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Accelerated Master's program

The Accelerated Master's program allows undergraduate students at Waterloo to fast track a Master of Applied Science (MASc) degree at the University of Waterloo.

You will get to take up to two graduate level courses during your final year of undergraduate studies: one course in 4A and one in 4B or during your work term. You will have the opportunity to undertake research during your final co-op term(s); such experience can be a foundation for your MASc work.

The general principles and structure of this program are described in the Graduate Studies Calendar. The Accelerated Master's program is offered by all the engineering departments at Waterloo.

Eligibility

The Accelerated Master's program is available to engineering students who have consistently achieved excellent records at the end of the 3B term, usually with a minimum average of 80%. 

Research funding

You can get paid for conducting research and working with a faculty member. The following funding options are available:

  • Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) - part-time research during an academic term
  • Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) - full-time research funding through NSERC (government grant) during a work term
    • Accelerated Master's students who receive an NSERC USRA will be considered for an additional $4,500 from the Dean of Engineering. There are a limited number of these awards.
    • Students holding a NSERC USRA while in the Accelerated Master's program will also be eligible for graduate course tuition reimbursement (see the last section below for details.)

How to apply

Student interested in applying for the Accelerated Master's program in a department within the Faculty of Engineering should obtain the application form and complete the following steps by the end of your 3B term:

Confirm academic eligibility

Admission to the program requires that a student has demonstrated a consistently strong academic performance. You must have a minimum cumulative average of 80% to be eligible.

Find a supervisor

Students in the Master of Applied Science (MASc) program have a faculty member who directs (supervises) the MASc research and provides the MASc student with financial support. These faculty members are referred to as the MASc supervisor. You must find a faculty member who is willing to be your MASc supervisor and with whom you are interested in working. This part of the process can take some time as you will need to speak with faculty members to discuss research topics, your credentials, etc. The supervisor must sign your application form confirming she/he is willing to be your MASc program supervisor and willing to provide the specified amount of financial support.

Note: The Accelerated Master’s program will not change your status as a BASc student. You will receive the MASc level of financial support once you finish your BASc program, apply to and are admitted to the Master's program as a full time student.

Document your academic plan

The academic plan is simply a list of the graduate courses (normally 600 level) that you plan to take as part of the Accelerated Master's program. These courses are taken as "extra" and are not counted towards the course requirements of your BASc. You may take a maximum of two (0.5 weight) graduate courses in your Accelerated Master's program. Once you have completed your BASc and been enrolled in the MASc program, these two courses can be transferred and count towards the requirements of your MASc program. 

Note: you must discuss this plan with your supervisor.

Document your research plan

The research plan identifies the term in which you will carry out your research on campus during one of your co-op terms. The plan needs to include a brief description of the research that you will undertake.

Note: you must discuss this plan with your supervisor.

Obtain approvals

Complete the application form and obtain the signature of your supervisor(s). Then submit the form to the Graduate Studies office in your department. The staff will arrange to obtain approval from the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Course fees reimbursement during co-op

Eligibility: Students who complete a graduate course during their co-op term while holding a NSERC USRA can be compensated for the tuition fees assessed for that course after the term is complete. 

  1. Register in a graduate course during co-op/NSERC USRA term 
    1. The course must be noted as "extra to degree" (XTRA) and not count towards your undergraduate program. 
  2. Pay tuition and fees
  3. Complete the course with a minimum grade of 80%
  4. Contact your Departmental Graduate Coordinator with following information:
    • Student name
    • UW ID number
    • Course code (i.e. CHE 610)
    • Course grade (as shown on Quest)
    • Term course was taken
    • Tuition paid (including fees)
    • Attach a screen shot of your quest account documenting the fees assessed and paid for that term. 
  5. Department Coordinators will then contact the Engineering Graduate Studies Office to review the request and, if approved, students will see the funds deposited into their Quest account within 3 weeks.