I mistakenly waited too long before I really looked into general expectations before graduate school applications. Research experience was something I always saw only as a bonus to applications if you were able to get any. Recently I have been reading up on the subject more and many things I have been seeing seem to heavily indicate I really should be having some form of research experience to show interest in/preparation for graduate school.

My current situation:
I am a Canadian student currently in a 16 month long SE internship that will end August 2020, after which I will be finishing my last year of University.

I plan to apply for a masters program at U of Waterloo fall of 2020 for the computer science quantum information program

Overall GPA: 3.91 (last 2 years probably increases it by 0.01)
TA experience: was a TA for two CS courses, believe I can get good LOR from these professors
Worked experience: 16 month internship in a general development position
not related to my field of interest
Research experience: None

Since I will be working until august, and applying by december, I don't see it as a possibility I can get research experience in time, especially before contacting possible supervisors. Is there any advice that can be given to attempt to improve this gap? I am currently trying to heavily study up on the relevant material, but this is informal and doubtfully worth much outside of conversations with supervisors, if it gets there.

I appreciate any help, and I'm sorry for another "grad school chances" thread. (I am not expecting an answer on whether I have a chance as I know that is not a question that could be answered)

1 Answer 1


I don't know any specific expectations in Canada but I doubt the expectations about research experience are very high when applying for a Master. Also you seem to assume that informal experience doesn't count, but it probably does: for instance you could do a small project, e.g. reproducing state of the arts results for a problem of interest and analyzing the results. It might not count as much as a formal research internship but it certainly qualifies as research experience. If a professor accepts to guide you in such a project and gives you a good LOR at the end, then it's virtually equivalent to a research internship. At least that's how I would interpret it, but you should discuss this with somebody involved in this particular Master programme.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .