Program Description and Degree Requirements

The program is offered in thesis and project (non-thesis) options, both having a co-op education version (see below). It is intended to maintain comparable overall levels of student effort and performance required in the thesis and non-thesis versions. The normal length of time to complete each option is 24 months.

The work for the thesis or project is carried out under the guidance of a supervisor (or joint supervisors). Upon completion of the work for the thesis or project, each student is required to present a seminar suitable for an interdisciplinary audience.

After acceptance into Scientific Computing (formerly Computational Science), a program of study will be developed by the applicant and supervisor that is tailored to their interests. It is normally expected that all students take three courses from the list of core courses below. However, exceptions can be made subject to the approval of the student’s supervisor and the Chair of the Scientific Computing Program. Additional courses are required (see below), usually in the student’s discipline of specialization. The course requirements for each student are approved by the Program Chair on the recommendation of the student's supervisor(s), and should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the program.

In order to obtain and keep financial support through SGS Fellowships, students must have acceptable grade averages.

Students are also expected to attend research seminars in their home departments as well as those relevant to Computational Science when advertised.

Core courses (exceptions possible):

MATH 6210 Numerical Solutions of Differential Equations
CMSC 6910 Matrix Computations and Applications or COMP 6732 Matrix Computations (credit may be obtained for only one of CMSC 6910 and COMP 6732)
CMSC 6920 Scientific Programming
CMSC 6930 Algorithms for Distributed and Shared Memory Computers
CMSC 6950 Computer Based Tools and Applications
COMP 6906 Topics in Numerical Methods

Thesis option
This option requires the completion of at least 4 graduate courses (12 credit hours) numbered 6000 or higher, where 3 of these (9 credit hours) are from the list of core courses, and the submission of an acceptable thesis. CMSC 6950 (3 credit hours) is also recommended. However, exceptions to the total number of courses can be made, subject to the approval of the student’s supervisor and the Chair of the Scientific Computing Program. The thesis is to contain an original scholarly contribution which must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for final examination. The additional course(s) will normally be in the same field as the thesis work.
Project option
This option requires the completion of at least 7 courses (21 credit hours), which must include at least 3 (9 credit hours) from the core course listing. The course CMSC 6950 (3 credit hours) is also recommended. An acceptable project report is also required. Exceptions to the total number of courses can be made, subject to the approval of the student’s supervisor and the director of the Scientific Computing Program. The additional courses will normally be chosen from the additional course listing in the same discipline as the project work. The project, which will include an in-depth written report, shall require the equivalent of at least one and no more than two semesters of full time work. Students will register for CMSC 6009 in the semester in which they will submit the report for examination.

A co-operative education option of the program is available in thesis or non-thesis version. Students should indicate that they wish to follow this option at the time of application.

Students who are accepted into the M.Sc. program may be provisionally accepted into the co-op option. During their first two semesters, such students will take courses, perform the duties of a teaching assistant, and interview with the Co-operative Education and with prospective work term employers. Satisfactory performance in this phase of the program will lead to confirmation of acceptance into the co-op option, and allow the student to spend two of the next three terms working in industrial or government settings. Upon completion of each work term, the student must submit an acceptable work report.

Following the completion of the two work terms, each student must complete any remaining course requirements and project report or thesis. Assuming that prior written authorization of the employer and the supervisor(s) has been obtained, students may include material from the work terms in their reports or thesis. For students following the non-thesis version of the program, the two work-term reports may be combined into a single, integrated report for this purpose. All other students must write a thesis on a research project which may be based on research completed during the work terms. A requirement of the thesis is that it contains an original scholarly contribution.

Students who are accepted into the co-op option are not guaranteed placements. In the event that a student fails to obtain two semesters of placements, but successfully completes all other requirements of the degree, he or she will still be eligible for graduation, but without the designation of a co-op degree.

You can find more information on the co-op experience at the Co-operative Education website.