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A Gentle Guide of Applying to the CS Graduate Programs

For Information on CS Graduate Programs please contact:

Caitlin Thaxton – CS Advisor



Graduate Admission

Admission committees consider GRE scores and experience, undergraduate record and curriculum, curriculum vitae and personal research statement in one document (required for M.S. Plan A, M.S. Data Science, and Ph.D. applications), and formal recommendations. An exceptional student without an undergraduate Computer Science background will be required to complete selected undergraduate courses including CS1400, CS1410, and CS2420 prior to admission as a fully matriculated graduate student.

Application-for-admission forms are found and submitted online at the School of Graduate Studies’ webpage. The form must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $55 for all students. Note: Fees must be paid before applications will be evaluated. Prospective students are advised to consult the application materials and additional information that are available on-line.

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is required for admission.

Grade Point Average

A minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester credits is required.


Each previously attended college and/or university, including Utah State University, must be listed on the application form, and the applicant must have an official transcript from each institution (except Utah State University) sent directly to the Utah State University School of Graduate Studies. Transcripts accumulated on one record are not acceptable. Transcripts must be submitted for all coursework above the high-school level and all prior degrees. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a notarized translation. Transcripts submitted as application credentials become the property of the School of Graduate Studies and will not be copied for or returned to the applicant.


Admission Tests

An admission test is required of all applicants. Scores at or above the 40th percentile are required by the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test (minimum of 40th percentile on the verbal section and 80th percentile on the quantitative section). Those whose Quantitative score on the GRE General Test is less than the 80th percentile will need to show compensating strength in their background to be considered. Registration forms for the GRE are available at the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants should request that their test report be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies. GRE requirements have been waived for Fall 2021 applicants in light of pandemic restrictions.

For M.S. Plan A or M.S. Data Science or Ph.D. applicants, a personal research statement is required!


Recommendation Letters

Three letters of recommendation are required; each must address the applicant's potential for success in the proposed graduate degree program. At least two of the letters must come from persons from whom the applicant has taken academic coursework. The letters must be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies. The request is sent out electronically through the online application.


International Applicants

International applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate competency in the English language by taking either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The minimum required scores are as follows:

TOEFL internet-based test: 79

IELTS exam: overall score of 6.0 and a minimum score of 5 on each subscale.

Scores that are more than 2 years old are not accepted. If an international applicant has a degree from a university in an English-speaking country, the TOEFL or IELTS is not required.

International applicants may apply to Utah State University as an undergraduate student in the Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) and:

  • Take and pass the IELI placement exam, or
  • Take the IELI placement exam and complete the required classes.

Note: IELI does not offer level 0 or low-beginning English classes. IELI offers level 1, which is high-beginning. Students entering IELI must have a basic knowledge of English in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Passing the IELI placement exam or completing the required IELI classes does not guarantee matriculation into a graduate program.

International students must also submit an I-20 application form, a financial certificate, and a financial guarantee. Because of immigration regulations, international students cannot be admitted to provisional matriculation. Prospective international students are advised to consult the online information on international application procedures.


Application Deadlines

Completed application forms, transcripts, letters of recommendation, test scores, and the application fee should be submitted on or before the following dates.

  • March 1 for International students and full funding consideration for Fall Semester
  • July 1 for Fall Semester admissions (US Domestic Students)
  • October 15 for Spring Semester (all students)

After the admissions deadline, a recommendation is made by the appropriate department to the graduate dean, who must approve all admissions. No notification of acceptance or rejection other than that from the graduate dean is official.