These FAQs are only meant to assist you with the admissions process.  If you have additional questions regarding things like the cost of attendance, programs offered, etc., please visit our Prospective Students page https://login.cs.utexas.edu/graduate-program/prospective-students.

Our application for Fall 2018 admission is now closed. We do not accept applications after the deadline. We will reopen for Fall 2019 applicants around mid-October 2018. For information regarding our graduate program and admissions processes, please visit  https://www.cs.utexas.edu/graduate-program/prospective-students. Thank you for your interest in the UT Computer Science graduate program!

We do not evaluate applications on a rolling basis. An application is evaluated on its own merits and in comparison to all the applications for a given year. Review typically begins in late December, with decisions made by early spring.

Admissions

How do I apply?

Please use this checklist to ensure that you are submitting all the materials necessary. Note: For application to the UTCS graduate program, you are required to submit materials via both the ApplyTexas and the CS Department Supplement applications.

1) Submit via www.ApplyTexas.org:

  • Application for admission
  • Application fee
  • Transcripts (1) – Within 48 hours of the submission of your application, you will receive an email from the Graduate and International Admissions Center directing you to the MyStatus page where you will be asked to upload your transcripts.  Please do not mail these credentials.  For additional information regarding the submission of transcripts to UT-Austin, please see https://gradschool.utexas.edu/how-to-apply 

2) Submit via CS Department Supplement:

  • Statement of purpose - approximately 2 pages describing reasons for pursuing graduate study and academic and professional interests and goals. This may include events/experiences that prepared you for CS graduate study and how your interests complement the department's faculty and research.
  • Transcripts (2) - The department will not view the transcripts you upload to the MyStatus page; you must provide us with separate copies through the CS Department Supplement.
  • Three letters of reference – You must supply your references’ names and email addresses to the CS Department Supplement [This information is not downloaded from ApplyTexas.] Letter requests will be sent from the CS Department, and letters will be uploaded by your references to the CS department supplement. Letters should emphasize research experience and academic achievements, particularly in computer science. Letters of recommendation should be received by December 19, 2017 (17:00 CST) for full consideration.
  • GRE and (international students only) TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • Optional: CV and up to three publications. CV should also include a scan of any aid award letter that has award details such as NSF, Fulbright, etc.

3) An official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Please request that ETS send official test scores to UT-Austin. (UT-Austin code 6882 – you do not need a departmental code).

4) An official score report for the TOEFL or IELTS (international students only). Scores must be sent to the university by the testing agency. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) institution code for the TOEFL is 6882. It is not necessary to use a department code. To fulfill the requirement with scores from the IELTS, have an official paper score report sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center.

We do not evaluate applications on a rolling basis. An application is evaluated on its own merits and in comparison to all the applications for a given year. Review typically begins in late December, with decisions made by early spring.

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

  • Your ApplyTexas application and CS Supplement materials should be submitted no later than December 15, 2017 (23:59 CST).
  • Letters of recommendation should be received by December 19, 2017 (17:00 CST) for full consideration.
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How do I check the status of my Application?

You have two status check sites:

1. CS Department Supplement http://apply.cs.utexas.edu/grad/. Here, you can check whether you have submitted all of the required application items and send reminders to your references. Your application must be complete here for the admissions committee to review your application.

2. GIAC MyStatus: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/adm/mystatus/. This is the status check site for the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).  GIAC verifies application information, test scores, residency and admissions GPA calculations/equivalencies. If you have questions about the information your MyStatus page, please contact GIAC https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/contact.

 

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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?

The CS department system sends email to your recommenders after you provide their contact information to the CS Department Supplement.  Some email systems filter our email requests as spam/junk. Please ask your letter writers to set any spam/junk filters to receive email from csadmis@cs.utexas.edu.  An initial email and a reminder are sent to upload letters.

You may view the status of your letters or queue a new request to be sent by logging in at http://apply.cs.utexas.edu/grad and clicking “REVIEW MY INFO"

 

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What documents do I need to submit for my application?

The following items are required for application to the CS Graduate Program.  Please use this checklist to ensure that you are submitting all of the materials necessary.

*We cannot waive the GRE requirement for applicants with work experience or advanced degrees. These scores are an important part of our evaluation.

*International applicants who are from a country where English is the only official language are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in a country where English is the only official language. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s—but not a bachelor’s—degree from a similar institution.

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May I apply to both the PhD and Master's programs?

Yes.  Our department offers you the option of being considered for the Master's program if your application for the PhD program is unsuccessful.

When filling out the CS Department Supplement, you will have the opportunity select this option.  Please note that this is not automatic - you must select the "PhD or Masters" option on the CS Department Supplement.

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Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible for admission consideration, applicants must meet the Graduate School's minimum requirements.

Bachelor's Degree

The Graduate School requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution.

For admission to the UT Computer Science graduate program, a previous CS degree is helpful but not required.

Upper-division GPA of 3.0 or higher

A grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or a comparable GPA in upper-division work—junior- and senior-level courses—and in any graduate work already completed is required.

Applicants admitted to the UT Computer Science graduate program usually have shown their skills in CS by achieving a better than average GPA in their CS courses.

Official Test Scores (GRE, TOEFL/IELTS)

  •  GRE General Test scores*
    • There is no minimum GRE test score, however applicants admitted to the UT Computer Science graduate program usually have high quantitative GRE scores and a math background that includes study through some discrete math.
  •  TOEFL or IELTS score for international applicants*
    • The minimum scores considered acceptable for admission by the Graduate School are:
      • TOEFL: 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT)
      • IELTS: An overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination

*We cannot waive the GRE requirement for applicants with work experience or advanced degrees. These scores are an important part of our evaluation.

*International applicants who are from a country where English is the only official language are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in a country where English is the only official language. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s—but not a bachelor’s—degree from a similar institution.

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

While not required, a previous CS bachelor’s degree is strongly recommended since admission is very competitive. Successful applicants usually have an undergraduate degree in CS or a closely related area such as Electrical and Computer Engineering. Use of computers at work or some experience programming are not considered to be equivalent to a CS degree and courses.

The following UTCS undergraduate courses, or equivalent, are required as background for our graduate degrees. They are not prerequisites for admission, however, and can be satisfied after admission to the program.

Discrete Math for Computer Science (CS 311)
Introduction to Programming (CS 312)
Data Structures (CS 314)
Algorithms and Complexity (CS 331)
Computer Organization and Architecture (CS 429)
Principles of Computer Systems (CS 439)

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. The master's admissions committee will not admit a student with a degree that is closely related to our MSCS.  You may apply for the PhD program instead.

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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 are 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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I am a current or former UT-Austin graduate student from another department. May I apply to the CS graduate program?

Graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin who wish to change majors to the CS Department may apply during the regular admissions season.

In place of the ApplyTexas application, please follow the instructions for requesting a change of major: https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/change-of-graduate.... Applicants must also submit the required CS Department Supplement materials. All application deadlines apply.

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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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Is there a minimum GPA requirement?

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 is required. Applicants admitted to the UT Computer Science graduate program usually have shown their skills in CS by achieving a better than average GPA in their CS courses.

If your GPA does not meet the minimum requirement—or if you feel that your GPA is not a valid indicator of your ability— you may explain your concerns in your statement of purpose.

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

There is no minimum GRE test score, however applicants admitted to the CS graduate program usually have high quantitative GRE scores and a math background that includes study through some discrete math. If you feel that your test scores are not valid indicators of your ability, you should explain your concerns in your statement of purpose.

You must report your scores to the CS Department Supplement by the application deadline: December 15, 2017 (23:59 CST)

In addition to self-reporting your scores to the CS Department Supplement, you must request that ETS send your official test scores to UT-Austin.  These scores will be uploaded to your MyStatus page and will be available for viewing by the admissions committee. Official score reports may arrive to UT-Austin after the Dec. 15th deadline, however please note that late scores may delay the final review of your application. If you have questions about the receipt of your official GRE scores, please contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) at giatest@austin.utexas.edu.

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Are there minimum TOEFL/IELTS scores and can I submit my scores after the deadline?

The minimum scores considered acceptable for admission by the Graduate School are:

  • TOEFL: 79 on the Internet-based test (iBT)
  • IELTS: An overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination

Please see https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/international-stud... for additional information.**

You must report your scores to the CS Department Supplement by the application deadline: December 15, 2017 (23:59 CST)

In addition to self-reporting your scores to the CS Department Supplement, you must request that the testing agency send an official score report to UT-Austin. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) institution code for the TOEFL is 6882. It is not necessary to use a department code. To fulfill the requirement with scores from the IELTS, have an official paper score report sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center. These scores will be uploaded to your MyStatus page and will be available for viewing by the admissions committee. Official score reports may arrive to UT-Austin after the Dec. 15th deadline, however please note that late scores may delay the final review of your application. If you have questions about the receipt of your official TOEFL/IELTS scores, please contact the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) at giatest@austin.utexas.edu.

**International applicants who are from a country where English is the only official language are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in a country where English is the only official language. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s—but not a bachelor’s—degree from a similar institution.

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Where should ETS send my test scores?

 For GRE and TOEFL scores, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) institution code for UT-Austin is 6882. It is not necessary to use a department code. There is no institutional code for the IELTS examination. For IELTS scores, have an official paper score report sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center.

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What are the requirements for scanning/uploading my transcripts to the CS Department Supplement?

  • Transcript must be official (includes 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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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 MyStatus page.

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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Do I need to submit a foreign credential evaluation from WES or another organization?

A foreign credential evaluation is not required. If a transcript is written in a language other than English, a complete and official English translation must be uploaded together with the original transcript.

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Where do I find my ApplyTexas ID#?

The ApplyTexas ID refers to your 7 to 8-digit application ID, which was automatically assigned when you first saved your ApplyTexas application. See image. If you log into the ApplyTexas site, you will see it displayed with your application.

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