD only)

April 30 Applications from students must be complete to be guaranteed to be considered for funding
June 30 Decisions are made for all complete applications received by April 30