Academic Program

Junior Fellow Program

As a participant, you will have the independence to pursue your preferred combination of areas of study and research with a faculty supervisor. You complete twelve (12 )courses of the Coursework and four (4) courses for Research and thesis – a total of sixteen (16) courses and research thesis – to fulfill your “fellow” requirements.


Research Thesis

Courses Twelve four, plus a thesis
Duration 12- 16 months Six months
Duties Take major science courses in areas like Information Science and Computing Science

Work with a researcher and conduct research

Write a dissertation and defend it


Advance into senior industry roles quicker

Command a higher salary

Submit papers to research conferences

Present your own ideas

Create your business set-up

Network with top institutions and industry researchers


Fellow with a specialization in Majors

Pursue industry research work with advanced knowledge in digital technologies

Fellow with a specialization in Major

Work in a research industry

Pursue your PhD in Design Sciences

Coursework Combinations

The basic requirements for the coursework are 12 (twelve) courses over three-terms. The following details the requirements:

  • A total of twelve (12) courses three-terms are required.
  • At least, two (2) courses each must be in 600, 700, 800 and 900 series and a minimum of three (3) courses in the 1100 series (details are in course handbook). A participant may not have more than three (3) in a single series, of the total twelve (12) courses required to meet the fellow requirements.
  • Participants can enroll in the coursework combinations on either a full-time or part-time basis.  The full-time program is a one-year program.  The part-time Fellow coursework program is intended for completion in approximately 3 years, taking one course per term.
  • In addition, participants may be required to join remedial work such as: a) basic mathematics and statistics; b) English language; c) Programming boot-camps. Remedial courses cannot be counted towards this total twelve (12) number of courses required to meet the fellow requirements.
  • Participants enrolling in the coursework combinations are not guaranteed financial support. However, some Research and TA assignments may be available on a term-by-term basis.


The DESC offers the following Industry-driven research and thesis program options.

Research-Thesis Requirements

The basic requirements for the thesis option are four (4) courses over two-terms and a research thesis. Participants may initiate or join the research any time of the program, depending on depth and intensity of the research.

Research-Thesis Details


  • At least three (3) courses in 600, 700 800 and 900 series and one (1) course in 1100 series. A participant is required to have no more than 2 courses in a single major area. Remedial courses cannot be counted towards the course requirement.
  • To maintain progress, a participant must earn credit in a minimum of 2 courses each term until the course requirements are completed. A request to waive this requirement must be made in writing to the Director of Fellowship Studies by the participant’s supervisor.


  1. A participant must arrange supervision with a faculty member in the School by the end of the first term, and have agreed with the proposed supervisor on the general area of the proposed research. An Agreement to Superviseform must be submitted to the DESC Fellowship Office no later than the beginning of the second term.


  1. In consultation with the Principal Research Scientist (PRS), the participant must select a research topic for the thesis by the end of the Second term. Two readers for the thesis, in addition to the supervisor, must also be chosen. The mutual agreement of the participant, supervisor, and readers must be confirmed in writing with the submission of the Agreement to Read the Fellow Thesisform to DESC Fellowship Office when the thesis is ready to be read by the readers. The agreement must explicitly state the topic of the thesis, and the expected completion date of the thesis. The supervisor and researchers are normally members of the DESC, and normally at least one must be a regular faculty member of the DESC. The majority of the thesis committee must be drawn from DESC faculty. The readers must be approved by the Principal Research Scientist.
  2. The thesis requirement requires directed research or scholarly work, and writing a thesis embodying the results. The thesis should be equivalent to four one-term courses or 300 man-hours in effort required.
  3. A copy of the thesis must be submitted for internal display at the time the thesis is distributed to the readers. The thesis should be on display at least 3 weeks before the seminar.
  4. The results of the thesis research must be presented at a publicly-announced seminar (in the same manner as a School seminar).
  5. The thesis must be approved by the PRS and two fellow (inter-disciplinary) research scientists. Credit for the Fellow Thesis is assigned when the supervisor returns the signed Fellow Thesis Acceptanceform and a copy of the seminar announcement to the Director of Studies.
  6. When all degree requirements have been met, the participant submits an electronic copy of the accepted thesis, in the format prescribed in the official DESC Thesis Regulations and Guide in K-Spacefor formatting review. When approved, this copy will be accepted as the official thesis deposit. The participant should advise the DESC Office if the supervisor requires a bound copy of the thesis and this will be arranged.

Participants close to completing program requirements consult the Fellow Thesis completion page.  

After You've Applied

Thank you for applying to the DESC. Please use our quick reference guide below to better understand the admission process once your application has been submitted.

  • Update your application, if necessary
  • Understand the admission review process
  • Wait for your admission decision
  • Review your offer letter
  • Learn more about the conditions of admission listed in your offer
  • Check out the new participant page to prepare for the start of term

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