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Chances of admission into PhD/MSc in Computer Science ?


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I guess this is "yet-another-topic-about-will-i-get-admitted"; sorry for this, and thanks for offering this forum.

I'm actually in a MSc in Computer Science in France, considering a PhD in CS in Canada next year. I I synthetized my strengthes and weaknesses, I'd state them as follows :

Strengths: Personal code prjects (involving some research, but in a personal way -- nothing supervised), active in teaching and research student clubs, highly motivated (== goos statement of purpose), 2/3 really good letters of recommendation.

Weaknesses: GPA is decent but not sky-high (2.9-3/4), and GRE scores are the same (Quant: 156, Verbal: 155, AW: Haven't received yet).

What do you think my chances are for application in a PhD ?

I am considering applying to the MSc instead (I don't mind needing one more year to get to the PhD, if it is what it takes), what do you think about it ?

Here is the list of universities i plan to apply to (by personal preference order):

U of Waterloo

U of Toronto

U Victoria

Ryerson University

McGill University

École Polytechnique de Montréal


Calgary University

U of Manitoba.

Thanks for your help,


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I don't know much about Canadian schools, but your stats seem kind of on the low side -- sorry. Especially the GRE Q. Is it needed to apply to Canadian schools?

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I have to agree with emm--I don't know about the Canadian admissions process, but if those schools require the GRE, I believe you should retake and aim for a higher quant.

For top programs in the US, science and math applicants are expected to have high quant scores.

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Thanks for both your answers. :)

Actually, some of them do, some don't. Would you advise me to apply without submitting GRE scores at all (if possible) ?

I'm also thinking of working one year, to put some money aside, and gt back to grad school. Would you advise this ? I know that in France it is quite badly seen to stop your studies for a year or so (whatever the reason), is it the same in Canada ?

Thanks again for your answers !

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Not all Canadian schools require GREs. I'd check out each school individually, but I do know offhand that Ryerson doesn't need GRE scores, and that Waterloo does.

In terms of MSc vs. PhD, many Canadian schools still expect students to complete a masters before their PhD. That said, the schools that do consider direct-entry PhD only do so for exceptional candidates (I know at the University of Toronto, this means GPA >3.85). So with your stats, it might be better to focus on MSc applications, and programs that don't require GRE scores.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks, Allouette. The fact is that I already have a MSc (well, I should have it by the end of the year :) ).

You're right, Ryerson, Manitoba, Ottawa, UQAM, EPM do not require GRE scores. I'll focus on them.

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