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 Which Computer Science Program? Guelph, Carleton, UOIT or Laurier?
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2015 12:26 am   Post subject: Which Computer Science Program? Guelph, Carleton, UOIT or Laurier?

Hey all, I've been accepted into four university programs for computer science/game development. I am very interested and passionate about game development/computer science and I was wondering if out of these four schools if there is anything I should know that I have not yet found online or at the schools. I am pretty set on Guelph as the atmosphere, profs and being able to drive there everyday seems pretty awesome. If anybody has any info that you think would be helpful/unbiased about the four programs, please share! The 4 programs are Bachelor of Computing: Honours Computer Science at Guelph, Computer Science Honours: Computer Game Development at Carleton, Game Development & Entrepreneurship at UOIT and Computer Science at Laurier. I know that a lot of experience comes from co-op terms and games you create on the side, but if any of these 4 has some great traits about the program, I would like hear them! Are the Game Development specialties at UOIT and Carleton going to help me that much in the Game Development field or just having a base with computer science be good enough?

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 11:51 pm   Post subject: Re: Which Computer Science Program? Guelph, Carleton, UOIT or Laurier?

I am having the same problem deciding where to go for Computer Science next year! I was accepted into the same program at Guelph (I was also accepted into the Co-Op program) and was also accepted into the Computer Science program at Western. I am not knowledgeable about any of the universities you were accepted into besides Guelph, but what I do know about Guelph has really helped me in choosing. I attended the Spring Academic Open house last Thursday there and one of the first things I noticed was how helpful and accommodating everyone was there. Upon hearing faculty speak about the co-op program, I began to realize that they seem to genuinely care about their students and helping them to be successful. I am not trying to be biased here, but keep in mind how helpful faculty will be in assisting you at each of the schools you're considering, as helpful profs and other faculty will be really helpful! I would also research the pros and cons of each program. Doing this can help you realize that maybe a school isn't the right fit for you (this really helped me to decide that Western wasn't the right fit for me!). If you plan on doing a co-op or internship be sure to look into the length of each work term and the number of terms you'll be able to do. It also wouldn't hurt to investigate where you'd be able to do these things! Sorry I couldn't be more helpful, but these things really helped me to decide and I hope they'll help you too! Smile

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 4:45 pm   Post subject: RE:Which Computer Science Program? Guelph, Carleton, UOIT or Laurier?

I'm a Guelph student, so I'll just list a few thoughts that are as neutral as I can.

From what I've heard (I was in a similar position to you a few years ago), it's better to have a CS background and do game development than the other way around. In case you end up not liking game dev, or you can't find a game dev job, CS has more options in other software dev areas by default as you're less specialized in that one area but still have a good grasp on fundamentals. I had applied to Carleton's game dev program too, and from what I remember it was only a course or two per year that focused on game dev, so it was still mostly a CS degree whereas I think UOIT is pretty much a business and game dev program with less focus on CS/regular software development so your alternate job market may be vastly different. Depending on your other interests, this may or may not be an issue.

Right now, Guelph only has one game programming course, but there's been talks of adding a game dev major in the relative future (2016/17ish at the earliest). If that were to happen, then you could either take some of those courses or switch majors if you wanted. If that new major isn't added, then you still have some options to get game dev experience:

- there's currently one game programming course, as I mentioned
- this past semester there was an experimental course that was also game dev-related, although I'm not sure the differences between it and the above - this won't always be an option, but I'd take it as a good sign that there may be similar offerings in the future if it was well-received/there's demand for it to be offered again
- in your upper years, some courses at Guelph allow you a fair amount of flexibility for project topic/platform. For example, for one class I took this semester, most of the groups made a game as their project of choice and from what I saw, they seemed pretty good
- there's at least a couple of game dev co-op opportunities from what I've seen, although you can always apply to other employers yourself since most of the postings will not be in that area (I think I've seen a total of two or three during the two times I've had to apply for jobs)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:47 am   Post subject: RE:Which Computer Science Program? Guelph, Carleton, UOIT or Laurier?

Thank you both for so much the help. I accepted the Guelph program as I think that is the best fit for me. @Chist I went to the Spring Academic Open House as well and I agree that the people there were actually genuine. Most open houses I find pointless because they just display there best profs, lecture halls and students. Guelph did a little of that too, but overall I felt that everyone there wanted you to succeed.
@Night thanks for all the info on the program. I've mostly heard that having computer science in general is better than having a more specialized program as well, and you bring up a good point that if I do not like game dev then there are more options available. And cool to hear that Guelph is adding more game dev courses, I will have to check them out, and a game dev major would be pretty interesting as well. Again thanks!
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