Faculty of Arts & Science
A place to learn, discover, think and do.
Computing Science at Queen's

Computing

Location: 
Goodwin Hall
Room number: 
557
Telephone: 

Director: S.G.Akl
Undergraduate Chair: Juergen Dingel
Graduate Coordinator (Acting)
David Skillicorn
Graduate Assistant:
Debby Robertson

Computing Science, which is based on a firm foundation in logic and discrete mathematics, includes the study of computer hardware (the design of the machines themselves), computer software (the programs that cause the machines to perform useful tasks), and human-computer interaction (effective communication between people and their computing tools).

Every day, computing innovations are transforming the way we learn, work and live. Powerful computer applications expand the limits of human abilities in every sphere of academic and professional life, from the arts and social sciences to technology and medicine. Queen's has secured a leading educational role in this ever-changing field by fostering interaction across disciplines and creating one-of-a-kind programs.

The School of Computing offers an exciting learning experience that can prepare you for countless careers and graduate degrees. Our outstanding professors are both internationally recognized experts in a wide variety of computing subjects, and committed educators who take pride in giving you the practical skills and theoretical knowledge you'll need to excel in the industry. Add to this Queen's state-of-the-art facilities, and you have a world-class educational environment.

You can make computing your main area of study or simply complement your chosen discipline - any discipline - with computing courses. Either way, you'll enrich your education and enhance your career prospects.

See some of the projects developed through the School of Computing at Queen's

Degree Options

Bachelor of Computing (Honours) - BCPH

Specialization in Biomedical Computing
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the combined disciplines.

Specialization in Cognitive Science
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the discipline.

Specialization in Computer Science
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the discipline. This plan has been accredited by the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS).

Specializationin Computing and Mathematics
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the combined disciplines.

Specialization in Software Design
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the discipline. This plan has been accredited by the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS).

Major in Computing
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Specialization in Computing and the Creative Arts (COCA)
This specialization consists of the majority of the courses in Computing and a SubPlan such as Art, Drama, Music or Film and Media with room for elective courses.

Bachelor of Computing - BCP

General in Computing
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Bachelor of Arts - BA

General in Computing
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Full list of Undergraduate Degree Plans at Queen's University

Graduate Degree Options

Computing - MSc (research)
Computing - MSc (project)
Computing - MSc (coursework)
Computing - PhD

First Year Courses

CISC 121/3.0 in the Fall and CISC 124/3.0 in the Winter if you have previous programming experience and/or computing courses at the high school level. If you are lacking this experience, you can take CISC101/3.0 or CISC 110/3.0 in the fall and defer CISC 121/3.0 to the Winter Term; CISC 124/3.0 can be deferred to the Fall term of your second year.

To pursue a Plan in CSCI, COMP, or SODE (Computer Science, Computing, and Software Design) you should additionally take:

MATH 121/6.0 or MATH 120/6.0
MATH 111/6.0 or MATH-112/3.0 or MATH 110/6.0

If you plan to follow the game-development stream of Software Design, you may want to take PHYS 106/6.0 (or PHYS104/6.0).

To pursue the COMA (Computing and Math) plan you should additionally take:

MATH 120/6.0 or MATH 121/6.0
MATH 110/6.0 or MATH 111/6.0

To pursue a Plan in BMCO (Biomedical Computing) you should additionally take:

BIOL 102/3.0 and BIOL 103/3.0
CHEM 112/6.0
MATH 121/6.0 or MATH 120/6.0
MATH 112/3.0 or MATH 111/6.0 or MATH 110/6.0

To pursue a Plan in COCA (Computing and the Creative Arts) you should additionally take at least one course in one of the following creative arts disciplines:

ARTH 120/6.0
FILM 110/6.0
DRAM 100/6.0
MUSC 103/3.0 and MUSC 191/6.0

To pursue a Plan in COGS (Cognitive Science) you should additionally take:

COGS 100/6.0
MATH 111/6.0 or MATH 112/3.0 or MATH 110/6.0
At least two of PSYC 100/6.0 or LING 100/6.0 or PHIL 115/6.0 (or PHIL111/6.0) to be in a position to pursue your upper year options.

What it takes to get into Computing in your second year >

Click here for the complete list of Courses in Arts and Science

Internships

Queen’s internship option, unlike other co-op programs, avoids interrupting your studies with several short work terms. Instead, it offers 12- to 16-month industrial placements after second or third year through the Queen's Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP). These longer work terms result in employers who are willing to invest in training and supervision. Our interns regularly participate in significant projects with many of Canada’s leading high-tech companies, making a notable contribution, and often returning for permanent employment upon graduation.

Qualified students in any of the Plans leading to a Bachelor of Computing (Honours) degree may register in a 12- or 16-month Professional Internship program for their degree.  Students who meet the minimum GPA requirement of 1.90 in at least 54.0 units must seek approval of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Computing.  These students have the opportunity to pursue a 12- or 16-month paid work term in a career-related position after completing their second or third year of study.  Upon successful completion of the internship program, students’ transcripts will be annotated with a statement certifying that they have completed their degree with a Professional Internship.

Job and Career Opportunities for Computing Grads

Computing Science is rooted in basic principles of mathematics and logic. Students in our computer science programs gain a strong basis in these areas as well as in the analysis of algorithms and theory of computation. Students see how these principles are applied to the creation of software and are given ample opportunity to refine their software development skills. Our computer science programs provide a broad training with the opportunity to focus on specific application areas like artificial intelligence, computer graphics, data mining, and human-computer interaction.

Some of Computing grads work in the following industries:

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Science
  • Aerospace
  • Animation
  • Auditing
  • Biomedical Technology & Engineering
  • Communications
  • Computer Graphics / Special Effects 
  • Computing Science - incl. Software Hardware and Analysis
  • Corporate Training/Development
  • Demography Data Processing
  • Editing
  • Education
  • Graphic Art
  • Information Science & Management
  • Media - Electronic & Print
  • Medical Informatics & Research
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Photography
  • Robotics
  • Security Services
  • Software Design
  • Statistics
  • Telecommunications
  • Web development

Career paths for Computer Science grads handout from Career Services >

New Programs in the School of Computing

Computing and the Creative Arts (CoCA)

CoCA is an exciting new multi-disciplinary program for students interested in both Computing and the Arts. You'll learn how to direct, develop and use cutting-edge computer software programs for Music, Art, Drama, and Film production. As part of this offering, you will acquire the technical expertise to design and develop new applications and take full advantage of future trends in digital technology. You'll get the theoretical and historical background necessary to make critical judgements about new approaches to artistic expression and practical knowledge of the challenges faced by creative artists in a digital age.

Students who follow this program will find careers in the video-game and entertainment industries, art galleries, museums, and multimedia design and production, but also in more traditional computer industries as these increasingly adopt multimedia user interface design. There is no lack of jobs for students following this program, which include: 3D Game Developer; New Media Artist; Sound Designer; Art Management; 3D Animator; Computer Graphics Designer; Web Developer; Interaction Designer; Human Factors.

High School Background Required

One grade Mathematics or recognized equivalent required; Computer Science or recognized equivalents recommended.

Biomedical Computing

In the fall of 2001 Queen's University introduced a new program in computational biology and medical informatics: Bachelor of Science Computing (Honours), Subject of Specialization in Biomedical Computing. This is the first program of its kind in Canada.

Biomedical Computing involves the application of computational methods for the advancement of biological and medical science. Activities in this area range from data acquisition, robotics and laboratory analysis to the dissemination, storage and retrieval of knowledge.

Modern biomedical computing is rooted in a broad range of application areas. Imaging needs from microscopy to mammography have motivated and relied on advances in imaging science. Medical data storage and access systems benefit from the study of information retrieval. Algorithms and software development are of key importance in areas such as genome sequence analysis and acquisition, which also depend on techniques from statistics and artificial intelligence.

High School Background Required

Grade 4U Advanced Functions, Calculus and Vectors, and Chemistry or recognized equivalents required; Grade 4U Biology and Computer Science, or recognized equivalents are strongly recommended

Computing Electives Open to Non-Computing Students

CISC P81/3.0 Computers: Applications and Implications
Used as an elective course by upper-year students who are not currently, and have not previously, studied Computing.  CISC P81 may be taken by first-year students.

CISC 101/3.0 Elements of Computing Science
CISC 101/3.0 introduces students to the elements of computer science.  Any student who has been admitted to a Bachelor of Computing or Bachelor of Science Program, or who may wish to pursue upper-year courses in computing at a later date, but who does not have any previous programming experience, should take this course.

CISC 102/ 3.0 Discrete Mathematics for Computing 1
CISC 102 introduces students to the mathematical discourse and proof methods of computer science.

CISC 110/ 3.0 Elementary Computer Animation
CISC 110/3.0 introduces students to the elements of computer animation.  This course assumes no previous programming experience.  It is an alternative to taking CISC 101/3.0 for students who have been admitted to a Bachelor of Arts Program, or who may wish to pursue upper-year courses in computing at a later date, but who do not have any previous programming experience.  It is also a good elective choice for any student in Arts and Science, particularly students who wish to pursue a discipline in one of the creative arts.

CISC 121/3.0 and CISC 124/3.0 Introduction to Computing Science
CISC 121/3.0 and CISC 124/3.0 are the first year courses that introduce you to the study of Computing at the University level.  Some previous programming experience is assumed in CISC 121/3.0, which is the prerequisite for CISC 124/3.0.  All students who wish to pursue a Plan in any Computing discipline should take these courses in first year.  They are also suitable electives for any Arts or Science students.  Students who have no previous programming experience but who have been admitted to Computing or who would like take further courses in Computing at an upper-year level should take CISC 101/3.0 or CISC 110/3.0 in the Fall Term, then take CISC 121/3.0 in the Winter term and CISC 124/3.0 the following Fall term. 

Graduate Studies in Computing

Our Graduates rank among the best in Canada. They expand the horizons of science, technology, commerce and the arts by providing ever more powerful and general computing capabilities. Because Computing Science forms one of the pillars of our society, our graduates have no problem finding the opportunity that suits them, whether that be furthering their research career, developing their career in one of the leading IT companies around the world, or striking off on their own and developing an entrepreneurial opportunity.

You can join the School of Computing Grad Studies in a few simple steps:

  1. Review our research groups and faculty members.
  2. Check our admissions requirements.
  3. Apply on-line by January 15. This deadline is flexible for Canadian applicants. The application is done on a separate site managed by the School of Graduate Studies.
  4. Contact a potential supervisor and tell them of your application.
  5. Offers are normally made between February and June.

Prospective Graduate students are encouraged to review our Frequently Asked Questions or to contact graduate-inquiries@cs.queensu.ca for further information about our programs. Information is available for research groups within the School of Computing and graduate students (email gcs@cs.queensu.ca ) are available to answer questions about their labs.

The academic year begins in September, so this is the normal date for admission to all graduate programs. Admission for January or May is possible for Ph.D. applicants.

Computing Research at Queen's

The School of Computing is actively engaged in research on a broad range of topics, with an eminent research record. Research areas include: Information Systems, Human-Machine learning, Software Engineering, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Computational Linguistics, Theoretical Computer Science, Computational Geometry and Graph Theory, Biomedical Computing, Perception and Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Parallel Systems and Programming Languages and Systems.

Our Research Clusters are:

  • Computer Science Theory (Parallel Computation, Unconventional Computation, Wireless Sensor Networks, Computational Geometry, Semantics of Programming Languages, Automata Theory, and Descriptional Complexity)
  • Databases (Database system performance, autonomic systems, and cloud computing)
  • Biomedical Computing (Computer-aided surgery, bioinformatics, biomedical imaging, computational biology, and computational neuroscience)
  • Game Development and Human Computer Interaction (Game design, games for health, gaming graphics, games for health, game development infrastructure, and novel gaming interactions)
  • Software (Software engineering and systems)
  • Data Mining
  • Computer Networking and Dependability

More information on Research in Computing at Queen's University

Have Questions?

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