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Computer Science

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Graduate Degrees

Program Components Expected Duration
MSc Coursework and thesis 24 months

The computer science graduate program at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC offers tier-one research-based degrees to students in a collegial, close-knit setting.

Our dynamic faculty and students are engaged in a variety of research projects, many in collaboration with partners in government, non-profit agencies or industry.

Our research-based Master of Science (MSc) degree in computer science provides students with theoretical, practical and analytical expertise, as well as experience in the application of scientific results to real-world problems.

The MSc degree is centred on conducting research in computer science for the thesis-based option or on completing a significant project for the project-based option.

The MSc in computer science has three clusters, including: general computer science, data science and optimization.

Research interests of computing science faculty members and associates include:

  • general computer science topics (algorithms, artificial intelligence, computer science education, databases, human-computer interaction, social networks models, etc.);
  • optimization (nonlinear programming, convex, non-convex and variational analysis, modelling, numerical simulations); and
  • data science (computational statistics, databases, design and analysis of experiments).

Graduates of the MSc program are prepared for positions in industry, government, education, consulting or for PhD research.

Formal milestones for the program include preparing, presenting and defending a thesis research proposal for the thesis-based option, or preparing, implementing and reporting on a project for the project-based option. Most MSc students complete teaching assistantships (TA) for at least one semester.

The MSc degree thesis option requires 18 credits of coursework, plus a 12-credit MSc thesis (COSC 549). The MSc degree project option requires 24 credits of coursework, plus a 6-credit MSc project (COSC 550).

Exceptional MSc students can transfer to the PhD program in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies if they meet program requirements.

Related Programs

Research & Supervisors

Computer science graduate students can pursue these and other faculty research and teaching interests:

  • Algorithm design and analysis
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computational statistics
  • Computer science education
  • Computing science and computational mathematics
  • Databases
  • Data science
  • Decision support systems
  • Design and analysis of experiments
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Modeling
  • Optimization
  • Social network models

The success of UBC Okanagan’s computer science graduate program depends on exceptional students.

Please touch base with a faculty supervisor before you start the application process. We look forward to hearing about your research interests and career goals.

While applications with no identified supervisor will be accepted, no applicant will be admitted until a supervisor has agreed to supervise the student’s thesis or project. Applicants are strongly encouraged to identify and contact a potential supervisor prior to applying; see Research & Supervisors section. Applicants are also required to indicate whether they wish to pursue the thesis- or project-based option.

Jeff Andrews | | 250.807.9931
Research interests: Clustering and classification via mixture models, with applications to bioinformatics.
  • Data Science
  • Modelling
John Braun | | 250.807.8032
Research interests: Computational statistics, with applications to fire science; statistical process control; statistical education.
  • Computational Statistics
Fatemeh Hendijani Fard | | 250.807.9607
Research interests: Software engineering, machine learning, multiagent systems, data analytics.
  • Software engineering
  • machine learning
  • multiagent systems
  • data analytics
Yong Gao | | 250.807.9503
Research interests: Algorithmic and computational problems in artificial intelligence and network science; applications in social media and computational biology; graph theory and probabilistic method.
  • Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • Artificial Intelligence
Mohammad Khalad Hasan | | 250.807.8077
Research interests: Human-computer interaction, input and interaction techniques, information visualization.
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Information visualization
Paramjit Gill | | 250.807.8795
Research interests: Sports analytics; statistical stylometry; social networks models.
  • Computational Statistics
  • Social Network Models
Bowen Hui | | 250.807.9353
Research interests: Learning analytics, computer science education, decision making under uncertainty, probabilistic user modelling, human-computer interaction cost models, experiment design and analysis.
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
Ramon Lawrence | | 250.807.9390
Research interests: Database systems, data virtualization, data integration and warehousing, embedded databases, and Big Data analysis.
  • Databases
Patricia Lasserre | | 250.807.9502
Research interests: Scholarship of teaching, particularly active learning techniques for computer science, developing tools for learning, computational thinking and design thinking, application of HCI tools and techniques to improve teaching and learning.
  • Computer Science Education
Jason Loeppky | | 250.807.8795
Research interests: Design and analysis of experiments for both physical processes and computer based simulation models; applications include environmental and industrial statistics.
  • Computational Statistics
  • Design and Analysis of Experiments
  • Modeling
Yves Lucet | | 250.807.9505
Research interests: Computational mathematics, optimization and convex analysis; modelling; model road design to minimize construction costs under safety and environmental constraints; creating algorithms for computer-aided convex analysis; visualizing operators in 2D, 3D, and 4D.
  • Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • Modeling
  • Optimization
Apurva Narayan | | 250.807.8272
Research interests: Artificial intelligence/machine learning with emphasis on explainable AI/ML and quantum machine learning, data mining, data analytics, safety and security of cyber physical systems, software engineering, graph theoretic analysis of complex systems, and decision making under uncertainty.
  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • analytics

Research Centre

Centre for Optimization, Convex Analysis and Non-Smooth Analysis
Join an active, fun, small, but dedicated group of researchers and students with interest in Optimization and Analysis.

Research Groups and Laboratories

  • Computer-Aided Convex Analysis Laboratory
  • Database Research Group
  • Distributed Database Laboratory
  • Intelligent Systems and Network Science Group
Assoc. Prof. Ramon Lawrence
Teaching and researching database systems
Prof. Yves Lucet
Convex analysis for optimization

Students & Theses

Meet Our Students

See what our students are up to—check out the Computer Science Students page for their research interests, supervisors, alma maters and contact info.


The Quantitative Sciences Course Union (QSCU) is a student union dedicated to connecting students with each other, the university and the community in order to enhance their research, learning and overall experience at UBC Okanagan.

Theses and Dissertations

Search all UBC Okanagan computer science student publications at cIRcle, the University's digital repository for research and teaching materials.

Tasnuva Haque, MSc Student
"Math is the root to everything."
Ryan Trenholm, Developer and UX Designer 
UBC Alumnus (MSc 2015)

Admission Requirements

Master of Science Applicants (MSc)

Applicants to the MSc program are expected to have a BSc in computer science or a related field, with a minimum average of B+ or better in their third- or fourth-year classes; or at least 12 credits in third- and fourth-year classes in their intended field of study with an A grade or better average; or significant formal training and relevant professional experience. Your background training must be sufficient for advanced work in your chosen field.


Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

English Requirements

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must present evidence of competency to pursue studies in the English language prior to being extended an offer of admission. Test scores must have been taken within the last 24 months. Acceptable English language proficiency tests for applicants to the College of Graduate Studies are:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score of 550 (paper version); 90 overall with a minimum score of 22 in Reading & Listening and a minimum score of 21 in Writing & Speaking (Internet version). TOEFL scores must be issued to UBC directly from the Educational Testing Centre. Please use The University of British Columbia's Okanagan Campus institution code 2499. The reason for taking the TOEFL is "to enter a college or university as a graduate student".
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no component score less than 6.0
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): minimum overall score of 85, with a final score of 3 in the speaking test.

English language test scores must be received sealed from the testing agency to be considered official. Photocopies of test scores will not be accepted as official. See the College of Graduate Studies for the full policy.

Master of Science Applicants (MSc)

All applicants to the MSc programs are expected to have a BSc in Computer Science or a related field, and meet the minimum academic requirements for international credentials.


Visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar* for full admission and program requirements information; the calendar is a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

* In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Required Grades and Credential Guide

Grades and degree credentials required by UBC vary by country. Search the Required Grades and Credential Guide—a guide to assist international students in estimating their eligibility.

International Advisors

An international student advisor can answer questions about immigration, medical insurance and the transition to UBC's Okanagan campus in Kelowna, BC. Visit the International Programs and Services website to meet the team.

Tuition & Funding


Program Schedule Domestic (per year) International (per year)
MSc Full-time $4,897.85 $8,604.67
MSc Part-time $2,799.25 $4,947.69

Tuition amounts presented here are estimates only and all fees are subject to change. For official tuition and fee information, visit the UBC Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services and academic policies at the University of British Columbia.

Tuition is paid three times a year, on the first day of each term: Winter Term 1 (September), Winter Term 2 (January), and Summer Term (May).

Graduate student stipends are funded through a combination of internal and external funding awards, Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Research Assistantships (RA).

Although funding and stipend amounts are not guaranteed, Computer Science has a number of TAs and RAs available for qualified students. Talk to your potential supervisor about funding opportunities.

Students are expected whenever possible to apply for relevant scholarships and fellowships. These include principally, but are not limited to, Canadian Tri-Council scholarships, University Graduate Fellowships, and Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarships.


Computer Science normally offers the following funding to eligible students:

Program Total Minimum Stipend Duration
MSc $17,500 per year 2 years

Check the Assistantships tab for more details.


Teaching Assistantships (TA): Providing financial support, TAs allow graduate students to develop skills in teaching, supervision, facilitation and student assessment. TAs may lead seminars, help teach undergraduate courses, or assist in student evaluations and marking. TAs are mentored both from their supervisor and via the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Research Assistantships (RA): As a paid research assistant, RA students assist their supervisor or other researchers in conducting high-level research, which often contributes to the student's thesis.  RAs are typically funded by the supervisor's external grants, contracts or other sources of funding.

Scholarships & Awards

UBC Awards: The College of Graduate Studies administers merit-based graduate awards at the Okanagan campus. The College manages a number of award competitions each year and administers payment of all internal awards and selected external awards.

External Awards: All prospective graduate students (Domestic and International) should explore and apply for external awards and fellowships, including awards offered by Canada’s three research councils: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Graduate scholarships and awards may also be available from foundations, private companies or foreign governments (check with your country’s education authority).

How to Apply

Find a Supervisor

Please contact our faculty before starting your application. Admission to the program requires the support of a faculty supervisor as well as meeting program-specific criteria for admission requirements.

A complete application package will contain:

  • Online application and application fee
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended
  • English language test or letter from previous university certifying that English was the primary language of instruction.
  • CV or resumé
  • Three reference forms or letters

Applying takes time. We recommend you start your application two months in advance.

For full consideration students should submit all application materials by the following:

Intake Application Deadline
Domestic applicants
September January 31
January June 1
International applicants
September January 31
January June 1

UBC's Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the Computer Science graduate program at UBC's Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.

Campus Aerial Grad

UBC's Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of about 150,000 people—one of the fastest-growing populations in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.

More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna's cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.

UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university's respect for sustainability

A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.

Check out this 360-degree video: Kelowna From Above*.

* Best viewed using Chrome or Firefox (desktop), YouTube app (mobile)

Full-time UBC Okanagan graduate students can live in residence, which offers modern living with easy access to academic and personal support. Residences are surrounded by hiking and biking trails, plus panoramic views of the campus and valley.

The Student Residence website includes helpful information about Important Dates for living on campus, plus options and resources for Living Off Campus.

Kelowna Off Campus Student Housing is a public Facebook group that shares notes about housing options, finding roommates, and vacancies in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.*

* UBC does not verify or endorse information shared on this third-party website, which is offered here as a public resource only.

Join the club! Make friends with similar interests, and organize and participate in academic and recreational events in the Quantitative Sciences Course Union.

There are orientation events for all graduate students, including the College of Graduate Studies’ incoming graduate student orientation, Jumpstart for international graduate students, and the Create New Student Orientation series.

Stay active. Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and play—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness and Wellness Centre and our 1,561 square-metre gymnasium, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes and nationally ranked varsity athletics. Have a ball in Sports and Recreation.

Relax. The Graduate Collegium is a gathering place where grad students can hang out, eat lunch, spend time with their fellow students, and attend or host special events. The lounge-style room is open seven days and week and is outfitted with comfortable furniture, kitchen facilities, and individual and group-work spaces.

The College of Graduate Studies is your hub for administrative support and such things as graduate workshops for professional development and for assisting you from the admissions process through to your graduation.

The Library's Centre for Scholarly Communication (CSC) supports graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, staff and faculty in disseminating their research. The CSC provides one-on-one consultations and workshops, including writing support for theses, dissertations, journal articles and grant proposals.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning provides support related to teaching, TA training and use of technology in educational programming.

Careers and Occupations

With a Computer Science MSc degree from the University of British Columbia, graduates are well-positioned to thrive in a variety of occupations, such as:

  • Application analyst
  • Application developer
  • Bio-informatic technician
  • Computer and network operator
  • Computer games designer
  • Computer project manager
  • Computer science technician
  • Console/computer programmer
  • Customer support representative
  • Data scientist
  • Database analyst
  • Desktop publisher
  • Firmware designer
  • Health information analyst
  • Helpdesk specialist
  • Human centred engineer
  • Interactive media developer
  • IT technician
  • Multimedia designer
  • Network manager
  • Network technician
  • Programming tester
  • Quality control specialist
  • Scientific journalist
  • Security technician
  • Smartphone application developer
  • Software designer/developer
  • Software security analyst
  • Systems tester
  • Technical writer
  • User experience developer
  • Video game tester/designer
  • Website designer
  • Web technician

Career Services

Map out your future and prepare to hit the ground running with resources and services provided by the Advising & Involvement Centre.

Tell your story with resumé and cover-letter strategies, and search Work Study jobs for experience relevant to your degree and career goals. You can also book an appointment to meet one-on-one with our career advisor.

alumni UBC

alumni UBC is a member-driven association that offers a variety of lifetime programming and communications to enrich the lives of UBC graduates.

The 'Your Next Step' program offers webinars, speaker series and professional development sessions. It is designed to provide advice, tips and resources in areas of career development to graduates for life after university.

Realize the promise of a global community with shared ambition for a better world and an exceptional UBC.


Dr. Yong Gao
Graduate Program Coordinator

Last reviewed shim11/30/2018 1:58:56 PM