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UCSD CSE Graduate Admissions

Updated July 16, 2014

We appreciate your interest in the graduate program in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego. We offer PhD and MS degrees in both computer science and computer engineering. We also have a streamlined 5-year BS/MS program for highly qualified UCSD CSE undergraduates.

The UCSD Graduate Online application deadline for Fall 2014 admission to the Ph.D. and MS programs is December 15, 2014. (Admittance is for fall quarter only). All application documents are submitted to the online application.

For information about the online application and required supplemental documents, please refer to: Application Checklist and Guidelines.

Admission to the CSE graduate program is very selective. Our department receives over 2,700 applications annually. We seek applicants with a strong academic background in computer science and engineering and/or a related field and a demonstrated potential for success in graduate school. Each application undergoes a comprehensive review by the CSE Admissions Committee, which examines every component of the application and supplemental materials when considering an applicant for admission. (Standardized test scores and grade point averages (GPA) are an integral part of the evaluation process, but admissions decisions are NOT made based on these components alone.)

The MS and PhD degree programs are mutually independent. Current students in the MS program who wish to continue in the PhD program must submit an internal application by the general application deadline for the year they are seeking admission. The application will be reviewed along with those of the external PhD applicants for that admissions cycle. (An MS degree is not required for admission to the PhD program.) Please contact the Graduate Admissions Director, at gradinfo@cs.ucsd.edu for more information.

If you are interested in enrolling in Computer Science and Engineering classes without being matriculated in a degree program you may do so through the Concurrent Enrollment Program.

Graduate Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the minimum university and departmental requirements outlined below.

Note: All application documents are submitted to the Graduate Online application at https://gradapply.ucsd.edu.

  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, or mathematics is preferred, but not required. Applicants with a degree in another discipline will be considered for admission if they have completed the minimum required CSE courses or their equivalent. However, it is recommended that applicants without a CSE background take courses beyond the minimum to demonstrate an ability to understand more advanced concepts in computer science and engineering.
  • GPA: The university requires that domestic graduate applicants have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. (International applicants do NOT have a minimum-GPA requirement but should have above average marks for their institution.)
  • GRE: The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants. An official ETS-reported score must be submitted for an applicant to be admitted into the graduate program. The UCSD GRE Institution Code is R4836, and the CSE Department Code is 0402.  Applicants should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code R4836.  For more information on the GRE, visit the GRE website
  • TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time at a university-level institution in an English-speaking country for one uninterrupted academic year. An official ETS-reported score must be submitted for an applicant to be admitted into the graduate program. The UCSD TOEFL Institution Code is 4836, and the CSE Department Code is 78.   Applicants should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code R4836. The university minimum TOEFL score required for admission is 550 for the paper-and-pencil version, 213 for the computer-based test or 80 for the internet-based test (iBT). For more information on the TOEFL, visit the TOEFL website. The Test of Spoken English (TSE) is not required. ***No other test of english may be used to substitute for taking the TOEFL.

If you meet the minimum requirements outlined above, we encourage you to apply to our graduate program. To apply, please use the on-lineUCSD Application for Graduate Admission.

For a complete list of all of the supplemental materials required for the graduate application, please visit our graduate application checklist.

Additional questions about admission into our graduate program may be answered on our Graduate Admissions FAQ page. Please also see the Prospective Student web pages of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

Normally, UCSD does not permit the duplication of advanced degrees. (Previous professional degrees, however, are not included in this restriction.) Holders of a master's degree in one field may be considered under certain circumstances for admission into a master's degree program in another field. Prospective applicants who already hold a master's degree and are considering applying to CSE's MS program should contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at gradadmissions@ucsd.edu to find out if they can be exempted from the duplicate degree policy. Holders of a PhD, in any field, are advised not to apply for admission to the CSE department's PhD program.

Contact Information

If you still have questions for which you could not find an answer on our web site, please email us at gradinfo@cs.ucsd.edu.

The University of California, San Diego does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation in any of its policies, procedures, or practices, including but not limited to academic admission, financial aid, educational services, and student employment.



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