Applying to the Graduate Program in Computer Science

Pre-Application Deadlines

Below are the deadlines for receipt of all application documents in the pre-application system. If you are starting the application process on these dates, you are applying too late.

Deadline Type

Fall Admission

Spring Admission

Admission Only

May 1**

November 1**

Financial Assistance

January 15***

October 1***

** These dates may not allow enough time for an international applicant to receive a visa.
*** For full consideration, you should meet these deadlines. Late applications will may be considered if financial support is still available (this is rare).

The Pre-Application Process:

All students intending to apply to any graduate program in the Computer Science Department must submit pre-application information before submitting a formal application.

If, after review of pre-application materials, the graduate admission committee would recommend admission, you will be asked to submit a formal application through the Graduate School website and send official transcripts and test scores. The pre-application process is free.

Before beginning the pre-application process, please review the Entrance Requirements listed below.

To begin the pre-application process, CLICK HERE.

Degrees Offered:

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

a. 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.

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

a. 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 PhD. Because of the research component, this degree cannot be completed online.

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

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

Entrance Requirements:

M.C.S.: Students applying to the MCS program should have a substantial background in computer science and mathematics, including, at a minimum:

MS: 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 in an area in which the CS faculty does work. We do not admit MS students conditionally under any circumstances.

Ph.D.: 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. PhD admission is highly competitive; only the most highly qualified applicants are admitted to the program. PhD admission is usually accompanied by a 5 year funding guarantee. We do not admit PhD students conditionally under any circumstances.

GRE Scores:

All MS and PhD applicants are required to take and submit GRE general scores. MCS students are encouraged, but not required, to submit GRE scores. A high quantitative score (greater than or equal to 70%) is required by the department for graduate admission to the MS and Ph.D. programs. The CS Dept. will not consider requests to waive GRE scores for applicants to the MS or PhD programs.


International applicants from countries where English is not the primary language are required to supply test scores demonstrating English proficiency. The following scores are minimum scores to be considered for admission to any of our graduate programs:

TOEFL (Internet): 92 Minimum

TOEFL (written): 580 Minimum

IELTS: 6.5 Minimum

Students with TOEFL or IELTS scores lower than these minimums will not be considered for admission. We do not conditionally admit students lacking adequate English proficiency scores.

GRADE Requirements:

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. The only 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.