Computer Science


Computer science is concerned in the broadest sense with the study of computation and applications of computing. Its development has been stimulated by collaborations with many areas including engineering, the physical and life sciences, mathematics and statistics and commerce.

Course offerings in the Computer Science program are intended to serve a wide variety of students, ranging from those whose primary interest is in information processing to those interested in applying computing to other fields.


The department is seeking a number of changes to course admission policies and course prerequisites that will take affect in 2018-19. We are posting these potential changes to give you time to prepare, as some changes will impact course registration in Fall 2018. In particular, we anticipate:

1. CSC207 will have a prerequisite of "a mark of 60 or higher in CSC148H5."

2. The minimum course mark requirements for admission into various computer science programs will be "set annually" (like the CGPA requirement currently is) rather than being set to a specific value in the calendar.


The standard criteria for entry to computer science programs are listed in the Academic Calendar: Complete 4.0 credits, including CSC148, MAT102, and a calculus course; earn the minimum mark in specific courses; and meet the CGPA requirement (set annually).

The CGPA requirement for both the May and August 2018 POSt admissions periods will not be set until the middle of the winter term. However, *we guarantee that for 2018, the CGPA requirement will be no higher than 3.00* for all computer science programs (including information security and bioinformatics).

If you do not meet the standard requirements for entry, then we are offering two alternate paths for entry as you complete a CSC minor. If you pursue these paths, there is a risk, so we strongly recommend that you be enrolled in and accumulating credits for a non-CS major and minor (so that you can graduate on time with the CSC minor). If you are enrolled into a CS major after the second year, then you can choose to convert the non-CS major into a minor or to drop the non-CS minor.

1) If you do not obtain entry in the first year due to a minimum course mark requirement, you may choose to re-take the course (MAT102, CSC148, or calculus) in which you did not obtain the minimum required mark. However, you may wish, instead, to take the second year CSC courses. If you do so, then we will consider your second year course marks instead of your first year course marks (CSC207 and CSC209 instead of CSC148, CSC236 and CSC263 instead of MAT102 or calculus).

2) If you do not obtain entry into the major or specialist due to the CGPA requirement and have completed (a) all of the second year courses required by the CSC minor and (b) at least 1.0 third or fourth year CSC credits, then we will consider you for entry into the CSC major program (not a specialist program) using your GPA over the past year (the last fall, winter, and summer terms) rather than your CGPA.


All third year courses in computer science (CS) have a writing prerequisite, and all CS majors and specialists contain a half-credit writing requirement. The recommended course to satisfy this requirement is CSC290H5, but students may petition to satisfy the writing requirement using a different course. To do so, draft a formal letter naming the replacement course and describing how it meets the desired outcome of familiarity with technical and professional modes of communication. Submit this letter to the Faculty Advisor. If your petition is approved, then the course you propose will be accepted in lieu of CSC290H5.


Students not enrolled in a computer science major or specialist program are restricted to completing a maximum of three 3rd or 4th year computer science courses. Every term, the department removes students from courses who exceed this limit to give all students a fair chance to enroll in the upper year courses they are entitled to take.

We typically remove non-program students during the first week of the academic term. After the removals are complete, all students are permitted to enroll in as many CS courses as they would like, as long as there is space in the course. We believe this strikes a fair balance between (a) providing access to courses for students in the specialist and major, (b) providing access to courses for students in the minor who have not yet completed three upper year courses, and (c) providing access to extra courses for students in the minor.