In addition to the general admission criteria of the Graduate School, the department requires that applicants to the M.S. program have completed an accredited undergraduate program in Computer Science, or at least taken the core prerequisite courses for the undergraduate degree as listed below:
A substantial background in mathematics, especially in calculus (as in 640:151-152), linear algebra (as in 640:250), finite mathematics (as in 198:205), probability/combinatorics (as in 198:206), and numerical analysis (as in 198:323). Such background should include at least two semesters of calculus and one semester in each of the other areas.
Working knowledge of high level languages (as in 198:111), data structures (as in 198:112), computer architecture and assembly language (as in 198:211), algorithm design and analysis (as in 198:344), and some elective courses in advanced undergraduate areas, such as programming languages and compilers (as in 198:314, 415), operating systems (as in 198:416), distributed systems (as in 198:417), information systems (as in 198:336), networks (as in 198:352), etc.
(Short descriptions of undergraduate courses offered by the department can be found in Computer Science Undergraduate Course Synopses list.)
All applicants are required to take the aptitude part of the GRE examination (verbal, analytic and mathematical reasoning sections).
Criteria for admission currently include:
- An academic record (undergraduate and previous graduate work) that shows distinction (B+ or higher) in Computer Science, Mathematics and related fields. (The mean GPA for a recent entering class of students was 3.62; this included Master's students, with and without financial aid. )
- High score on all the GRE examinations recommended, the TOEFL exam, or IELTS in the case of foreign students. (The average GRE scores for Fall 2020 incoming students were the following: Verbal 150, Quantitative 160; the mean TOEFL score was 92; the mean for IELTS was 7.0)
- Our MS and PhD programs require applicants to submit their GRE and TOEFL scores (or Duolingo) if these tests are available online or in person in their countries.
- Strong letters of recommendation (at least three).
- A clear statement, about one page in length, outlining the reasons why the applicant wishes to pursue graduate study in computer science. (If appropriate, please specify one or more areas of particular interest, to help us assign advisors. See section 5 for a list of areas.)
The standards are higher for those awarded teaching assistantships or other forms of financial aid.
More specific information for international applicants is available through the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.
The Master of Science in Computer Science program has instituted admission confirmation deposits for incoming students starting with the Spring 2022. Our policy is based on similar deferral fees in other university departments.
The rational for this decision is as follows:
The number of qualified applicants the MSCS program receives each semester far exceeds the number of admits we can accommodate. Each year, a number of students tell us they will attend the program, but we find that roughly a quarter, if not more than that, do not enroll. This inflates our enrollment estimates and causes an issue when we request space for classrooms and coordinate faculty scheduling. The collection of student deposits counteracts this issue by working as a placeholder for these programs. The deposits are used as an incentive for students to actively enroll. Students are refunded by the department when they enroll, but refunds are not given if they do not. The department keeps the funds from students who do not enroll as revenue for future scholarships or the improvement of teaching aids for the MSCS program. Since the program has limited space, we are able to better track true enrollment numbers by admitting additional students when deposits are not received from those who verbally committed.
To get more information on how to get a deferral please contact via the email the cs-ms-program office. The office will provide you with the fee collection details.
Please note that this process does not directly affect student accounts or tuition. Students are responsible to pay tuition separate and apart from this process.