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Masters in computer science

  1. Oct 6, 2014 #1

    I am a double major in Physics and Computer Science from an underdeveloped country. I would like to apply for a masters in computer science in Canada. What requirements do you think I should fulfill?

    Currently, I have a CGPA of 4.0 (and I have only four additional semesters to go), although that CGPA is likely to go down by a small margin over time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2014 #2
    You need to contact the schools you are looking at. They all have academic advisors who can fill you in on their specifics.
  4. Oct 6, 2014 #3
    Actually, I'm torn over choosing between computer science and physics for my masters. If I would want to base my career choice on monetary motives, which would give me a better return, assuming that I do equally well in both?
  5. Oct 6, 2014 #4
    Monetary motives is always the wrong path. Which do you enjoy more? You job takes a lot of your life. Why waste it doing something you don't enjoy. You can make good money with either if you work hard enough.
  6. Oct 7, 2014 #5
    I think I find coding more fun than learning physics.

    Throughout my undergraduate years, I've slowly begun to grow a distaste for the abstract nature of physics. When I read Physics textbooks, I find that there are so many abstract theories with very little in the way of applications that somehow connect to the wider aspects of human society.

    For me, software development presents a way to connect with the world at large. It's more relevant to business and the immediate advancements in human society.

    The only reason I cling to physics is that I have enjoyed learning physics for so long that I find it difficult to give it up completely.
  7. Oct 7, 2014 #6


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    If you enjoy coding, great! I enjoy designing circuits so I get paid to play each day. It's a good life.

    I think you misunderstand physics, though. I have a hard time thinking of a field of physics that *doesn't* have key applications that connect to the wider aspects of human society. QM and Solid-State physics, for example, for the very underpinnings of the information age. Even astrophysics has a lot of application in finance (sort of... they use a lot of the same math).

    The only field I can think of that is hard to apply would be high-energy physics, but even there it gives us basic knowledge we can use to advance the other fields. Also, a lot of the technology developed for high-energy physics has found very useful application in various areas.

    But overall, I agree with Greg. If you can find a job that you enjoy AND pays good money.... go for it!
  8. Oct 7, 2014 #7
    Still, I think you wouldn't deny that Physics is far more theoretical than software engineering, right?

    I mean, I've seen that I've gradually grown to abhor complicated masses of equations that would usually find in Physics textbooks. I have no idea why I feel this way, but perhaps it's because I've gotten all too familiar and I've lost interest.

    That brings me to an important question.

    If you are from an underdeveloped country and would like to apply for a masters in computer science in Canada, would you need to have a portfolio of work that you have done throughout your undergraduate years, i.e. developing Android apps, competing in programming contests, etc. I ask this question because computer science has very little to do with actual coding, so I don't see the direct relevance.
  9. Oct 8, 2014 #8


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    Education Advisor

    I think the best thing for you is to look at the admissions requirements for specific computer science graduate programs in Canada. For example, here are a couple of links for computer science programs I'm familiar with:

    University of Toronto (my alma mater):


    University of Waterloo:

    https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/future-graduate-students/applying-admissions#Academic background requirements

    University of British Columbia:


    When I looked at each of these, I don't see anything at all about a portfolio of work.
  10. Oct 8, 2014 #9


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    Gold Member

    That's a terrible reason. However, your income depends on several things such as how well you do in graduate school. Generally if you can't get a faculty position in computer science, you probably will end up with some software engineering job (which pays pretty well). You can do a similar thing with physics but of course, its much easier to get a software engineering job with a degree in computer science.

    Physics is much more theoretical than software engineering. However, software engineering and computer science are different. As far as I know, computer science involves quite of mathematics as well. I've taken a few computer science courses and programming is not a big aspect of those courses.

    As for graduate school applications, I don't think programming competitions really matter much, unless you are did amazingly well on TopCoder or ACM ICPC or something similar. Of course, its always good to take part in those competitions occasionally. Its just that they may not hold much weight when applying to graduate school.
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