Admission Requirements

The following are the general requirements for admission to the graduate program in the CIS Department:

  1. A bachelor's degree at a recognized four-year college or university. A minimum grade average of 3.2 in the major field of study and an overall cumulative index of 3.0 is required.
  2. All applicants to our graduate program are expected to have scholarly competence in mathematics and computer programming. If you do not have a degree in computer science or a related area, you must have taken these basic undergraduate courses in computer science and math.
  3. GRE test scores
  4. For foreign applicants: TOEFL test scores
  5. Three letters of recommendation from professors (preferably), employers, or others who have had a supervisory relationship with you and are able to assess your potential for success in graduate studies.
  6. It is suggested, but not required, that students provide official documentation of their relative ranking within their class.

A Master's degree is not required for admission to the PhD program. Strong applicants with a Bachelor's degree are encouraged to apply directly for admission to the PhD program.

Note: Admission to the graduate program is competitive. Those who meet stated minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths.

» Apply to the Computer and Information Sciences PhD program.

Pre-requisite Courses

All applicants are expected to know the material covered by at least one undergraduate course in each of the following topics:

  • structured high-level language programming
  • data structures
  • computer architecture
  • operating systems
  • analysis of algorithms

Additionally, applicants must have completed the equivalent of at least four undergraduate courses in the following list:

  • calculus
  • discrete mathematics
  • probability and statistics
  • mathematical logic
  • comparable formal subjects, such as Theory of Computation

GRE Test Requirements

We require the following minimum scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test:

  • Verbal: 153 (if taken prior to 8/1/11 then 500)
  • Quantitative: 155 (if taken prior to 8/1/11 then 700)
  • Analytical Writing: 4.0

The GRE subject test is not required.


For applicants whose first language is not English, and who have not received a degree at a U.S. college or university, the following minimum test scores are required on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam:

  • Minimum scores for admission without financial aid:
    • Internet test: 79
    • Computer test: 213
    • Old paper test: 550
    • IELTS 6.5
  • Minimum scores for admission with a teaching assistantship:
    • Internet test: 100
    • Computer test: 250
    • Old paper test: 600
    • IELTS 7.5

In addition, for applicants who have not graduated from an institution whose principal language of instruction is English, the Test of Spoken English is highly recommended.

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