CS 499T Honours Thesis


To provide exceptional students with the opportunity to engage in research under the supervision of a professor and to produce a thesis summarizing results.

Intended Audience

CS 499T is intended for exceptional students who share a mutually beneficial area of interest with a computer science instructor. A student contemplating an undergraduate thesis is responsible for obtaining the following background: strong academic achievement, typically resulting in a major average of at least 80%, strong writing skills, and sufficient background knowledge to develop a well-crafted proposal.

Related Courses

Prerequisites: A topic and detailed thesis proposal, names and signatures of professors who are willing to serve as supervisor and second reader; Computer Science students only. Students are strongly advised to take the CS 499R reading course in the area with the goal of producing the proposal at the end of the term. Those who do not follow this route are responsible for independently reaching an equivalent level of preparation, including a proposal that their supervisor finds acceptable. Another option would be to make use of a URA for the same purpose.


The schedule is usually very flexible and geared to independent work.


It is up to the student to find a CS faculty member who is willing to take on the course. The student should be aware that supervising a thesis is not generally reflected in the instructor's teaching duties. The instructor's "reward" for teaching the course is usually that the student can somehow help further the other interests of the instructor.

The amount of effort for a thesis should be approximately the same as other fourth year courses. The course is to be taken for credit/no credit, with a credit given only if both readers sign off on the thesis, attesting to the following criteria:

  • The student produces a written document indicating a depth of understanding of a topic that goes beyond what is obtained in a normal undergraduate education. Paraphrasing existing sources is, by itself, insufficient.
  • Original work is encouraged. Students should undertake new analysis, synthesis, measurement, or experimentation. Partial and negative results, including documenting of failed attempts, are acceptable material for inclusion and demonstration of understanding.
  • The thesis must be well organized and readable. It is possible for a student to fail the thesis on the basis of writing alone.
Students wishing to take CS 499T must submit a form, signed by the supervisor and second reader, to a CS advisor. Co-supervisors are also acceptable, as long as at least one is in Computer Science.