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Undergraduate Research

The School of Computer Science at McGill University offers undergraduate students the opportunity to work on research projects supervised by a faculty advisor. Undergraduate research is often the highlight of a student's learning experience. It gives you a chance to work alongside the professors and their graduate students. Students are generally paid to stretch their imagination, and test their ingenuity and creativity. At the same time, they learn valuable problem formulation and presentation skills which will be useful in any career. Students interested in taking part in this program should contact faculty members with whom they might like to work. (Click here to see the specific research areas faculty members are currently working in.)

Research Courses

There are two main courses you can take:
  • COMP 396, which is an elective course, available to qualified students starting in their second term at McGill. Computer Science professors post available projects in the central Faculty of Science web site. However, make sure to check out all the other 396 courses from other departments too, since one objective of these courses is to allow interdisciplinary research. You may find a professor in another department looking for a student with a computer science background. Don't be shy to talk with the Computer Science professors about new projects that could be proposed!
  • COMP 400, which is a complementary course (part of the Honours program). If you have found an area that excites you, talk to the professors for courses in those areas and see if you can work out a project propsal with them.

Summer Research Projects

Summer research projects may be paid research assistantships or very often they are made possible by an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA). You can apply for this starting in your U1 year at McGill (that is your second year if you started in the Freshman Program, and in your first year if you came from a CEGEP). If you are doing well in your studies, remember to apply for these early in the winter term. Ask your professors for some help and for potential projects. Professors love to have NSERC USRA students working with them in their labs and they will help you out with your applications.

Undergraduate Summer Research Awards

More detailed information about the program and application procedures is available at:

Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium

At the end of each summer we hold the annual Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium where undergraduate students present their research, and have the opportunity to meet the other students and faculty members involved in the program. During the Symposium, a panel of judges selects the winner of the Undergraduate Research Excellence Prize.