Graduate Application

How to apply to one of our computer science graduate programs

Follow these instructions to apply to one of these programs:

  • M.S. in Computer Science
  • Accelerated M.S. in Computer Science (only approved current B.S. students may apply)
  • M.S. in Bioinformatics
  • M.S. in Secure Computing
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science

If you have questions, please write to

You can also learn more about our programs.

Educational background

For admission to one of these programs, you must have received a four-year bachelor’s degree (or an equivalent degree) in computer science, informatics, or a related field from an accredited college or university.

You must also have the necessary academic preparation to complete graduate-level courses in the program. For example, for computer science degrees, you should have had courses in data structures, machine organization and assembly language, and discrete structures.

You should successfully demonstrate that you have had undergraduate coursework in the following:

  • Foundational concepts of computer science
  • Principles of computer organization and operating systems
  • Data structures and algorithm analysis
  • Computer architecture, compilers, and networks
  • Programming language such as Java, C, or C++

Application deadlines

  • M.S. in Computer Science: January 31
  • Accelerated M.S. in Computer Science: January 31
  • M.S. in Bioinformatics: January 1
  • M.S. in Secure Computing: January 1
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science: December 1 for fellowship consideration, December 15 otherwise
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity: January 1

Submitting your application and supporting materials

All programs require you to submit an online application and supporting materials, which must be submitted electronically. Do not mail any supporting materials to the Luddy Graduate Studies Office. Any materials that are mailed to us will not be returned.

Applicant are responsible for making sure their submitted application is complete. We do not routinely acknowledge that we have received applications or supporting documents.

Only applications that are paid and complete—including all supporting materials—will be routed to the Luddy Graduate Studies Office for evaluation.

Application checklist

We strongly recommend that you have this checklist open in a separate window or print it so you can refer to it while you work on your application.

If you are a current undergraduate in our department who is applying for the Accelerated M.S. in Computer Science, you don’t have to submit GRE or TOEFL scores.

1. Completed online application

To make sure the correct campus is selected for your desired program, "School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering" should be visible in the School column of search results of the program(s) selected. After you begin the application, you can save it and continue working on it later, but will not have full edit access once submitted. Carefully review and we strongly recommend attaching all relevant documents before submission.

Go to the online application

2. Application fee

The fee is nonrefundable.

3. GRE General Test report

You must submit your scores from a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken within the past five years. Submit scores to institution code 1324 and department code 0402.

If your name on the test report differs from your name on the online application, please list your test report name in the Biographical Information tab in the Personal Information quadrant of the application.

Only current students approved for the Accelerated MS program are exempt from this requirement.

4. TOEFL or IELTS report (non-native English speakers only)

All non-native English speakers should submit their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS scores to institution code 1324 and department code 78.

We require a score of at least 96 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or at least 600 on the paper-based test. For the IELTS, we require a minimum overall score of 7.0. TOEFL and IELTS scores must be earned within the past two years.

If your name on the test report differs from your name on the online application, please list your test report name in the Biographical Information tab in the Personal Information quadrant of the application.

Only current students approved to apply for the Accelerated MS program are exempt from this requirement.

5. Statement of purpose

Submit an essay that is approximately 500 words long. Your essay should concisely:

  • Explain why our program is the right fit for your academic/career goals.
  • List research topic areas that interest you and the faculty with whom you would like to work.
  • Show your preparation by describing courses or projects that you have been involved with and any experience doing research.

6. Transcripts

Submit an electronic copy of your official transcript(s) from each previous undergraduate or graduate institution that you have attended. These should be submitted in the Academic History quadrant of the application.

7. Letters of recommendation

Enter your recommenders’ names and email addresses. They will receive an email telling them how they can submit their letter in the application system. Some of your recommenders should be academic faculty, including some faculty in informatics and/or computing.

If you have experience as a teaching assistant, a letter from your teaching supervisor attesting to your teaching ability could help your application for financial support.

You can log in to your application and see how many recommendations have been received.

8. Departmental questionnaire

Answer the degrees relevant to your program and please observe the requests for choice limits, such as if you are asked to pick three research areas.

9. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

Submit it with your online application. Please make sure it includes any awards or publications.

What happens next

We evaluate your application

The admissions committee takes several weeks to evaluate all complete applications that were received by the deadline.

We tell you whether or not you have been admitted

The Luddy Graduate Studies Office will contact applicants via email beginning in late January for Ph.D. applicants, and mid-March for master’s applicants. All applicants are typically notified by mid to late April.

Because we receive hundreds of applications per year, we are unable to provide case-by-case explanations about admissions decisions.

You tell us if you accept your admissions offer

You will have until April 15 or the date on your admission letter to accept or decline the offer, including any funding. If you accept the offer, you must also pay your enrollment deposit by this date.

Many colleges and universities in the Council of Graduate Schools have agreed on a common decision date of April 15 for offers of financial support. You can read the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants and see a list of the institutions that support the resolution.

International student applications and visa eligibility

If you are an international student, your application will be forwarded to the Office of International Services (OIS) for final processing. Applicants are required to follow the steps on OIS’s page about the application process for international graduate students, which includes submitting financial documentation.

The Luddy Graduate Studies Office does not issue any visa documentation. If you have questions about the I-20, the DS-2019, financial documentation, or Atlas, contact the Office of International Services.

Financial support

Decisions on financial support from the Department of Computer Science are made after decisions on admission and are based on the information in the application for admission. All newly admitted students are automatically considered for student academic appointments.

Learn about funding opportunities