Computer Science Option

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the general graduate admission requirements of the Graduate School, described in the UMSL Bulletin. Students are considered for admission to the graduate program in Computer Science only after they have formally applied for admission through the Graduate School. Applications are completed on-line. Additional requirements are listed below.

An applicant for admission to the Ph.D. in Mathematical and Computational Science - Computer Science option should have completed a Master’s in Computer Science or a related area, with a GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.  An applicant without a related Master’s but with an exceptional record will also be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program. Such a case will require justification in the form of strong academic standing, experience, participation in research/publications, and/or strong GRE, and should be presented through the statement of purpose and recommendation letters. Other applicants without a Master’s degree are advised to apply to the Master’s program, in Computer Science or Cybersecurity, and then reapply to the Ph.D. before or after completing the Master’s.

The statement of purpose should show evidence of the ability to convey ideas in a succinct and focused manner. This is where the applicant describes the reasons for applying to the UMSL Ph.D. program in Computer Science, the objectives, including research and career, and outlines a path to successful completion.

The application also requires at least two recommendation letters from academic or professional sources who can comment on your academic competence, research potential, or professional experience. At least one of the letters must be from an academic source.

Applicants are advised to submit scores from the GRE general test, which are not more than 5 years old.

A student admitted to the Ph.D. can transfer prior graduate related coursework subject to the Graduate School regulations. Holders of a Master’s degree can have the prior courses credited toward the doctoral degree requirements. A student admitted without a Master’s degree can transfer up to 20 graduate credit hours of related courses, with the approval of the advisor and Graduate Director. However, at least 31 credits used to satisfy requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed in residence at UMSL.

An applicant will be evaluated based on competency (related academic or professional experience) in core areas of computer science, specifically including

  1. Programming skills and languages
  2. Operating systems
  3. Data structures and analysis of algorithms
  4. Computer organization and architecture

Applicants missing some of the listed competency areas may be admitted and will be required to take related courses as a part of their studies. Applicants with too many core deficiencies may be advised to apply to M.S. in Computer Science or M.S. in Cybersecurity - Computer Science Emphasis, and reapply to the doctoral program after completing some courses, which can be transferred into the Ph.D. program subject to the stated limitations.

International applicants are required to show proficiency in English as directed by the UMSL Global office. The requirement is waived for students whose native language is English, or who have completed a previous degree from a US university.  It may also be waived for students who are permanent residents of the US and who have lived in the US for a substantial period of time.

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Application Process

The department admits students for the Fall and Spring semesters on a rolling basis.  For international students, the deadlines are determined by the visa processing times and usually are May 31 for the Fall semester and October 31 for the Spring semester.

Follow the directions on the Graduate School web site.