Queen's School of Computing
Fundamentals
Applying
Financial Matters
Housing
Health Insurance
Technical Matters

Fundamentals

What do graduate students do?

All graduate students begin their studies by taking some graduate-level courses. After that, it depends on the program:

All graduate students pursue their degrees under the supervision of a professor.

What do supervisors do?

A supervisor is a professor who is essentially a graduate student's boss. Supervisors should offer guidance and assistance to their students throughout their studies; they also offer financial support to students in research-based programs. For more information, please check out the "Finding a Supervisor" section of this website.

What is a graduate course like?

A graduate course is much like an undergraduate course, but more challenging and time-consuming.

Why should I consider pursuing graduate studies?

There are many benefits to completing a graduate degree including, but not limited to:

  • learning more about a field which fascinates you;
  • exposure to new ideas and concepts;
  • improving research, writing, discussion and collaboration skills;
  • the opportunity to complete original work of your own choice;
  • a significant advantage when applying for employment.


Applying

What are the minimum requirements I need to apply?

You should have the following:

  • an undergraduate degree with a concentration in Computing Science and
  • a high upper-second class standing (i.e., an average of 75% in your courses).
Ideally, you should also have taken at least two advanced courses in applications areas such as artificial intelligence, database theory or computer graphics.

What if I don't have an undergraduate degree in Computing?

You can apply if:

  • you have an undergraduate degree in a different field and
  • you have high academic standing in that degree and
  • you have a strong background in Computing Science (academic or professional).
If accepted, you'd be admitted as a "qualifying student" (or, in rare cases, a "graduate preparatory student"), which means you'd need to take at least one undergraduate course to come up to speed and your funding will likely be affected while that's happening (i.e., you may not be eligible to receive any). Once the required undergraduate courses have been taken, you may proceed to take graduate courses as usual in the following year (preparatory students may start right away). For more complete and official information about qualifying and graduate preparatory students, see the Master's Degree Program page..

Do I need to find a supervisor before I apply?

No. When you apply you become part of a pool of potential applicants from which a potential supervisor may choose, at which point you must then be accepted by the university. After you apply, it is important to then find a supervisor. Before contacting a potential supervisor, please read the dos and don'ts to help your introduction go smoothly.


Financial Matters

How much are tuition fees and estimated living costs?

The Office of the University Registrar (Student Awards) has excellent information regarding estimated living and educational expenses; look under the heading "Graduate Students".

How can I pay my tuition fees?

There are a number of options available for paying fees such as Debit Memo, which allows students to have their tuition deducted from their bank accounts at the end of each month. The Office of the University Registrar has a complete list of fee payment methods.

How do I receive my award, teaching assistantship and research assistantship money?

Award funds are deposited into your bank account after registration and the School of Graduate Studies sends all the related information to you. Income from a teaching assistantship is deposited in your account at the end of each month as outlined in the TA contract; the same goes for research assistantship (RA) contracts.

What financial assistance (scholarships/awards/bursaries) is available for graduate students?

The Office of the University Registrar (Student Awards) has information on both merit-based and need-based financial assistance. Students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships outside of Queen's such as NSERC and OGS. The School of Computing typically offers a workshop in September to provide information and encourage students to apply for these scholarships; please contact Debby Robertson for more information.

Are there any on-campus jobs available for graduate students?

Both Career Services and Queens' University (Campus Life - Employment & Volunteering) offer a wealth of information regarding student employment. Many other jobs become available throughout the year and are usually circulated through email or posted on the bulletin board in the coffee room (Goodwin Hall, Room 620).

According to the School of Graduate Studies, graduate students may not spend more than an average of 10 hours per week on work unrelated to research or the student risks losing their scholarships. It is essential for graduate students to bear this in mind when seeking employment.

How do I include my scholarship income and tuition fees in my annual income tax return?

You should receive or print tax slips from Queen's such as your T2202A (Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate) and T4A (Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income) to include with your tax return.

Is there a resource for international students regarding income tax?

The Queen's University International Centre has excellent information about income tax for graduate students and also offers one-on-one assistance if you have further questions.


Housing

Where can I find a temporary accommodations while I look for permanent housing?

The Queen's University International Centre offers several suggestions for temporary accommodations.

Where can I find permanent accommodations?

There are a number of sources for permanent accommodation in Kingston:

Both the Student Community Relations and Queen's University International Centre have information about renting; the latter also has a FAQ about housing.

Unfortunately, Queen's University Residences is no longer accepting applications from graduate students.


Health Insurance

Is basic health insurance is available to graduate students?

According to Student Wellness Services:

Students who are permanent residents of Ontario will have provincial health insurance coverage called Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

Students from other provinces are usually covered under their own provincial plans, but be aware that regulations vary from province to province.

If you are an out-of-province student, be sure you are aware of the coverage you will have while in Ontario.

Students who are not covered under provincial health insurance plans, including international students, exchange students, and returning Canadians in their three-month waiting period for OHIP, are required to have UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan) coverage.

Is supplemental health insurance is available to graduate students?

The Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) provides a health and dental plan for all members. Their website states that:

If you are registered as a full-time, on-campus student you are automatically assessed Health and Dental for yourself in September. You do not need to opt yourself in.

If this is not the case for you, or if you want to enrol your spouse and dependents, then you can opt-in.

Are international students covered under these plans?

Enrolment in UHIP and supplemental coverage may be done automatically for some international students, but it depends on a number of variables (e.g., registration status) and it is your responsibility to obtain proof of UHIP coverage regardless. You should ensure that your health coverage is in place and the Queen's University International Centre can help.


Technical Matters

Do I have access to an email account?

A School of Computing email account is created for all new students on the mail server mail.cs.queensu.ca. Faculty, staff and other students in the School will contact you through this email account for everything related to your graduate studies (e.g., employment contracts, course information, School events). It is very important that you ensure this email account is working properly and check it frequently.

Queen's University will also create an email account for you using your NetID. All communications with the University (outside of the School of Computing) will be done via this account. Please ensure that this account is working properly; the first step is to activate your NetID.

How do I check my email?

You can check your School of Computing email account using our webmail client or by using a program such as Thunderbird or Mail.app with these settings.

You can check your Queen's University account using Office 365's Email or by using a program such as Outlook with these tutorials.

How do I forward my email?

There are instructions on how to forward your School of Computing and how to forward your Queen's University email to another account.

Please note that maintaining at least one of these accounts may prove useful (e.g., as a TA, you may not wish to communicate with students via a personal email account).

Will I receive a computer, work space, other equipment, etc.?

Typically, your supervisor will provide you with facilities such as a desk in a research lab and an account on a computer with Internet access. You may speak to your supervisor about any other equipment you might need (e.g., specialized computer components) or making alternate work arrangements (e.g., working from home).