Getting Started

Welcome to the Department of Computing Science! We are located in Athabasca Hall (ATH) and the Computing Science Centre (CSC). The information below aims to assist new graduate students as they join our department.

Please review this information carefully and take note of any ⇨ action items that need to be completed.

Before You Arrive

Computing Accounts

You will automatically receive a Campus Computing ID (CCID) from the U of A that provides a secure gateway to University services. In addition, CS students also receive access to Computing Resources from the Department.

Bear Tracks

Bear Tracks is the University of Alberta's hub for student and employee information. As a student, you will use Bear Tracks to register for courses, check your grades and pay fees. If you have a scholarship or graduate assistantship, you will also be able to set up direct deposit and view your pay and benefit information. The employee tab will be made visible to you in Bear Tracks before your first pay period.

  • Access Bear Tracks with your CCID

⇨ Register for Courses

The Graduate Student Administrator will notify you when it is time for you to register and computing science graduate courses are made available.

Full-time thesis-based students must be registered in ★9 credits per term in both the Fall and Winter ( 6.10 Full-time Registration Policy). You may need to register in thesis sections in combination with regular course registrations in order to achieve ★9 credits of course weight for registration status.

  • THES 903: equivalent to a ★3 credit course
  • THES 906: equivalent to a ★6 credit course
  • THES 909: equivalent to a ★9 credit course

Typical registration for your first year:

Table of typical course registration for your first year.
Thesis-based Masters Course-based Masters Doctoral
Fall CMPUT 603
+ 2 courses
+ 2 courses
+ 1-2 courses
+ THES 903 if necessary
Winter 2 courses
+ THES 903
2-3 courses 1-2 courses
+ THES 903/906 if necessary

Note: Students in the Statistical Machine Learning specialization must take an extra course.


Students are now assessed tuition fees in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer terms. For more information visit Tuition and Fees on the FGSR website.

Paying Tuition by Payroll Deduction

If you are receiving a Graduate Assistantship - RA (Research Assistantship), TA (Teaching Assistantship) or GRAF (Graduate Research Assistantship Fellowship) - tuition fees for Fall and Winter terms can be paid by payroll deduction. If you wish to pay your fees in a lump sum and NOT by payroll deduction, you must pay your fees by the tuition deadline.

Note: Scholarship students cannot pay fees by payroll deduction.


Scholarship Information

Graduate students are auto-subscribed to the FGSR Grad Newsletter and Grads Digest. They are circulated every Wednesday during the regular Fall and Winter semesters. This newsletter provides great information for students, including if you are interested in applying for awards offered internally or externally to the University of Alberta.

  • If you don't want to wait for the newsletter, you can view the awards page on the FGSR's website.
  • Our department will also send out calls for award nominations via email to students during the year, so always check your @ualberta email account for notices.

There are a variety of scholarships and awards available to both Canadian and international students.

⇨ Review Award Holder Information

Teaching Assistantships

Review Assistantship Documents

Assistantships can be in the form of a Teaching Assistantship (TA), Research Assistantship (RA), or Graduate Research Assistantship Fellowship (GRAF)

When You Arrive

When you arrive in Edmonton, please complete the following actions:

⇨ Forward a copy of your Study Permit that you receive at the airport to the Graduate Program Administrator via email,

All international students must have a valid study permit. It is the student’s responsibility to keep it current. Payroll will not release any cheques until they have a copy of a valid permit. As well, we cannot process any TA or RA appointments without your valid study permit.

⇨ Apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

All students with TAs or RAs must have a Social Insurance Number. If you do not already have one, gather the required documents and take them to the Service Canada office:

Canada Place Service Canada Centre
9700 Jasper Ave, Main Floor
Edmonton, Alberta

For more information, phone 1-800‐622-6232
Alternatively, you can apply for your SIN online here.
*Once you receive your SIN, please update your Beartracks with the information.

⇨ Update your direct deposit information on Beartracks

The University of Alberta requires all individuals receiving payment in the form of salary, wages, stipends, allowance, graduate scholarships, fellowships and honorariums to be enrolled in direct deposit. Information on how to update your Direct Deposit information can be found here.

⇨ Collect your ONEcard

The ONEcard is the official University of Alberta identification card used on campus. Graduate students require a ONEcard in order to be granted additional access to buildings/labs. The fee for the proximity ONEcard is $15.

  • You will need government issued Photo ID (driver's license or passport) and your 7-digit U of A ID Number to pick up your ONEcard
  • For quicker pickup, submit your photo online
  • For more information on getting a ONEcard visit the ONEcard office website
  • The ONEcard office is located at 9104 HUB Mall

Once you receive your OneCard, please forward an image of the front and back of your card to the Graduate Program Administrator via email,

Offices and Building Access

Graduate student offices will be assigned by the Computing Science Graduate Student Association. Please direct any questions or concerns about office assignments directly to

  • You will receive your office key on September 1st at the CS New Graduate Student Orientation.
    If this opportunity is missed, keys can be obtained by coming to the CS Department Main Office, located in room ATH 2-32.


Grad Student mailboxes are located in the hallway outside the CS Dept mailroom (ATH 2-21).

  • You will receive a mailbox key on September 1st at the CS New Graduate Student Orientation.
    If this opportunity is missed, a mailbox key can be obtained by coming to the CS Department Main Office, ATH 2-32.
  • Mailboxes are for correspondence pertaining to your academic studies ONLY.
    Personal mail and/or packages MUST NOT be sent to you using the Department’s mailing address.
  • You can get a personal mailbox from the Post Office in the Students' Union Building.

Introductory Meeting with Advisor/Supervisor

All graduate students should have an introductory meeting with their supervisor at the beginning of their first term to discuss their program and course registration. For M.Sc. students, an interim academic advisor will be appointed by the Graduate Program Administrator for the first two terms but it is the responsibility of the student to find a supervisor prior to the Spring term.

  • We will send your Academic Advisor assignments via email, with information on what to discuss during your first meeting.


⇨ Review Assistantship Documents

  • What: Mandatory Department of Computing Science New Graduate Student Orientation 2023
  • For: Students admitted into our MSc or PhD program for Fall 2023; September 1, 2023
  • When: September 1, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Location: Computing Science Centre B-02

⇨ Attend TA Training Workshop

All new graduate students must attend the TA Training Workshop in the Fall Term.

  • When: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: TBD
Note: ALWAYS use your @ualberta email address when contacting anyone about UAlberta related programs.

Official Documents

If you are required to submit transcripts, degree certificates or other official documents to meet the conditions of your admission, please have your institution send them to:

Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research
2-29 Triffo Hall
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2E1


TD-1 (Tax Reduction Forms)

Students employed at the university can complete a TD1 and TD1AB form in order to calculate the appropriate amount of income tax to be deducted. By filling out this form you can claim tuition and education amounts which allows you to be taxed less each paycheque. (Otherwise, you are just taxed on the basic personal exemption and will be reimbursed when you file your income taxes.)

Forms should be returned to  the  Staff Service Centre.

For Your Information

Work, Work, Work


Are you an international student interested in knowing policies around working on or off campus? See International Student Services .

Graduate Program Resources

Be sure to review all of the graduate program requirements and timelines.

University Resources

The University has an excellent community of resources to help you through your graduate journey. Here are some of our external department resources we recommend checking out:

Computer Systems Orientation

As part of CMPUT 603, you will attend an Introduction Seminar to help you become familiar with the computer systems available here.

eClass Moodle

eClass is a centrally managed Course Management System that many computing science courses use to distribute course materials and collect assignment submissions.


GradDB is the Computing Science Graduate Students' Database used to track and store your progress through our graduate program. You are responsible for keeping your record up-to-date (in cooperation with your supervisor and the Graduate Program Administrator)

  • Access GradDB with your DoCs DB login
  • You are responsible for entering your scholarships, seminars, supervisor/committee information and a yearly progress report
  • If you experience problems with GradDB, please e-mail including the URL of the current page and any error message received

Photocopying & Printing

You have access to a photocopier in CSC 2-28 and printers in CSC 2-28, ATH 1-26, ATH 2-24 and CAB 3-01.

  • There is no charge or quota for photocopying or printing.
  • However, photocopying and printing are not for personal use; totals are monitored and misuse is investigated.
  • The door code for CSC 2-28 will be announced at the September 1st Mandatory Department of Computing Science New Graduate Student Orientation or can beobtained from the staff in our Dept main office, room ATH 2-32.