Master of Computer Science, Accelerated Stream - Additional Information

The Accelerated Stream of the Master of Computer Science (MCS) with thesis program allows uOttawa Bachelor of Computer Science (CSI) students as well as Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Engineering (SEG) students to get a large head start on their MCS and eventually complete the MCS with one additional year of study instead of the usual two years. Here is how it works:

  1. At the end of the third year of the their undergraduate degree, CSI/SEG students get permission to participate to the program by contacting the CSI Graduate Coordinator.

  2. Students take two graduate courses in their fourth year. These courses count toward the CSI/SEG degree, taking the place of two regular CSI/SEG courses at the 4000 level.

  3. Students select a honours/capstone project topic that will give them research background/experience preparing them for thesis work in the MCS.

  4. In their fourth year, students apply to the MCS (and mention their eligibility to the Accelerated Stream in their letter).

  5. If admitted to the MCS, the two grad courses taken as part of the CSI/SEG degree are counted toward the MCS course requirements, reducing the number of courses required from five to three. These can be completed in the first term of the MCS (fall or winter), together with the seminar course (CSI5902). Because of the research background developed with the honours/capstone project and of the graduate courses taken in the CSI/SEG program, it is expected that students will be able to complete their thesis in the next two terms.

Admission Requirements: MCS Accelerated Stream

Early Eligibility

At the end of the third year of beginning of the 4th year, the requirements are:

  1. Be in the CSI/SEG program with substantial completion of the required courses at the 3000-level and below.

  2. A GPA of at least 8.0.

  3. Permission of the CSI Graduate Coordinator. The student simply needs to email the Coordinator with the following information:

    1. Name, student number, program and average.
    2. Desired graduate courses (see the OCICS timetable).
    3. If known, the topic of the honours/capstone project.
    4. If known, research interests and potential thesis supervisors.

Students not meeting one of the first two requirements may still be admitted if they have demonstrated research aptitude, e.g., they have already completed research projects at the university level. Applications will be accepted at any time. The Coordinator can also provide help in finding a suitable research topic or supervisor.

Formal Admission

The regular MCS admission process needs to be followed (the University graduate admission Web site does not offer a specific option for the Accelerated Stream). The minimum requirements for formal admission to the MCS Accelerated Stream (in 4th year) are as follows.

  1. The usual MCS requirements.
  2. Two OCICS master’s courses each with 70% (B) or higher grade (taken during their Bachelor’s program in Computer Science or Software Engineering).
  3. An admission average (last 20 courses) of 80% (A-) or higher.
  4. Have a thesis supervisor.

Please note that these are minimum requirements, and that admissions are competitive. The admissions committee will also assess whether you have an adequate head-start in research. This will normally be the case if you have completed the honours/capstone project with a research component and wish to do your thesis work in a related area (without reusing the project results themselves). In other cases, students meeting the minimum requirements above may still be accepted if they have adequate background in research (e.g., if the student participated in an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award project).

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I take graduate courses and decide not to apply for the uOttawa MCS?

  • Nothing. The two graduate courses will continue to count toward your CSI/SEG degree. Any CSI/SEG student is already allowed to take up to two graduate courses, upon the permission of the course professor and program coordinator.

If I take the two OCICS graduate courses, am I guaranteed admission to the MCS?

  • Admission is not guaranteed. It will depend on your fourth-year grades and whether a thesis supervisor can be assigned. However, past experience shows that students completing our CSI/SEG programs with a GPA of at least 8.0 are almost always admitted.

Do I have to do a thesis in the MCS Accelerated Stream?

  • Yes.

While in the MCS Accelerated Stream, can I fast-track to the Ph.D.?

  • No. You will first have to complete your thesis.

Do I absolutely need to take the remaining 3 courses in the first MCS semester?

  • No. Planning can be further discussed with your thesis supervisor.

If I do the MCS, does my thesis supervisor need to be the same person I did my honours/capstone project with?

  • No. However, a thesis supervisor must be found before a student is formally admitted (this is also the case for any student admissible to the MCS with thesis), and the admissions committee will consider whether the research with the potential supervisor can be expected to be completed in one year.

Can I take one of my grad courses at Carleton University?

  • Yes, as long as the course also has a recognized CSI course code. The OCICS website has a complete list of such courses. Please note that Carleton University manages its own course enrollment and so we have little control over who is allowed to register in Carleton courses. Contact the CSI Graduate Coordinator for more information.