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Graduate Student Frequently Asked Questions

What are my chances of getting into your program?

We need to see your complete application in order to decide whether you are qualified for admission. Please review the CS admissions requirements and the answers to other questions in this FAQ. They will give you a good idea about whether your background matches our requirements. If you have specific, individual questions that are not answered in either place, please email the appropriate CS Graduate Coordinator.

My bachelor’s degree isn’t in computer science. Can I apply?

Yes. If your bachelor’s degree is in a related engineering, scientific or mathematical discipline, that’s fine. If it’s not, we will need to look closely to see whether you have sufficient technical background to succeed in CS graduate work.

I’m missing one or two of the required knowledge areas. What can I do?

If you meet all of the other admissions requirements for the MS in CS, then you should apply. We often accept applicants into the MS in CS with conditions, if they are missing only one or two of the required knowledge areas and meet all other admissions requirements.

I’m missing most of the requires knowledge areas. What should I do?

We recommend that you take some of the prerequisite courses. We can’t accept you into the MS in CS if you are missing more than two of the required knowledge areas, even if you meet all of the other admissions requirements. You wouldn’t have the background to succeed in our graduate courses. So dig into those prerequisites!

Who can I meet with to discuss applying?

Your best - and quickest - sources of information are the CS admissions web pages. If you have specific, individual questions, please email the appropriate CS Graduate Coordinator.

Will I get credit for my work experience?

If your work requires you to use both broad and deep knowledge within one of the required knowledge areas for admission to the MS in CS, then it may possibly satisfy that knowledge area (at the discretion of the admissions committee). We do not give graduate credit toward the degree for work experience.

I have a three year bachelor’s degree from my country. Can I apply?

Visit the International Applicants page for more information.

Can I transfer from another department?

There is no automatic transfer to the CS graduate program from another department. You need to apply to transfer and to meet all of the CS admissions requirements. See Transferring to CS from another department.

If you meet all of the other admissions requirements for the MS in CS, then you should apply. We often accept applicants into the MS in CS with conditions, if they are missing only one or two of the required knowledge areas and meet all other admissions requirements.

I can't afford the application fee. Can it be waived?

Contact Graduate Admissions for information about waiving the application fee.

Will you give me a fellowship, assistantship or other job on campus?

Please see the Financial Support page.

Can you help me find a job at a local company?

There are two sources of help for finding a job at a local company while you are a student here. The CS Department may be able to help with off campus job placement. The university also has a Career Services and Cooperative Education Center that helps students learn about job openings.

What are the minimum GRE and TOEFL scores you accept?

There isn’t an official minimum. Your GRE scores are evaluated in the context of your entire application.

For international students, except as exempted by Graduate Admissions rules, the Computer Science graduate program requires a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based).

Do I need to take the GRE advanced computer science test?

The GRE advanced computer science test is recommended, but not required.

How important is the GRE?

The GRE is an important component of your application, since it can confirm your readiness for graduate studies.

My computer-based GRE testing center is closing. I have to wait a long time to take the paper-based test. Will you waive the GRE requirement?

Unfortunately, we cannot waive the GRE requirement.

My TOEFL score is more than two years old. Will you accept it?

Graduate Admissions will only accept TOEFL scores that are less than two years old.

May I send in a photocopy of my test scores instead of an official report?

No, Graduate Admissions will accept only official score reports for the TOEFL and GRE.