M.C.S. admissions

Admission requirements

The following is a list of requirements that are considered as prerequisites for admission to the M.C.S. program:

  • A candidate must be a professional working in the computer science field or a closely related field in the United States, typically within the Twin Cities area, at the time of application.
  • A candidate must have a prior undergraduate or graduate degree in a major with a substantial background in computer science & engineering.*
  • A candidate must have a demonstrated ability to maintain a 3.0 GPA or greater. (There is no minimum GPA requirement to be eligible to apply. Admissions is based on a holistic review of all application materials provided.)
  • Language scores must meet university operational standard 
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed for admission.

*Well-qualified applicants without an undergraduate/graduate computer science major will be considered; applicants with computer science coursework on their academic transcript will be preferred.

Application instructions

All applicants must apply online using the Office of Graduate Admissions system.

Note on the GRE: We do not require or accept GRE scores as part of the application process. While you will see a section in the application to enter GRE test scores and upload an unofficial score sheet, please do not enter this information or send your official GRE test scores for our program. GRE test scores that are submitted as part of an application for our program will not be reviewed.

The following material should be included in the Graduate School application: 

  • Personal statement/statement of purpose

    Concisely discuss your computer science educational, research, or industrial background as they relate to your objectives. Include any unique experiences relevant to the research you have done. Discuss why you are applying to the University of Minnesota. Please include names of faculty members and research groups at the University of Minnesota whose research is of interest to you. Use this area to list any extenuating circumstances, such as poor grades or test scores. (4000 character limit)

  • Diversity Statement

This is only required of domestic applicants. A 4000-character limit (not including spaces) is recommended. International applicants do not need to complete this statement, but they are welcome to complete a statement.

The statement should cover how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the University's and our Department’s goal of promoting excellence through diversity and inclusion. If applicable, you should mention hardships or obstacles you have overcome to complete your undergraduate education. Some University of Minnesota graduate student applicants will be considered for funding opportunities, like the DOVE Fellowship, based on their diversity statement.

Potential areas to address include:

  • Hardships you have faced and overcome;
  • Family background;
  • First-generation college student;
  • Non-traditional attributes for computer science/data science;
  • Your lived experience as influenced, informed, or affected by your diverse identities;
  • Your commitment to working toward achieving equity and enhancing diversity within the field of computing, STEM, or within your community;
  • Geographic diversity;
  • Community involvement;
  • Multilingual skills;
  • International travel which changed your perspective;
  • Special talents; and
  • Anything unique you would contribute to the program.

You must indicate all the colleges and graduate schools you have attended. Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded directly to the admissions application per these instructions. Official transcripts are required for those students admitted to the program. Do not fax or mail hard copies of your transcripts to the department.

Language test scores
  • Please note that the MCS program is for primarily focused on supporting professionals already working in the United States who wish to be part-time students. International applicants who are not working in the United States should consider applying to the the Computer Science MS program instead of this program.
  • International students must send official TOEFL or IELTS scores. For more information on minimum test score requirements for admission consideration, visit the Graduate School’s information pagePlease note that official scores will appear in your application AFTER you submit the application and pay the fee.
  • Submitting your TOEFL Score:
    • Official TOEFL scores must be sent electronically from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the University of Minnesota Graduate School (not the department).
    • The ETS institution code for the Twin Cities campus is 6874 (there is no departmental code; if you need to enter code, please use 99 for the department code).
  • Submitting your IELTS Score:
    • IELTS scores can be send electronically or by physical mail. Below is the exact information you should provide to your test centers when requesting scores to be sent to the University of Minnesota:
      • Electronically:
        • When prompted, please select the following:
          Institution/Organization - University of Minnesota Graduate Admissions
          Department/Person - All Campuses
      • Physical mail:
        • Account Name: University of Minnesota Twin Cities Graduate Admissions
        • Address: 309 Johnston Hall
        • Address: 101 Pleasant St SE
        • City: Minneapolis
        • State: MN
        • Zip code: 55455
  • Submitting your Duolingo Score:
  • Please allow 4-6 weeks for scores to be sent and matched to your application by the Graduate School. If you have already submitted an application, check your application status to find out if the Graduate School has received your official test scores. Inquiries should be sent to gsquest@umn.edu as our department does not process these scores.
3 letters of recommendation
  • Provide the name and e-mail address and other requested information for three recommenders through the university system.
  • The CS&E department does not accept hard copies of recommendation letters, they must be submitted through the online system.
  • Letters of recommendation should arrive by the posted application deadline.
CV or Resume

This should include:

  • Educational background and degrees
  • Teaching or research experience
  • A list of papers/publications (URLs included)
  • Computer languages in which you are proficient
  • Other information that will advance your application can be uploaded in PDF or text format, PDF is preferred

Unfortunately, the CS&E department is unable to review your application material prior to submission or make document corrections once your application has been submitted.

Contact information

Goldy Gopher on a gold background

Graduate School Admissions

309 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Exterior of Keller Hall on a sunny day

Computer Science Graduate Admissions

4-192 Keller Hall
200 Union St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455