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Masters and Ph.d in Canadian Universities

 
Ottawa_Nerd
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Member since: Jan 04




Posts: 1754
Location: Ottawa (Now in Bangalore)

Masters and Ph.d in Canadian Universities

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I am starting a thread that addresses these issues. A common attitude amongst desi students from India is
"Canada is very cold "yaar". Who will go to Canada"...

My response to that is that the quality of education is on par with any developed country.
The fees are also competitive when compared with UK / Australia...

However, you have to do a lot of research work before you choose a university.

My views will be directed towards Engineering (mostly towards Electrical and Computer Engg, Chemical Engg, Geomatics Engg, Mech Engg and Computer Science)..

If you are from the IIT's and would like to come to Canada..try considering the following Universities..

Waterloo (http://www.uwaterloo.ca)
Toronto (http://www.utoronto.ca) and
UBC (http://www.ubc.ca)
McGill(http://www.mcgill.ca)

They have some of the best programs in electrical engg.

A major aspect of a grad education is Funding...
If you want to come here and pay your way from ur own pocket, then please ignore this part of the article

If you come to Canada for a masters degree you will be faced with a unique tution fee situation. As you are an international student (IS), you will be charged double the fees than a Permanent Resident, Citizen or an Exempt student. USASK (http://www.usask.ca) is an exception.

So how do you overcome this situation ? Well the obvious solution would be to
Get at least 1 year of work experience. When you are in your second year, start your application process. Once you get your admission letter, come to Canada as an international student. After 1 semester, apply for Permanent Residence.

Meanwhile you should be able to select a supervisor for your Thesis. You can get funding in very selected departments. Comp Sci/ Electrical Engg in major universities; Chemical Engg in a few while getting funding in other engg depts are a lil bit problemetic.
YOu can survive on TA's (Teaching assistantships) and RA's (research assistantships). There is no concept of "Tution fee waiver " in Canada. However, the trend is changing now. Many universities are attracting grad students with what is known as an "admission scholarship".
In this, the Dept will cover partially or completely your Tution fees. You will still have to pay for your Insurance, as you wont be covered under any provincial health plan. This is an advantage when compared with US universities.

Most Canadian universities require a TOEFL score. Very few universities require the GRE (e.g., UBC, Simon Fraser & Mc Gill). Its always better to have the GRE score, though not necessary. In order to enhance your chances of getting admission you need to have either some or all of the following :-
1.) a couple of publications in reputed journals and conferences (referred)
2.) Good TOEFL (and GRE if applicable) scores &
3.) Very strong recommendation letters.

If you want funding from your professor, you should have an aptitude for research. You wont have any funding if you opt for a course based thesis option. Generally prof's like students who can give them publications. This is where your previous skills can come in handy.

I will be updating many more points in this section.

Moderators.. Can you please make this is a sticky post for a few weeks. Any other input from others is greatly appreciated.

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Last edited by: Ottawa_Nerd on 03-05-06 15:51:21
Post ID: 33554 02-12-04 21:50:22
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mercury6
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Member since: Jan 04




Posts: 2025
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Very useful thread.

I would also like this to address the need of newly arrived immigrants who at some point would like to upgrade their qualifications. (The sooner the better of course)

The basic question would be.


Should one go Masters or even higher level of courses as opposed to say short term techincal courses?

What are the pros and cons of each from the point of view of the newly arrived?



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Post ID: 33582 03-12-04 10:44:05
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rajcanadaMember of Administrators
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Posts: 2283
Location: Kitchener, ON


Quote:
Orginally posted by Ottawa_Nerd

Toronto (http://www.toronto.ca)



I think you meant University of Toronto (http://www.utoronto.ca)and not toronto.ca which the city's website.

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Last edited by: rajcanada on 03-12-04 10:57:00
Post ID: 33585 03-12-04 10:56:00
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Ottawa_Nerd
Senior Desi
Member since: Jan 04




Posts: 1754
Location: Ottawa (Now in Bangalore)


Thanks RajCanada..You are right....

In this post I will focus on some commonly held misconceptions about "university rankings"


While coming from India, we tend to blindly ape the US system of college rankings. This is a commonly used ranking system, devised by USAToday to judge various private and public universities. This may be true when selecting a school for undergraduate studies. However, when selecting a school for Grad studies, these ratings are irrelevent. For e.g., You will not have a rating system for universities in Europe. That's cos all universities in Europe (e.g., Germany) have nearly the same standards throughout.

"Badi machli, talaab mein bhi jaaker rahe, chahe samundar mein rahein...badi hi rehti hai"

( A big fish , whether staying in a pond or the sea..always stays big)

When choosing a university for Electrical and or Computer Engg for Masters degree try the following route :-

1.) Find out if the depratment has a strong research group in that field. For example, let us consider Image processing. If you take a look at
LINK, there is a strong research group in Multimedia and Image processing. If you can get admission there, then it really helps your academic profile.

2.) However, as an international student, if you are not able to get admission to such a prestigious research group in UBC, do not despair. Such "top-ranked" universities like UBC, UToronto, Waterloo, Queen's etc. generallly prefer Canadian citizens or PR's...What this means is that they would like to give admission to students who are required to pay less fees and who have a better chance of getting financial aid.

3.) Do not look at the university only. A university may be good but the research group that you are interested in may not be present there at all (An example would be MIT in the USA....In India MIT = GOD/the ultimate dream come true...but unfortunately its not GOD for every academic subject..)... Pick up a journal related to your research group. The most commonly used journal would be IEEE (http://www.ieee.org) journals. Find out which professors from the university are actively publishing.

4.) Once you have selected a couple of professors, you can zoom on them. I had a similar experience. I actually studied at a rather "above average" university (http://www.uottawa.ca), when it comes to Electrical and Computer engineering. However, my research supervisor is quite well known in his field of work. So much so that when I came to the USA for my post-doc research I find that my Post-doc BOSS (from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne) and my supervisor were once active collaborators !

5.) So try and find such ppl who are quite well known in their field of work.. Some examples would be SImon Haykin (Mc Master), Venetsanopoulous (UToronto), Rab-el-Ward (UBC) etc.
However, there is a drawback of such an approach also.

No doubt, working with a professor who is well known has its own advantages. However, even other ppl from the world think like you. They also will apply to the same professors. So you have more competition (esp from Chinese and Iranians) . In addition, if the professor has a large number of students then you may get lost in the crowd.

What this means is the Prof can devote only a small amountof his time towards your research work. If you happen to be a student with Simon Haykin, you are expected to pursue ur own research work (nearly independently)....

A strong research group also helps u in peer support. You can collaborate with other professors or find out new contacts through them. Just make sure, you do not ditch your old prof for a new professor.

If you do have to leave your current supervisor, first go and have a chat with him/her. This chat is all the more needed if you want to switch to another faculty member.

In the next post, I will talk abt academic dishonesty and what consequences you can face. Additionally I will give some tips as to what you can do if your supervisor leaves you in the lurch by withdrawing funding from your abruptly !

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"Aur Vaise Bhi, Sharafat ki jab kapde utarti hai, sabse zyaada mazaa shareefon ko hi aati hai"....(From The Dirty Picture)

Warning !! SCAM ALERT !!
LINK & LINK
This is a Useful Health related Tip
LINK
Please visit
LINK for some interesting Information ! (Especially 009.005 )

 
Last edited by: Ottawa_Nerd on 08-12-04 15:03:11
Post ID: 34022 08-12-04 12:23:06
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Chris
Senior Desi
Member since: Feb 04




Posts: 148
Location: SoMeWheRe iN aSia


Very good topic idea, ON. your expertise in this matter can be invaluable. the only thing i could add is that a different strategy would be to ignore the status of the University, the department, etc. and find out what research groups are active at that particular university in your field. ultimately, the professor you work with (your thesis supervisor) will be the strongest influence on you. why not choose the university based solely on the professor, and what research group/project he is involved in?

the research group will already have funding from the gov't or university, so there will be grants, jobs, RA positions, etc. to go around.

if you then choose to study in the same field, it would be hoped that your supervisor would make you a member of the team.

you would then have a lot of guidance in your studies: your thesis would be in the framework of an ongoing project, and you would actually be paid to do it since you would be a member of the research team.

the alternative, selecting a university based on reputation, on course choices, etc and then finding out later what research activities, projects and so on are going on might be fine too. presumably if the university is reputed, there is dynamic intellectual activity going on and thus, many TA, RA positions.

just food for thought.


 
Post ID: 34074 08-12-04 20:24:34
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Ottawa_Nerd
Senior Desi
Member since: Jan 04




Posts: 1754
Location: Ottawa (Now in Bangalore)


Quote:
Orginally posted by Chris
why not choose the university based solely on the professor, and what research group/project he is involved in?




Chris, thats exactly what I stated in my post above. Ignore the university rankings..they mean nothing... Find out a professor who will be intrigued by your research proposal. Yes...SOP / Stamement of purpose does help in securing funding from a professor.

Again...you will have en excellent change of securing all those goodies (e.g., R.A's) if you are a Landed immigrant or Canadian Citizen. Otherwise, you really have to impress the professor such that he has no other option but to fund you :)

Chris thanks for your words..you can contribute and share your experiences also. I find this forum is filled with ppl who share / provide information about practically every aspect of Canadian life except higher education. Most responses that I found in this regard were very vague. I can understand how frustating a new student from India can feel if she/he comes on this forum and does not find this kind of information.

Mercury6 to answer your question...It all depends on circumstances. As I mentioned earlier, this thread is meant to inform students of how to apply for higher education courses/programs...it doesnt matter if they are on student visas or they are landed immigrants.

A person with a family, having kids and a wife may find it tough to jump into a Masters degree program. The next resort would be to take student loans and that will complicate his life if he is not able to repay them on time. As I mentioned before,
The best option would be the following :-
1.) The candidate has work experience in his/her field of work back home in India or abroad
2.) The candidate is well off financially or has no dependents (I mention this as I have written this post for all those students who come here immediately after completing their bachelors degree's)
3.) The candidate can slog it out till he gets his citizenship / passport..after which he/she can move down south to the USA....So you get a world class degree by paying a fraction of the costs and you also end up getting ur citizenship !

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"Aur Vaise Bhi, Sharafat ki jab kapde utarti hai, sabse zyaada mazaa shareefon ko hi aati hai"....(From The Dirty Picture)

Warning !! SCAM ALERT !!
LINK & LINK
This is a Useful Health related Tip
LINK
Please visit
LINK for some interesting Information ! (Especially 009.005 )

 
Post ID: 34096 08-12-04 22:57:12
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Ottawa_Nerd
Senior Desi
Member since: Jan 04




Posts: 1754
Location: Ottawa (Now in Bangalore)


Today, I would like to talk about academic and research ethics. This is an important concept, something which we in India are not fully aware of (unless one is in big established institutions).

We see plagiarism everywhere. Afterall its very easy to make a film like Aitraaz and completely forget abt a film called Disclosure and Micheal Crichton, the author of the novel on which the film is based. This is the state of affairs in India.

We have a tendency to translate that in academics also.
"arrey yaar who works..i will copy his stuff and submit it"...

All you future students and proffessionals....remember this..ACADEMIC and RESEARCH FRAUD = Goodbye to your career.

In Canada, students are encouraged to discuss topics and work together. So for example, one can work with friends in finding out the solution to a problem. However, if that work has to be submitted as a paper, the friends name SHOULD be mentioned...This is termed as "giving credit"... It is an important aspect of research work in Canadian universities.

You cannot reproduce verses, lines, phrases and paragraphs from published works VERBATIM... YOu will have to give credit as to how you came up with the verse/phrase etc. Remember, the consequences can be disastrous.

As a student, you have rights that are guaranteed by the Canadian government. You have the basic right to privacy. This means that your supervisor cannot barge into your room in your absence and rummage through your things. If he does that, then you are on solid grounds to sue the university. Make sure you do not share your research ideas with anyone. I was very paranoid about my work, so much so that I skipped our seminar session for 2 years. Only your supervisor or your collaborators should be aware of yorur idea. If you try to "steal" someone else's idea then BEWARE ! ....

There is a graduate co-ordinator in every department. Try and develop a healty rapport with him/her. This will help you approach the person more easily if you need his help.

If you have been promised by the department for X # of years of funding then you will get funding for X # of years. This is a legally binding document. It doesnt matter if ur supervisor backs off from the agreement. It will become the departments responsibility to find you a source of income. You should be aware of your rights and should not accept the policies that may be imposed on you. Remember, you have rights..You will have graduate students unions...They are there to represent you.

Graduate students of Many Canadian universities are represented by C.U.P.E (Canadian union of public employees), with CUPE @ York University being the most powerful !... If yo u are a T.A or R.A you will have union protection. Know ur union reps and approach them with any problems you may have. I was myself in the CUPE 2626 committee(at the University of Ottawa), hence I can state this confidently. We did get problems and issues resolved.

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"Aur Vaise Bhi, Sharafat ki jab kapde utarti hai, sabse zyaada mazaa shareefon ko hi aati hai"....(From The Dirty Picture)

Warning !! SCAM ALERT !!
LINK & LINK
This is a Useful Health related Tip
LINK
Please visit
LINK for some interesting Information ! (Especially 009.005 )

 
Post ID: 34199 09-12-04 16:52:30
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Chris
Senior Desi
Member since: Feb 04




Posts: 148
Location: SoMeWheRe iN aSia


yes, ON, you are quite right. the choice of a supervisor is in fact just as important or even more important than the university itself.

when i did my masters at the U of Montreal i was almost destitute. Living in Cote des Neiges and wondering if i would make it through the second year of the program. Thank God, my supervisor asked me to work on his ongoing research project, 20 hours of paid work a week, doing work for him that coincided with my thesis work anyway!

i had initially chosen that professor for abstract reasons: his area of expertise, his personality, his reaction to my thesis proposal, and so on.

in retrospect, i wonder why i was so naive and did not choose a supervisor on a more pragmatic basis (i.e. financial clout/academic projects/ research groups).

i was lucky that the one I chose had considerable leeway to help me out.

hopefully, the new generation is more pragmatic in its choices.


 
Post ID: 34215 09-12-04 20:43:50
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jago_desi
Senior Desi
Member since: Sep 04




Posts: 591
Location: canada


Quote:
Orginally posted by Ottawa_Nerd

Mercury6 to answer your question...It all depends on circumstances. As I mentioned earlier, this thread is meant to inform students of how to apply for higher education courses/programs...it doesnt matter if they are on student visas or they are landed immigrants.

A person with a family, having kids and a wife may find it tough to jump into a Masters degree program. The next resort would be to take student loans and that will complicate his life if he is not able to repay them on time. As I mentioned before,
The best option would be the following :-
1.) The candidate has work experience in his/her field of work back home in India or abroad
2.) The candidate is well off financially or has no dependents (I mention this as I have written this post for all those students who come here immediately after completing their bachelors degree's)
3.) The candidate can slog it out till he gets his citizenship / passport..after which he/she can move down south to the USA....So you get a world class degree by paying a fraction of the costs and you also end up getting ur citizenship !



A person with experience in Technical Sales (8 years) and Technical education (B.E) would like to further go for short term course in Business Administration or Marketing Analysis or Logistic Management. Now, do you feel college like CDI, Humber, Seneca or George Brown will hold any value.
Finance will be through OSAP, after completion of 1 year Post Graduation Diploma what chance does that person hold in work front.
Any Suggestions, esp regarding the above college names.

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Post ID: 34890 17-12-04 23:49:56
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Chris
Senior Desi
Member since: Feb 04




Posts: 148
Location: SoMeWheRe iN aSia


is there one consolidated website, ON, with a list of gov't and university bursaries and grants? i think many people would benefit from applying to university and then deciding on whether to actually enrol depending on (1) the RA/TA positions offered to them, (2) the scholarships offered to them.

a person could apply on a whim or even on a yearly basis and then decide if it were actually feasible after crunching the numbers.

i know some people that are making a decent salary simply 'studying'. why not get paid to get a diploma and sit in the cafeteria and student lounge chatting up chicks?


 
Post ID: 35175 21-12-04 20:51:34
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