Resources for Students
The SOCS Program Counsellor
The Undergraduate Program Counsellor for SOCS can provide information and advice regarding:
- Course selection
- Program guidance
- Admission questions, such as transfer credits
- Credit equivalencies for courses from other institutions
- Clarification of rules, policies, and procedures
- Continuation of study and probation questions
- Course enrolment issues
Sarah Brennan and Greg Klotz are the SoCS Program Counsellors. You can contact them through firstname.lastname@example.org (Computer Science Counselling).
What are Degrees and Majors?
The Bachelor of Computing Program describes the requirements that are necessary to get a Bachelor of Computing Degree. There is an honours degree which normally requires four years to complete, honours with Co-op which normally requires five years to complete, and a general degree which usually requires three years to complete.
In the honours program there are two majors. One is in Computer Science and the other is in Software Engineering. Both of these majors have a Co-op option. The general program does not have majors or a Co-op option.
What if you are having problems with a course?
If you are having problems in a course, then you should talk to the instructor first. Don’t ignore the problem or hope it goes away. In many cases the instructor can help deal with the problem if it is addressed early. If a problem is left until later in the semester there is often little that can be done to resolve it. If you wait until a course is over before identifying a problem, then it is normally too late for the instructor to anything to help manage it.
Types of problems that students commonly encounter are: difficulties with group interactions, missing several assignments, tests, or labs due to illness; difficulties with labs or teaching assistants; problems with marking.
If you are having difficulties with the instructor of a course, then you can discuss these concerns with the Associate Director Undergraduate (email@example.com).
What if you fail or want to drop a course?
Failing or dropping a course is not the end of the world. Talk to the SoCS Program Counsellor to find out what options are available to you if you drop or fail a course.
It isn’t unusual for students to decide they would like to change their major after they have been here for a few semesters. The calendar provides information about other majors that you can pursue. The Academic Counsellor can help you start the process.
It is generally easier to switch between majors within a degree than it is to switch between degrees. For example, changing your major within the Bachelor of Computing is normally easier than switching to a different Bachelor’s degree program. Entry to some majors is competitive and have space restrictions, so it may not be possible to switch into any major you choose.
The Undergraduate Calendar
The Undergraduate Calendar contains a great deal of useful information. It lists the courses offered by all units on campus and contains the recommended schedule of studies for the Bachelor of Computing program. The schedule of studies is important, and you should plan your schedule early and follow it. To see Bachelor of Computing specific information visit the Bachelor of Computing Calendar.
Course prerequisites are described in the calendar. The prerequisites for a course must be completed before you can register in that course. Dropping or failing a course may limit the courses in which you can register in the following semesters because the dropped/failed course is a prerequisite for later courses. If you need to deviate from the schedule of studies due to failing or dropping a course, then you should contact the SOCS Counsellor for help in planning your new schedule of studies.
The SOCS Wiki contains course outlines for each semester, information on CIS*4900 and CIS*4910 courses and the forms used to register for these courses, instructions for applying to a SOCS undergraduate teaching assistant (UTA) position, and the executive members of the undergraduate student societies.
Information for each course, such as course outlines, lecture notes, assignment information, and grades appears on either the University Courselink system or on the SOCS Moodle server. The course instructor will tell you which server is appropriate for the course.
Most computing courses are worth 0.5 credits. There are several courses which have 0.75 credit weightings. This indicates that these courses are more demanding than a 0.5 credit course. These courses often involve different types of work from other courses, such as group projects, cumulative assignments, or more self-directed learning.
When registering for a semester you should look at the recommended courses in the calendar. The schedules are listed in section X. Degree Programs under the Bachelor of Computing (B.Comp.). There are different schedules of study for the major in Computer Science and the major in Software Engineering. The majors with Co-op have their own schedule of study which is also listed on this page. It is important that you register for the courses that are listed in the schedule of studies as they are all required to complete your degree. There will normally be some credits in each semester that can be taken in your Area of Application or as electives. It is a good idea to start taking your Area of Application courses as soon as possible.
Minors in Computing and Information Science are listed under the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree programs.
All courses have a course code which usually looks something like this CIS*1300 and may sometimes look like this CIS*1300*0102. The first three or four letters indicate the discipline. All Computing courses begin with CIS. The next four numbers after the asterisk are the number of the course. Numbers that begin with a 1 are usually first year courses and those that begin with a 4 are normally fourth year courses. If there is a second asterisk and numbers at the end of the course code, then that is the lecture and lab section number of the course. In the CIS*1300*0102 example the 0102 indicates lecture section one of the course and lab section two. When a course has multiple lab times it will usually have a different section for each lab.
Area of Application
The Area of Application (AoA) is an important part of your degree. You must complete an Area of Application as part of your Bachelor of Computing degree. The AoA is described in the calendar but it primarily consists of 4.0 credits from a discipline other than Computer Science with 1.0 of those credits being at the 3000 level or above. You should pick the area in which you wish to study from those described in the Undergraduate Calendar. If you are unsure which courses to take then look at the minors offered in other degrees, particularly the BA and BSc, to see what courses they recommend. Some disciplines that have traditionally been popular AoA’s for Computer Science students are Business, Psychology, Economics, Mathematics, Marketing, Physics, Statistics, and Studio Art.
It is important to choose an Area of Application in your first year and begin taking the courses necessary to complete it. If you do not do this then you may not be able to complete your AoA requirements on time which can delay your graduation. Taking too many courses from different areas in your first year may limit your ability to complete the AoA on time. It is a good idea to plan which courses you will take for the AoA for each semester of your degree.
Since the Area of Application is similar to a Minor, many students choose to complete a Minor. A Minor requires 5.0 credits where the AoA requires 4.0 so to complete the Minor normally requires 1.0 additional credits taken in the discipline outside of computer science. Each Minor requires the completion of specific courses. You can find the lists of minors and the courses they require described in the Undergraduate Calendar. Most of the Minors are listed under the BA and BSc degrees. If you wish to pursue a Minor, then you need to declare it as part of your program. You can do this by emailing the SoCS Program Counsellor from your UoG email account. Send your name, student number, the Minor you would like to declare, and any questions you have, and the counsellor will let you know how to proceed.
Most Minors are available to students in the B.Comp. The Minors that are popular or compliment the B.Comp. degree include Business, Psychology, Statistics, Geographic Information Systems, Economics, and Mathematics.
What Employers Want; Things to do in 1st Year and Beyond
- Take initiative to develop your skills and networks
- Personal projects – learn a new language, create an app, Git contributions, Udemy etc.
- Register for Hackathons and online coding challenges (Code to Win, Hack the North etc)
- Get involved with clubs – GWiCS, SoCIS, GCC etc.
- Attend tech/career events – CUSEC, CS Games, Tech Showcase, P4E etc.
You’re in Co-op; Now what?
Co-op Sequence for CS and SENG
Winter (Jan – Apr)
Summer (May – Aug)
First Year Review (70%+)
Build tech experience and knowledge (through summer job or personal projects)
1st Job Search Term
Tech Showcase Event
Work Term One
Work Term Two
Work Term Three
Tech Meet & Greet (senior level co-ops and new grads)
Work Term Four
Work Term Five
Last academic Term
Not in co-op; now what?
There may be an opportunity to get into co-op after your 1st year. This is referred to as in-course admission. Please see the in-course application process for more information.
*Note: The deadline for application submission is the last class day of Semester 2 by 4pm.
firstname.lastname@example.org – for questions about co-op (in Semester 1&2), COOP1100 and in-course admission
Co-op and Git
Co-op students often use Git so they can show potential employers their work through the github website.
At this website, free accounts are available for students. You can keep your work private or make it public. You must wait until the course has been completed before you can make your assignments public. Making your assignments public before the end of the course allows others in the class to access your work which can implicate you in an academic misconduct case. If you are unsure, always check with the course instructor before posting anything publicly using Git.
Important links for more information:
Familiarize yourself with Experience Guelph to see summer jobs (Career side), types of employers and jobs available in the tech sector.
For more information on Co-op at Guelph, visit the Main Co-op page.
Many students use Git to store their programming assignments for courses. This allows them to retrieve the assignments from anywhere and to show their work to employers. If you use Github to store your coursework, then you must use a private repository. If you store you work in a public repository this allows other students copy your work. If this happens then you will be identified in an academic misconduct case. Even if the other students use your work without your permission you can be penalized for making your work publicly available.
Each instructor will have different policies for how assignments are to be submitted, how they are graded, and for late policies. Don’t assume that something that is allowed in one course will be the same in another course, even if it is the same instructor.
Using work in your assignments that you did not produce yourself is grounds for academic misconduct. You cannot use work for an assignment that you did not create yourself unless the instructor explicitly states this is acceptable. In general, you cannot reuse work from previous courses unless the instructor of the current course agrees that this is acceptable. The instructor must agree that you can reuse work before you hand in an assignment using such work.
University can be stressful and there is help available. You can find information about the various on-campus resources on our Mental Well-Being page.
If you are unsure what to do you should talk to a counsellor.
Society of Computing and Information Sciences (SOCIS)
SOCIS is the student organization for the University of Guelph’s School of Computer Science. They organize community events for and with SOCS students. More information can be found on the SOCIS website.
Guelph Women in Computer Science (GWiCS)
GWiCS is a student club for women and non-binary folks in the Bachelor of Computing. They organize social events, workshops, and study spaces. More information can be found on the GWiCS Website.
Guelph Coding Community (GCC)
GCC is a group that organizes student run Tech Talks. Their events can cover anything from ethics to a side project demo. For more information check out their page.
Developer Student Club (DSC)
DSC is a Google club ran by a selected UofG student for students interested in Google developer technologies.
If you require technical support with one of the SoCS computer labs or one of our services (SSH/Linux, Moodle, etc), you should contact email@example.com .This email is monitored 7 days a week, though the response time will be slower on evenings and weekends.
If one of our services or something in the labs is not working, even if you aren’t sure if there is a problem or not then send email to firstname.lastname@example.org . It is better if problems are over-reported, than under-reported. This includes problems with the lab rooms themselves and disconnected or broken equipment.
If you have an issue with UoGuelph services like email, forgotten passwords, etc. then contact CCS at ext 58888 or email@example.com .
If you encounter problems with unlocking doors for Reynolds or Thornborough with your student ID card then contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you have specific questions about using the system to complete an assignment, then contact your teaching assistant or instructor.
If you need to make a special request for computing resources or equipment then contact email@example.com .
Connecting to remote SoCS servers for coursework can be done using either ssh or through NoMachine.