Thursday, 13 February 2014

Professional M.Sc. Program in Big Data

The School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the brand new Professional M.Sc. program for admission to the Fall 2014 semester (starting in September 2014).

Application deadline:

The application deadline is April 1st, 2014. We will keep admissions open until we fill available slots for the Fall 2014 cohort. We aim to notify students of acceptance by May 1st, 2014.

To apply:

First read about the application process:

Note that you do not need to find a supervisor or contact any faculty from the department. A supervisor will be assigned to you when you are admitted into the program.

Then go to the online application system:

You will have to create a new account by supplying a password and security question.

Enter the following details to apply for the Professional M.Sc. in Big Data:

Department: Computing Science
Program: Computing Science MSc Big Data
Start date / Term: Fall 2014

Program objectives and outcomes:

The program curriculum will cover the following areas:
  • Analysis of scalability of algorithms to big data.
  • Data warehouses and online analytical processing.
  • Efficient storage of big data including data streams.
  • Scalable querying and reporting on massive data sets.
  • Scalable and distributed hardware and software architectures.
  • Software as a service. Cloud Computing.
  • Big data programming models: map-reduce, etc.
  • Dealing with unstructured data such as images, text or biological sequences.
  • Scalable machine learning methods such as online learning.
  • Data mining: methods for learning descriptive and predictive models from data.
  • Distributed algorithms over very large graphs and matrices.
  • Social media analysis.
  • Visualization methods and interactive data exploration.
Students will complete 30 units of graduate work. These units are divided into three main sections: 15 credits of graduate course work; 12 credits of specialized lab work; 3 credits for co-op.

Graduation Timeline:

  • Fall 2014: 3 graduate courses
  • Spring 2015: 1 graduate course + 1 lab course specialized in Big Data
  • Summer 2015: Paid co-op semester in industry in Big Data
  • Fall 2015: 1 graduate course + 1 lab course specialized in Big Data

The students will take three 3 credit graduate courses in their first semester (Fall); one 3 credit graduate course and one 6 credit lab course in their second semester (Spring); one 3 credit co-op in their third semester (Summer); one 3 credit graduate course and one 6 credit lab course in their fourth semester (Fall). This will enable most students to finish 30 credits in four semesters.


Tuition has not been finalized by SFU but the anticipated tuition fees for this Professional M.Sc. program is about $6500 per semester for domestic (Canadian) students and about $7800 per semester for international students for four semesters. We expect all students to graduate in four semesters, but in the case of exceptional circumstances there will be a continuing fee that is half the normal tuition per semester after the first four semesters.

The program includes a paid co-op (internship) semester which will pay for a substantial portion of the tuition fees.


For more information about the Big Data M.Sc. program please see the web page at:

You can also contact us by email:

For information about the online application please refer to the FAQs before sending an email:

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