UTIAS offers three graduate degrees, one professional and two research:
1. Master of Engineering (MEng): This degree is a course-based professional master’s degree program. Students take ten courses (one of which may be a project) over one to three years depending upon the program option selected. This is considered to be excellent preparation for work in the aerospace industry.
2. Master of Applied Science (MASc): This is a research degree based upon four courses and a thesis. The standard length of time of study for the MASc is twenty months most of which involves the production of the thesis. The MASc is considered preparation for further graduate studies or a research and development position in industry.
3. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): The PhD is the pinnacle of research-based degrees in the Canadian university system. It is based primarily on the completion of a major thesis containing original scientific discovery produced over four years. The PhD is excellent preparation for a position in academia or a senior position in research in industry.
There are three options for the MEng program each pertaining to a different period of length during which the candidate should complete their degree requirements. In all three cases the total tuition is about the same, but incidental fees must be paid for each year in the program.
The full-time MEng program is one year in length, and the student must complete ten courses in that time.
The extended full-time MEng program again includes ten courses, but is completed over two years.
The part-time MEng program is completed over three to six years.
The extended full-time and part-time programs include regulations limiting the maximum number of courses that can be taken in a single session and in an academic year.
Details are included in the course selection instructions for MEng students (PDF).
Research at UTIAS is the production of original scientific knowledge through experiment, computation or analysis. This knowledge will be recorded in a document called a thesis, produced by a research student, and which forms a crucial part of the degree requirements.
Students undertaking research projects leading to research degrees must be highly motivated and self-directed, and have a strong curiosity about and desire to understand the subject of their research. Research students learn to be independent and to move a research project forward based on their own knowledge, experience and judgment.
Supervision is the process whereby a faculty member takes primary responsibility for assisting a student to learn the craft of research and proceed successfully to attain the degree.
Styles of supervision vary considerably between professors, and can change during the course of a particular student’s research program. For example, regular meetings may be necessary early in a student’s research career, but the student may be more independent, requiring fewer meetings, at a later stage.
The School of Graduate Studies provides guidelines on how supervision should be undertaken, and describes the roles of both the student and the supervisor.
Every research student must have a supervisor to be admitted to UTIAS.
For the MASc and PhD programs, the program fees are covered by the financial support package provided by the supervisor. For the MEng program, program fees depend upon the program delivery option and the visa status of the student. For 2018-2019 the annual fees are:
Domestic, full-time: $16459.52
Domestic, extended full-time: $9147.52
Domestic, part-time: $5304.47
International, full-time: $57053.52
International, extended full-time: $30090.52
Only students who are accepted into the MASc or PhD programs in Microsatellite Design in the Space Flight Laboratory are able to take the microsatellite design courses.
The requirement for admission to the PhD program is a degree equivalent to the MASc degree offered at UTIAS. This degree is research-based. Unless your master’s degree includes a research thesis involving at least one year of full-time work, it will not qualify as adequate preparation for the PhD.
Yes. If your degree has not been conferred at the time of application and you are accepted into the program, your acceptance would be conditional upon submission of a final transcript to confirm your final year average and that your degree has been conferred.
No. Only students who are invited by the Institute may apply and be admitted directly to the PhD program without a master's degree. For you to receive an invitation, your proposed supervisor must contact the Graduate Office and justify the direct entry.
To qualify for admission to the MASc or MEng programs, you require a mid-B average at the undergraduate level in the final year of study. In general, students admitted to the MASc program have an undergraduate average considerably higher than this.
To qualify for admission to the PhD program you require a B+ average at the graduate level. In general, students admitted to the program have an average higher than this.
You are not required to submit official (paper) transcripts until it is requested by the graduate office.
The review process will take place using your scanned/electronic transcripts. You will be contacted with instructions if you are required to submit official (paper) transcripts.
Applicants to UTIAS must provide evidence of English proficiency unless, prior to starting their studies at UTIAS, they have completed a degree program from a university in one of the following countries:
Canada, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong*, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa**, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
* Applicants from the Chinese University of Hong Kong are required to provide proof of English proficiency.
** Some applicants from South Africa may be required to provide proof of English proficiency as not all universities teach in English.
An institution’s language of instruction will not be accepted as proof of English language proficiency. English language proficiency scores must not be older than two years at the time of application. Most commonly, applicants present TOEFL or IELTS scores as evidence of English language proficiency. Other tests are also allowed; see the School of Graduate Studies website for other options.
No. The medium of instruction in a university in a country not listed above is insufficient to demonstrate English proficiency.
The minimum scores for the two most common tests of English proficiency are:
TOEFL: Minimum total 93, both writing and speaking must be above 22.
IELTS: Minimum overall score of 7.0, with at least 6.5 for each of the four components.
If your test of English proficiency does not meet these requirements, you will have to retake the test until it does meet the requirements before you can register in the program.
Letters of Reference
The best letters of reference for a research-based degree are written by professors with whom you have had research-related experience, such as a master’s supervisor or your supervisor for a summer research project. Other professors with whom you have interacted are also valuable sources of letters of reference. Industrial and other sources of letters of reference are not highly desirable.
Referee information is entered on the UTIAS application system.
Letters of reference must be submitted through the UTIAS application system. Do not mail hard copies of letters of reference to UTIAS.
Two letters of reference are required. They must be submitted by the referee through the UTIAS application system. Any additional letters sent will not be reviewed.
To resend the email click the name of the referee on the UTIAS application system; the system will automatically send an email to remind the referee to submit a letter of reference. You may also click the email address of the referee. In this case, use your own email client to write your own email message to remind the referee.
Please send the new email address to the Graduate Office. Please remember to include your name and applicant number.
Please send an email to the Graduate Office with the following information:
- Referee first name
- Referee last name
- Referee email address
- Referee title
- Organization which referee is affiliated with
- Referee phone number
- Referee web URL
Please include your name and applicant number.
It is recommended that you contact professors with whom you would like to do graduate research to understand their research programs and expectations. However it is not necessary to make contact with professors. Professors are very busy, and if they do not respond to your inquiries it does not mean that you will not be admitted to their research group.
You do not need to secure a supervisor before applying. During the admission process, you may be interviewed by professors who are considering offering you a funded position. A key facet of admission is that a supervisor agrees to support your graduate research.
In order to gain admission to the research-based programs, you must have the support of a supervisor.
Yes, all research programs are funded, including tuition, fees and a stipend for living expenses.
For the MASc, students are guaranteed twenty months of funding. For the PhD program, students are guaranteed four years of funding. Support is paid three times per year in September, January and May.
The funding is sufficient to pay tuition and fees, either domestic or international, and also includes a stipend to support living expenses.
In the 2018 - 2019 academic year, students in the MASc program will receive an annual stipend of $16,000 and students in the PhD program will receive $17,500.
This funding is provided by the professor supervising the student’s research and is usually connected to a particular funded research project being undertaken by the professor.
The SGS Fee Payment Deadline is the deadline to pay the application fee on the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) website for the program you are applying for, and to get an Applicant Number. If you do not pay the SGS application fee before the deadline, you cannot submit an application on the UTIAS Application System.
The UTIAS Application Form Deadline is the deadline to complete your graduate school application on the UTIAS application system. All documents must be submitted, including reference letters, by the UTIAS Application form deadline date. Your official transcripts should also be received by the UTIAS Graduate Office by the UTIAS Application Form Deadline date.
You can find application deadlines on the Admissions page.
Applicants should not monitor their application status on the SGS application web site. The application status will remain as “documents pending” during the application process.
Due to the volume of documents received we cannot confirm receipt of transcripts or English proficiency scores on the SGS system. The UTIAS Graduate Office will contact applicants regarding missing documents if necessary.
Please do not email the SGS Admissions office for updates on your application.
You can indicate areas of interest on the form, but they will not be considered during the admission process.
Applicants should monitor their application on the UTIAS application website. A completed application will have an Application Status of “application received”.
An application will remain as “application received” while it is under review. For many applicants the application status will continue to read “application received” until an admission decision has been made.
Following submission of your application, it cannot be changed. You may enter additional information by adding a comment to your application. To add a comment use the “Add comments after submission” option in “My Tasks”.
Applications for research-based degrees (MASc and PhD) are reviewed following the application deadline, which is in the middle of January. Applications are not typically reviewed prior to this time. This enables all applicants to be reviewed fairly.
Applications for the MEng program are reviewed periodically beginning in January until shortly after the deadline in April.
Review of applications will take place on a rolling basis beginning in December. After this time, you should receive a response to your application within six weeks of when your referees submit their letters of reference.
For applicants applying directly to the MEng program, all responses will be sent by May 1. For applicants applying to the MASc program who have been transferred to the MEng application process, responses will be sent by June 1.
The first letters offering admission will be sent in early March. There are several rounds of offer letters sent out, so if you do not get an offer of admission in early March, you may still get one later in the process.
However, if you have not been interviewed by the end of April, it is likely that you will not be offered a position in the MASc or PhD programs. Final decision letters will be sent in early June.
The large majority of admissions occur in September. It is rare for research positions to be open in January or May.
In the uncommon circumstance that a research position is open in January, the professor funding the position must contact the Graduate Office to request that a particular student be able to apply for a January start.
In this case, the professor should already have determined that they wish to accept a specific student in January. Some students who are admitted for a September start may elect, with the support of their supervising professor, to begin their studies in May.
If you are not accepted into the MASc program, you will receive an email asking if you would like to be considered for the MEng program. You will be able to indicate such a preference by return email.
It is possible to transfer from the MEng program to the MASc program provided a student can secure a professor to provide financial support and a commitment to act as supervisor.
Students in the MEng program wishing to transfer to the MASc program are advised to contact possible professors to express their interest, and to undertake an MEng project (AER 1810) under the supervision of a professor.
After eight months in the MASc program, outstanding students are offered the opportunity to transfer directly to the PhD program. Should they accept this opportunity, the transfer would take effect after twelve months in the MASc program. Following the transfer, the student would have four years of guaranteed funding in the PhD program.