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MASc Program

Admission requirements

An applicant for the MASc program must hold a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Waterloo or an equivalent degree in engineering, applied science or mathematics from a university of recognized standing. The standard of performance in obtaining this degree, as indicated by the official transcript and letters of reference, must indicate that the candidate has academic ability sufficiently above average to be successful in and benefit from graduate work at this university. Normally, an 80% average grade in the undergraduate program is a required minimum. Students with a deficient undergraduate background, but suitable academic standing to pursue graduate studies, may be required to take a number of courses. These would be specified by the department with the candidate obtaining at least 75% before being admitted as an advanced degree candidate. Each such application will be considered on its own merits.

Course and credit requirements

The complete program submitted for the MASc degree must consist of a total of 5 course (0.5) credit units. At least 2 of the courses must be from the list of approved core courses (updated by the Department annually) in one of the 13 approved areas of specialization as specified in the student's letter of admission. At least half of the courses for the minimum degree requirements must normally be Faculty of Engineering graduate courses.

Students are normally expected to take graduate courses within ECE 600 to 790. One advanced undergraduate ECE course may be allowed for Graduate course credit for a student writing the thesis. It is expected that both the student and supervisor provide adequate justification before any undergraduate course is approved for credit. The advanced undergraduate courses must be at the 400 level as given in the ECE undergraduate calendar and must be approved for graduate credit and confirmed in writing by the Department Associate Chair for Graduate Studies at the time of registration.

The Department may recommend that graduate credit be allowed for credits awarded by other approved institutions. However, please be aware that any transfer credits granted toward the program for which you are requesting funding may count when determining the number of months of studies you have completed, as of December 31 of the year of application. Please refer to individual scholarship criteria for more detailed information. Up to one unit for a research thesis student may be approved. It is the responsibility of the student to provide all the necessary details for proper appraisal of such courses.

At any time a student may be required to withdraw from the program if either the cumulative average grade in the approved study program falls below 70% or if progress reports regarding research activities are unsatisfactory. The passing mark in any individual course is 65%. Graduate courses will normally include a supervised examination, worth at least 50% of the final grade. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering does not permit students to retake graduate level courses.

Period of registration

The minimum period of registration for the Master's degree is one academic year if the student is coming from an honours Bachelor's degree or equivalent. The maximum time limits are two years (six terms) for the regular program and five years (fifteen terms) for the part-time program.

Double listed 400/600 level courses

In departments outside the Engineering Faculty, a number of courses are double listed, i.e., two different course numbers are given for the course, one undergraduate (400) and one graduate (600). Undergraduate and graduate students are taught the same material by the same professor in the same class. According to university rules, the graduate students in these courses are expected to receive additional material (assignments and/or projects) from the instructor in order to receive 600 level credit. To ensure this credit, the student must submit written confirmation from the instructor of the course that he or she will indeed be required to complete additional assignments. The Departmental Graduate Office must receive this confirmation within the first two weeks of the term.

MASc Research Seminar (Milestone)

In the case of a MASc program involving a thesis, the candidate is required to present a seminar on the thesis topic as part of this degree program. The seminar should be held during the term that the thesis is submitted to the readers. This seminar is not an oral examination of the thesis; rather, its purpose is to develop the student's ability to communicate the results of research in an organized and informative manner.

MASc Thesis (Milestone)

The topic of the thesis and the choice of the required five units of graduate course work are arranged by the student and his or her faculty supervisor. Each student's program is subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department. The research work leading to the thesis must be performed under the direction of the faculty supervisor. The thesis must be finally approved and accepted by at least two other readers in addition to the supervisor or supervisors.