M.S. admissions

Important dates

  • March 1: Application deadline for fall. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST.

We offer fall admission only and do not admit for the spring semester.

We will give applications that come in after a deadline full consideration if it is due to forces outside of the applicant's control, such as a natural disaster or widespread internet outage. If you find yourself in such a situation, please contact us at csadmit@umn.edu as soon as you are able to inform us when you have submitted your application.

Admission requirements

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

  • A candidate should demonstrate their research potential and interest within their application materials. Applicants interested in a Plan C (coursework only) should explain their long term career goals within industry.
  • A candidate must have a 4 year or equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited university
  • A candidate must have a prior undergraduate or graduate degree in a major with a substantial background in computer science & engineering.  Relevant courses can be found on our background page.
  • A candidate must have a demonstrated ability to maintain a 3.25 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 should reflect a strong command of the English language and meet the university operational standard 
  • If a student wishes to apply for a Teaching Assistantship position in the department they must have a score of 23 in speaking and 23 in the writing portions of the TOEFL or equivalent test. 
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed for admission.

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 strongly recommended; does not include spaces, not strictly enforced)

  • 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 that 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 upon 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 diverse identities (examples: ethnic, racial, economic, or educational backgrounds and experiences, gender identity, sexual orientation)
    • 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
    • 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

  • International students must send official TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS scores. For more information on minimum test score requirements, visit the Graduate School’s information page. Please 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:
    • Below is the exact information you should provide to your test centers when requesting scores to be sent to the University of Minnesota:
      • 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
  • 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.
  • The department requires a speaking score of 23 or higher on the TOEFL or 7 or higher on the IELTS to qualify for teaching assistantships.

Three 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 can arrive after our application deadline as long as they arrive within 30 days from our application deadlines.

Curriculum Vitae 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

Optional items

The following items are optional in the application:

    • Diversity statement (for international applicants only—this is required for domestic applicants)
    • Extenuating circumstances statement
    • Writing sample
    • Description of research

    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.