Graduate Admissions

students studying outside

Applicants interested in the MS and PhD programs in computer science must apply online through the graduate admissions website. Applicants are considered for admission by the computer science graduate admissions committee.

  • MS program applicants are expected to have earned an undergraduate degree in computer science or a closely related field. Download our master’s degree booklet for an overview of this program.
  • PhD program applicants typically have earned a master’s degree in computer science or a related field. Exceptional applicants who seek to enter the PhD program with only an undergraduate degree may be considered for what is called “direct admission.”

Applying and requirements


  • January 15: recommended deadline for PhD applicants to be considered for fellowships
  • February 15: all PhD and MS applicants


  • July 15: all PhD applicants and MS international applicants
  • November 1: domestic MS applicants
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related field. Outstanding candidates from other related fields with substantial coursework in computer science also will be considered.*
  • Grade point average: at least 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
  • GRE general test scores are recommended for all applicants and required for PhD as well as for applicants with degrees from outside the United States. Average score requirements: minimum 310 combined (verbal 150 , quantitative 160 , analytical 4.0 out of 6.0). No GRE subject tests are required.
  • Minimum English competency test score: applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an English competency test. Minimum required scores are: iBT Internet-based TOEFL of 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21; New Paper-Based TOEFL (after August 2018) of 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21; Institutional Testing Paper-Based TOEFL (prior to August 2018) of 550; IELTS of 6.5, with all four subsections of at least 6.0; or PTE-Academic of 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.

*See core computer science course list.

  • Admissions application completed online
  • Transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate work
  • Test scores sent directly by the testing service to UIC’s graduate admissions office
  • Letters of recommendation (3 for PhD, 2 for MS)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Curriculum vitae
  • CS 111 Program Design I
  • CS 141 Program Design II
  • CS 151 Mathematical Foundations of Computing
  • CS 251 Data Structures
  • CS 261 Machine Organization
  • CS 301 Languages & Automata
  • CS 342 Software Design
  • CS 361 Computer Systems
  • CS 385 Operating System Concepts & Design
  • CS 401 Computer Algorithms I

See the UIC Course Catalog for course descriptions.

Applicants deficient in a significant amount of core coursework should consider applying to our undergraduate program for a second bachelor’s degree or to the graduate non-degree.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply to the computer science non-degree program. Admission to the non-degree program does not guarantee future admission to the degree-seeking program.

Deadlines: August 1 for fall; November 15 for spring.

Requirements: In addition to the minimum university requirements for non-degree applicants, the CS department requires transcripts, statement of purpose, and one recommendation letter.

Apply now