University of Calgary : Computer Science - CPSC

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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2011-2012 Program Descriptions Computer Science CPSC
Computer Science - CPSC
Contact Information Location: Information and Communications Technology Building, Room 602
Faculty number: 403.220.6015
Fax: 403.284.4707
E-mail address: cpscappl@ucalgary.ca
Web page URL: http://www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca
1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based

The Master of Science degree with a specialization in Software Engineering, thesis based.
This specialization is offered jointly through the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Software Engineering is a formal specialization.

Students may register in the MSc and PhD programs as part-time students only with permission from the department.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Science requirements, the department requires two appropriate letters of reference dated within twelve months of the date of application and:

Master of Science
a) An undergraduate background of either:

A four-year Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Computer Science from a recognized institution with a minimum GPA of 3.30 in the last 2 years (i.e., last 20 half-course equivalents) of the undergraduate program

OR

A four-year Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized institution with a minimum GPA of 3.30 in the last 2 years (i.e., last 20 half-course equivalents) of the undergraduate program.

In addition, candidates must have an undergraduate course at the 3rd or 4th year level in each of the following computer science areas:

  • Theory of Computation
  • Software Engineering
  • Systems (Operating Systems, Compilers, Distributed Systems, Networking)
  • Application (Artificial Intelligence, Graphics, Databases, etc.)

The cumulative GPA for these courses must be at least 3.30.

Post-degree Computer Science courses may be considered in calculating the GPA. Exceptions to the GPA requirements may be considered for students with either:

  • Demonstrated research excellence, or
  • GRE General scores of at least 600 verbal and 750 quantitative and either 720 analytical (old test format) or 5.5 (new test format)

b) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English, a TOEFL score of 600 (written test) or 100 (internet-based test), or an IELTS score of 7.5 or above, or a MELAB score of 84 or above, or a PTE score of 70 or above.
c) For students applying with degrees from outside Canada, GRE scores are generally expected and will be considered.

Master of Science degree with a Specialization in Software Engineering (thesis-based)
Students applying for entry to the Master of Science with a specialization in Software Engineering will be assessed on qualification as in (a) above, but with a GPA of 3.00 and at least three years relevant experience in the software industry following the Bachelor’s degree.

Doctor of Philosophy
For students applying with a Master of Science degree, all the requirements for a Master of Science (above) apply, plus a thesis-based Master of Science degree from a recognized institution with a minimum GPA of 3.30.

For exceptional students applying with a Bachelor of Science degree, all the requirements for a Master of Science (above) apply, plus a four-year Honours degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution with a minimum GPA of 3.70 and demonstrated research ability.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for the submission of complete applications:

Admission Date
International and Canadian Students
September February 1
January  May 1 
4. Advanced Credit The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.
5. Program/Course Requirements

Graduate programs must be chosen in consultation with the supervisor and approved by the Computer Science Graduate Affairs Committee. In addition to the Faculties of Graduate Studies and Science requirements, the Department requires:

Master of Science (thesis-based)

a) Course Requirements: Computer Science 699, plus

b) Four additional half-course equivalents. At least two half courses must be graduate-level computer science courses (labelled CPSC or SENG) and at most one half course can be an undergraduate course numbered at the 500 level

We recommend that students who are considering continuing on to a doctoral program or entering certain career paths, select courses that demonstrate some breadth across Computer Science (see PhD Breadth Requirements for courses)

c) Seminar Requirement: Students are required to give a department seminar presentation on a topic related to their graduate research

Master of Science degree with a Specialization in Software Engineering (thesis-based)

a) Course Requirements: Computer Science 699, plus

b) Four half-course equivalents. At least three of these half-course equivalents must be taken from the approved SENG list (available from the Department), and at most one half course can be an undergraduate course numbered at the 500 level

We recommend that students who are considering continuing on to a doctoral program or entering certain career paths, select courses outside the Approved SENG list that demonstrate some breadth across Computer Science (see PhD Breadth Requirements for courses)

c) Seminar Requirement: Students are required to give a department seminar presentation on a topic related to their graduate research

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Course Requirements: Students will be required to have achieved at least a grade of "B" in at least eight half courses beyond the requirements for an undergraduate degree before completion of the PhD degree. At least three of these must be taken while the student is enrolled as a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Calgary. Of the eight half courses, at least six must be graduate-level courses, with the remaining two courses being either graduate-level courses or advanced (500-level) undergraduate courses. In addition to the above courses, Computer Science 699 or equivalent experience is required and does not count toward the minimum eight half courses above

b) Breadth Requirements: Students must have achieved at least a grade of "B" in two graduate courses in each of three categories

These three categories are to be selected from the following four categories:

A. Applications: Includes Graphics, Human-Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, and Scientific Computing

B. Systems: Includes Databases, Compilers, Networks, Operating Systems, and Software Engineering

C. Theory: Includes Algorithms, Computational Complexity, Quantum Computation, Numerical Analysis, Cryptography, Category Theory, Programming Languages Theory

D. External to Computer Science: If this category is used, the two courses must be presented with a justification as to why they are another area, and must be approved by the student's supervisor and the graduate committee

An alternative breadth/depth program that satisfies the supervisor, the supervisory committee, and the graduate committee may be proposed in special cases. In case of conflict, an appeal committee will be struck by the Head of the Department.

c) Seminar Requirement: Students are required to give a department seminar presentation on a topic related to their graduate research

6. Additional Requirements None.
7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

For MSc programs, at most one half course at the 500 level may be taken as part of the course work requirement. This must be recommended by the supervisor and approved by the Graduate Director.

For PhD programs, at most two half courses at the 500 level may be taken as part of the course work requirement; at most one of these taken while registered in the current PhD program. This must be recommended by the supervisor and approved by the Graduate Director on the normal Doctor of Philosophy Course Approval Form (form available from the Department).

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years for thesis-based Master of Science. Expected completion time for doctoral students entering with a Master’s degree is three years, and four years for a student transferring to the doctoral program without a Master’s degree.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Generally, students are admitted to a specific research area and supervisor. Sometimes students are admitted to a specific lab or research area only and are assigned an interim advisor. In the latter case, the student must find a permanent supervisor within six months of the start of the program. Students may seek a change in research area or supervisor after admission. Such a change must be satisfactory to the student, and to the proposed new supervisor. Provided this change meets any current supervisory load constraints, this change will be supported and approved by the Graduate Director.

Doctoral students select their supervisory committee members in consultation with their permanent supervisors.

10. Required Examinations

There is an oral candidacy examination in the doctoral program within the first 28 months of the program but after all course requirements are fulfilled. The scope of the oral candidacy exam is defined by a reading list, the candidate’s research proposal and a single-authored scientific paper on a topic approved by the supervisory committee. The reading list is prepared by the student’s supervisor in collaboration with the supervisory committee, and given to the student at least two months before the oral candidacy exam. The candidate must have written the scientific paper while enrolled in the PhD program. The supervisory committee must have approved the paper before the oral candidacy exam is scheduled. The candidate’s research proposal together with the reading list and the scientific paper must be submitted to the examination committee when the oral candidacy exam is scheduled (at least 1 month before the oral candidacy exam). The oral candidacy exam may include questions from the scientific paper, the proposal, and the reading list.

Final thesis oral examinations are open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements At the Master's level Research proposal requirements are determined by the supervisor.

At the Doctoral level, a research proposal must be approved by the student’s supervisory committee before the oral candidacy exam is scheduled. The research proposal will contain an abstract, a literature survey (including an analysis of the literature), an overview of the proposed research, a plan for completing the proposed research, and references.
12. Special Registration Information None.
13. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar. Successful applicants may be offered departmental teaching assistantships and/or research assistantships in their offer letter.

Students should contact the department for information on scholarship deadlines.

14. Other Information None.
15. Faculty Members/Research Interests Information on faculty research interests may be found at: http://www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/Research/.