M.S. Admissions

Detailed Admission Requirements

Successful M.S. applicants typically possess a B.A. or B.S. in Computer Science, Computer Science and Engineering, or Computer Engineering. Specifically, the M.S. program in Computer Science and Engineering maintains the following minimum requirements for admission:

  1. Bachelor’s degree. The applicant must possess a Bachelor’s degree and a strong record of academic performance.
  2. GRE test scores. The applicant must submit scores for the General Test portion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). While we do not set specific GRE thresholds for M.S. admissions, successful applicants typically score above 160 on the quantitative portion of the exam.
  3. Three letters of recommendation. The applicant must submit three letters of recommendation supporting the application. A strong letter should speak to your specific strengths and experiences. 
  4. Preparation in computing and mathematics. The applicant should have supporting undergraduate coursework in mathematics and computer science, with superior performance in the following courses or their equivalent:
    • Calculus (at least 2 semesters) (e.g., MATH1131, MATH1132, MATH2110)
    • Linear Algebra (e.g., MATH2210)
    • Discrete Mathematics (e.g., CSE2500)
    • Statistics and Probability (e.g., STAT3025)
    • Programming competency in multiple high level languages and facility with basic data structures (e.g., CSE1729, CSE2050, CSE3150)
    • Computer Architecture (e.g., CSE3666)
    • Theory of Computation (e.g., CSE3502)
    • Design and Analysis of Algorithms (e.g., CSE3500)
    • Advanced topics in programming languages such as Programming Language Translation (e.g., CSE4100) or Programming Languages (e.g., CSE4102)
    • Operating Systems (e.g., CSE3100 or CSE4100)

    Students missing a small portion of these courses may be admitted under the condition that they complete the requirements during their degree. As the M.S. program does permit 6 credits of upper-division CSE undergraduate courses to be counted towards the degree, in some cases completion of the requirements above can also serve to meet M.S. degree requirements.

For further details, including limits on course and credit transfer, see the The Graduate School, Admissions.

Time for Completion

Accepted students with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related area typically complete the M.S. degree requirements in two or three semesters of full-time study. Students with a less comprehensive computing background may require additional time. Teaching assistants and research assistants typically require more time to complete the program, as they must allocate effort to these non-course-related activities. Under normal conditions, on-campus students–even those holding teaching or research assistantships–complete the M.S. degree requirements in four semesters or less.


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