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MEng at Waterloo or MASc at Ottawa

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I'm an ECE who is wants to specialize in Computer Vision but i'm completely lost in trying to decide between these (I should add I'm an international student.)

1) MASc (research) in ECE at University of Ottawa

2) MEng (taught) in Systems Design Engineer at University of Waterloo (I applied for MASc)

I do not want an MEng, primarily because I want to learn how to attack open-ended problems and conduct research. However, I can potentially transfer to an MASc while at Waterloo. I got in touch with a professor too late but he commented that while his team for 2018 is complete, I have an interesting background and to stay in touch for 2019. After I was offered a spot for an MEng, I contacted the professor again asking if would consider me for 2019 (so I can transfer to MASc) and he emailed back a few mins later stating that 'we could see how well you do academically and consider switching you over to an MASc'. I feel that is the best response i can hope for and I should make the best of it. I'm good at course-work so I'm confident I will be able to manage. In addition, there are 7+ professors at Waterloo doing research in Computer Vision so I feel I should be able to convince at least one. My reservation is that I don't have any publications but the email from the professor didn't mention anything as such.

On the other hand, I have a firm offer from Ottawa but no funding. If I transfer over to an MASc at Waterloo, I will be funded entirely. Ottawa isn't a bad engineering school and it has a decent Computer Vision lab but Waterloo is a different league. The research at Ottawa is interesting though not as broad as Waterloo.

Should I take the 'risk' and go to Waterloo? It's entirely possible no advisor agrees to take me on and I have to graduate with an MEng. However, would that MEng help me in anyway when applying for MASc in the future? I understand nothing is stopping me for going for a PhD even with an MEng but because I won't have enough research opportunities with an MEng, I am not sure how strong my application would be.


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