Determining Your Eligibility

Preference will be given to applicants who have studied computer science or a closely related discipline (e.g., computer engineering, mathematics).

Minimum Requirements for the MSc Program

  • Completion of an appropriate undergraduate degree in computer science or related discipline.

  • Have a standing equivalent of at least B+ (U of T 77-79% or 3.3/4.0) in their final year (i.e. two terms) of study (the equivalent of 5 full credits, or 10 half credits).

  • Achieved English-language proficiency according to the requirements mentioned below.

Minimum Requirements for the PhD Program

  • Completion of an appropriate master's degree (see below: Direct-Entry PhD)

  • Have a standing equivalent of at least B+ (U of T 77-79% or 3.3/4.0)

  • Achieved English-language proficiency according to the requirements mentioned below.

Direct-Entry PhD

If you wish to pursue a PhD but have not completed an MSc in computer science or computer engineering:

  • If you have completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related discipline (e.g., mathematics), we strongly encourage you to apply to the MSc program.

  • Many of our PhD students complete their MSc degree here first.

  • For direct entry, a minimum undergraduate equivalent of A- is required for consideration (Note that a Master’s degree is not conferred in this option).

Non-Computer Science Applicants

It is certainly possible to apply to our program with a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than computer science. Successful applicants have also applied with degrees in related disciplines such as the mathematical sciences or computer engineering.

You must, however, possess a demonstrably strong background in computer science or computer engineering, and a basic background in mathematics, as evidenced by an employment history in a computer science field, or through grades in advanced undergraduate courses, equivalent to:

  • CSC343H: Introduction to Databases

  • CSC369H: Operating Systems; and

  • CSC373H: Algorithm Design, Analysis & Complexity

Note that course grades are only one component of an application.

Along with a statement of purpose that demonstrates your meaningful commitment to the study of computer science, all applicants must obtain letters of reference from at least three referees. Prospective students applying to the MSc or PhD research stream will require three references, at least two of which should be able to speak to your ability to conduct independent research at the graduate level. Referees with extensive research or academic experience are preferred.

It is not possible to evaluate a prospective applicant's background in the department's graduate admission office. Graduate admission evaluation is performed by a committee of faculty from all research areas. Admission to the programs are very competitive and it is not possible to evaluate any application in isolation. The committee reviews applicants within the context of the application cohort for a given admission cycle. Please do not email the department's graduate office with questions about whether your background is sufficient for our graduate program. All applicants have the opportunity to include supplemental information to their application through the final section of the application form which asks for Additional Information. If you feel there are special considerations regarding your application, the committee will be able to review your statement.

International and Exchange Students

Degree Equivalencies

For information on degree equivalencies, please use the School of Graduate Studies’ International Degree Equivalencies Tool. Keep in mind that the Department of Computer Science minimum degree requirement (B+) is slightly higher than the School of Graduate Studies minimum (mid-B).

GRE Test Scores

Applicants from outside Canada are encouraged to submit scores from the GRE General Test, and are encouraged to also submit scores from the GRE Subject Test in Mathematics.

  • GRE institution code: 0982

  • U of T computer science code: 0402

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose primary language is not English and who have graduated from a university where the primary language of instruction and examination is not English must achieve and submit English-language scores that meet the requirements listed on the School of Graduate Studies’ English-Language Proficiency Testing page.

How to Apply

Prepare Your Required Documents

Names and email addresses of three references

Three reference letters are required to complete your application. We strongly recommend that you contact your referees in advance in order to confirm their willingness to act as a reference for you, to confirm their institutional email addresses, and to tell them to expect email from our system (it will include the words "University of Toronto" and your name in the subject line). After you submit the names and emails for your references, they will receive an email asking them to submit their reference letters to us online in Adobe PDF format. Only this format will be accepted.

Emails are expected to include at least part of the referee's name and affiliated institution in the address (e.g., jdoe {at} We understand that this might not always be the case. If your referee does not have an institutional address, you may include a link to your referee's contact web page in the Additional Information section of the online application form.

Statement of purpose

Provide a one or two page personal essay that discusses your career goals, why you want to do research, the areas of research that interest you, and your skills or qualifications. Describe any original research you have done – the results, their importance, and your particular contributions. If you have specific research plans, outline them here. Include the names of any faculty that you are particularly interested in working with. Be concise and use specific examples rather than vague general statements.


Provide a resume or CV detailing your education, professional, and other experience. List any publications with a full reference including all authors, the publication venue, date, page numbers, and whether it was peer-reviewed.

Official academic transcripts

We only require applicants to upload a copy of their documents during the application process. After students receive an offer admission, we will ask prospective students to submit hard (official) copies of their final transcripts.

English requirement scores

If required, see above: English Language Requirements.

Applicants outside of Canada: GRE and GRE Subject Test Scores

This is optional, though strongly encouraged for applicants applying from outside of Canada. See above: International and Exchange Students.

  • GRE institution code: 0982

  • U of T computer science GRE code: 0402

Application Process

We cannot issue an admission decision until these three steps have been completed:

Stage 1: School of Graduate Studies Application (Deadline to be posted in Fall 2019)

Complete the SGS online application form and pay the application fee. Do not upload transcripts or provide referee details at this stage.

  • You will receive an SGS application number. You will need to know this number for your Department of Computer Science application form (Stage 2).

Stage 2: Department of Computer Science Application (Deadline to be posted in Fall 2019)

Within one to two business days of paying the SGS application fee, you will receive an email with login details for the Department of Computer Science’s graduate application system. This email message will be sent to the email address you provided to the School of Graduate Studies.

  • You will be required to provide your referee information and supporting documents on this application.

  • You will also be required to select your primary research interest and additional research interests during this step.

Stage 3: English Language Test Scores

If applicable, please arrange to send your English-language test score and/or GRE scores electronically to the University of Toronto’s Enrolment Services.

Be sure to hit the “Submit” button when you are ready to submit your application. The “Save this Application" button only saves your work; it does not submit your application for consideration.

Stage 4: Interviews

You may also be required to complete a Skype interview with a member of the Graduate Office or Graduate Admissions committee.