Full-time thesis students
Each full-time graduate student is awarded a graduate assistantship. Minimum stipends are subject to change, and in 2018 were $15576 (domestic) and $23076 (international) in one year of the 2 year program. Students doing the thesis-based MSc may have supplemental funding (typically between $5000 to $6000 per year) from the research grant of the supervisor. Students holding external awards (OGS, NSERC) will have funding topped-up with teaching assistantships. These figures include wages earned for teaching assistantships, and these wages will be subject to income tax. The following shows how funding (2018-2019) is approximately used (all figures are estimates, and are subject to change):
Domestic full-time thesis student:
$20,576 (funding) – $10,049 (tuition, fees) = $10,021 (remaining)
International full-time thesis student:
$29,076 (funding) – $25,831 (tuition, fees) = $3,245 (remaining)
The remaining values above will actually be less than shown, due to income tax on the TA earnings.
Full-time project students
Full-time project students receive similar minimum stipends as above. However, they do not receive supplementary research funding from supervisors. It is important that project-based MSc students realize that funding will not cover all their expenses, which the following figures show (all figures are rough estimates, and are subject to change).
Domestic full-time project student:
$15,576 (funding) – $10,049 (tuition, fees) = $5,527 (remaining)
International full-time project student:
$23,076 (funding) – $25,831 (tuition, fees) = $2,755 owing
The remaining figure will be lower, and the owing amount higher, due to income tax applied to TA earnings.
Part-time MSc students are not given funding.
It is the responsibility of all students to cover all their tuition and fees, and general living expenses. As is shown in the above funding examples, the majority of funding covers tuition and fees. Any amount remaining (if any) will be considerably lower, and will not be enough to live on for the year. Please see the Graduate Studies website for the most current funding figures and estimated expenses for domestic and international students.
Graduate fellowships and research assistantships are normally spread across the 3 terms of study during the academic year. Students should not expect all the funding to be available at the start of a term of study, however, because graduate teaching assistantships are paid in regular installments during terms with TA duties. As a result, there will be fees owing at the beginning of a term, even after funding has been deducted. For international students, this can be over $2000 for the thesis option and over $4000 for the project option. Therefore, students must have personal finances available in order to cover all fees and living expenses over the duration of their studies.
Finally, there are a variety of scholarships, bursaries, and extra TA hours that students can apply for. However, competition for them is high, and they are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Students should not rely on them for budgeting their finances.