Queen's School of Computing
This overview is not intended to provide complete information about the Master's program. For more detailed program information, click here.

There are three patterns within the Master's program in the School of Computing: research-based, project-based and course-based. The majority of students enrol in the research-based option, which is typically completed in less than two years and is fully funded (i.e., students receive financial support and avoid accruing student debt). Project-based and course-based patterns are also available, which are typically completed in less time and are not funded.

Research-Based Master's

To complete a research-based Master's, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • complete four graduate-level courses with minimum of second class standing (i.e., receive a grade of B- or better in all of them);
  • conduct research under close supervision by a professor (i.e., supervisor) and document the results in a thesis; and,
  • answer questions about the thesis from an examining committee of professors in a defence.

The following timeline is recommended for research-based graduate students:

Month Milestone
1-4 Take three graduate courses
4-6 A proposal of some sort?
5-8 Take one graduate course
5-20 Conduct research and write thesis
20-21 Submit thesis, schedule and prepare for defence
21-24 Defend and make final revisions before program completion

Although "conducting research", "writing a thesis" and "defending" may sound intimidating, graduate students receive guidance and support from their supervisors throughout the process. Moreover, there is no expectation that a Master's student's research will result in a novel, fully-functioning and significant contribution to the field (i.e., a PhD). Instead, the goal of a Master's thesis is to demonstrate that a Master's student could produce that level of research in a PhD program following this experience.

A research-based Master's student may receive funding from a number of sources:

  • a scholarship (e.g., NSERC, OGS);
  • employment by the student's supervisor as a Graduate Research Assistant; and,
  • possible employment as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate courses offered in the School of Computing.
Funding is guaranteed for 4 to 6 terms depending on your research area. This level of funding will not increase your personal wealth, but it will cover your expenses during your studies and help you avoid accumulating student debt.

Project-Based Master's

To complete a project-based Master's, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • complete seven graduate-level courses;
  • consult with your supervisor to select a project, implement it and write a report;
  • submit the report to a committee of three examiners within the School (one of which is your supervisor) for evaluation.

The following timeline is recommended for project-based graduate students:

Month Milestone
1-4 Take four graduate courses
4-6 Consult with supervisor and plan project
5-8 Take three graduate courses
9-12 Complete project and written report, submit written report for evaluation and make final revisions before program completion

Course-Based Master's

To complete a course-based Master's, a student must complete eight graduate-level courses, the selection of which must be approved by the School. The following timeline is recommended for course-based graduate students:

Month Milestone
0-1 Determine course plan and submit to the School for approval
1-4 Take four graduate courses
5-8 Take four graduate courses