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Where do I study MS in Computer Science
Gayathri Gopakumar

Meet Gayathri - a Content Editor at Hotcourses India- an IDP company. A once-international student herself- she loves to research & give insights into the world of global education through her writing. When she isn’t working, you'll find her playing, travelling or binge-watching just about anything.


19 Jun 2019 457 Book icon 5 mins Share

Where do I study MS in Computer Science: Canada, Australia or the US?

If you’re having trouble choosing among Australia, Canada and the US - to study MS in Computer Science, this article is must-read for you!

19 Jun 2019 457 Book icon 5 mins Share
Where do I study MS in Computer Science

Hey there! We see that you’ve decided to pursue MS in Computer Science and that’s great! When it comes to MS in Computer Science, Australia, Canada and the US are the three main study destinations. But how do you choose among the three? Granted all these countries have high education standards and offer stay back options. Wondering how to pick? Don’t worry! You have come to the right place.

We are going to breakdown all major criteria in each of these countries that will help you make your decision – such as entry requirements and post-study work permit rules. You can also check out the popular universities in each of these countries.

So, let’s start with shall we?

Study in the US

Entry requirements

For you to get admission into universities in the US for MS in computer science, you must meet the following entry requirements:

Undergraduate degree: You must have completed an undergraduate degree with modules focusing on computer science. While 70% is the minimum overall score that’s expected out of your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need 85% and above if you’re eyeing top universities such as Cal Tech and Georgia Institute of Technology). Also for top universities, you’d need to show evidence of the projects and publications you’ve worked on during your undergraduate study.

GRE: You must have acquired impressive a GRE score reflecting your quantitative and analytical skills. If you’re aiming for top ranking universities in the US (say between 20 and 30), then you’d have to score in the range of 320 to 330 in GRE. Universities ranked between 50 and 70 in the US will require you a GRE score of 310 to 315 – which is the average expected score. However, there are also plenty of universities in the US that accept GRE scores of 300 – 305.

IELTS: Universities in the US need to know your proficiency level in English, via your score in tests like IELTS/TOEFL. You’ll need a minimum overall score of 6.5 in IELTS (with no band less than 6.0) for most US universities. For top ranking universities, you’ll need to score a minimum overall score of 7.0 (with no band less than 6.5).   

SOP and LORs: For applying to US universities, you’ll need to justify why you chose this university in the form of an admission essay AKA a Statement of Purpose (SOP). You may also be asked to write essays on other topics. With regards to Letter of Reference (LOR), you’ll have to provide email ID, designation and contacts of three references. The university will then contact them to fill in a questionnaire – which is taken as feedback from references.

Popular universities

Apart from the world-renowned MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton lot, here are the other popular universities in the US that offer several MS in Computer Science programmes.

  1. Cornell University
  2. Virginia Tech
  3. Carnegie Mellon University
  4. Northwestern University
  5. University of Illinois At Chicago
  6. New York University
  7. George Washington University
  8. University of Texas at Austin
  9. Brown University
  10. University At Buffalo, The State University of New York

Post-education work permit

It’s a known fact that the US is an industrial and economic powerhouse. It’s a hub for countless job opportunities. Since your MS in Computer Science comes under the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Management) field, you’ll be provided with a 5-year visa. Most universities offer the programme spanning 2 years. Post your graduation, you’ll have one year (OPT) to look out for a job and can stay back for three years (overall).  This is one of the main factors that drive students to study MS in Computer Science in the US.

With plenty of opportunities, finding a job wouldn’t be your biggest concern in the US. What will be – is the visa. With Trump’s Presidency, the visa rules regarding stay back options have become extremely stringent. But hey! If you’re confident about your skills and abilities – even Trump can stop you J

Study in Canada

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree: If you wish to pursue MS in Computer Science in Canada, you’re expected to complete a bachelor’s degree with specialisation in subjects relating to computer science. While most universities in Canada require a minimum of 70% in your bachelor’s study, top universities such as the University of Ontario or Waterloo ask for at least 78%.  

GRE: GRE isn’t a compulsory requirement by most universities in Canada. However, top ranking universities in Canada require a decent score in your GRE.

IELTS: Canada, being an English-speaking country, requires its international students to be proficient in the language – solely because all educational communication takes place in English. A minimum overall band of 6.5in IELTS is required by universities, with no band less than 6.0.

SOP and LORs: A Statement of Purpose is necessarily a part of the admission process among Canadian universities. With regards LORs, you’ll be required to provide two contacts for references. However, the number may vary with university.

If you don't have sufficient money then you should go to Canada as Canada offers higher education in very affordable fees with flexible working hours.

Popular universities

The following are few of the popular universities in Canada that offer MS in Computer Science programmes:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. Western University (Ontario)
  3. University of Waterloo
  4. University of British Columbia
  5. McGill University
  6. McMaster University
  7. Dalhousie University
  8. University of Guelph
  9. Queen’s University
  10. University of Ottawa

Post-education work permit

Although the Canadian universities offer MS in Computer Science programmes which are 1 year, 1 .5 year and two-years long, you can benefit the most of the country’s post-study work permit options only if you opt for the two year-long programmes.

You see, in Canada, if you study a one year programme, you get a 1-year stay back option. If you pursue a 1.5 year-long programme, you’ll be allowed to stay back and work for 1.5 years. However, if you’re studying a two-year programme, you can stay back for three years along with a work permit for the same duration.

Despite a smaller job market (as compared to the US), relaxed visa regulations is one of the main reasons that more and more students opt to study MS in Computer Science in Canada.

Postgraduate study in Canadian universities is less expensive as compared to the US.

Study in Australia

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree: As is in other countries, you are required to complete an undergraduate degree in order pursue MS in Computer Science in any of the Australian universities. If you had scored a minimum of 65%, you shouldn’t be having any trouble getting into most universities. Few universities even stretch it to 60%. However, if you have more than 10 backlogs, you’re highly unlikely to get admission into any of the Australian universities.

GRE: Good news! There’s no GRE requirement in any of the Australian universities! Good for you – one less of a task, eh?

IELTS: Australian universities insist on seeing evidence of your proficiency in English. To meet this requirement, you’ll have to score a minimum of 6.5 in IELTS (with no band less than 6.0).

SOPs and LORs: Again, there is no concept of Letter of References while applying to Australian universities. However, you will need to submit a Statement of Purpose. But again, you’ll only have to give it in after your admission process – so yay!

Popular universities

Here, take a look at few of the popular universities in Australia that offer MS in Computer Science programmes:

  1. University of Melbourne
  2. University of Sydney
  3. Australian National University
  4. Monash University
  5. University of Queensland
  6. UNSW Sydney
  7. University of Western Australia
  8. University of Adelaide
  9. University of Technology Sydney
  10. James Cook University

Post-education work permit

Australia is full of opportunities and it’s got a bigger job market than Canada. The MS in Computer Science programmes are available in 1 year, 1.5years and 2 years long. However, if you pursue the two-year programmes, you can benefit from work permit for two years.   

Postgraduate studies in Australian universities are a bit more expensive than Canada too.

So, there you go! We’ve broken down all the factors that you’ll need to consider while choosing which country to do your MS in Computer Science. So, where’s it going to be – Australia, Canada or the USA?

If you’re still having questions, do check out our study abroad FAQ and get all your questions answered.

Alternatively, you could reach out to our expert counsellors for assistance on everything from – choosing universities for you to sorting out your application process. All you’ve got to do is sign up in our ‘call back’ form and avail our services.

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