FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Making your decision

Student advising services

Program information

Student Life

Admissions and scholarships

Making your decision

What is the best way to learn whether SFU Computing Science is right for me?

If you live here or will be visiting the area, take a tour of both our campuses. 

If you aren’t in the region, and have questions after reading our website, or questions specific to your case, email fasreach@sfu.ca with your questions and interests.

How do I book a tour?

Visiting campus is the best way to learn about our programs. To visit our campus and talk to current students about our computing science programs and what it’s like to study at SFU, book an Applied Sciences tour. At our Burnaby campus, in addition to the Applied Sciences tour, you can also add a complete campus tour to your visit.

How do I get to Burnaby campus?

For directions to SFU’s Burnaby campus visit http://www.sfu.ca/campuses/maps-and-directions/burnaby-map.html. The School of Computing Science office is in room 9971 in the Applied Sciences Building.

How do I get to Surrey campus?

For directions to SFU’s Surrey campus visit http://www.sfu.ca/campuses/maps-and-directions/surrey-map.html. The School of Computing Science office is in room SUR 4100, Galleria 4.

How do I get to Vancouver campus?

For directions to SFU’s Vancouver campus visit http://www.sfu.ca/campuses/maps-and-directions/vancouver-map.html


Student advising services

What academic advising services are available?

University advisors are professionals dedicated to helping you.

Applied Sciences drop-in advising services are available for prospective students at SFU’s Burnaby and Surrey campuses. Email fasreach@sfu.ca with some times and days that you are available to come for an appointment along with a brief description of the help you need. 

If you’d simply like to come in at your convenience, prospective students and families are always welcome during our drop-in advising times.

Applied Sciences advisors are your best resource for questions relating to programs and opportunities specific to Computing Science. If you have more general questions about your application, admissions status, residence etc, contact SFU Student Services (http://www.sfu.ca/students/contact.html).

Not sure who to contact?  Don’t worry, send an email to Jan Castro at jan_castro@sfu.ca.

For more information about student advising services across the university, visit http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicadvising.html.

What services does SFU offer to help students succeed?

Computing Science is a challenging field of study involving complex problem solving and a requiring a high degree of quantitative skill. Tutorials and professor office hours will help support you through your classes.

The Student Learning Commons also offers a range of resources, tools and programs to help students achieve academic success.

Computing Science also offers an Academic Enhancement Program to help you succeed.

What is the Academic Enhancement Program (AEP)?

The AEP is a collaborative program between the School of Computing Science and the Student Learning Commons. It helps you succeed in your studies by incorporating learning activities within the course timetables of core first-year computing science courses, as well as providing further resources.

What library services are available?

What are the library hours?


Program information

What programs are available?

Visit Programs for full details of available programs.

What is computing science?

Computing science is the discipline of using computers and computing processes to tackle interesting and complex challenges and advance society. Computing scientists model and analyze problems and design effective solutions to solve issues facing health care, science, security, business, engineering and many other areas.

What is the difference between Computing Science (at the Burnaby campus) and Software Systems (at the Surrey campus)?

There are more similarities than differences and both programs can lead to jobs in the software industry and beyond. Computing science has a theoretical approach, but you will also learn practical skills to solve problems using computers in a variety of areas. Software systems specializes in producing high-quality software developers. Software systems students gain practical experience working in teams and gain more in-depth software engineering skills, including building apps in embedded systems like iPhones and Android devices. If you aren’t sure which program is for you, take a tour of both campuses. It’s also possible to switch programs after your first year.

What is the difference between the Engineering Science computer engineering option and Computing Science?

Computer engineering involves designing systems with both hardware and software elements or features. Graduates of both programs have job titles such as ‘software engineer’ or ‘application designer.’  Solving problems like designing the next iPhone would require both computing science graduates and engineering graduates from a number of specializations, including computer engineering. The Computer Engineering option in SFU's School of Engineering Science has more required courses and covers a broader range of sciences, especially physics and electronics design.

I want to be a Software Engineer.  What is the best program to choose?

Computing Science, Software Systems and the Engineering Science Computer option are all appropriate programs for students wanting a career in software engineering.

What distinguishes SFU Computing Science from other computing science programs?

Reasons to choose the School of Computing Science include:

  • Our excellent co-op program, which lets students undertake paid work experience while earning credits. Over 85 per cent of co-op alumni are offered employment through the network they built with their co-op employers.
  • The reputation of our world-class faculty, many of whom are recognized nationally and internationally for their research.
  • Excellent job prospects after graduation – the median income of our 2011 graduate class surveyed in 2013 was $64,000. The median income of all university graduates in BC on the same survey was $50,000.
  • Excellent reputation among alumni – 92 per cent of Faculty of Applied Sciences alumni would recommend SFU to others.
  • International study and work opportunities – SFU is one of the only Canadian universities with a co-op staff member located permanently in Silicon Valley.
  • Flexible programs – Students are able to study year-round, start in any semester, and core courses are offered frequently.
  • Access to research opportunities at the undergraduate level.

Do I need to have lots of experience in programming to start a degree in computing science?

No. Students entering the program should have strong math skills and English language skills, but do not require prior experience in programming or computing science.

Is there an orientation for new students?

Yes, SFU’s Welcome Day takes place each semester during the week preceding the beginning of classes. Faculties organize their own events to help you acclimatize to your new life. You’ll meet senior students, get information about academics and services, and learn how to successfully navigate your way around the campuses and through your program. The Computing Science Student Society also offers a Frosh event in September each year.

When do my classes start?

Visit the SFU Academic Calendar for class dates and general deadlines.

Where will my classes be?

B.Sc. Computing Science: Burnaby campus

B.Sc. Dual Degree Program in Computing Science: Burnaby campus

B.Sc Software Systems: Surrey campus

If you are a student at the Surrey or Burnaby campus, you can take all your classes at your main campus. Although some seats are reserved for students enrolled in programs at each campus, it is possible for students to take courses at any campus.

Who can I contact for more information about the program?

Contact our prospective student advisor at fasreach@sfu.ca.

Where do SFU computing science and software systems graduates work?

Our graduates work for companies like TELUS, Business Objects, Electronic Arts Canada, IBM, Microsoft, BC Cancer Research Agency, HSBC, Nokia and many other private and public sector organizations.


Student Life

What is the Burnaby campus like?

Visit the Burnaby campus for more information.

What is the Surrey campus like?

Visit the Surrey campus for more information.

How secure is the campus?

Campus Security manages a dedicated team of patrol supervisors, security officers, student safety program volunteers and other staff who are ready to respond quickly and professionally to the safety needs of our campus community. Visit Campus Security for more information

What are my housing options on campus?

SFU offers a variety of housing options at the Burnaby campus. Visit SFU Residence and Housing for details.

What opportunities are there for women in computing science at SFU?

The School of Computing Science is a diverse student community. The Women in Computing Science Society promotes networking and supports women at all levels in computing science. Activities include a mentoring program for new students, an informative speaker series, and fun events including bowling nights and group hikes.

How do I get involved with student clubs and societies?

Student groups and clubs are a great way for students, particularly those in first or second year, to connect with people across the faculty. Every semester, representatives of SFU’s many student groups and clubs gather for a Club Day to promote themselves and recruit new members. View all clubs.

What is the U-Pass?

The U-Pass gives students discounted transit fares. Visit Translink for more information.


Admissions and scholarships

When should I apply?

Visit the SFU Admission and Scholarship timeline for important dates and deadlines relating to your application.

What are the admissions requirements?

Visit Admissions for details of admission requirements according to whether you are a high school student, current SFU student, other college or university student, or post-baccalaureate diploma, certificate or second degree student.

How do I apply for admission to this program?

Visit How to Apply? for full details.

How much are the tuition fees?

The average cost for domestic students is $7,676 / term. For international students it is $12,927 / term. Visit Tuition / Scholarship for more information.

What scholarships are available?

SFU recognizes exceptional students with a wide range of scholarship opportunities. These awards range in value from $100 to $34,000. Visit our scholarships page for full details on scholarships for new students.

For information about scholarships based on your academic success while at SFU, visit our Current Students scholarships page.

When can I apply for an entrance scholarship?

Visit the SFU Admission and Scholarship timeline for important dates and deadlines relating to scholarships.

What help is there if I need financial assistance to pay for my education?


SFU is committed to helping students plan for the financial aspects of their studies and understand how to access loan and bursary programs. Visit: http://www.sfu.ca/students/financialaid/undergrad.html for details.