MSc in Applied Computing (MScAC) Program

Why Applied Research?

Are you an innovator with an interest in technical entrepreneurship and advanced computer science?

The Master of Science in Applied Computing (MScAC) degree program prepares students for lifelong success as technical leaders in information technology.

The program begins with eight months of advanced courses focusing in computer science or data science, studying with Canada's leading researchers. This is followed by an eight-month internship at an information technology company where you will apply research results to real-world problems. The MScAC internship is typically paid.

Our students have interned with many exciting local and international technology companies including Addictive Mobility, Amazon, Google, IBM, NVIDIA, Scotiabank and more.

Not interested in applied research? We also offer MSc and PhD research programs.

– Watch the video about Applied Research in Action (ARIA) 2015

– Watch the video about Applied Research in Action (ARIA) 2016


The Department of Computer Science offers two concentrations within the MScAC program – the general concentration, and the Data Science concentration.

Mandatory courses for both concentrations:

Elective requirements:

MScAC concentration in Data Science

What is Data Science?

The MScAC concentration in data science is offered jointly by the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Statistical Sciences. Data science is at the interface between computer science and statistics. It’s the science of learning from data and extracting information from it.

The profession involves data wrangling and exploration, data representation (e.g. using databases), computing with data, data visualization and presentation, and data modelling (e.g. machine learning and traditional statistical models).

Typical Program Timeline for All MScAC Students

Year 1 (Term 1): September to December

  • Required course: Communication for Computer Scientists (CSC2701H)

  • 2 elective graduate courses

  • Résumé preparation takes place

Year 1 (Term 2): January to April

  • Required course: Communication for Computer Scientists (CSC2701H)

  • 2 elective graduate courses

  • Interview training takes place

  • Start of the internship process: Applied Research Internship Expo (ARIE) and interviews

Year 1 (Term 3): May to August

  • Required course: Technical Entrepreneurship (CSC2702H)

  • Internships

Year 2 (Term 4): September to December

  • Required course: Technical Entrepreneurship (CSC2702H)

  • Internship continues

  • Applied Research in Action (ARIA) showcase event; research poster required (usually takes place in late November/early December)

  • Final Internship report

We accept MScAC applications for full-time study only.


All applicants must have:

  • Completed an appropriate undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related discipline.

  • A standing equivalent of at least B+ (77-79%) 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.

Applicants also wishing to be considered for the Data Science concentration must have:

  • Completed an undergraduate degree in a related area, such as Computer Science, Mathematics, or any other discipline that includes significant exposure to statistics, computer science and mathematics, including coursework in advanced calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics, programming languages, and computational methods.

Prior work experience (including co-op placements or internships) is preferred, but not required.

Admitted Student Profiles

This profile of students admitted to the program gives you an idea of the backgrounds of past successful applicants.

Previous Education

MScAC students admitted to the program since 2010 have applied to the program with the following credentials:

  • Undergraduate degrees (BA, BASc, BSc, BEng, BTech): 91%

  • Master’s degrees: 8%

  • PhD degrees: 1%

Areas of Study

MScAC students have come from the following areas of study*:

  • Advanced Systems Engineering

  • Aeronautical Engineering

  • Aerospace Engineering

  • Applied Linguistics

  • Applied Mathematics

  • Automation

  • Bioengineering

  • Biomedical Computing

  • Biophysics

  • Civil Engineering

  • Computational Mathematics

  • Computer Engineering

  • Computer Science

  • Computer Science & Biology

  • Computer Science &  Physiology

  • Computer Security

  • Control Theory & Control Engineering

  • Economics

  • Electrical Engineering

  • Electronics & Communication Engineering

  • Geophysical & Computer Engineering

  • Informatics & Applied Mathematics

  • Information Engineering

  • Information Security

  • IOT Engineering

  • Integrated Sciences

  • Mathematics

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Mechatronics

  • Neurosciences

  • Physics

  • Quantitative & Computational Finance

  • Quantitative Biology

  • Software Engineering

  • Statistics

  • Systems Engineering

*Students from non-CS degrees had all completed senior level Computer Science courses within or in addition to their degrees.

Work Experience

  • 7% - no work experience

  • 18% - less than one year

  • 60% - one to four years

  • 15% - five or more years

Non-Computer Science Applicants

As you will see from the profile of students we have admitted to the program, it is certainly possible to apply to the MScAC program with a bachelor’s degree from an alternative discipline to Computer Science. However, you must possess a demonstrably strong background in computer science or computer engineering, and a basic background in mathematics. Preferably, this should be demonstrated through grades in advanced undergraduate courses from accredited institutions, 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. Full details of the admissions requirements follow.

If you are an international student, please use the University of Toronto's International Degree Equivalencies Toolto determine whether the University will recognize your undergraduate degree.

English Language Requirements and Submission

Applicants whose primary language is not English and who have graduated from a university where the primary language of instruction 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.

If English-language scores are required, your MScAC application is not complete and we will not communicate an outcome until you have submitted successful scores.

Canadian citizens who studied at a Canadian university where the language of instruction is French are exempt from these requirements.

Application Process

Applications will open in mid-October 2019 for studies beginning September 2020. We do not offer a January start-date or part-time studies. 

  • Stage 1: You must first apply directly to the University of Toronto through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). While you may apply to both the MSc program and MScAC program, you must complete separate applications.

  • Stage 2: Within 1 to 2 business days of paying the SGS application fee, you will receive an email with login details for the graduate application system for the Department of Computer Science. This email message will be sent to the email address that you provided to SGS.

  • On the Department of Computer Science application, you must include a statement of purpose and details of three referees (faculty members and/or employers) whom we can contact for letters of support.

  • Stage 3: At the recommendation of the Admissions Committee, you may also be required to complete an interview in person, or using video conferencing software (e.g. Skype), with a member of the MScAC program team.

Please contact the MScAC team for questions regarding the application process.

Applicants Wishing to Apply for the Data Science Concentration

To be considered for the concentration in data science, you must check the "Data Science" option on the Department of Computer Science application form (received in Stage 2), and indicate through your statement of purpose your interest in Data Science and your objectives for pursuing this option.

Additional Information regarding the Statement of Purpose and Referee Letters

We admit only superior students who are committed to the study of computer science. Your statement of purpose is your opportunity to tell us who you are and why you make an exceptional candidate. You must clearly demonstrate an understanding of what graduate school and the MScAC program is about, that you understand the opportunities we offer, and that you are a good fit for graduate studies here. Through your statement of purpose you should elaborate further on your own personal career goals, your research or applied research experience incorporating your particular contributions, and specific details regarding your particular area of interest. You may also wish to demonstrate an awareness of trends in the CS industry. Include details of why the MScAC program is particularly relevant to your goals and aspirations. This is also your opportunity to show us your commitment to quality and your skills in English. Carefully proof-read your statement prior to submission.

Two of your references should preferably be academic references. However, given the nature of the program, it is entirely appropriate to also use referees who have an industry background and have worked with you in a senior capacity.


For the September 2020 program start date, tuition and fees for the entire 16-month MScAC program are estimated at approximately:

  • $26,000 CDN for domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents)

  • $56,000 CDN for international students

Students may be eligible to apply for graduate scholarships or financial aid (domestic students), and international students may qualify for financing through Prodigy finance.

Fall-term tuition fees are posted to the University of Toronto Student Accounts website in mid-July each year.

About the MScAC Internship

The Applied Research Internship Expo (ARIE) is a networking opportunity for master’s students in applied computing to meet with industry partners. 

After completing eight months of advanced technical courses, you will begin an internship at an industry partner organization.

Though we do not guarantee remuneration, our students have so far been 100% successful in finding paid internships. Last year's average salary was $60,000.

During your intensive eight-month internship, you will work together with your industry partner and faculty supervisor to determine the hands-on needs of a project, from inception to completion.

From enhancing e-book recommendations for consumers to creating a mobile patient-billing platform for doctors, past internship projects are as diverse as the people and organizations who collaborated on them:

 Brochure of 2018 MScAC projects 

Brochure of 2017 MScAC projects

– Brochure of 2016 MScAC projects

– Brochure of 2015 MScAC projects

– Brochure of 2014 MScAC projects

Internship Partners

The MScAC program maintains an extensive list of company partners, with whom we regularly interact.

Some of the companies our students chose to do their internships at in 2018 are as follows:

Prospective industry partners interested in accessing the catalogue may contact MScAC Program Director for further information.


We gratefully acknowledge Mitacs, Inc. for their support of MScAC internships through the Mitacs Accelerate program. 


Contact Us

Master of Science in Applied Computing (MScAC)
Room 7250, Bahen Centre for Information Technology
40 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2E4
Telephone: 416-978-5180
Fax: 416-946-7132
Email Our MScAC Program Office