Queen's School of Computing First posted 15:10 Monday March 5, 2019
Last updated 08:49 July 13, 2019

UPDATE: A more complete description of the plans is now available on the web pages for new applicants.

For the 2019-20 academic year the Computing major and corresponding Computer Science specialization have changed significantly to offer greater flexibility and allow students to focus on one of five areas of the discipline by appropriate choices of six courses from corresponding options lists.

  1. Fundamental Computation, the most flexible choice, which generalizes and replaces the two sets of options from the previous major.
  2. Biomedical Computation, similar to the Biomedical Computing specialization (BMCO) but allowing you to combine the major with a minor in another discipline (such as Biochemistry, which together with this focus is roughly equivalent to BMCO).
  3. Data Analytics, a more technical version of the planned Certificate in Data Analytics.
  4. Artificial Intelligence, a more technical variant of the Cognitive Science specilization (COGS); you can get the equivalent of COGS by combining the major with an appropriate selection of electives from your chosen complementary disciplines, or can specialize by combining with a minor in a single discipline.
  5. Game Development, a more flexible variant of the existing Game Development option within Software Development (SODE).
Students already in a Computing plan needn't change anything; SOLUS will recognize your previous courses as part of the revised plans. Students wishing to switch from a specialization to the major or CSCI should consult an advisor.

The three important differences between a specialization (BMCO, COCA, COGS, COMA, CSCI, SODE) and focus within a major are

  • A major can be combined with a minor in another discipline; a specialization can't.
  • The name of a focus doesn't appear on your diploma or transcript; if it is important that you have "Cognitive Science" or "Biomedical Computing" on your diploma, you should stick with the existing specializations rather than switch to the major. We are hoping the University will introduce a mechanism that allows the name of your focus to appear on your transcript and diploma.
  • You can focus in several areas, or take portions of several, as long as you complete all the courses in at least one focus. You can only have one specialization.


  • The Computer Science (CSCI) specialization is now exactly equivalent to the major plus the 30-unit breadth requirement needed for CIPS accreditation.
  • CISC 220 (the Linux and C course) is now optional in all plans except SODE.
  • CISC 260 (Programming Paradigms) has been moved to 3rd year as CISC 360, to reduce the workload in winter term of second year.
New course descriptions can be found in the DRAFT courses list for 2019-20.