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How To Apply
Apply Online for Fall Admission!
The M.S. in Computer Science program starts each fall (late August). The priority application date for fall admission is
Applications that are complete and on file at USF at that time are given priority consideration for admission and financial assistance offered by the Department of Computer Science. Applications are accepted and reviewed after these dates on a case-by-case basis.
Create your online application account. You can scan and upload your application items to your application account. Ensure that your scanned documents are easy to read and printable. If you are submitting test scores, you must request that official scores are sent to USF by ETS (for GRE and TOEFL score reports), and by IELTS (for IELTS score report). You are encouraged to submit your completed application several weeks before the deadline.
Admission requirements for the graduate program are the following (USF course equivalents are in parentheses):
High-level Programming (CS 110: C, C++, Scheme, Python, Java)
Object-oriented Programming (CS 112: C++, Python, Java)
Linear Algebra and Probability (M201)
Discrete Math (M202)
Algorithms on Data Structures (CS 245)
Computer Architecture (CS 315)
Operating Systems (CS 326)
Compilers (CS 414 or both of the following: CS 345 Programming Language Paradigms and CS 411 Automata)
Recommended but not required for admission:
Calculus and Analytic Geometry (M109: differential & integral)
Those who have not fulfilled each of the above requirements will be considered for conditional admission.
Required Application Items
Create an online application
from each college, community college, study abroad program and university attended. Three-year Bachelor's Degrees are accepted for admission review.
Computer Science Background Essay
- Please see the description below.
Two letters of recommendation
Official GRE General scores
(verbal section is not considered)
need to submit a TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score, a copy of the first page of the passport, and a completed Certification of Finance form with supporting bank statements (
see International Students
). The USF school code for the TOEFL and the GRE is 6996 or 4850.
Please do not send any application items to the Department of Computer Science.
Computer Science Background Essay
This 1- to 3-page double-spaced statement describes any involvement in software development, research and extracurricular experiences. This statement is used in conjunction with other application items to evaluate your eligibility for admission and for a Graduate Fellowship. Topics in your statement may include:
Any significant software development projects. Include the purpose of the project - commercial, academic, or just for fun.
Research projects in which you may have been involved.
Any published articles or other technical documents
Significant skills and interests you may have beyond computer science, especially skills that show creativity.
Any experience in communicating technical material, such as teaching or making presentations.
Management or team leadership roles
Experience in public/community service projects
The department seeks highly-motivated students with strong technical backgrounds who are eager to develop innovative software and to perform research, as well as extend their computer science education.
Tests and GPA Requirements
The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) score needs to be 1200 or higher through a combination score of the quantitative and analytical writing sections (Q + 100xAW + 200). The GRE General exam scores are required for admission (the verbal section of the GRE is not considered in the admission decision process). The GRE may be waived for applicants with exceptional professional or academic experience. The average GRE Quantitative score is 700 and higher. The USF school code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 6996 or 4850.
An official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score is required of international applicants. A minimum TOEFL score of 71 (iBT) or 530 (print-based) is required for consideration. The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. After review of an application, coursework in USF's
Intensive English Program
may be recommended or required. Students applying to the MSCS program with an Emphasis in Entrepreneurship require a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (iBT) or 600 (paper test). The USF school code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 6996 or 4850.
There is no strict GPA (grade point average) requirement for admission to the graduate program. In general, however, a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a scale of 4.0 as the highest score) strengthens an application to any graduate program. International applicants do not need to calculate their GPA. The MSCS and MSWS Programs will review all courses and grades (marks) for each course.
Learn more about the Admission and Fellowship Award policies for graduate students on the Financial Aid and Tuition
If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, you can begin the free application process for a US federal student loan at
. The USF federal school code for the FAFSA is 001325.
For any financial assistance offered by the Department of Computer Science, all applicants (US domestic and international) will be considered and notified of such an award by letter from the College of Arts and Sciences. There is no separate application for this assistance.
Start your application online and complete all required sections, including uploading required unofficial documents. All application items (for example, resume, official transcripts, English language test scores, and recommender information) must be uploaded before you submit your application. Once you submit, your application will be incomplete until your recommenders submit their online letter of recommendation. Check your online application frequently to monitor the status of your application.
Notification of Admission Decision
When an application and all application items have been submitted and verified, then an application is complete and ready for admission review by the Computer Science Program. Applicants are notified by email when an admission decision has been made and posted to an applicant's online account, typically 3 to 6 weeks after the application is complete.
Included in the admission decision letter is notification of any scholarship awarded by the graduate program. Applicants receive email notification when the admission decision is available online. Admitted applicants also receive an admission package in the mail.
Advising, Registration, Orientation and Start of Classes
Admitted students should contact the Department of Computer Science for details about the advising and registration schedule in late August for fall students and in late January for spring applicants. The Computer Science department can be contacted at 415.422.6530 or
International students should note that the earliest arrival in the United States that an F-1 visa allows is 30 days before the start date on the I-20 form issued to you.
Each Fall (August) and Spring (January) International Student Orientation
International students are highly recommended to arrive at USF at least 10 days before the first day of classes in the fall and spring in order to finalize housing arrangements and attend the International Student Orientation. Orientation is held by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. All international students are required to attend the International Student Orientation, as well as the Computer Science Graduate Student Orientation. For details, time and location, please visit
and click on "New Students".
M.S. in Computer Science
Experience and Background Essay
Emphasis in Entrepreneurship
Financing your Education
Financial Aid and Tuition
How to Apply
Next Steps for New Students
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