Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some frequently asked questions from students:


School’s contact information

Director:  Darcy Benoit, Ph.D. (he/him)

Administrative Assistant:  Sharon Watson (she/her)


Phone:  902-585-1331

What is the difference between the Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS) and the Bachelor of Applied Computer Science (BACS) Degrees?

The main difference between the BCS and the BACS degrees tends to be the number of math courses required (some of the BACS degrees do not require calculus, and most do not include some of the more math-intensive computer science courses such as Translators or Analysis of Algorithms).

For the most part, the first two years of the BCS and the BACS degrees are the same if you are willing to take the calculus courses. If you don’t want to take calculus, then you have some limited options in the BACS degree - mainly the BACS with either Software Development, Interdisciplinary study, or a second major. We generally suggest that if students are unsure of which degree they would like to do (or which defined option in the BACS that they are interested in taking) that they should take the calculus courses in first year. It keeps the course pathways open for all our degrees.

How to register for courses?

Go to and click on the “How to Register for courses” link.

What courses you should register for in your first year?

You can find a list of courses you should take in your first year at:

How to select your electives?

One of the most common questions that we receive every year is advice on choosing elective courses.  Generally, we suggest that students take something that interests them, and that is very dependent on the student. We suggest taking a couple of Arts courses - be that a language, history, politics, or something that is “different” from the math and computer science that you will be taking. Many students find that a change of pace in terms of the type of material they are learning in class is a good thing.  You can look up which courses have sections in the fall and winter term in the Course Catalogue by clicking on “Advanced Search” and then selecting the 2024 Fall term or the 2025 Winter term and the subjects that you are interested in.

NOTE:  Computer science students may not take APSC 1413, ECON 2623, MATH 1613 or any 1800 or 2800-level Computer Science course for credit towards a degree in Computer Science, with the exception of COMP 2853 as an elective course only.

The first step is to review the School’s website ( to see if our Bachelor of Applied Computer Science (BACS) is of interest to you.  The options for the Bachelor of Applied Computer Science have a set of required courses, some of which are not Computer Science courses.  Many students choose to take some of these required courses as electives during their first year.  For example, the Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing defined options requires PSYC 1013 and PSYC1023.  These are both introductory psychology courses that could be taken during your first year.  Some of the options for the BACS degree do not require MATH 1013/1023 (Calculus 1 & 2).

Some students prefer to complete the “6h selected from English, Art at the 1000-level, Classics, Comparative Religion, a single language other than English, History, Music (not applied, vocal or instrumental methods, or practical studies) Philosophy, Theology (Theo 3013/23, Bibl 2013/23, Gree 3013/23), or Women's and Gender Studies or Comm 1213 and 1223 (6h)” requirement.  Other students prefer to select courses that will fulfill the 12h from the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science (not mathematics or computer science) or from the School of Business Administration requirement.  

Any course that is chosen as an elective course during your first year will count towards your degree since all the Computer Science degrees require that students take courses from the faculties of Arts, Science and Professional Studies.  We usually recommend that students talk to other students that are attending Acadia University to see which courses they recommend.  Some popular courses with Computer Science students are PHYS 1513, PHYS 1523, GEOL 1033, and GEOL 1073.

Which laptop should I use?

In terms of which type of laptop to get for a Computer Science degree at Acadia, we have some generic advice to follow, but recognize that much of the decision is related more to personal preference than anything else. Assuming that this is going to be your only computer on campus, then it needs to serve you both as an academic machine as well as a personal computer for other purposes. This will drive some of the decision-making.

- We suggest purchasing from the Acadia Technology Services (TS) “store”. Acadia sells Dells and Macs through a web portal found at . The advantage of purchasing from the TS store is that the Helpdesk is an authorized repair dealer for the Dells that they sell and for Apple computers. This is significant, as if you break your computer in the middle of term, getting it repaired on campus is much faster and easier than shipping it off for repairs. They often stock parts for the models that they sell, so sometimes the repair is same-day. Warranty is also nice to have on the machines.

- We would pick either a Mac or a Dell depending on if you have a preference for MacOS or Windows. If you are a big PC gamer, then the Dell is probably going to be what you want (unless you have another machine). Computer Science is fairly operating system neutral, so we don’t have any classes that require either Windows or MacOS. There are some units on campus that require Windows for particular courses, but those are not courses that you are required to take for your degree.

- Depending on what you are using the machine for, upgrade the RAM and storage space accordingly. We wouldn’t do anything less than 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, especially if you want to store a lot of music / photos / etc on your computer. Go with more disk space if you do a lot of raw audio / video editing, or purchase an external hard disk to store that data. The base models on the TS store all come with a 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) and we highly suggest an SSD over the old style of hard drive. More RAM & disk will extend the life of the machine.

- Screen size is more of a personal issue. We tend to like larger screens, but with the larger screen comes a heavier machine that you have to drag around to classes. Pick whatever is comfortable for you to move around and to have in class, and what is comfortable for your eyesight so that you can clearly see the screen. Consider investing in a large external monitor for your residence room.

- Extra notes:

—> The Intel Macs can run Windows, but the new Apple silicon Macs (M1, M2, and M3) can’t run Windows natively. You can purchase Parallels or some other virtual machine software to install Windows on your Mac.  Having said that, the performance of the Apple silicon chips is supposedly vastly superior to the Intel Macs.

—> The CS professors are a mix of Windows and Mac users.