Jump to content

Middle Tier Universities in Canada for Computer Science Masters: How Strict is the GPA Cutoff?


Recommended Posts

My girlfriend is applying to Canadian schools this year for a masters in computer science or joint programs with computer science. She wants a big industry job after this.

Now here's the caveat, her GPA is a 2.48 right now (start of senior year) and she wants to apply this year.

On the plus side, her research experience is decent, we're working on a research oriented final year project (natural language processing, if anybody was curious) which we want to publish. And I am pushing this to at least have a submission by the time we send out our applications. She will have decent LORs and I'm pretty sure a good GRE score.


I've looked into these middle tier universities (so it seems to me):



University of Guelph


On a little higher side, she also wants to try in:

York University




On face value, she doesn't meet the eligibility requirements of perhaps any of these schools. If anyone could tell me from personal experience if these universities or Canadian universities in general strictly follow their GPA cutoffs, it would be a great help. Also, what would you advise?


If it helps, she is from Pakistan (National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences). Arguably the most respected CS school in Pakistan.


TL;DR: CGPA 2.48 (at start of senior year) but application strong otherwise (LORs, research etc.). What Canadian schools should be applied to?


Thank you people!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does the Pakistan grading system compare to Canada? In Canada, a 2.48 is really low and well below many cutoffs. However, it depends how this GPA was calculated. In Canada, 2.48 is something like 65% or so, which is not so low that you are only barely passing, but it's not considered a good grade at all. For some courses, this grade is not high enough to allow you to take the next level. That said, I know that many other countries grade differently and a 65% in some places is actually really good, so if you just convert % to GPA, it can give inaccurate results.


It might be helpful to consider the student's standing in comparison with their class. In Canada, I would say usually the top 1/3 of students go into the large graduate programs and maybe students that are at least in the top half of their class might be able to attend a middle tier grad school. For international students, I'd imagine the criteria to be a lot harder because they cost more to Canadian schools. 


It might also help to know that Canadian schools rarely do "auto-rejects" based on GPA cutoffs. Instead, what happens is that the department first gets the applications and then decides who they want to admit. They make the choices and forward the applications to the University Graduate School, which usually has some kind of GPA cutoff (in top schools, this is about a 3.6 and in other schools, it might be 3.0). If the department wants to admit someone below this cutoff, they will have to appeal to the University Graduate School to make an exception. 


And finally, many schools in Canada will consider the GPA based on your 3rd and 4th year classes in your field more strongly than your overall GPA. In fact, at my undergrad school, the 3.6 GPA cutoff is only considering the "upper level" (3rd and 4th year) classes related to your major (e.g. if you were a physics student, this would be classes in Physics, Astronomy, and Math).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.