The research pattern normally requires the course CISC 897 and four one-term graduate courses together with a thesis. Recently most students have tended to follow this pattern and it is a trend the School encourages.
Students normally take three courses in the Fall term and one in the Winter term, plus CISC 897. Courses are chosen by students in consultation with their supervisor and/or the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
Please note that all courses prescribed for a student's approved program of study are designated as primary. Courses additional to the student's approved program are designated as secondary. Failure to attain a minimum of second class standing (B-) in any of the primary courses may result in the student being required to withdraw.
The roles of the master's thesis are to demonstrate that the student is able to perform closely supervised research and will be able to carry out independent scholarly research in subsequent PhD studies.
The MSc thesis is typically constrained to a specific and well-defined scientific and/or technical problem that can be solved within the limited timeframe of the MSc program, within 2 calendar years. Theses are encouraged to be completed at the end of twelve months of graduate study, but students often choose to do more than the minimal work required for a satisfactory thesis, and consequently may take longer to finish.
The subject matter of the master's thesis is typically defined jointly by the student and supervisor, considering the field of interest, career goals, skills and abilities of the student and research needs and available funding of the supervisor. The amount of flexibility allowed in pursuing a particular topic will vary according to the supervisor's needs and interests.
The MSc thesis is not required to contain novel research or new scientific contribution. However, if the student wishes to proceed to PhD studies, then it is highly desirable that the master's thesis contains significant elements of research and aspects of the research are published in a peer-reviewed journal or refereed conference.
Theses are expected to be completed by the end of the third or fourth term. Theses are defended before an examining committee consisting of three members of the School, an external (to the School) examiner and an internal Chair.
The Research MSc program is fully funded. The student will work as a Graduate Research Assistant, typically performing research activities that are closely related to the subject matter of the master's thesis. In addition, the student may also work as a Teaching Assistant in a course offered in the School of Computing.