Applying to the Graduate Program in Computer Science





To apply for any graduate program (MCS, MCS Online, MS, PhD) in the Computer Science Department, please read the instructions below and then start with the link presented at the end of this explanation under "Submitting an Application."

Applicants can be evaluated for admissions using official or unofficial transcripts and test scores, and can either pay or defer the application fee until the applicant is notified of an admissions decision. The choice is up to you.

If you complete the application using unofficial documentation, and are recommended for admission, you then supply any missing official documents and pay the application fee before you can be officially admitted. Make sure that you account for the potential delay this may introduce in making travel arrangements.

Regardless of whether you supply official or unofficial documents, the admissions committee can only make a decision after you supply:

  • All post-secondary transcripts
  • Test Scores, including English Proficiency (for international applicants) and GRE. The Department requires a minimum 75th percentile on the GRE quantitative section, and a minimum 92 TOEFL (6.5 IELTS) in order to be considered.
  • Statement of Purpose/Research Interests
  • Three reference letters, attesting to your ability to succeed in a computer science graduate program. These are uploaded by your references themselves. These letters should be signed and on official letterhead.
  • A completed survey about your computer science background.


    Application Deadlines


    Fall Admission

    Spring Admission

    Admission Deadline*

    February 1

    September 1**


    About deadlines: These are the dates when *all* documents must be received to be considered for admission. This includes receipt of all reference letters. Any applications with missing documents after the deadline dates will be declined and not considered.


    * These deadlines are for applications to our on campus programs, the deadline for our Online MCS program is May 1 for Fall admission, and November 1 for Spring admission.

    ** This date may not allow enough time for an international applicant to receive a visa. International applicants may wish to apply for fall terms.



    Detailed Instructions


    Submitting an Application

    To start this Application Process follow the Graduate Application link through the Office of Admissions. The process involves completing forms with your academic information including reference names and email addresses, test scores, background information, and uploading all documentation (unofficial documents will be accepted at this stage of the application process).

    Applicants can supply documents mixing official and unofficial documents as they choose for the evaluation phase of the application process.

    The CS Department Graduate Admissions Committee will notify you by email of its admissions decision. If the committee believes you should be admitted, you will be asked to complete the official admission process with official documents (see below). If you are notified that you will not be admitted, you should not complete the rest of the application, nor should you pay the application fee.


    Where to Send Documents

    Once you have been recommended for admission, if you used the fee-deferred, unofficial documents method, you only need to pay the application fee, send official transcripts and test scores (plus financial statement for international students) to complete your official application. Students who have already supplied official documentation and paid the application fee do not need to do anything further once they are recommended for admission.


    At this link you can view the status of your application once you submit your application.


    Transcripts

    Transcripts should be sent directly to:

    Graduate Admissions
    Colorado State University - Office of Admissions
    1062 Campus Delivery
    Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

    Test Scores

    Official TOEFL or IELTS scores, reported by ETS (institution code: 4075).

    In general, all applicants from countries in which English is not the official and primary language, and who do not have an undergraduate or graduate degree from the United States must submit TOEFL scores.

    The minimum English proficiency score for applicants to our graduate degree programs is 580 (237 on the computer-based test, 92 on the internet based test) or 6.5 on the IELTS or 62 on the PTE).

    Financial Statement

    An Immigration Document Request Form is required for international applicants without departmental assistantship support.



    Financial Aid


    We offer financial aid to all PhD students as long as they make satisfactory progress. We offer financial support to a small number of incoming MS applicants, and in rare cases, to exceptional MCS applicants. We also offer a limited number of single-semester assistantships to students who are already progressing in the program.

    Assistantship decisions are based on academic merit and fit with faculty research programs. Funding is limited and therefore highly competitive. We admit many more applicants than we have funding to support.


    Degrees Offered and Required Qualifications


    Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (Ph.D.)

    This is a traditional research doctorate involving course work, original research and a dissertation. Students seeking the Ph.D. should be ready to do advanced research in computer science upon entrance to the program.

    Entrance Requirements: Students applying to the PhD program should have demonstrated research ability in a research area of one or more members of the CSU computer science faculty. Ways to demonstrate research ability include: undergraduate research projects, published or posted writings, volunteer positions especially related to STEM, leadership positions at school or work, extensions of class projects, etc.

    Ph.D. admission is highly competitive; only the most highly qualified applicants are admitted to the program. We do not admit PhD students conditionally under any circumstances.

    Test Scores for Ph.D. applicants:

    • GRE: A minimum of 75th percentile on the GRE quantitative section is required.
    • English Proficiency (for international applicants): Minimum of 92 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS or 62 on the PTE.

    Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S.)

    This is a traditional research masters in computer science, which includes course work, research and a thesis. This degree is the preferred preparation for those who intend to go on to earn a Ph.D.

    Entrance Requirements: Students applying to the Master of Science program should have a four-year bachelor's degree in computer science or closely related field, and be able to demonstrate research potential. We do not admit M.S. students conditionally under any circumstances.

    Test Scores for M.S. applicants:

    • GRE: A minimum of 75th percentile on the GRE quantitative section is required.
    • English Proficiency (for international applicants): Minimum of 92 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS or 62 on the PTE.

    Master of Computer Science (M.C.S.)

    This is a non-thesis, non-research, professional masters consisting exclusively of course work. It is offered both on-campus and through courses taken online.

    Entrance Requirements: Students applying to the MCS program should have a working knowledge of computer science and mathematics, including, at a minimum:

    • Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Mathematics
    • Computer Programming in an object-oriented language
    • Data Structures and Algorithms
    • Computer Organization/Architecture
    • Software Engineering Methodology
    • Operating System Design Concepts

    Test Scores for M.C.S. Applicants:

    • The GRE is optional for domestic MCS applicants, though high GRE quant scores may help your chances for admission.

    International Applicants:

    • If you do not have a transcript from a university located in the USA, you must submit GRE scores. A minimum of 75th percentile on the quantitative section is required for your application to be considered.

    • English Proficiency (for international applicants): Minimum of 92 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS or 62 on the PTE.

    Grade Requirements for All Graduate Applicants

    The CSU Graduate School requires that all graduate applicants have at least a 3.0 (A=4.0) undergraduate Grade Point Average. Normally students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA will not be admitted to the program. An exception to this rule are students who have earned their bachelor's degrees many years ago, and who have accumulated considerable computer science related work experience in the intervening years. Depending on the nature of the work, such students may be invited to apply despite their low undergraduate GPA's.