MSc in Canada: How are the research opportunities?

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heisenbergh23
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:56 am

MSc in Canada: How are the research opportunities?

Postby heisenbergh23 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:07 am

I was wondering if MSc students in Canadian universities (like Toronto, UBC, Alberta,Mcmaster) have opportunities to get involved in serious research? By serious I mean research not just for the sake of thesis. Do proffesors take Msc students seriously, and is there a good collaboration between professor and Msc student, which could possibly lead to publications? Can any canadian students in this forum give some useful tips on how to maximize your research efficiency during MSc ( like when to start doing research, how to balance research, coursework and TA duty, etc)? Thank you!

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: MSc in Canada: How are the research opportunities?

Postby TakeruK » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:20 pm

Yes, in Canada, graduate school consists of 2 years of MSc then 3-4 years of a PhD. You must start in a MSc program before you can enroll in a PhD program (usually you must finish the MSc however if you are staying at the same school for PhD, then you are sometimes able to "fast-track" and skip the MSc defense; however you won't get a MSc if you end up leaving early).

That means that a MSc student in Canada is the same as the first two years of a PhD student in the US. We are fully funded, have TA responsibilities, take the same classes as PhD students and do substantial research. Perhaps not as much as a PhD student but in the US, grad students do less research in their first 2 years compared to the later years as well.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: MSc in Canada: How are the research opportunities?

Postby Catria » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:41 pm

heisenbergh23 wrote:I was wondering if MSc students in Canadian universities (like Toronto, UBC, Alberta,Mcmaster) have opportunities to get involved in serious research? By serious I mean research not just for the sake of thesis. Do proffesors take Msc students seriously, and is there a good collaboration between professor and Msc student, which could possibly lead to publications? Can any canadian students in this forum give some useful tips on how to maximize your research efficiency during MSc ( like when to start doing research, how to balance research, coursework and TA duty, etc)? Thank you!


I myself is enrolled in one such MSc program (my current department is infamous in Quebec for enrolling an excessive amount of graduate students internally, I think 2/3+ went to that school for undergrad as well).

Technically one doesn't need to do original research as a MSc student, but, in practice, everyone is involved in original, serious research, precisely because it benefits professors to have even MSc students do original, serious research. Hence the professors taking MSc students seriously.

As to how exactly it benefits professors to have masters students do serious research (and even publish): NSERC (and provincial grant-awarding agencies as well) takes into account, when evaluating a professor's track record, not only the professor's own publications but also the number and level of graduate students advised.

My own experience was that I had coursework during the first semester and first-semester masters students usually don't do anything towards their thesis other than maybe literature review (and usually, literature review could be started in the first semester only if it helped with the coursework) so the research begins during the second semester, and you have less coursework during the second semester vs. the first.

orion43
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:50 pm

Re: MSc in Canada: How are the research opportunities?

Postby orion43 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:52 pm

In U of T, there is no Masters program; however, if you get in the PhD program, you have the option of doing only masters but they prefer for you not to since they are investing in the students they take and prefer to have PhD students instead of Masters. You would need to also take 4 courses there as well as doing research and that can lead to publications.

gendf
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:39 am

Re: MSc in Canada: How are the research opportunities?

Postby gendf » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:25 am

heisenbergh23 wrote:I was wondering if MSc students in Canadian universities (like Toronto, UBC, Alberta,Mcmaster) have opportunities to get involved in serious research? By serious I mean research not just for the sake of thesis. Do proffesors take Msc students seriously, and is there a good collaboration between professor and Msc student, which could possibly lead to publications? Can any canadian students in this forum give some useful tips on how to maximize your research efficiency during MSc ( like when to start doing research, how to balance research, coursework and TA duty, etc)? Thank you!


Yes, it is possible. I (an MSc student at not reputable university) actually do the same things (in computational physics) as a PhD student of my supervisor. I am going to finish my article for Pysical Review B soon. Previous MSc student of my supervisor finished his MSc degree with a paper.




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