M.Sc. in Computer Science

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The Department of Computer Science offers a program leading to the Master of Science (MSc) degree. Graduate research topics may be conducted in the broad areas of computational logic and algebra, data mining, evolutionary computation, artificial intelligence, algorithms, parallelism, and combinatorics.

Program Requirements

The Masters programme is a thesis based MSc that consists of one year of course work, followed by preparation of a thesis. No course based MSc program is offered. Every MSc candidate must prepare and defend a thesis, which demonstrates a capacity for independent work of high scientific calibre. A supervisory graduate committee will guide the student in all aspects of her or his graduate programme. Students normally take four half-credit courses in the first year. Courses are selected in consultation with their assigned supervisor.
Candidates with an Honours degree in computer science or who have completed prescribed qualifying courses, require a minimum of one year of residency and satisfactory completion of the programme, which must include the masters thesis COSC 5F90, and four 5(alpha)00 or above level half credits, or three such half credits and one COSC 4(alpha)00 or above level half credit. All candidates are required to present seminars on their background research and thesis topics as part of the COSC 5F90 course, and attend all the seminars of fellow graduate students and departmental seminars.

With the approval of the graduate committee, graduate students can take one selected year 4 undergraduate course for credit. The qualifying year 4 courses are listed in the undergraduate calendar.

Part-time studies are also available. Please see the Graduate Studies website for more information.

Faculty Research Interests

(Append "@brocku.ca" to complete the email addresses.)

Participating external faculty:

  • Dr. Frank Fueten (Dept of Earth Sciences, ffueten): Computer applications in geology, neural networks, computer vision.
  • Dr. Omar Kihel (Dept of Mathematics, okihel): Coding theory, cryptography.
  • Dr. Kenneth J. Klassen (Dept of Finance,Operations and IS, kklassen): Simulation optimization, simulation, business applications.
  • Dr. Thomas Wolf (Dept of Mathematics, twolf): Computer Algebra, Computer go/weiqi/baduk.

Admission Requirements

Applications will be considered from candidates who have met the following minimum admission requirements. Possession of these minimum requirements does not, however, guarantee admission.

  • Applicants with a four-year Honours degree in Computer Science with a minimum of high B (75) average.
  • Applicants with a three- or four-year BSc degree in computer science with a minimum of high B (75) average. Candidates may be required to take qualifying courses to prepare them for their graduate research.
  • In some circumstances, applicants with a BSc degree in a related discipline (eg. mathematics, computer engineering) who have met the minimum high B (75) average, and have a demonstrated proficiency in fundamental computer science topics (see list below), may be considered. Qualifying courses may be required. Such applicants may consider submitting a result from the Graduate Record Examination subject test in computer science to strengthen their application.
  • Overseas applicants must take an English language competency examination (e.g. TOEFL).

Further information, including application procedures, can be found at the Graduate Studies Office.

The following list of background knowledge in computer science and mathematics is expected of all applicants:

  • Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Statistics and/or Probability
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Computer Organization
  • Operating systems
  • File Structures and Data Management
  • Programming languages
  • Data Structures
  • Software engineering
  • Formal languages and automata
  • at least 4 upper-level half-courses in topics in computer science

After successful admission, candidates lacking sufficient background in the area of the intended Masters degree may be required to complete additional preparatory courses in consultation with their supervisor, before commencing with their regular graduate courses.

Application procedure

New students usually begin their studies in the Fall (September) semester. We will start reviewing applications after January 15 for the Fall Semester. International applicants are recommended to begin the application process at least six months in advance, in order to obtain the necessary visa documents. Please see the Graduate Studies website for detailed information about the application process. All applications are submitted to, and processed by, the Graduate Studies office.

Identification of Potential Supervisors, and Statement of Research Interests

To facilitate our review process, this form should be completed and included with the application. It identifies up to two faculty members who could be potential supervisors. Applicants should contact faculty members, in order to discuss shared research interests and whether the faculty member is interested in supervising new students. It is highly recommended that applicants communicate with faculty before proceeding with their application. Please realize, however, that a positive response from a faculty member does not imply nor guarantee admission, since we receive many more applications than can be supported in our program. The formal evaluation of applications by the graduate admissions committee will determine the admissibility of all applicants.

Included with the above form is a written statement of research interests. This is a one to two page summary of the research that the applicant wishes to undertake during their Master's degree. It describes the applicant's research interests in a reasonable level of technical detail. It may also include a brief discussion of previous experience in course work, research and industry related to the proposed research. Keep your statement technical and to the point, and please do not write a personal biography.

Therefore, to write an effective statement of research interests, applicants should first carefully peruse faculty research web pages, in order to become familiar with the research activities in the department. Next, the applicant should contact a faculty member to discuss possible MSc research topics. The statement of research interests normally describes topics related to faculty research.

Once again, please realize that faculty cannot promise admission of applicants prior to the formal application process. Graduate school admissions are highly competitive, and many qualified applicants cannot be admitted due to limited space and resources.

Financial Support

Each full-time graduate student accepted into the program is awarded a graduate assistantship. The assistantship may be supplemented by funds from the research grant of the supervisor. Minimum stipends are subject to change, and are currently $10,706 and up. Students holding external awards (OGS, NSERC) will have minimum funding of $21,412 and up. Please see the Graduate Studies website for current figures. Applicants are advised to see that site for samples of estimated expenses for domestic and foreign graduate students.


Full-time graduate students will be provided with study carrels during their first year of course work. Shared office space with PC workstations will be available for students working on their thesis research during their second year of studies.

A campus-wide fibre optic network links all the University's academic computing facilities. The department's computers form an integral part of this resource. Most computers on campus can be accessed from microcomputers in any of the laboratories. The department maintains an 8-CPU Linux-based server. The department has three microcomputer laboratories (D205, J301 and J310) containing Pentium PCs running Windows and Linux. Students also have access to scanners, a CD-ROM recorder, video cards, digitizers, robot arms, a mobile robot, a robot vision system, computer graphics software, and database software (ORACLE, Access).

Further information

Ancillary information on Academic Regulations, Registration Fees and Graduate Courses in Computer Science is found in the current Brock University Graduate Calendar.

Please contact the Graduate Studies office and the computer science department (cosc.office @ brocku . ca) for further information.

Links of Interest

Contact information
phone: 905-688-5550, extension 3513
fax: 905-688-3255
email: cosc.office @ brocku . ca