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Admission Requirements for MS in Computer Science

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. Applicants must meet the Graduate School requirements plus the following additional departmental requirements: applicants must meet GPA requirements and foundation requirements.

Applicants must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA to be considered. This can be an undergraduate GPA, or some later GPA. Applicants with GPA 2.75-2.99 will be considered but must provide additional evidence, which can be a combination of GRE, reference letters, and/or experience. Applicants below 2.75 will generally not be considered except for those with lengthy related experience. Experience should be detailed in the Statement of Intent, and should be supplemented with work-related reference letters.

This graduate program is for applicants with prior foundation in computer science and mathematics, as described below. Applicants transitioning to computer science please review this page for more information.
Applicants must demonstrate significant proficiency in computer science and math by showing competency in the following areas. This is done by having a similar course on a transcript. This can also be done by having some non-academic training/experience, in which this must be explicitly addressed and explained in the Statement of Intent referring to the below areas/numbers. Courses in parentheses are UMSL recommended undergraduate courses that would satisfy the proficiency requirements if needed.

Computer Science:

  1. Programming skills in C or C++ and Java (CMP SCI 1250 or CMP SCI 2250, and CMP SCI 2261)
  2. Proficiency with Object-Oriented concepts and terminology (CMP SCI 2261)
  3. Proficiency with basic dynamic data structures (CMP SCI 2250)
  4. Proficiency with computer organization, architecture, or assembly level programming (CMP SCI 2700)
  5. Proficiency with design and time/space analysis of algorithms (CMP SCI 3130)
  6. Familiarity with Unix/Linux/OSX and with command-line processing, file system and permissions, shell and script programming (CMP SCI 2750)


  1. One semester of calculus (MATH 1800 )
  2. A course in discrete mathematics (MATH 3000)
  3. An elementary course in probability or statistics (MATH 1320)

An applicant missing or not properly demonstrating some of the above requirements may be admitted on a restricted status if there is strong supportive evidence in other areas. Such restricted students would have to take the suggested courses for the missing requirements or otherwise demonstrate proficiency, see the note below.

Special regulations of the Graduate School that apply to students on restricted status are described in the UMSL Bulletin.

Note to students with restrictions

If you are admitted with restrictions, review this page for more information. If you are transitioning to computer science and miss many of the requirements, review this page.