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Undergraduate Enrolment News

Enrolment News (Expiry of CIPS Accreditation)

Expiry of CIPS Accreditation

The School of Computing offers two Specialization plans – Software Design (SODE) and Computer Science (CSCI) – that are currently accredited by the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS). We have opted to not renew our accreditation with CIPS beyond the current cycle, which will affect these two plans.

What is CIPS accreditation, and what does it do?

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) is an accrediting body that represents Canadian industry standards in IT.  CIPS accredits qualifying programs at post-secondary institutions that meet their standards.  Our SODE and CSCI Specializations have a long history of being CIPS-accredited, which is a testament to the quality of our program.  The School of Computing will continue to offer the same highly-regarded degrees that we always have offered.  Not renewing our accreditation with CIPS simply means that we are no longer relying on their organization to vouch for the quality of our program.

Why did Computing decide to not renew their accreditation?

After weighing the benefits against the demands, it was decided that the benefits were not sufficient to warrant renewing accreditation.  Some of our considerations are outlined below.

  1. Program Quality Assurance – At the time the Software Design (SODE) and Computer Science (CSCI) Specializations were created in the early 2000’s, CIPS accreditation provided a valuable external review of our degree plans not available in another way.  The University now has a Cyclic Program Review (CPR) process that provides a similar function but in a consistent way across all academic units. 
  2. Restrictions on program design – Renewing accreditation would mean “locking in” our program for another cycle. In a fast-paced industry with constantly evolving trends, we believe it’s important to remain flexible and ready to change to stay at the leading edge of current trends and innovations.  This move releases our curriculum from certain requirements imposed by CIPS, allowing us to upgrade our plans when needed. 
  3. Value to graduates in their careers – Accreditation reduces the time needed to qualify for the Information Systems Professional certificate by about 2 years.  However, while valued by some employers as a desirable asset, our graduates did not report that Information Systems Professional certification was valuable for most careers.
  4. Expense and Administration – the accreditation license is an annual expense so we needed to determine whether the benefit outweighed the cost.  We found that it did not.  There is also related administrative overhead that will no longer put a strain on our resources.

What will change?

The degree requirements for both the Software Design and Computer Science Specializations will remain the same for the foreseeable future.  The only difference is that they will no longer be recognized by CIPS.  The value of your degree will not change.

I’m in SODE or CSCI.  How does this affect me?

Students currently in SODE or CSCI can still follow either of these plans as usual and graduate normally. You will have until December 31st, 2028 to graduate to take advantage of the benefits of accreditation.  If you graduate after this date, your degree will not be CIPS-accredited.

I’ve been thinking of switching plans to SODE or CSCI.  How will this affect me?

The SODE and CSCI Specializations will continue to be excellent plan choices for Computing students.  If you are able to graduate by December 31st, 2028, your degree will be recognized as CIPS-accredited. The SODE and CSCI Specialization degrees granted beyond this date will not be CIPS-accredited.

If you have any questions about this, please contact us at

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