PhD Computational Sciences

The objective of the PhD in Computational Sciences is to produce interdisciplinary scholars who are capable of tackling emerging problems in the sciences and humanities through investigation, advanced research and application of current computer technologies. Students in the program will have the opportunity to study computer science within the context of another discipline commensurate with their own interests and career goals. These disciplines include but are not limited to the following: Economics, Engineering, English, Geography, History, Integrative Biology, Mathematics and Statistics, Pathobiology, Psychology, and Veterinary Medicine.

The PhD in Computational Sciences is a full­-time, four-­year program (12 semesters of continuous enrollment) during which students will complete the Technical and Communication Research Methodology course (CIS*6890) and any additional graded courses or modules assigned by their Advisory Committee. Students will also give two public seminars, pass a qualifying exam, conduct research and successfully defend a written PhD thesis at the final oral examination. Our PhD will prepare students for both academia and industry.

Applicants also have the option to apply for a collaborative specialization in One Health while pursuing a thesis-based PhD degree in Computational Sciences.

Each PhD candidate will conduct thesis research by working closely with TWO chosen faculty research advisors, a School of Computer Science (SoCS) advisor and an Application Discipline (AD) co-advisor (from discipline outside of computer science), who will share equal responsibility in supervising the candidate's research.

All applicants must identify a secured SoCS advisor AND AD co-advisor BEFORE applying to the program, and these confirmed advisors must be included in the application's Statement of Interest. Finding a SoCS and AD research advisor is mandetory for admission to the PhD.CSCI program and is the responsibility of the applicant.

You can review SoCS faculty Areas of Research and current available opportunities to assist you in finding a suitable SoCS faculty research advisor.

Tips for Finding a Research Advisor

Note for International Applicants: In light of the recent announcement from the Canadian Government (IRCC) limiting the number of issues international student visas, we want to ensure our international graduate applicants that as of current, students applying to our graduate programs (MSc, MCTI, PhD) remain unaffected by this new policy. For more information about Canadian study permit policies, please connect with a member of our International Student Advising team.

How to Apply

Please apply online at Applying to Guelph.

Application Deadlines

Available spaces in the PhD program fill quickly, so it is in your best interest to submit your application and all required supporting documentation early. Our application deadline dates for each semester of enrollment are as follows:*

  • Fall 2024: June 1, 2024
  • Winter 2025: October 1, 2024
  • Spring 2025: February 1, 2025

*The application deadlines are for both Domestic and International applicants. We strongly encourage International applicants to apply a minimum of 9 months in advance of the semester's start date to ensure study permits can be processed in time for admission. Please see the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS) Recommendations for International Applicants for suggested application timeline.

Please note: Application processing times may vary and take approximately two to three months for decision. Please also ensure you have all required application documentation submitted by the specified deadline, or your application will be considered incomplete.


Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements of both the University and the School of Computer Science (SoCS). For admission to the PhD in Computational Sciences program, entrants require the following:

  1. Thesis-based master's degree: Admission to the PhD program normally requires a recognized thesis-based master’s degree. Applicants possessing a recognized course-based master's degree may be considered if the applicant demonstrates an outstanding academic record and research accomplishments through publications in scholarly journals and/or conferences. We do not require students entering the program to have a credential in Computer Science. Such students are required to identify their experience using computerized techniques and demonstrate that they have the necessary background to complete the tasks outlined in the Statement of Interest.
  2. Minimum B average: Applicants are required to have a minimum average of 75% ('B') during the previous two years of full-time university study for an accredited university graduate degree. For information on international degree admission requirements, please see: International Credential Evaluation and select country. Admission average is calculated using the last 2 years of university-level study.
  3. TWO faculty research advisors: Each PhD candidate will conduct thesis research by working closely with two chosen faculty research advisors, a School of Computer Science (SoCS) advisor and an Application Discipline (AD) co-advisor, who will share equal responsibility in supervising the candidate's research. At least one of the advisors must be regular graduate faculty member at the University of Guelph. A chosen SoCS advisor and AD co-advisor must be established BEFORE applying to the PhD.CSCI program, and must be included in the application's Statement of Interest.

    You can review SoCS faculty Areas of Research to assist you in finding a suitable SoCS faculty research advisor.

    Please also review Tips for Finding a Research Advisor to assist you in communicating effectively with our SoCS faculty.
  4. English proficiency test: An English proficiency test will be required for any applicant whose first language is not English.

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Requirements, the School of Computer Science (SOCS) requires all of the documentation noted on the application page including:

  1. Academic Transcripts
  2. A current resume or CV (including publications)
  3. A Statement of Interest (maximum 1500 words):
    • The applicant must identify their potential supervisors (SoCS advisor and AD co-advisor) and explain their choice
    • They should describe the general area of research in which they are interested
    • The area must be at the crossroads between computer science and another discipline (the “application discipline”) in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, etc.
    • They may also describe a specific research problem in the area and their initial ideas on how to approach it
    • They should clearly explain the importance and interdisciplinary nature of the area or problem
    • They should summarize the related research and refer to publications where appropriate
    • As an appendix (not included in the 1500-word limit):
      • An applicant without a master’s or bachelor’s degree in computer science should highlight their computational knowledge and experience (e.g., computer science courses taken; use of Matlab, Mathematica, R, Maple, Weka)
      • An applicant without a master’s or bachelor’s degree in the application discipline should highlight their knowledge and experience in that discipline
      • The applicant should list any other reasons why they consider themselves a strong applicant
  4. Three Academic References
  5. A test of English proficiency is required of all applicants whose first language is not English. The English language requirements for the PhD program are higher than other programs.  Required scores are shown below:

*Please note, the test may not be more than two years old. The proof of English proficiency requirement may be waived in exceptional circumstances. For example, applicants may be eligible for an English Waiver who have conferred a degree in a country where English is the native language AND in a university where English is the language of instruction (e.g. Canada, UK, USA, Australia, etc.). School of Computer Science Graduate Admissions Committee approval is required.

6. The Declaration of Committement form is an additional document required for applicants of the One Health Collaborative Specialization ONLY

7. The GRE is NOT required for admission

Fees & Funding

Tuition Fees

Visit Guelph Graduate Fees for the approximate costs of studying at the University of Guelph. Please also review the cost of living information for domestic and international students to determine the approximate cost of living fees (as these are in addition to tuition).

Guaranteed Funding

Normally, PhD students are (at minimum) partially funded by the School of Computer Science. That is, a minimum funding stipend of $25,000 per year (maximum 4 years) is guaranteed to all international and domestic PhD students who are able to secure a graduate faculty advisor and admission to the program. Funding is provided as a combination of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA).


Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the following scholarships:

For more information about types of funding and scholarships available, please visit fees, funding and scholarships.

For more information and requirements, please visit the PhD in Computational Sciences Graduate Calendar, or download our Program Brochure.

Please note, we will not be able to pre-evaluate any documents, and must receive all the required documentation before your application can be evaluated. If you need further assistance, please contact our Graduate Program Assistant.