PhD Computer Science
The objective of the PhD in Computer Science (PhD.CS) is to produce outstanding computer scientists who are capable of conducting high-quality research with a deep understanding of their research domain. Our PhD will prepare graduates with the potential to make significant contributions to the academy and in the private sector.
The PhD in Computer Science (PhD.CS) 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 two additional graduate courses selected in consultation with 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.
Applicants also have the option to apply for a collaborative specialization in One Health while pursuing a thesis-based PhD degree in Computer Science.
All applicants must identify a secured School of Computer Science (SoCS) faculty research advisor BEFORE applying. Finding a research advisor is mandatory for admission to the PhD.CS 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 graduate faculty 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.
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 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 thesis-based PhD in Computer Science program, entrants require the following:
- Thesis-based master's degree in computer science: Admission to the PhD program requires a recognized master’s degree in computer science (or a closely related discipline) that includes a thesis or a major independent project. Successful applicants will also demonstrate good research potential, an ability to critically evaluate experimental or theoretical results and strong communication skills. Evidence for these may be provided by scholarly publications during and/or immediately following their master's degree.
- A 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.
- A SoCS faculty research advisor: Each PhD candidate will conduct thesis research by working closely with a chosen School of Computer Science (SoCS) faculty research advisor, required to supervise their PhD research. Applicants must identify a secured School of Computer Science (SoCS) Graduate Faculty Advisor BEFORE applying. Finding a SoCS research advisor is mandatory for admission into the PhD.CS program and the responsibility of the applicant.
You can review SoCS faculty Areas of Research to assist you in finding a suitable SoCS graduate faculty research advisor.
Please also review Tips for Finding a Research Advisor to assist you in communicating effectively with our SoCS faculty.
- 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:
- Academic Transcripts
- A current resume or CV (including publications)
- A Statement of Interest (maximum 1500 words); the applicant:
- Should describe the general area of research in which they are interested
- May also describe a specific research problem in the area and their initial ideas on how to approach it
- Should summarize the related research and refer to publications where appropriate
- Three Academic References
- 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:
- TOEFL (and TOEFL Special Home Edition): 100, speaking and writing 25, at least 21 in each category
- IELTS (and Computer-delivered IELTS): 7.0, at least 6.5 for each component
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE-A): 60, a minimum score of 60 must be achieved in each individual component.
- Canadian Academic English Language Test (CAEL): 70, writing and speaking 70, no score lower than 60
- University of Guelph English Language Certificate at the Advanced Level
- DuoLingo Test: 120
*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 (SoCS) Graduate Admissions Committee approval is required.
7. The GRE is NOT required for admission
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).
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 is guaranteed to all international and domestic PhD students who are able to secure a graduate faculty advisor and secure admission to the program. Funding is provided as a combination of Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA).
For more information about types of funding and scholarships available, please visit fees, funding and scholarships.
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.