Graduate Admissions FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs are only meant to assist you with the admissions process.  If you have additional questions regarding things like the cost of attendance, what courses are offered, dates of the semester etc. please perform a search from the main UT-Austin web site at www.utexas.edu.

  1. How do I apply and when will my application be reviewed for admission?
  2. What are the deadlines for the required admissions applications at The University of Texas at Austin?
  3. Does the CS Department accept spring and summer applications?
  4. Which GIAC application should I choose?
  5. How do I obtain the UTEID required for the CS department application?
  6. What documents do I need to submit for my applications to ApplyTexas and the CS department?
  7. What are the requirements for scanning/uploading my transcripts to the department application?
  8. How do I check the status of my application?
  9. Do I need a degree in Computer Science to be admitted to the department?
  10. May I apply for the Master’s program if I have a degree in Computer Science or a closely related field?
  11. What criteria are used to evaluate students for admission to the department?
  12. Why didn’t my recommender receive an email request to upload the letter of recommendation and/or how does the email to my recommenders work?
  13. Are there minimum GRE and GPA scores required for admission and can I submit my GRE scores after the deadline?
  14. Are there minimum TOEFL Scores and what is the deadline to submit scores?
  15. Where should ETS send my test scores?
  16. When do I send in the Certification of Financial Responsibility?

How do I apply?

Please see the application process

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What are the deadlines for the required admissions applications at The University of Texas at Austin?

IMPORTANT - You are strongly encouraged to submit your ApplyTexas application early so you receive your assigned UT EID in time to submit the CS department application by recommended December 7th deadline. The UT EID is required when creating your Computer Science application.

FALL - The ApplyTexas and CS department applications and status pages are not connected.  Both applications are Required.

  • ApplyTexas - December 1 to be sure you have your UTEID assigned in time to submit the departmental application by the recommended December 7th deadline. Please note that 'MyStatus' is where you upload information to ApplyTexas.  It is not connected to the CS department application and status page. 
  • CS Department – We strongly encourage submission of applications by December 7th as your reference letter writers receive email requests for a recommendation after your application is submitted not when it is saved.  Submitting an application by December 7th will allow your letter writers time to submit their recommendations by December 16th when we will start our review process. While we will leave our application system open until December 15th and review all application files submitted by that date, evaluation of your application would be more difficult if the letters of recommendation have not arrived. 
  • Letters of recommendation submitted to CS department application - DECEMBER 16

The PhD program review process begins December 16th.  If you submitted an application for PhD or MS then your application will first be reviewed by the PhD admissions committee and if not admitted to PhD then by the Master's admissions committee.  The Master's admissions committee reviews applications in March.

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Does the CS Department accept spring or summer applications?

No. The CS Department only accepts Fall applications.

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Which GIAC application should I choose?

  • New to UT-Austin - Graduate Admissions
  • Former UT-Austin student - Graduate
  • Current or former non-CS student - Application to Another Graduate Major
  • 5-year integrated – Graduate admissions and choose the 5-year program major (restricted to current UTCS undergrads)
  • Current CS masters students – none, submit only department application

Follow the instructions on how to apply to the university listed at:  http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/admissions/howtous.html.

 

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How do I obtain the UTEID required for the CS department application?

Complete and submit your ApplyTexas application . GIAC will send your UTEID by email a few days after you apply. The Graduate and International Admissions Center assigns the UTEID so, contact GIAC directly if you have any question about this or the ApplyTexas application. UT EID should be included in all correspondence to the department and university.

Please do not create another EID for yourself. Only the EID that will be sent to you in the email acknowledging receipt of your Apply Texas application will be linked to your academic record.

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What documents do I need to submit for my applications to ApplyTexas and the CS department?

  1. ApplyTexas application required.  Submit the application fee, GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores, and transcripts here.  You can upload the transcripts by going through the My Status page. My Status will say you need to upload a statement of purpose but this is not necessary.  The email requests for letters of recommendation are not sent to your recommenders from the ApplyTexas application.  These requests are sent out after you submit the CS department application.
  2. CS department application required
  3. Transcripts – If you are currently enrolled or about to enter a program at a university, list it on your Apply Texas and CS. Only transcripts from senior colleges attended need to be listed and uploaded, this includes 3 year Bachelor's degrees.
  4. Tests: Tests must be taken before the CS application deadline. Self report test scores in the CS application and be sure ETS has sent the scores to the ApplyTexas system using institution code 6882.  A department code is not needed.
    • GRE – required
    • A GRE Computer Science Subject Test - No subject tests are required.  The CS subject test was no longer offered after April 2013 but ETS will report scores through 2018 if you took this exam. You can submit cores from a subject test in Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics if you have taken one of these.
    • TOEFL –Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System(IELTS) Required if your native country’s primary language is not English. Waived if you have a bachelor's from an accredited U.S. institution or other English-only speaking country. If you qualify for waiver enter ‘0’ on department application. See Graduate School's site on Test Scores. (Applicants whose scores have expired may still apply by submitting the previous scores.  If admitted a new TOEFL might be requested.)
  5. A statement of purpose - Not required for GIAC application, only for the CS department application.  It should be approximately 2 pages describing reasons for pursuing graduate study and academic and professional interests and goals. Might include events/experiences that prepared you for CS graduate study and how your interests compliment our department's faculty and research.
  6. Three letters of reference – Requests are not sent from the ApplyTexas application, only for the CS department application after you submit it. Letters should emphasize research experience and academic achievements, particularly in computer science.
  7. Optional materials that are accepted in the CS department application: Resume and up to three publications. Resume scan should include a scan of any aid award letter that has the award details such as NSF, Fulbright, etc.

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What are the requirements for scanning/uploading my transcripts to the department application?

  • Transcript must be official (incluldes 3 year Bachelor's degrees)
  • English translations required
  • Obliterate social security numbers
  • Include 1 scan of the grading information ("transcript key") if it isn't on the front of the transcript.
  • May submit ‘mark sheets’ if your university does not provide transcripts.
  • Must have proof of degree on transcript or on separate page.  If not available at time of application this will be requested later if you are admitted.
  • Do not scan back of document to show Official stamps.
  • Shrink images to <= 5Mb
  • Check your scan before uploading. Is it legible?

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How do I check the status of my GIAC and departmental application?

Check your GIAC status. Admissions decisions also post here. Check your CS application status

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Do I need a degree in Computer Science to be admitted to the department?

No. It is beneficial though not required. Work experience is considered. The following UTCS undergraduate courses, or equivalent, are required as background which can be satisfied after admission to the program.  They are not prerequisites for admission.

  1. CS 345 Programming Languages or CS 375 Compilers
  2. CS 429 Computer Organization & Architecture
  3. CS 439 Introduction to Operating Systems
  4. CS 353 Theory of Computation or CS 357 Algorithms or CS 331 Algorithms and Complexity

Scoring 90% or higher on the Computer Science Subject Test given by ETS also will satisfy the background requirements; however, the CS subject test was last given April 2013 and is no longer be offered by ETS.  If you took it then ETS will report the scores through Spring 2018. Graduate level courses may not be used to satisfy background requirements. Please see the Undergraduate Course descriptions for more information.

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May I apply for the Master’s program if I have an equivalent level of degree in Computer Science or a closely related field?

No. You should apply to the Ph.D. program.

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What criteria are used to evaluate students for admission to the department?

The main criteria used to evaluate applicants for graduate study in CS: grades, test scores, computer science background, letters of reference, and a statement of purpose. We encourage applicants to provide a resume and publications (if any).

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Why didn’t my recommender receive an email request to upload the letter of recommendation and/or how does the email to my recommenders work?

Be sure you submitted the CS application.  An email is only sent out if you actually used the 'submit' button.  Some email systems filter our email requests as spam/junk. Tell them to set the spam/junk filter to receive email from csadmis [at] cs [dot] utexas [dot] edu. Email requests to recommenders go out 24 hours after the CS application is submitted. An initial email and 2 reminders are sent to upload letters.  You can also resend the request for a letter yourself by logging back into the CS department application and going to the recommenders.

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Are there minimum GRE and GPA scores required for admission and can I submit my GRE scores after the deadline?

There is no minimum GRE test score.  Applicants admitted to the CS graduate program usually have high quantitative GRE scores and a math background that includes study through some discrete math.  You are expected to have taken your GRE by the deadline so you can self report your GRE scores in the CS department application system before submitting it.  The official scores may arrive in graduate admissions after the deadline.

A grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable grade point average in upper-division work (junior- and senior-level courses) and in any graduate work already completed.  Applicants admitted to the CS graduate program usually have shown their skils in CS by achieving a better than average GPA in their CS courses.

If you feel that your grade point averages or test scores are not valid indicators of your ability, you should explain your concerns in your statement of purpose.

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Are there minimum TOEFL Scores?

A score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR an overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to The University of Texas at Austin.

Average scores for CS department admitted students are below.  While it is required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS, students who have received their education in English beginning in at least their secondary years, may submit scores after the deadline.  This is not preferred but it is allowed.

Ph.D. program

  • TOEFL:  587 paper / 95 iBT with 26 reading, 21 listening, 24 speaking, and 25 writing.
  • IELTS: Band 7.

Masters program

  • TOEFL 627 paper / 108 iBT with 28 reading, 28 listening, 25 speaking, and 28 writing.
  • IELTS: Band 7.5.

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Where should ETS send my test scores?

Request ETS to report official test scores to UT Austin (institution code: 6882). A department code is not needed. ApplyTexas can receive the official scores from ETS past the December 7th recommended deadline.  TOEFL scores are self reported in the CS department application.  Include them when you submit by the December 7th preferred deadline.

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When do I send in the Certification of Financial Responsibility?

This form is not required for our review.  You may wait for the decision before uploading it to your GIAC application.

PhD applicants - You will need to upload the form with your personal information.  The department will provide aid information to the International Office (I.O.) if you receive a financial award from our department.

Masters applicants - You will need to upload the form with proof of personal support if you are granted admission.

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