2006-2007 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs

Computing and Information Science

MSc in Applied Computer Science Program

The MSc program emphasizes research that can potentially contribute to industry and government. Interaction with other disciplines is encouraged. The fields of study offered by the program are: (1) parallel and distributed computing, (2) interactive software environments, and (3) artificial intelligence. Research in distributed systems includes distributed databases, VLSI design automation, computer architecture and networks, and parallel processing. Research in interactive software environments includes human-computer interaction, user-interface software and hypertext. Research in artificial intelligence includes uncertainty management, knowledge acquisition, expert systems, image processing, neural networks and pattern recognition. Applied research is carried out in areas such as information management, including geographical information systems, statistical databases, and office information systems.

Admission Requirements

Most available spaces are filled in March for entry the following September. A limited amount of spaces are filled in October for entry the following January. Prospective students should check the department website http://www.cis.uoguelph.ca/ for admission procedures and deadlines.

General Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must have a four-year honours degree in computer science, or a four-year honours degree in another discipline with a minor in computer science. Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements of both the university and the department, including at least a 75% average during the previous two years of full-time university study for a degree.

Course Requirement

Entrants who do not have a four-year honours degree in computer science from a recognized university are expected to have previously taken 12 relevant courses from University of Guelph (or equivalent courses from other recognized universities):

(A) Seven prescribed courses:

  • An introductory programming course (like CIS*1500).

  • An intermediate programming course (like CIS*2500).

  • An object-oriented programming course (like CIS*2430).

  • A software systems development course (like CIS*2750)

  • A course on data structures (like CIS*2520)

  • A course on discrete structures (like CIS*1910 or CIS*2910)

  • A mathematics course.

(B) Three core courses at the second-year or higher level selected from the following:

  • A course on hardware and/or assembly language (like CIS*2030).

  • A course on digital systems (like CIS*3120).

  • A course on simulation and/or modelling (like CIS*2460).

  • A database course (like CIS*3530)

  • An operating systems course (like CIS*3110).

  • A computer algorithms course (like CIS*3490).

  • A course on automata theory (like CIS*3620).

  • A statistics course.

(C) Two elective courses at the third-year or higher level:

  • These courses should be related to the applicant's proposed research area. They can be from a discipline other than computing and information science if deemed relevant by the proposed supervisor.

  • Applicants who meet requirements (A) and (C) but who do not meet requirement (B) may be granted provisional admission, i.e., they may be granted admission with the provision that they take specified courses within a specified time and achieve grades above a specified threshold.

English Proficiency

The TOEFL is required of all applicants whose first language is not English. For the Internet-Based TOEFL the applicant's overall score should be at least 89, with no individual component less than 21. For the Computer-Based TOEFL the score should be at least 250, and for the Paper-Based TOEFL it should be at least 600. The TOEFL requirement can be waived in exceptional circumstances only (e.g., applicants who have studied full-time for two years in a country where English is the native language AND in a university where English is the language of instruction).

Degree Requirements

Degree requirements include a technical communication and research methodology course (CIS*6890), at least four other graduate-level courses, a research seminar and a master's thesis. There is no qualifying exam or second-language requirement. As a complement to the information below, the CIS Departmental Handbook for Graduate Students and other documents are available on the department website http://www.cis.uoguelph.ca/?q=graduate#forms

Duration of the Program

Heavy emphasis is placed on the thesis, which usually requires at least two semesters. Students should plan on spending at least four full-time semesters in the program assuming adequate preparation for graduate work. Normally, students are expected to fulfil all the requirements in six semesters.

Advisory Committee

Each MSc candidate conducts thesis research by working closely with a thesis advisor. The advisor is a member of the CIS graduate faculty who provides academic guidance and interacts regularly with the student. Moreover, the student is required to have an Advisory Committee consisting of at least two graduate faculty members. The student's advisor chairs the committee. Graduate faculty members from other academic units can sit in the committee.

Course Requirement

An MSc student is required to take CIS*6890 and at least four other graduate courses. Of these four courses, at least two should be outside of the student's thesis topic area. This area and the courses which fall outside of this area are identified by the student's advisor and Advisory Committee. In exceptional cases, one graduate course requirement may be met by an approved 0.5-credit graduate course from another department or by two approved 400-level 0.5-credit courses which have not already been taken for credit. At most one reading course (CIS*6660) can count towards the course requirement.

Seminar Requirement

An MSc student must give one publicly announced research seminar on his/her MSc thesis research. The seminar must be presented before the final semester of the candidate, and no earlier than the third semester after entering the program. It should be attended by the student's advisor and at least one other CIS faculty member of the student's Advisory Committee. The quality of the presentation is graded on a pass/fail basis. The MSc seminar requirement is intended for candidates to practice presentation and communication skills and to participate in the process of knowledge dissemination as part of the academic life.

Thesis Defence

Arrangements for the MSc thesis defence should be made at least 5 weeks prior to the anticipated date of the defence, and the student must submit his/her MSc thesis to the Advisory Committee at least 3 weeks prior to it (see the CIS Departmental Handbook for Graduate Students). The examination consists of an oral presentation by the candidate followed by questions from the Examination Committee.