To apply for any graduate program (M.C.S., M.C.S. Online, M.S., Ph.D.) in the Department of Computer Science, carefully read the instructions below and then start with the link presented at the end of this explanation under “Submitting an Application.”

The CS graduate program is a “deferred fee” program, which means that applicants are evaluated for admissions using official or unofficial transcripts and test scores, and then pay the application fee once the applicant is notified of an admissions decision.

If you complete the application using unofficial documentation, you must first submit your application, then you may upload unofficial documents. Documents that are uploaded must first be reviewed by your department before they will be accepted (or reflected on the application checklist as being received). If you are recommended for admission, you then supply any missing official documents and pay the application fee before you can be officially admitted. Make sure that you account for the potential delay this may introduce in making travel arrangements.

Regardless of whether you supply official or unofficial documents, the admissions committee can only make a decision after you supply:

  • All post-secondary transcripts
  • GRE test scores*
  • Official test scores for English proficiency (for international applicants). Duolingo scores are not accepted. The Department requires a minimum 92 TOEFL, 6.5 IELTS, or 59 PTE in order to be considered.
  • Statement of Purpose/Research Interests
  • Three reference letters, attesting to your ability to succeed in a computer science graduate program. These are uploaded by your references themselves. These letters should be signed and on official letterhead.
  • A completed survey about your computer science background.

*GRE scores are optional for domestic MCS applicants. There is no minimum score in order to apply.


Fall 2024 Admission Spring 2024 Admission
Application Deadline* January 1/ January 15, 2024** August 15, 2023

About deadlines: These are the dates when all documents must be received to be considered for admission. This includes receipt of all reference letters. Any applications with missing documents after the deadline dates will be declined and not considered.

* These deadlines are for applications to our on campus programs, the deadline for our online M.C.S. program is May 1 for fall admission, and November 1 for spring admission.

** GRA/GTA consideration will only be given to those that apply before the priority deadline of January 1st, 2023.

*** The admissions committee starts reviewing applications after the deadline. Earliest decisions are made approximately a month after the admission deadline. Depending on your country of origin, this may or may not give you time to make visa/travel arrangements. Early applicants will have the best chance of being considered for assistantships.


To start this application process follow the Graduate Application link through the Office of Admissions. The process involves completing the application form with your academic information including reference names and email addresses, and then, once the application is submitted, uploading all documentation (unofficial documents will be accepted at this stage of the application process). Unofficial transcripts and test scores can only be uploaded after you submit your application.

Applicants can supply documents officially through originating agencies or upload scans of unofficial documents as they choose prior to the evaluation phase of the application process.

The CSU Graduate Admissions Office will notify you by email of its admissions decision. If the CS Admissions committee believes you should be admitted, you will be asked to complete the official admission process with official documents (see below) and pay the application fee. If you are not recommended for admission, you should not complete the rest of the application, nor should you pay the application fee.

We are unable to offer application fee waivers.


Once you have been recommended for admission, you pay the application fee, arrange to have official transcripts and test scores sent (plus financial statement for international students) to complete your application. Students who have already supplied official documentation do not need to do anything further once they are recommended for admission, aside from paying the application fee.

At this link you can view the status of your application once you submit your application.


Transcripts should be sent directly to:

Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Test Scores:

Official TOEFL or IELTS scores, reported by ETS (institution code: 4075).

In general, all applicants from countries in which English is not the official and primary language, and who do not have an undergraduate or graduate degree from the United States must submit TOEFL scores.

The minimum English proficiency score for applicants to our graduate degree programs is 580 (237 on the computer-based test, 92 on the internet based test) or 6.5 on the IELTS or 58 on the PTE).


We offer financial aid to all Ph.D. students as long as they make satisfactory progress. We offer financial support to a small number of research-active M.S. applicants, and in rare cases, to exceptional M.C.S. applicants. We also offer a limited number of single-semester assistantships to students who are already progressing in the program.

Assistantship decisions are based on academic merit and fit with faculty research programs. Funding is limited and therefore highly competitive.


Entrance Requirements for All Graduate Degrees

Students entering a Computer Science graduate degree program must have a Bachelor’s degree in a closely related field and/or a working knowledge of the following:

  • Calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and discrete mathematics
  • Computer programming in an object-oriented language
  • Data structures
  • Algorithms
  • Computer organization/architecture
  • Software engineering methodology
  • Operating system design concepts

Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (Ph.D.)

This is a traditional research doctorate involving course work, original research, and a dissertation. Students seeking the Ph.D. should be ready to do advanced research in computer science upon entrance to the program.

Students applying to the Ph.D. program should have demonstrated research ability in a research area of one or more members of the CSU computer science faculty. Ways to demonstrate research ability include: undergraduate research projects, published or posted writings, volunteer positions especially related to STEM, leadership positions at school or work, extensions of class projects, etc.

Ph.D. admission is highly competitive; only the most highly qualified applicants are admitted to the program. We do not admit Ph.D. students conditionally under any circumstances.

Test scores for Ph.D. applicants:

  • GRE scores
  • English Proficiency (for international applicants): Minimum of 92 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS or 62 on the PTE.


Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S.)

This is a traditional research masters in computer science, which includes course work, research and a thesis. This degree is the preferred preparation for those who intend to go on to earn a Ph.D.

Students applying to the Master of Science program should have a four-year bachelor’s degree in computer science or closely related field and be able to demonstrate research potential. We do not admit M.S. students conditionally under any circumstances.

Test scores for M.S. applicants:

  • GRE scores
  • English Proficiency (for international applicants): Minimum of 92 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS or 62 on the PTE.


Master of Computer Science (M.C.S.)

This is a non-thesis, non-research, professional masters consisting exclusively of course work. It is offered both on-campus and through courses taken online.

Students applying to the M.C.S. program should have a working knowledge of computer science and mathematics, including, at a minimum:

  • Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra, and Discrete Mathematics
  • Computer Programming in an object-oriented language
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Computer Organization/Architecture
  • Software Engineering Methodology
  • Operating System Design Concepts

Test scores for M.C.S. Applicants:

  • The GRE is optional for domestic M.C.S. applicants, though high GRE quant scores may help your chances for admission.

International Applicants:

  • If you do not have a transcript from a university located in the U.S., you must submit GRE scores.
  • English Proficiency (for international applicants): Minimum of 92 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS or 62 on the PTE.


Grade Requirements for All Graduate Applicants

The CSU Graduate School requires that all graduate applicants have at least a 3.0 (A=4.0) undergraduate Grade Point Average. Normally students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA will not be admitted to the program. An exception to this rule are students who have earned their bachelor’s degrees many years ago, and who have accumulated considerable computer science related work experience in the intervening years. Depending on the nature of the work, such students may be invited to apply despite their low undergraduate GPAs.