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 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 sicecsgr@indiana.edu.

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

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 Computer Science 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 Computer Science 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 scores or a WES evaluation. Letters of recommendation are encouraged.

1. Completed online application

After you begin the application, you can save it and continue working on it later.

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 comment section of the application.

4. TOEFL report (nonnative English speakers only)

All nonnative English speakers should submit their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 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. 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 comment section of the application.

We no longer accept the IELTS.

5. Statement of purpose

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

  • 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. You will submit them via the online application in the “additional upload” section. Each institutional transcript should be uploaded as a single PDF.

7. Three 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

In the online application, follow the link to the departmental questions and answer them.

9. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

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

10. WES evaluation (suggested for international applicants to the M.S. in Computer Science only)

We strongly encourage all international students who have studied outside of the United States and are applying to the M.S. in Computer Science to apply for and submit a WES (World Education Services) evaluation.

  • All non-U.S. educational institutions you attended—including high schools and postsecondary institutions—must send all transcripts they have for you directly to WES.
  • You should apply for the WES Course-by-Course International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) if you have completed any university-level coursework.
  • It is critical that you read and follow the “Required Documents” information specific to your country of study to ensure that your evaluation is completed as quickly as possible.
  • You will need to list “Indiana University, Bloomington Campus, SICE, Computer Science Graduate Studies Office” as a recipient of your WES evaluation.
  • If your transcripts and diplomas are not in English, you must provide translation.

You should apply for your WES evaluation close to the date you finish your M.S. in Computer Science application for admission. If you use WES, you do not need to upload your transcripts to the online application.

After WES receives all the required documentation, the evaluation usually takes 7 to 10 days. You should check with WES to see if your evaluation has been completed and sent to our department.

Learn more about WES and apply for your evaluation

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 Computer Science Graduate Studies Office will contact applicants via email beginning in late January for Ph.D. applicants, and mid-March for master’s applicants.

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 Computer Science 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