When seeking admission to the graduate program, applicants must satisfy all entrance requirements of the Graduate School at UMBC. Applications are not processed until all documents and fees are received. Applicants must submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, Graduate Record Examination (GRE General Test) scores, and, for foreign students, scores for the TOEFL. Applications are available online.
Students may apply for admission to either the M.S. or the Ph.D. program. Admission to the Ph.D. program is highly selective and only students with excellent credentials will be accepted. Students who plan to pursue the Ph.D. degree, but who either do not have extensive research experience during their undergraduate studies (or at work) or do not already have an M.S. in computer science are advised to apply for admission to the M.S. program.
Admission and financial assistance decisions are based on several factors, including undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) academic performance, GRE and TOEFL scores, recommendation letters, the statement of purpose, prior research experience and publication history. In particular, candidates applying to the Ph.D. program should have a prior research record and also submit a credible statement of purpose clearly describing the research areas of interest and future career goals.
New students will be assigned an academic advisor who can provide advice on choice of courses, degree requirements, and other important matters during the first year. By the end of the first year, students should have a faculty member to serve as the research advisor for M.S. or Ph.D. research.
The application review process will begin by February 1 for admission to the fall semester and by October 1 for admission to the following spring semester. Favorable consideration will be given to applications received early in each review cycle. It is the policy of the department to admit students based solely on their academic and research performance.
Domestic applicants (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) not seeking financial support:
- Fall semester – June 1
- Spring semester – November 1 of the prior calendar year
Domestic students seeking departmental financial support, and all international students:
- Fall semester – January 7
- Spring semester – June 1 of the prior calendar year
GRE WAIVER REQUEST DEADLINES
- Fall semester –March 1
- Spring semester –September 1
GRE Requirements and Waiver Requests
Note: THE GRE IS REQUIRED FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS, AS WELL AS THOSE SEEKING FINANCIAL SUPPORT.
1. You may submit a CMSC GRE Waiver Request if you are a MS applicant, and you have, or about to receive a BS degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher from an accredited US institution.
2. GRE is required for PhD applicants, unless you have already have an earned doctoral degree.
3. Submitting a GRE Waiver Request DOES NOT IMPLY APPROVAL of the request. Your request will be granted if the Computer Science Graduate Admissions Committee agrees that GRE scores are not needed to make an admission decision in your case.
4. UMBC students in the Computer Science BS/MS program do not need to take the GRE unless they are applying for financial support. Please send an email to: CMSCGradCoordinator@cs.umbc.edu to inform us you are currently in the BS/MS program & applying to the graduate program so we can be aware.
5. Submit the completed GRE Waiver Request, transcript, and resume to Mrs. Keara Fliggins via email to: CMSCGradCoordinator@cs.umbc.edu
How to submit a GRE Waiver Request
The GRE Waiver Request form is available on the CSEE web site: DOC.
Submit the completed GRE Waiver Request form with your resume and a transcript from the U.S. institution of your BS or MS degree. The waiver form, transcript and resume should be emailed directly to Ms. Keara Fliggins, CMSCGradCoordinator@cs.umbc.edu.
Prerequisites for Admission
An applicant to the graduate program in computer science is expected to have a strong background in computer science and mathematics courses. Applicants are expected to have taken the equivalent of the following UMBC courses:
- CMSC 203 Discrete Structures
- CMSC 313 Computer Organization & Assembly Languages
- CMSC 331 Principles of Programming Languages
- CMSC 341 Data Structures
- CMSC 411 Computer Architecture
- CMSC 421 Principles of Operating Systems
- CMSC 441 Algorithm Design and Analysis
- MATH 151 Calculus I
- MATH 152 Calculus II
- MATH 221 Introduction to Linear Algebra
and least one more advanced course in mathematics and an additional course from the following list:
- CMSC 435 Computer Graphics
- CMSC 451 Automata Theory & Formal Languages
- CMSC 455 Numerical Computations
- CMSC 461 Database Management Systems
- CMSC 471 Artificial Intelligence
- CMSC 481 Computer Networks