**The Fall 2017 application to our program is now closed. We do not accept late applications. We will reopen for Fall 2018 applicants around mid-October 2017.**

Please review this page before beginning your application to be sure you correctly understand and follow our application procedures.  Thank you for your interest in graduate study at UTCS.

These FAQs are only meant to assist you with the admissions process.  If you have additional questions regarding things like the cost of attendance, what courses are offered, dates of the semester etc. please perform a search from the main UT-Austin web site at www.utexas.edu.


How do I apply?

Complete your application to the University at ApplyTexas (http://www.applytexas.org) and submit your CS supplemental materials (http://apply.cs.utexas.edu/grad).

We do not evaluate applications on a rolling basis. An application is evaluated on its own merits and in comparison to all the applications for a given year. Review typically begins in late December, with decisions made by early spring.


What are the deadlines for the required admissions applications at The University of Texas at Austin?

  • Your ApplyTexas application and CS materials should be submitted no later than December 15th, 2016 (23:59 CST).
  • Letters of recommendation should be received by December 20th, 2016 (17:00 CST) for full consideration.

IMPORTANT - The ApplyTexas application and CS department supplement are not connected. The MyStatus page refers to the ApplyTexas application.  Login here:  http://apply.cs.utexas.edu/grad to review your required CS department materials.   Letters of recommendation are requested in email sent by the CS department online system.  They will not appear on your MyStatus page; you must check the CS department supplement.


Does the CS Department accept spring or summer applications?

No. The CS Department only accepts Fall applications.


Which GIAC application should I choose?

New to UT-Austin graduate school - Graduate Admission
Current or former non-CS student - Application to Another Graduate Major
5-year integrated – Graduate Admissions and choose the 5-year program major (restricted to current UTCS undergrads)
Current CS masters students – Graduate Admission
Former UTCS graduate student - Graduate Readmission

Follow the instructions on how to apply to the university listed at:  https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/how-to-apply


What documents do I need to submit for my applications to ApplyTexas and the CS department?

  • ApplyTexas application materials required:  Submit the application fee, GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores, and transcripts here. You can upload transcripts by going through the MyStatus page. MyStatus will say you need to upload a statement of purpose, but this is not necessary (you will upload it with your CS department supplemental materials). The email requests for letters of recommendation are not sent to your recommenders from the ApplyTexas application.  These requests are sent out by CS after we receive details of your application from GIAC (Graduate and International Admissions Center).
    • GRE – required
    • A GRE Computer Science Subject Test (optional) - No subject tests are required.  The CS subject test was no longer offered after April 2013 but ETS will report scores through 2018 if you took this exam. You can submit cores from a subject test in Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics if you have taken one of these.
    • TOEFL –Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Required if your native country’s primary language is not English. Waived if you have a bachelor's from an accredited U.S. institution or other English-only speaking country. See Graduate School's site on Test Scores.
    • Contact information for 3 references - Contact information should be submitted through the ApplyTexas app.  (Note - though you should submit contact information for your 3 references with your ApplyTexas application, the letter requests will be sent from the CS department and uploaded by your references to the CS department supplement.  Letters should emphasize research experience and academic achievements, particularly in computer science.)
  • CS department supplement materials required:
    • Transcripts - If you are currently enrolled or about to enter a program at a university, list it on your Apply Texas and CS supplement. Only transcripts from senior colleges attended need to be listed and uploaded, this includes 3 year Bachelor's degrees.  The department cannot access the transcripts you upload at ApplyTexas; you must provide us with separate copies.
    • A statement of purpose - not required for ApplyTexas application, only for the CS department supplement.  It should be approximately 2 pages describing reasons for pursuing graduate study and academic and professional interests and goals.  Might include events/experiences that prepared you for CS graduate study and how your interests compliment our department's faculty and research.
    • Three letters of reference - (Note - though you should submit contact information for your 3 references with your ApplyTexas app, the letter requests will be sent from the CS department and uploaded by your references to the CS department supplement.  Letters should emphasize research experience and academic achievements, particularly in computer science.)
    • Optional materials that are accepted in the CS department supplement:  Resume and up to three publications.  Resume scan should include a scan of any aid award letter that has the award details such as NSF,Fulbright, etc.

What are the requirements for scanning/uploading my transcripts to the department supplement?

  • Transcript must be official (includes 3 year Bachelor's degrees)
  • English translations required
  • Obliterate social security numbers
  • Include 1 scan of the grading information ("transcript key") if it isn't on the front of the transcript.
  • May submit ‘mark sheets’ if your university does not provide transcripts.
  • Must have proof of degree on transcript or on separate page.  If not available at time of application this will be requested later if you are admitted.
  • Do not scan back of document to show Official stamps.
  • Shrink images to <= 5Mb
  • Check your scan before uploading. Is it legible?

How do I check the status of my GIAC application and CS department supplemental materials?

Check your GIAC status on the MyStatus page.  Admissions decisions also post here.  Check your CS department supplemental materials here.


Do I need a degree in Computer Science to be admitted to the department?

No. It is beneficial though not required. Work experience is considered. The following UTCS undergraduate courses, or equivalent, are required as background which can be satisfied after admission to the program.  They are not prerequisites for admission.

Discrete Math for Computer Science (CS 311)
Introduction to Programming (CS 312)
Data Structures (CS 314)
Algorithms and Complexity (CS 331)
Computer Organization and Architecture (CS 429)
Principles of Computer Systems (CS 439)

Scoring 90% or higher on the Computer Science Subject Test given by ETS also will satisfy the background requirements; however, the CS subject test was last given April 2013 and is no longer be offered by ETS.  If you took it then ETS will report the scores through Spring 2018. Graduate level courses may not be used to satisfy background requirements. Please see the undergraduate course descriptions for more information.


May I apply for the Master’s program if I have an equivalent level of degree in Computer Science or a closely related field?

No. You should apply to the Ph.D. program.


What criteria are used to evaluate students for admission to the department?

The main criteria used to evaluate applicants for graduate study in CS are grades, test scores, computer science background, letters of reference, and a statement of purpose. We encourage applicants to provide a resume and publications (if any).


Why didn’t my recommender receive an email request to upload the letter of recommendation and/or how does the email to my recommenders work?

The CS department system sends email to your recommenders after we download their contact information as part of your ApplyTexas application from GIAC. Some email systems filter our email requests as spam/junk. Please ask your letter writers to set any spam/junk filters to receive email from csadmis@cs.utexas.edu.  An initial email and a reminder are sent to upload letters.


Are there minimum GRE and GPA scores required for admission and can I submit my GRE scores after the deadline?

There is no minimum GRE test score. Applicants admitted to the CS graduate program usually have high quantitative GRE scores and a math background that includes study through some discrete math.  Your scores are downloaded to the department from GIAC (Graduate and International Admissions Center) as part of your application. If the official scores arrive to GIAC after our deadline, they will not be considered during our initial ranking process but may be available for viewing by the admissions committee later.

A grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable grade point average in upper-division work (junior- and senior-level courses) and in any graduate work already completed is required. Applicants admitted to the CS graduate program usually have shown their skills in CS by achieving a better than average GPA in their CS courses.

If you feel that your grade point averages or test scores are not valid indicators of your ability,you should explain your concerns in your statement of purpose.


Are there minimum TOEFL Scores?

A score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR an overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to The University of Texas at Austin.  Please see https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/international-stud... for additional information.

Average scores for CS department admitted students are below.  While it is required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS, students who have received their education in English beginning in at least their secondary years, may submit scores after the deadline.  This is not preferred but it is allowed.

Ph.D. program

TOEFL:  587 paper / 95 iBT with 26 reading, 21 listening, 24 speaking, and 25 writing.
IELTS: Band 7.

Masters program

TOEFL 627 paper / 108 iBT with 28 reading, 28 listening, 25 speaking, and 28 writing.
IELTS: Band 7.5.


Where should ETS send my test scores?

Request ETS to report official test scores to UT Austin (institution code: 6882). A department code is not needed. ETS and TOEFL scores received by the University will be downloaded to our system as part of your application. Scores received after our deadline will not be considered during our initial ranking process but may be available for viewing by the admissions committee later.


When do I send in the Certification of Financial Responsibility?

This form is not required for our review. You may wait for the decision before uploading it to your GIAC application.

PhD applicants - You will need to upload the form with your personal information. The department will provide aid information to the International Office (I.O.) if you receive a financial award from our department.

Masters applicants - You will need to upload the form with proof of personal support if you are granted admission.