Western University Computer ScienceWestern Science

    Frequently Asked Questions

    We are thrilled that Western is one of your top choices for your computer science degree!

    Below is a summary of typical questions we think you might have. Hopefully the questions below will meet your needs, but if you still have questions feel free to contact us.


    For Students

    Below is a summary of typical questions we think a high school student might have. Hopefully the questions below will meet your needs, but if you still have questions feel free to contact us.

    1. How many courses do I take in first year, and what courses will I take in first year for a computer science degree?
    2. Which first year computer science course is right for me?
    3. Can I see what the campus looks like?
    4. What is residence like?
    5. What degree will I have after four years?
    6. What if I want to do Co-op?
    7. How much is tuition?
    8. What courses do I need to take in high school to get into computer science?
    9. What average will I need to get into Western?
    10. How do I apply to Western?
    11. What opportunities exist on campus outside of the classroom?
    12. Where will I live in second year?
    13. What are my prospects like for employment in four years?
    14. Can I see what a typical student has to say?
    15. Can I "make a difference in the world" with a computer science degree?

    Answers

    1. How many courses do I take in first year, and what courses will I take in first year for a computer science degree?
      In first year, you will take 5 full course equivalents (or 10 half courses). One full course equivalent in computer science and one full course equivalent in math are required, and the other three full courses are your options. You may choose almost anything you like. One of the only restrictions we have is that a Science student may not take all five Science courses in the first year, thus at least one of your options must be an Arts course or a Social Science course.

      Go Top
    2. Which first year computer science course is right for me?
      CS1026 Computer Science Fundamentals I. This serves as a prerequisite for the second term first year half course: CS1027 Computer Science Fundamentals II.  CS1026 is suitabe even for students with no programming experience. This means that you can enroll in computer science even if you didn't take any computer science courses in high school!

      Go Top
    3. Can I see what the campus looks like?
      Yes! You can explore the campus at: http://welcome.uwo.ca/student_experience/explore_western_video.html

      Western University is situated in the centre of London, Ontario, and has one of the most beautiful campuses in Canada. You can arrange a tour of campus by contacting the university Undergraduate Recruitment Office. See: http://welcome.uwo.ca/connect_with_western/visit_western/index.html

      Please come and visit the Computer Science Department! We are located in Middlesex College. The main office is room 355 on the third floor.

    4. What is residence like?
      Western has many student residences. Some of the residences have single and double rooms, whereas others offer suite-style accommodation with cooking facilities. All residences have high-speed internet, and all are located right on campus. For more information about residence life, visit this site: http://www.residenceatWestern.ca

      Go Top
    5. What degree will I have after four years?
      Western has a very flexible degree program in which you can choose the combination of specialization, major and minor which best suits your interests. We offer an Honors Specialization in Computer Science which is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Council, the academic branch of the Canadian Information Processing Society. You can also do a major in computer science, a minor in computer science combined with a major from another department, or a specialization in computer science together with a minor in software engineering or game development.

      A specialization or major in computer science can also be combined with studies in another department. For example, if you love visual art, you could do a major in computer science with a minor in visual art. You will be ready to be a graphic designer or do art for video games!

      See the academic calendar for more information: http://www.Westerncalendar.uwo.ca/

      Go Top
    6. What if I want to do Co-op?
      Western offers something different than co-op, we have Industry Internship. We actually think, especially for computer science students, that internship is a better option as the student can make a more lasting and valuable contribution to the company where he/she is working. Co-op are usually four month placements, however in the Internship program, you will spend 8-16 months working at a company in your field. You will earn a competitive salary, and you will gain valuable work experience. Many students work for their internship company after graduation!

      To be eligible for an internship, you must have a 70% average and apply at the beginning of your 3rd year of study. The internships are normally completed between 3rd and 4th year.

      You can read more about internships at: Science Internship Program

      Go Top
    7. How much is tuition?
      Tuition for 2017 was roughly $8050.00 for Canadian citizens and roughly $29,000.00 for international students.  For up to date fee information please visit the registrar's office:  http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/student_finances/fees_refunds/fee_schedules.html

       

      Go Top
    8. What courses do I need to take in high school to get into computer science?
      Please see http://welcome.uwo.ca/admissions/admission_requirements/canadian_secondary_school/index.html for the latest information regarding this.

      Go Top
    9. What average will I need to get into Western?
      This changes from year to year, but typically the first round of offers goes to students with averages in the mid 80's or more. The second round of offers will usually go to students with a low 80's average.

      Go Top
    10. How do I apply to Western?
      The process of applying to Western is explained at: http://welcome.uwo.ca/preview/admissions/index.html.The forms can be found at: http://www.ouac.on.ca/

      Go Top
    11. What opportunities exist on campus outside of the classroom?
      The number of extra-curricular activities at Western is a little overwhelming, here is a list of the clubs that are recognized by the University Student Counsel: http://westernusc.ca/clubs/, however this list doesn't even include the sports groups! Extra-curricular activities on campus include:

      • varsity sports including hockey, figure skating, football, swimming, golf, tennis and rowing
      • intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball, water polo, softball and ultimate frisbee
      • campus clubs like the Aviation Society, the Breakdancing Club, the Comedy Club, Doctors Without Borders, and the Electronic Gaming Society.

      Western has nearly 200 clubs with over 12,000 participants!

      If you choose, you can also apply for part-time jobs on campus such as working at the movie theatre on campus or lifeguarding at one of the pools. In addition to regular jobs, Western runs a work-study program through which students in financial need have access to a job bank of campus employment opportunities.

      Go Top
    12. Where will I live in second year?
      Some students stay in residence in second year, and have the opportunity to become "sophs." Sophs are responsible for helping first year students adapt to university life, and for organizing social activities.

      Other students choose to live off-campus after first year. London has a very diverse and affordable rental market. You can expect to pay between $350 and $450 for a room in a shared house, or $500 and up for a one bedroom apartment. Western University runs an off-campus housing office to help you find accommodation. You can see the current housing listings and find out more about off-campus housing here:http://www.has.uwo.ca/housing/offcampus/

      Go Top
    13. What are my prospects like for employment in four years?
      You will have excellent job opportunities! You will be qualified to work in Canada or abroad. The technology section is one of the highest paying and most exciting fields in which to work. You could be a video game designer, software engineer, computer animator, computer science teacher, medical imaging specialist, or a web designer, to name just a few possibilities. Click on the following link and then click on the bar graph on the right hand side of the webpage, that will give you an idea of how good the prospects are in the computer science field --> http://www.acm.org/public-policy/education-policy-committee?searchterm=degrees+vs+jobs

      Go Top
    14. Can I see what a typical student has to say?
      Here is a sampling of our student body:

      Meet Derek Meet Grace Meet Adam
      Derek Grace Adam
      Go Top
    15. Can I "make a difference in the world" with a computer science degree?
      Yes, yes, yes!

      In Canada, our technology sector needs you! We want to remain a world leader in high-tech development, medicine and manufacturing. Skilled computer professionals are in high demand. For example, London, Ontario has distinguished itself as a world leader in minimally invasive robotic surgery. In 2008, the world's first intestinal bypass surgery was performed in London using a DaVinci robot. Computer scientists were involved in all stages of the implementation of this technology.

      Abroad, developing countries require assistance in technology education and infrastructure. You will have the opportunity to help people around the globe with your computer science degree.

      Go Top

    For Parents [top]

    We are pleased your child is thinking of coming to the university voted Canada's Best Student Experience for a Research Intensive University. The computer science program at Western is flexible, cutting edge and challenging. We have tried to anticipate some of the questions you might have, but if we have missed any, please feel free to contact us.

    1. How much is tuition?
    2. What bursaries and scholarships are available? Is there financial aid available?
    3. Is Western a safe place for my child? What about emergency situations on campus or in residence?
    4. Is London a safe place for my child?
    5. What kind of accommodations will my child have first year?
    6. What kind of accommodations will my child have in upper years?
    7. What are the requirements to move on to second year?
    8. What does the campus look like?
    9. How distinctive is the computer science degree at Western from other universities?
    10. Is there a possibility to minor in various IT-related disciplines?
    11. What do current and former students have to say about computer science at Western?
    12. Are there opportunities for my child to get involved in extra-curricular activities?
    13. Are there opportunities for my child to go abroad in the course of his/her studies?
    14. What is the outlook for my child's employment perspectives in the IT sector?
    15. What are the prospects for graduate studies after completing the Bachelor's?
    16. I have heard of the Ivey School Of Business. Why would my child choose computer science over business?
    17. Isn't computer science a male-dominated field? Why should my daughter consider a degree in computer science?
    18. Whom should I contact with questions or concerns?

    Answers

    1. How much is tuition?
      This varies year to year.  Tuition for 2017 was roughly $8050.00 for Canadian citizens and roughly $29,000.00 for international students.  For up to date fee information please visit the registrar's office:  http://www.registrar.uwo.ca/student_finances/fees_refunds/fee_schedules.html

      Go Top
    2. What bursaries and scholarships are available? Is there financial aid available?
      There are many opportunities for students to get bursaries and/or scholarships. Please click here to get all the details about what Western has to offer.

      Go Top
    3. Is Western a safe place for my child? What about emergency situations on campus or in residence?
      Western has its own campus police who are constantly monitoring the campus. Anyone on campus can call 911 and the campus police will arrive in minutes. Western also has emergency phones located around campus, click here for more details

      Western has a "Foot Patrol" service. Students can call the foot patrol at any time of the day or night from any location on campus. The foot patrol, which always consists of one female student and one male student, will come and meet the student at the building he/she called from and accompany the student to his/her next location. For example, a female student might use this resource if she has a night class and would like to have the foot patrol walk her from the classroom back to her residence.

      Go Top
    4. Is London a safe place for my child?
      London is a very safe city with an excellent police force. The campus is within walking distance to one of the three major shopping malls in London. At least three bus routes go onto campus every 15 to 20 minutes. One of the routes goes within two blocks of the Greyhound bus station and the London train station.

      Go Top
    5. What kind of accommodations will my child have in first year?
      Every first year student at Western is guaranteed a bed at one of our beautiful residences. If you would like more details please visit the Residence-At-Western website:  https://www.residenceatwestern.ca/

      Go Top
    6. What kind of accommodation will my child have in upper years?
      Often students make life long friends during their first year while in residence. Often 3 or 4 friends will then decide to live together off campus for the next 3 years. London offers some of the most reasonable, clean and well located off campus housing in the country. Students can find very affordable housing within a two minute walk to campus.

      Go Top
    7. What are the requirements to move on to second year?
      A computer science student must take five first year full credits, one of which must be a full math credit (this consists of two half courses) and one of which must be the first year computer science fundamentals full year credit (this consists of two half courses). At the end of first year, the minimum requirement to move on to second year is 60% in the two math half courses, 65% in the second term computer science half course, and pass in at least one of the three other full year courses.

      Go Top
    8. What does the campus looks like?
      You can explore the campus at: http://welcome.uwo.ca/student_experience/explore_western_video.html

      Western University is situated in the centre of London, Ontario, and has one of the most beautiful campuses in Canada. You can arrange a tour of campus by contacting Western's Undergraduate Recruitment Office. See: http://welcome.uwo.ca/preview/visitus/tour.html

      Please come and visit the Computer Science Department! We are located in Middlesex College. The main office is room 355 on the third floor.

      Go Top
    9. How distinctive is the computer science degree at Western from other universities?
      There are a number of things that make Western unique. First of all, Western offers module degrees. This allows students to mix and match programs from different areas; for example, a student might get a major in Computer Science and a minor in French. Also, while we do require our students to take at least one and a half full math credits for a computer science major or minor and two and a half full math credits for a computer science specialization, our program does not require as much math as some other Ontario universities. We also offer some programs that other universities don't have, such as our popular minor in Gaming. We also have a very well-rounded faculty with many award winning professors and lecturers who have won awards in research and teaching. Another important option that we offer is the Industry Internship program that finds our third year students 16 month placements at companies throughout North America between third and fourth year of our program.

      Go Top
    10. Is there a possibility to minor in various Information Technology related disciplines?
      Yes, we have several IT minors. There are practical minors such as gaming and software engineering.

      Go Top
    11. What do current and former students have to say about computer science at Western?
      Here is a sampling of our student body:


      Go Top
    12. Are there opportunities for my child to get involved in extra-curricular activities?
      The number of extra-curricular activities at Western is a little overwhelming. Here is a list of the clubs Western offers: http://westernusc.ca/clubs/list/; however this list doesn't even include the sports groups! Extra-curricular activities on campus include:

      • varsity sports including hockey, figure skating, football, swimming, golf, tennis and rowing
      • intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball, water polo, softball and ultimate frisbee
      • campus clubs like the Aviation Society, the Breakdancing Club, the Comedy Club, Doctors Without Borders, and the Electronic Gaming Society.

      Western has nearly 200 clubs with over 12,000 participants! Your child might also apply for part-time jobs on campus such as working at the movie theatre on campus or lifeguarding at one of the pools. In addition to regular jobs, Western runs a work-study program through which students in financial need have access to a job bank of campus employment opportunities.

      Go Top
    13. Are there opportunities for my child to go abroad in the course of his/her studies?
      Western offers many opportunities to study abroad. For more information, go to the following link: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/exchange/index.html?outgoing

      Go Top
    14. What is the outlook for my child's employment perspectives in the Information Technology sector?
      Your child will have excellent job opportunities! He/she will be qualified to work in Canada and abroad. The technology section is one of the highest paying and most exciting fields in which to work. Your child might end up being a video game designer, software engineer, computer animator, computer science teacher, medical imaging specialist, or a web designer, to name just a few possibilities. Click on the following link and then click on the bar graph on the right hand side of the webpage, that will give you an idea of how good the prospects are in the computer science field: http://www.acm.org/public-policy/education-policy-committee?searchterm=degrees+vs+jobs

      Go Top
    15. What are the prospects for graduate studies after completing the Bachelor's?
      The Western Computer Science Graduate program is thriving. We offer both Master's and PhDs degrees in computer science. Currently, we have some graduate students in our PhD and Masters program who completed their undergraduate degree right here at Western. We also have some students who completed their undergraduate degree at other Canadian universities. We also have international graduate students from places such as Romania, China, Japan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Mexico, Syria, India and Pakistan. For more information click here.

      Go Top
    16. I have heard of the Ivey School Of Business. Why would my child choose computer science over business?
      Why choose? Your child can have the best of both programs as it is possible to get a module in computer science that will combine with the Ivey HBA program. For more details about which courses your child would choose, see: http://www.csd.uwo.ca/current_students/undergraduate_students/programs/Computer Science And Ivey.html

      Go Top
    17. Isn't computer science a male-dominated field? Why should my daughter consider a degree in computer science?
      Yes, computer science does tend to attract more males. Some statistics seem to indicate that female students think they either won't excel in computer science or won't be able to make a difference in the world with a computer science degree. Both of these assertions are just not true. In one of our second year 2009 courses the top three marks were achieved by women! Computer science is one of the primary reasons for many of the medical advances in the last 30 years. Logical, well-organized, creative women do very well in the computer science field; they have and will continue to make strong contributions to our world where computer science will just be one tool in her arsenal.

      Go Top
    18. Whom should I contact with questions or concerns?
      You can email us, or call us: (519) 661-3566 or stop by Middlesex College Room 355 if you have more questions.

      Go Top

    For Teachers [top]

    We hope you will let your math, science and computer science students know that a computer science degree from Western will give your students one of the best degrees in Canada. This degree will give them many job opportunities, and their four years at Western will likely be some of the best years of their young lives. Western offers the "Best Student Experience" in Canada.

    We polled some London high school teachers and below is a summary of typical questions they had. Hopefully they will meet your needs, but if you still have questions, feel free to contact us.

    1. Are there really still good jobs in Canada for computer science university graduates?
    2. What can I tell my students about Video Game Design?
    3. What maths in Grade 12 are required and what are the significant components of the math?
    4. What are good sciences to take in Grade 12 as well as math?
    5. If my school does not have senior computer courses, what are my options?
    6. What careers are available to graduates and how can they be accessed?
    7. Does Western have something like a co-op program?
    8. How easy is it to transfer to other areas if my student selected the wrong program?
    9. Are there research or volunteer programs available for high school students during their grade 12 year?
    10. Some hard data on the demand for computer science jobs would be good -- year by year.
    11. What are some examples of computer science jobs/careers?

    Answers

    1. Are there really still good jobs in Canada for computer science university graduates?
      Yes, there are many jobs in the high tech industry! Every day someone somewhere has a new idea that can eventually lead to a new area of employment. The gaming industry is one example of a newer area that needs computer science graduates.

      Go Top
    2. What can I tell my students about Video Game Design?
      Western Computer Science offers advanced courses in game development. They cover both the aspects involved with designing a game and the technical issues in developing games.

      Go Top
    3. What maths in Grade 12 are required and what are the significant components of the math?
      Western requires that all science students have the Calculus and Vectors course, but we highly recommend that computer science students also take the Grade 12 Advanced Functions course.

      Go Top
    4. What are good sciences to take in Grade 12 as well as math?
      For our computer science program, we really just require a strong background in calculus and algebra. However, any of the physical sciences could potentially be useful in many of our courses. For example, biology will be relevant if a student decides to do bioinformatics.

      Go Top
    5. If my school does not have senior computer courses, what are my options?
      Tell your students to try to learn a little bit of programming in any language: Java, C, Visual Basic, Python, and see if the basic programming skills come easily for the student. If so, he or she should have no problems taking our first year computer science courses without grade 12 computer science.

      Go Top
    6. What careers are available to graduates and how can they be accessed?
      The following website gives lots of information about careers in computer science: http://computingcareers.acm.org

      Go Top
    7. Does Western have something like a co-op program?
      Yes, we have a 12-16 month Industry Internship program between 3rd and 4th year where students work for a company often in Ontario but Industry Internships are available across North America. We find the companies and set up the interviews, which are held on campus. Often students will receive more than one job offer. This is a great way for students to get their foot in the door of prospective employers and it gives the student a taste of the real world. We have internships with companies such as Microsoft, IBM and some gaming companies located in downtown London.

      Go Top
    8. How easy is it to transfer to other areas if my student selected the wrong program?
      This is one of the wonderful things about Western. We try to keep lots of doors open with our module program. Students rarely have doors shut in first year and second year, and as long as the student's grades are reasonable, then transferring programs is always an option.

      Go Top
    9. Are there research or volunteer programs available for high school students during their grade 12 year?
      Yes, local London high school students can volunteer at "Bit By Bit", our summer computer camp for kids aged 9-14.

      Go Top
    10. Some hard data on the demand for computer science jobs would be good -- year by year.
      The following page from the US Bureau of Labor offers some insight: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm. In Money Magazine's list of the best job in America, 3 of the top 10 are IT related: http://money.cnn.com/pf/best-jobs/

      Go Top
    11. What are some examples of computer science jobs/careers?
      This is a hard question to answer because in theory, you could potentially apply a computer science degree to any type of employment and have a very exciting career. For example, computer science and music or computer science and graphic design are potential careers. Nowadays computer science would be relevant and useful in almost all areas of employment.

      Go Top

    For Guidance & Counsellors [top]

    Contrary to popular belief, there are definitely excellent job opportunities throughout North America for computer scientists! We hope you will let the students whom you counsel know that a computer science degree from Western University will open many doors and offer your students a rich and fulfilling future both academically and in terms of employment possibilities.

    We polled a number of London high school guidance counselors and below is a summary of typical questions. Hopefully your answers are here, but if you still have questions, feel free to contact us.

    1. Are there really still good jobs in Canada for computer science university graduates?
    2. What kind of student should be thinking about computer science after high school?
    3. What is the required high school average for science students at Western?
    4. Does Western have something like a co-op program?
    5. Most of our students love to play video games; what should I be telling gamers?
    6. Are there three and four year programs?
    7. Is there a graduate program in Computer Science at Western(MSc.,PHD)?
    8. Is there a job fair and what businesses attend?
    9. Where is Western's web site?
    10. What other programs can be combined with Computer Science (HBA?)

    Answers

    1. Are there really still good jobs in Canada for computer science university graduates?
      Yes, there are many jobs in the high tech industry! Every day someone somewhere has a new idea that can eventually lead to a new area of employment. The gaming industry is one example of a newer area that needs computer science graduates.

      Go Top
    2. What kind of student should be thinking about computer science after high school?
      Any student who excels in math, is great at problem solving, and thinks logically will do very well in computer science, whether or not he or she has ever programmed before.

      Go Top
    3. What is the required high school average for science students at Western?
      It is usually around the mid 80's for first round offers and low 80's for second round offers, but this changes year to year.

      Go Top
    4. Does Western have something like a co-op program?
      Yes, we have a 12-16 month Industry Internship program between 3rd and 4th year where students work for a company often in Ontario but Industry Internships are available across North America. We find the companies and set up the interviews, which are held on campus. Often students will receive more than one job offer. This is a great way for students to get their foot in the door of prospective employers and it gives the student a taste of the real world. We have internships with companies such as Microsoft, IBM and some gaming companies in downtown London.

      Go Top
    5. Most of our students love to play video games; what should I be telling gamers?
      Western's Computer Science Department offers advanced courses in game development. They cover both the aspects involved with designing a game and the technical issues in developing games.

      Go Top
    6. Are there three and four year programs?
      Yes, there are both three and four year programs. Western's modular approach allows students to obtain either a 3 year major or a 4 year double major or 4 year specializations.

      Go Top
    7. Is there a graduate program in Computer Science at Western offering an MSc and/or PhD?
      Yes, Computer Science has a graduate program that offers both a both MSc and PhD degree.

      Go Top
    8. Is there a job fair and what businesses attend?
      Yes, there are many events like this. More information for some of these can be found at: https://westerncareercentral.ca

      Go Top
    9. Where is Western's web site?
      http://www.uwo.ca - Western University's home page
      http://www.csd.uwo.ca - Computer Science Department's home page
      http://welcome.uwo.ca - Western Prospective Students Home Page

      Go Top
    10. What other programs can be combined with Computer Science (HBA?)
      Computer Science can be combined with many other programs. Computer Science with Law and Computer Science with an Ivey Honours Business Administration (HBA) are just two examples.

      Go Top