Questions for your supervisor

The following is a list of potential talking points, suggested by supervisors, for prospective graduate students to discuss with their supervisor prior to starting the graduate program.  


  1. Where are the supervisor's former students now?  What are their career trajectories? What do they start out doing after completing the degree?
  2.  Are opportunities available that are not obvious? E.G., Are there paid internships with the SFU Co-op Work Program or with the Mitacs Internship Program that I should consider? Are there graduate courses or skills workshops outside the department that I should take? 
  3. If I wish to participate in the SFU Co-op Program or an off-campus internship, is my supervisor on board and aware of any restrictions?  At what point in my program should I go on an internship/co-op? As an international student, what steps are required to comply with immigration law while working off campus?   (Notes: International students interested in internships and/or co-ops should consult the SFU Co-op Office soon after arrival, as visas for off-campus work can take at least 9 weeks to secure.  Co-op work terms are normally not allowed in the last semester of a degree program.  Students should be aware that teaching or research assistantships are typically unavailable during paid internships.)
  4. What level of communication skills are required to be successful in the program? What courses or workshops are available to hone my writing and speaking skills?
  5. What level of computing proficiency is required to be successful in the program?  What courses or workshops are available to hone my computing skills?
  6. When is my expected term of completion?

Master's students:

  1. Am I expected to complete 24 or 30 credit hours of course work?
  2. How many courses am I expected to take in each of the terms of the program?
  3. Am I expected to take all the "core" courses in the Master's program?  Note: The last core course, STAT 852, is typically taken in students' second fall term. 
  4. If I complete all my required course work early and wish to take further elective courses before engaging in the research project, is my supervisor willing to provide financial support to me during this time?