FAQ – Computer Science Graduate Program

Frequently Asked Questions – Computer Science Graduate Program

1. What are the minimum GRE scores required for admission?

Most admitted students have percentile scores as follows:
60% for Quantitative – 40% for Verbal – 40% for Analytical

 2. Do I have to take the GREs?

Not necessarily, but yes if you’re seeking departmental financial support.

 3. Are GRE and TOEFL required for international applicants?

Yes, you must take the GRE and the TOEFL unless you graduated from a US university.

 4. What is the minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores required for admission?

International students are required to submit results from either the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo exams.  The  Graduate School requires at least 80 on the TOEFL, at least 6.5 on the IELTS, or at least 105 on the Duolingo.  The applicant may choose which exam to take.

 5. I have over 10 years of work experience, can I apply to the Master’s Program?

Yes, but you need to have a Bachelor’s degree.

 6. I wish to be considered for departmental financial support, what should I do?

You should apply for admission, and take the GRE.  Once you indicate interest in departmental financial support, you will automatically be placed in the pool for consideration.

 7. Do you offer departmental financial support to Master’s Students?

Yes, we offer support to Master’s Students.

 8. What is an acceptable GPA to be considered to apply to the Masters and Ph.D. programs?

We require at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

 9. Will I be assigned an advisor once I’m admitted to the program?

Not right away! A temporary advisor will be selected after you accept our offer of admission.

 10. Can my application be reviewed if I haven’t submitted an official transcript(s)?

Yes, FOR REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY, we can review your application using unofficial transcripts. If you receive an admission recommendation, the graduate school will require OFFICIAL copies.

 11. I don’t have the required pre-requisite courses, what should I do?

You should take the pre-requisite courses as a special student if you can, but we encourage incoming graduate students to have a background equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

 12. Will I be admitted to the CMSC graduate program without the required pre-requisite courses?

It depends on how many courses you lack, and compensating experience.

 13. How many years does it take to complete a Master’s Degree in Computer Science?

It can take between 1-4 years depending on whether you attend on a part-time or full-time basis.  Most students take two years, or four academic semesters, to finish the M.S. degree.

 14. How many years does it take to complete a Ph.D. in Computer Science?

It can take between 5-7 years depending if you are part-time or full-time.
5 years is the most common.

15. I didn’t apply by the deadline, will my application still be reviewed?

Our application deadlines are firm, and we reserve the right to reject a late application without review.

 16. I live in the US, but I’m international, will I be considered as in-state or out-of-state?

Residency is determined by the graduate school, so you will have to confirm with the graduate school what category you fall under.

 17. Am I required to have three letters of recommendation?

Two letters are sufficient but less than that your application will likely be denied.

 18. How long does it take the committee to review applications?

It varies, but it can take between 2-3 months depending on the volume of applications received.

 19. If I send you a profile. i.e. (transcripts, test scores, resume, etc.) can you tell me if I’m eligible to apply to the Computer Science program?

You should review the CSEE department website to determine if you are eligible to apply.

 20. Where should I send my application documents?

All application documents should be sent directly to:
UMBC Graduate School
1000 Hilltop Circle
2nd Floor, Administration Building
Baltimore, MD 21250

21. Is the Writing Project required for MS students in the non-thesis option?


22.  Is there an example of a Master’s Thesis or Writing Project?

Yes, an example of a CMSC 698 paper can be found here:

An example Master’s Thesis can be found on Overleaf:

An example Master’s Thesis as a PDF file can be found here:

Students are urged to adapt these examples for their own use, under the supervision of their own research advisors.