GRADUATE PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top ten graduate programs in computer science, UT Computer Science is proud to be able to say that the education our students receive is second to none. During your time in the Department of Computer Science, you can expect to learn from both world-class faculty and from your peers, who are carefully selected because they possess the potential to shape the future of the field.
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The overriding goal of the PhD program is to show students how to conduct outstanding research; the program is designed for students who wish to pursue research careers, either in academia or in industry. All PhD students must become involved in research within their first semester and continue their involvement throughout their time at UT. If you are considering applying to the PhD program, we encourage you to visit our research page. There you will be able to get an overview of the range of projects that you might want to join if you come to UT.
As a result of early immersion in research, our PhD students are often already recognized in the wider research community well before they graduate. They regularly travel to conferences, present papers, and often receive best paper awards.
For more information, visit https://www.cs.utexas.edu/graduate-program/phd-program
Prospective PhD students from underrepresented groups can now apply to the Graduate Application Assistance Program (GAAP). GAAP was established by current CS PhD students who want to increase the competitiveness of applicants from diverse and typically underrepresented groups including first-generation students, LGBTQ+ applicants, women, racial and ethnic minorities, applicants from low-income backgrounds, and applicants with disabilities.
Applicants accepted to participate in GAAP can expect thorough feedback beyond format and grammar on their applications from their student mentors. This initiative hopes to increase the diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups in the field of Computer Science.
The Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program is designed for students who have completed a bachelor's degree in computer science and want to further their studies. Admission to the program is highly selective with a limited number of openings and many strong applicants each year. Only applicants who possess a bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent are likely to be competitive for admission.
The department offers two on-campus master's degree options: the MSCS with thesis and the MSCS no thesis/no report. Both degrees require 30 hours of coursework. The no thesis/no report option is defined by more organized coursework than the thesis option, which requires 2 thesis classes. Prospective students applying to the to the on-campus master's program do not need to declare which degree they intend to pursue at the time of application.
Our master's degree takes approximately 2 years to complete, though it can be completed in one and a half years by taking one additional course in one of the semesters you are here.
For more information, visit https://www.cs.utexas.edu/graduate-program/masters-program.
In addition to our on-campus program, beginning fall 2019 the department will offer a Master of Science in Computer Science online. For information on the online master’s program, please visit the MS online homepage.
HOW TO GET IN
The following information applies exclusively to our on-campus programs. Visit the MSCS online program admissions page for more information about applying to the online program.
The Department Computer Science actively solicits applications from passionate students with interests in any area of computer science. Admission to our graduate program is very competitive. On average, about 9% of applicants to the PhD and master's programs are accepted. We are committed to maintaining a diverse student population. We encourage applications from students from around the world and from students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
The Department of Computer Science application system opens every year in October. For information on the application process and specific dates please visit the graduate admissions FAQ: cs.utexas.edu/faq/graduate
The criteria used to evaluate applicants for graduate study in computer science include grades, test scores, computer science background, letters of reference, internships, research experience and projects, and publications. This is a math intensive CS program.
ELIGIBILITY FOR ADMISSION CONSIDERATION
To be eligible for admission consideration, applicants must meet the Graduate School's minimum requirements.
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 Department of 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 (optional for Fall 2021)*
- There is no minimum GRE test score, however applicants admitted to the 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
- The minimum scores considered acceptable for admission by the Graduate School are:
*In response to COVID-19, the GRE requirement will be waived for all applicants for the fall 2021 semester. Students may continue to submit official GRE scores for consideration, but they will not be required to do so. GRE scores when provided, will continue to serve as just one of the many factors considered in our review of a student’s application. Please take into consideration that providing GRE scores can bolster your application if there are aspects of your application that you feel may be not as competitive as others. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us and we can better assist you.
**International applicants who are from a qualifying country 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 a qualifying country. The requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s—but not a bachelor’s—degree from a similar institution.
ADMISSIONS & ENROLLMENT STATISTICS
TUITION AND COST OF ATTENDANCE
Full-time (9-hour) Tuition Rate 2020-21
In-State: $4,608 per semester Out-of-State: $9,081 per semester
For additional Cost of Attendance information, please visit https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/where-to-begin/cost-of-attendance (Note: The CS Department is part of the College of Natural Sciences)
Successful applicants to the PhD program for fall semesters will be considered for doctoral fellowships during the application process. In addition to the doctoral fellowships, teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships may be offered to PhD students for up to five academic years. Most PhD students obtain a graduate research assistantship by the second or third year of the program, working under a research supervisor. Please see the financial information page for more information about funding available for students in the PhD program.
We do not offer financial support with admission to the master's program. Teaching and research positions are sometimes available; however, students who apply to the master's program should be prepared to finance their study here. A summer internship between years is often available through our Friends of Computer Science (FoCS) partners. These internships help our master's students fund their study and provide valuable professional experience.
Information on financial aid is available at https://finaid.utexas.edu/
UT Computer Science graduate programs are structured to provide breadth of knowledge as well as command of a student’s specific area of interest. The curriculum’s emphasis on research methodology wholly qualifies graduates to perform strongly in applied research settings in corporations, consulting firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations or in academic research.