FAQ - MSCS Applicants

Prospective Students:

1. What are the MS Computer Science admissions requirements?

Please review our website at  http://www.cc.gatech.edu/future/masters/mscs/admissions to learn more about admissions requirements.

2. I am interested in your Online OMS CS degree program. Are the admissions requirements, program rules, the same for On-campus and On-line?

No. Please visit this link for online (OMS CS) program information: http://www.omscs.gatech.edu/program/   

All questions related to OMS CS should be directed to omscs@cc.gatech.edu.

3. Can I apply directly to the Ph.D. program, or is a master's degree required before doing so?

Prospective students may apply for admission directly into the Ph.D. program. Please visit this link for program and contact information http://www.cc.gatech.edu/academics/degree-programs/phd 

Students may also enter as master’s students and later apply for admission into the Ph.D. program.

4. Where can I learn about the faculty’s research?

Visit our faculty profile pages to view a complete list of our professors and learn about their research interests and expertise

5. Based on the profile I e-mailed to you, am I eligible for admission?

We receive a large number of emails concerning admission to the graduate program. Profiles or information submitted through email for pre-review will not be evaluated by the Admissions Committee or academic advisors. A complete application package is necessary before the faculty can consider a student for admission The admissions committee will only review applications officially submitted through CollegeNET http://www.grad.gatech.edu/apply-now

6. I am interested in your MSCS program but I do not have a computer science degree. Can I still be considered for admission?

Yes, you will be considered for admission. We review applications holistically in order to determine applicant’s suitability. The admissions committee considers several factors when making admission decisions; academic performance at prior institutions (GPA), experience, background, GRE test scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. In general, we expect students who enter the program to be very comfortable working with multiple programming languages such as C, Java, and Python (there is no provision within the program for make-up any deficiencies) and to have taken several more advanced topics, such as Advanced OS, Networking, Theory, and/or Algorithms.

7. What can I do to be competitive? What do you recommend for applicants without a CS undergraduate background?  

The following is what we recommend for applicants without a strong undergraduate background in computer science:  

1. Must know how to program

2. C programming (proficient)

3. Java

4. Algorithms

You can gain this knowledge through undergrad classes, MOOC, or learn it through work experience.

8. What types of prerequisite courses?                                                                                                                                                          The student should have an undergraduate level of proficiency in core computer science areas including operating systems, design and analysis of algorithms, formal languages and automata theory, networking and communications, theory/algorithms, and computer architecture. If any remedial coursework is needed, it will be assessed by our faculty and discussed with you during orientation.

9. My GRE score is below your minimum, can I still apply and be considered for admission? 

You would not be automatically disqualified from consideration. Applicant scores are expected to be at least 153 in the Verbal, 155 in the Quantitative, and 3.0 in the Analytical sections for the MS program. We consider the strength of your overall application, including your educational and professional background, your performance at prior institutions (GPA), statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. All of these factors are important, and your application will be strengthened if your GRE scores are at or above these average values. If your GRE scores are lower than these averages, your chances for admission will be reduced. You may retake the GRE or TOEFL to improve your score as many times as you wish. We will accept the highest score attained in each category.

10. My TOEFL is below the minimum, can I still apply and be considered for admission? Can I substitute other tests? 

You are welcome to apply however, we generally do not accept applicants with less than 100 because most of our applicants exceed the minimum TOEFL. You may want to consider retaking the TOEFL. 

We do not accept IETLS. TOEFL is required and it’s the only test Georgia Tech accepts for English proficiency.   

11. What is the Department Code to request my GRE and TOEFL scores?                                                                                                           

As long as you request the test from ETS using Institute Code 5248 we will receive the scores. When test scores are received from ETS and entered into Georgia Tech system, they are available for all degree programs to view.

12. What is the application deadline?

Students are admitted to the master’s program only once a year. The application deadline is February 1 for admission to the following fall semester.

13. When do you admit new students? What about Summer and Spring?

Students are admitted to the master’s program only once a year. The application deadline is February 1 for admission to the following fall semester. We do not admit for Summer or Spring.

14. I have a master’s degree (MSCS, or another degree).  Can I still apply to your program?  

Yes.

15. I completed a three-year bachelor’s degree.  Am I eligible? 

If you have a three-year bachelor's degree and a post bachelor's degree including the one-year postgraduate diploma, you should be eligible to matriculate as a degree-seeking student. The Office of Graduate Studies is the ultimate arbiter regarding whether or not a student can matriculate as degree-seeking. http://www.grad.gatech.edu/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php?article=31

16. What should I say in my application Statement of Purpose?                                                                                                                          

The statement of purpose allows you to highlight areas of your background or interests that may not be clear in other areas of your application. Therefore, it is very important to write a clear and concise statement that expresses your interest in the program, and what you hope to gain from, or bring to, the program of study. You may address special features of the program that made it the right fit for you, or you may address specific topics that you are interested in studying. You may wish to address aspects of your personal, academic, and work-related experiences that would make effective contributions to the program or would showcase your knowledge and interest in your chosen area of study. This statement should be concise, outline a plan for graduate studies, and indicate why Georgia Tech is the right graduate program to meet this plan. It should include what you plan to accomplish with our MSCS degree, and what we should remember about you when considering your application.    

17. Whom should I ask to write my recommendation letters?

Three letters of recommendation are required and it is recommended that at least one of your recommendations come from faculty (it is not required to provide computer science faculty recommender) who are familiar with your academic performance. 

At least one of the letters must be from a “professor” (not a lecturer).

The letters of recommendation are submitted online. Information regarding the submission of the letters is given in the directions for submitting your online application.

Please visit these links for more information regarding recommendation letters:

18. How can I check the status of my application or check if my application materials have been received by Georgia Tech? 

Applications, transcripts, test scores, and all other application materials sent to Georgia Tech are received and processed by the Office of Graduate Studies. Graduate Studies must certify these materials, scan transcripts, etc. before forwarding them to the College of Computing. To check your application status and/or what materials have been received by Georgia Tech, please visit the Graduate Studies website http://www.grad.gatech.edu/  On this page, there is a link called "Status Checking" http://www.grad.gatech.edu/status-checking  where you can check the most current information regarding the status of your application including received materials. The Graduate Studies Office sets all the requirements for the necessary documents, and all application materials are received and processed by Georgia Tech Graduate Studies. If you have any questions, please refer to Georgia Tech Graduate Studies Admissions frequently asked questions (FAQ): http://www.grad.gatech.edu/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php or contact the Graduate Studies staff by email at gradinfo@mail.gatech.edu or call 404-894-1610

19. What is the deadline for letters of recommendation, and test scores?

We allow applicants an additional two weeks to submit these after the deadline. They are due no later than February 14.

20. My supporting documents such as my transcript (or GRE or TOEFL scores) have been sent to Georgia Tech, but my application status is still showing incomplete, or Graduate Admissions hold due to Missing Documentation. 

21. Should I resend missing documents?

No. The application status site shows what has been received and processed. Transcripts must be scanned in order to be added to the database, and some of the data from other documents must be entered manually into the database. This takes time, especially near the application deadlines, since Georgia Tech receives thousands of applications each year, many of them arriving right before the application deadlines. Documents arriving during school holidays and school breaks will not be posted during that time. A minimum of 10 working days is typically required to process received documents. Please be sure you have allowed sufficient time for the materials to be sent and processed. If any of the materials you sent or arranged to be sent to Georgia Tech are not acknowledged as received, you should contact the Office of Graduate Studies. Please visit the supporting documents page of Graduate Studies website: http://www.grad.gatech.edu/supporting-documents   The Graduate Studies Office sets all the requirements for the necessary documents.   These materials are received and processed by Graduate Studies.  If you have any questions throughout the application process, please refer to Georgia Tech Graduate Studies Admissions frequently asked questions (FAQ): http://www.grad.gatech.edu/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php and IF your question is not answered please contact the Graduate Studies staff by email at gradinfo@mail.gatech.edu or call 404-894-1610 and they can tell you what exactly is missing and how to rectify it.   As a reminder, letters of recommendation and test scores do not have to be received by the application deadline. We allow applicants an additional two weeks to submit these after the deadline.

22. How can I check if my letters of recommendation have been received by Georgia Tech?

The letters are received and processed by College Net and forwarded to Graduate Studies.

Your recommenders submit your letters of recommendation directly to College Net which then forwards them to Georgia Tech Graduate Studies. Please visit this link for more information regarding recommendation letters:  http://www.grad.gatech.edu/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php  

23. I have applied to your program.  When will decisions be made?  Do you make admissions decisions on a “rolling basis”?

The Admissions Committee prefers to view the entire pool of applications before making admission decisions. We will begin the review process after the February 1 application deadline.  

All application decisions should be available for applicants by April 1.

24. When and how will I be informed if I have been admitted?

Please visit http://www.grad.gatech.edu/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php?article=46

As admissions decisions are made, your Status Checking section will be updated to Dept. Decision Made. As soon as the decision is available, it will be posted on the CollegeNET applicant portal. You may retrieve your decision via the secure CollegeNET applicant portal at https://www.applyweb.com/cgi-bin/ustat?app_code=gatechg, with the following steps:     

  • Log In using the same CollegeNET user id that you used to apply to Georgia Tech
  • Click where it shows "Georgia Tech Graduate Online Admission Form" for the term you applied for
  • In the Decision section click on "View Decision Letter" to open the PDF of the decision letter

25. I was admitted to the program. However, is it possible to defer my acceptance? 

If a request is approved, applicants accepted to our MSCS degree program may be eligible to defer for up to one year from accepted admissions term.

26. Length of study/How long does it take to complete the degree? 

30 credit hours are required for the MSCS degree. Students typically complete the program within 24 months

27. What is the cost to attend?  Tuition, fees, etc Total cost?

Please visit this link for tuition and fee rates per semester: http://www.bursar.gatech.edu/content/tuition-fees

Our program is included in the MASTER & PHD CANDIDATES line at the very top of the GRADUATE RATES section.       

Only the programs that have special fee structures are listed individually.

28. When can I expect my I-20?

If students need I-20s, we will work on those as soon as we get the tuition numbers from OIE (Office of International Education).  

29. How do I provide supporting documents; transcripts, etc? 

You’ll have the option to upload supporting documents with your application (documents should be pdf files). Note that if you do this you won’t need to mail your documents. However, if you are admitted, you will be asked to submit the official documents.  http://www.grad.gatech.edu/supporting-documents

30. Whom do I contact with questions about applications, admissions process, test score, recommendation letter, and status checking?

 If you have any questions throughout the application process, please refer to Georgia Tech Graduate Studies Admissions frequently asked questions (FAQ): http://www.grad.gatech.edu/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php and IF your question is not answered please contact the Graduate Studies staff by email at gradinfo@mail.gatech.edu or call 404-894-1610

31. Do you offer financial assistance?  What types of funding are available? How are students funded?

The College does not offer financial aid to students entering this program. If you need assistance, please contact the Georgia Tech Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Master's students are not guaranteed funding but frequently receive compensation after establishing a good working relationship with a faculty member. You are welcome to visit faculty members in your area of interest to ascertain if GRA (Graduate Research Assistantship) support is available. GRA is not guaranteed, but if you have a particular skill that a faculty member needs on a project, it can happen. Start looking as soon as possible. Often students find a GRA position during or by the end of their first semester. A few meet faculty during the “Admitted Students Visit” in the spring or use email and have one when they arrive in August, but very few students are able to do this. When working as a GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant), you are required to have completed the course or its equivalent and scored an “A” grade. You should be prepared to cover at least your first semester as an out of state student. GRA and GTA positions provide a 12-credit tuition waiver, along with a monthly stipend based on percentage time worked) and a waiver of all but $25 of the tuition. With a GRA, students can expect to work 15 to 20 hours per week in addition to school work. Students are responsible for the mandatory fees and tuition supplement. 

32. Where do I view my admission decision?

Please view your decision letter on the CollegeNET applicant portal, https://www.applyweb.com/cgi-bin/ustat?app_code=gatechg

As admissions decisions are made, your Status Checking section will be updated to Dept. Decision Made.                                          

You may retrieve your decision letter via the secure CollegeNET applicant portal at https://www.applyweb.com/cgi-bin/ustat?app_code=gatechg, with the following steps:     

  • Log In using the same CollegeNET user id that you used to apply to Georgia Tech
  • Click where it shows "Georgia Tech Graduate Online Admission Form" for the term you applied for
  • In the Decision section click on "View Decision Letter" to open the PDF of the decision letter

33. When will Georgia Tech’s Office of Graduate Studies make their final review of the admission decision?  

Acceptance into this program is not final until confirmed by Georgia Tech's Office of Graduate Studies. Once they have made their review of your application and noted any final documents needed, they will send you a notification. A "Complete Your Decision" button will also appear in the CollegeNET portal where you can either accept or decline this offer of admission.

Georgia Tech Office of Graduate Studies receives a large volume of mail, and they process everything as quickly as possible. When an admission decision is made on your application, they will update Status Checking and note any documents they require from you. They will send you an email as soon as they review your application, and note any final documents needed. If you have any questions throughout the application process, please refer to Georgia Tech Graduate Studies Admissions frequently asked questions (FAQ): http://www.grad.gatech.edu/helpdesk/knowledgebase.php and IF your question is not answered please contact the Office of Graduate Studies staff by email at gradinfo@mail.gatech.edu or call 404-894-1610

34. I was admitted to MSCS.  What are the next steps?

Congratulations! We hope you are doing well and excited about starting your MSCS degree program at Georgia Tech!  

We will follow-up with an email to all accepted students. Both the College of Computing and the Georgia Tech Office of Graduate Studies will hold orientation events during the week before the semester starts.  New graduate students always register during Phase II of the term that they are starting. We will cover all of a lot of valuable information and answer all of your questions at an orientation which you will be invited to later this summer. You will also have an opportunity to meet with a College of Computing faculty member during orientation. Please visit this link for helpful information, www.gradadmiss.gatech.edu/checklist  

You may want to join a community on the web and communicate with current and former students.    There are fantastic resources to answer your questions. You can do your research to find a resource.  You can also explore these groups:

Class-central, Google Plus Group, and Facebook Group.

35. I was admitted to a different degree program and would like to switch to MSCS.  Do you allow students to change majors?

Unfortunately, you are admitted only to the program to which you applied. If you want to switch to MSCS, you will have to apply again to the next available admit term.  We do not accept change of majors into the MSCS program.

36. I am currently pursuing an MSCS at a different institution and would like to transfer to your program. Do you allow students to transfer?

Students are not allowed to transfer to our program as they must apply with all other applicants. http://www.cc.gatech.edu/academics/degree-programs/masters/computer-science/admissionreqs

Georgia Tech Master’s students are only allowed to transfer in a maximum of 6 credit hours. 

37. I was denied admission. I am disappointed that I was not accepted into your program. I feel that my record is very good. Can I find out what was wrong with my application?
Admission decisions are final. Our degree program is extremely competitive and due to space and financial limitations we can only enroll a small number of students and must decline many qualified applicants. The decision to accept is based on many factors including the GPA, letters of recommendation, GRE, area of interest of the student, TOEFL, available funding for students who want to pursue a Ph.D., specific faculty interest in the student, and available space. Many of these factors are not visible to students. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applicants, we cannot give specific feedback for any one student.