IX. Graduate Programs

Computer Science

MSc Program

The MSc is offered in the fields of: 1) applied modelling; 2) artificial intelligence; 3) distributed computing; and 4) human computer interaction.

Admission Requirements

Most spaces are filled in March for entry the following September, and in October for entry the following January. Prospective students should check the School of Computer Science website http://www.socs.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 School of Computer Science, including at least a 75% average during the previous two years of full-time university study for a degree.

In addition to the university and School of Computer Science requirements, applicants must also submit (i) a current CV and (ii) a statement of research that would normally include the following sections:

  • Specific research interest with justification.

  • Academic and/or practical research experience.

Course Requirement

Entrants who have a four-year honours degree in another discipline and a minor (or equivalent) in computer science must have taken at least 12 courses as described below. University of Guelph equivalents are given for comparison as appropriate.

(A) Seven prescribed courses:

  • An introductory programming course (CIS*1500).

  • An intermediate programming course (CIS*2500).

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

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

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

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

  • An introductory course in calculus (MATH*1200).

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

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

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

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

  • A database course (CIS*3530).

  • An operating systems course (CIS*3110).

  • A computer algorithms course (CIS*3490).

  • A course on automata theory (CIS*3150).

  • A statistics course (STAT*2040).

(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 computer 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

A test of English proficiency is required of all applicants whose first language is not English. Please refer to the University of Guelph Admission Requirements

Program Requirements

Once a student has been admitted to the MSc program, the following components are required for the successful completion of the MSc degree:

  • Completion of the Technical Communication and Research Methodology course (CIS*6890) and at least four other graduate courses

  • Completion of the seminar requirement.

  • An accepted thesis.

Duration of the Program

The MSc degree is a two-year program during which students complete five courses, give a public seminar and complete and successfully defend a thesis. 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 (16 months) in the program assuming adequate preparation for graduate work.

Course Requirement

An MSc student is required to take the Technical Communication and Research Methodology course CIS*6890 and at least four other CIS 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. With approval from the Graduate Program Committee, a CIS graduate course requirement may also be met by a non-CIS graduate course or by a 4000-level course. At most one reading course (CIS*6660) and at most one 4000-level course can count towards the course requirement.

Seminar Requirement

An MSc student must give one publicly announced research seminar on their MSc thesis research. The student will be allocated times and dates for the seminar. It must be attended by the student's advisor and at least one other 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 students 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 four weeks prior to the anticipated date of the defence, and the student must submit their MSc thesis to the Examination Committee at least two weeks prior to the defence. The examination consists of an oral presentation by the student followed by questions from the Examination Committee.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1