How Should I Plan My Computer Science Degree?

Computer science offers programs and options that lead to an academic degree.

An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of one or more programs of study. Commonly degrees are offered at various levels, including bachelor's (normal and honours), master's, and doctorates. The comibination of programs (honours, majors, and/or minors) required to complete a degree depends on the level and faculty.

An option is an academic certification stating that your academic program includes a set of courses that qualifies you to be knowledgeable in a specific subfield of computer science. The school offers one option:

  • Computer Games, which can only be added to the Major in Computer Science.

A stream is a sequence of courses that satisfy the student's academic program (including options). There exists more than one sequence of courses that can lead to a successful degree. We suggest some possible streams on this page. You can speak to an advisor if you need help.

Once a student completes all the requirements of all programs within their degree, the student's transcript will indicate that the degree has been awarded and show the program(s) including any options which have been completed successfully.

Prerequisite Courses to Begin a Program in Computer Science

Before you can enter computer science, you must have completed the following:

  • An introductory course in programming, and
  • High school algebra and calculus courses.

If you have not taken the prerequisite courses to enter computer science, you can take the following courses in your freshman year:

  • Introduction to Programming: COMP 202, or COMP 204, or COMP 208
  • Math Courses: MATH 133, 140, 141

Notes:

  • COMP 202, 204, and 208 are considered equivalent from a prerequisite perspective. You may take at most one of these courses. Each course, however, is placed within a specific context: 202 is general/science, 204 is aimed at life sciences, and 208 focuses on engineering and physical sciences.
  • We recommend that MATH 240 be taken during your first year in computer science. MATH 240 is an important prerequisite course in computer science.

I Have All the Prerequisite Courses to Begin a Program in Computer Science

If you have already taken an introduction to programming course in high school in either Java, Python, or C++ and you have completed mathematics courses equivalent to MATH 133, 140, and 141; then you should do the following:

  • Take COMP 250 and MATH 240 in your first semester.
  • You may also want to consider taking COMP 206 at the same time as COMP 250. Some students take COMP 250, 206, and 273 at the same time, but it is a lot of work and not recommended even though it is possible.
  • Please consult the menu items: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts and Science to find the programs avalable depending on your faculty.
  • Please consult the menu item: Computer Games Option to find the required courses to satisfy the certification.
  • If you want to minor in computer science, it is recommended that you apply within your first year. See the menu item: Minor in Computer Science

Example Streams

Below are four popular examples of how students who are taking a Major in Computer Science (with or withinout the Games Option) or Software Engineering as part of a B.Sc. degree can organize their courses. Since CS programs tend to have a common core of courses adapting this to other programs should be straightforward.

Possible Streams for 3-year Major in Computer Science with sufficient programming background. (i.e., do not need to take 202)

Year

Computer Science (COMP)

Mathematics (MATH)

U1

Fall: 250, 206; Winter: 251, 273

222, 240, 223

U2

302, 303, 310
At least two of 330, 350, 360

At least one of 318, 323*, 324, 340*

U3

Remaining credits from 300-level or above.

At least one of 318, 323*, 324, 340*

*Minimum requirement must include at least one of 323 or 340

Possible Streams for 3-year Major in Computer Science starting with COMP 202.

Year

Computer Science (COMP)

Mathematics (MATH)

U1

Fall: 202; Winter: 250, 206

222, 240, 223

U2

Fall: 251, 273; Winter: 302, 303
Possibly 310
At least one of 330, 350, 360

At least one of 318, 323*, 324, 340*

U3

Remaining courses in the program

*Minimum requirement must include at least one of 323 or 340.

Possible Streams for 3-year Major in Computer Science plus the Games Option with sufficient programming background.

Year

Computer Science (COMP)

Mathematics (MATH)

U1

Fall: 250, 206; Winter: 251, 273

222, 240, 223

U2

302, 303, 310, 330 or 360, 361 (full year)
One course from Games option

323 or 324

U3

Remaining courses in the option and degree

Possible Streams for 3-year Major in Computer Science plus the Games Stream starting with COMP 202.

Year

Computer Science (COMP)

Mathematics (MATH)

U1

Fall: 202; Winter: 250, 206

222, 240, 223, 323 or 324

U2

251, 273, 302, 303, 310, 330 or 360
One course from Games option

U3

Remaining courses in the option and degree

Possible Streams for 3-year Major in Software Engineering with sufficient programming background.

Year

Computer Science (COMP)

Mathematics (MATH)

U1

Fall: 250, 206; Winter: 251, 273

222, 240, 223

U2

302, 303, 310, 330 or 360, 361 (full year)
One course from Software Engineering Specializations or Application Specialities

323 or 324

U3

Remaining courses in the program

Possible Streams for 3-year Major in Software Engineering starting with COMP 202.

Year

Computer Science (COMP)

Mathematics (MATH)

U1

Fall: 202; Winter: 250, 206

222, 240, 223, 323 or 324

U2

251, 273, 302, 303, 310, 330 or 360
One course from Software Engineering Specializations or Application Specialities

U3

Remaining courses in the program