Any questions about graduate admissions that are not answered on this page should be submitted to grad-admissions@cse.tamu.edu. Much information can also be found on the Texas A&M Office of Admissions and Records (Admissions) website.


The Application: Logistics & General Questions

Q. How can I apply for your graduate programs? What items do you need, and how and where should they be sent?

An application for graduate study in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University consists of an application and supporting materials (transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, CV/resume, relevant publications, etc.) Electronic submission of all materials to the department is required. A detailed step-by-step description of the application process can be found on the Texas A&M Office of Admissions and Records (Admissions) website and on the Graduate Admissions page.

Q. Can I submit a hardcopy application?

No. Electronic submission of all application materials to the department is required.

Q. I accidentally selected computer engineering instead of computer science as my major. Could you please correct this?

No. In ApplyTexas you select “ Computer Engineering (Computer Science and Engineering)” for Computer Engineering within CSE, and “Computer Science” for Computer Science in the pulldown menu. The choice of major within the department will not affect your chances of admission, and if you are admitted, you can easily change it later. Due to the frequency of this error, we will not ask Admissions to correct this prior to admission.

Q. It seems that both the CSE and ECE departments at Texas A&M offer degrees in Computer Engineering (CE). What is the difference in the CE degrees offered by CSE and ECE? Which department should I apply to?

The Computer Engineering (CE) program at Texas A&M is jointly administered by the CSE and the ECE departments. There are some slight differences in the degree requirements between the two departments. You should select the department by studying faculty web sites and applying to the department with faculty whose interests most closely match yours. You cannot apply to both departments at the same time. Faculty in each department co-advise students in the other department, so if you are admitted to one department and find your closest research match in the other department, you can still work with that faculty member.

Q. I am currently enrolled in a graduate program at another U.S. university and I want to transfer to Texas A&M. What should I do?

You apply for graduate studies at Texas A&M using the standard procedure - there is no special process for transfers. The university may grant transfer credit for some of the graduate courses you took at the other university. Texas A&M adheres to the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants. As part of this agreement, we will require that you submit a letter from an official from your current program stating that they have no objection to you moving to Texas A&M.

Q. I received the following test scores (GRE XX/XX/XX, TOEFL YY), my class rank is ZZ, etc. Can you please tell me my chances for admission?

No. The department does not answer such queries. The admissions committee considers the entire application when making a decision, so it is not possible to evaluate your chances of admission based on a few quantitative measures.

Q. How long does it take to obtain an M.S. or Ph.D. degree?

The M.S. degree typically takes 2-3 years of full-time study to complete. The Ph.D. degree typically takes 5-6 years after the B.S. or 3-5 years after the M.S. There is a large amount of variation from student to student. International students must use the times specified by  International Student Services (e.g. 3 years for an M.S.) when computing required financial resources .


The Application: Deadlines, Status, Notification

Q. What are the deadlines for application to the graduate program and for applying for fellowships and assistantships?

December 15 is the deadline for Ph.D. applications to be considered for Fall (September) admission. All applicants are considered for financial aid, without a separate financial aid application. The Master's application deadline is January 15 for Fall (September).

While most students are admitted in the Fall, the department does consider a very small number of applicants for Spring admission. Applications for Spring (January) admission should be received by August 1. Applicants for Spring admission should understand that there will be few, if any, opportunities for fellowships and assistantships, since most are awarded in the Fall. There are no Summer admissions.

Q. When will decisions on applications be made? How will applicants be notified of the decision on their application?

Decisions on most Ph.D. students are typically made by the end of February for Fall admission, and decisions on most M.S. students by mid-March. Applicants are notified by email as soon as a decision is made regarding their application. The department notification is unofficial. You will receive official notification from Admissions at a later date. Do not call or email asking the status of your application. If you have not been admitted or declined, your application is still being considered.

Q. How can I find out about the status of my application?

Your status can be viewed on the EngineeringCAS system.

Q. The courier/postal service reports that my transcripts/test scores were received by EngineeringCAS several weeks ago, but the online status report is showing that they have not received the materials. Could you please check on this?

No. It can take several weeks for Admissions to enter documents into the application system. They are processed on a first-come, first served basis. We see the same status information that you do, so check again in another week or two. We will get your documents as soon as Admissions processes them.

Q. I have been admitted to your graduate program. I would like to defer my admission and start your program in a later semester. What is your policy on deferring admission?

In general, we do not allow students to defer their admission. This is because admissions decisions are based on the projected needs of the department for a particular semester, and those needs vary from semester to semester.

Thus, students who do not enroll for the semester for which they were admitted will have their admission to the university cancelled and they will need to reapply for the semester which they do want to begin their graduate studies. Exceptions to this policy may be considered by the admissions committee on a case by case basis. To request such consideration, please send your petition describing your need for a deferral to  grad-admissions@cse.tamu.edu.

Q. I applied for a previous semester, but I did not enroll because I was denied admission or because I was not able to begin my studies for the semester I was admitted. Do I have to re-apply if I want to be considered for admission? What materials do I need to submit?

You will need to submit a new application, a new application fee, a new  statement of purpose, and an updated CV/resume. You may also submit new  letters of reference if you feel new letters would provide a more accurate evaluation of your potential for graduate studies or ask that we transfer your old letters to the new application.

You do not have to send test scores ( GRE, TOEFL) again, unless you have retaken the test and want to submit the new scores, or if your scores have expired. Similarly, you do not need to submit  transcripts unless you have taken courses or received any degrees since your last application.

If you were previously denied admission, then you should not expect a different decision this time unless your application is significantly stronger. For example, if you have had some relevant research experience, you published a paper, or you significantly improved your test scores. In this case, you should ensure that you submit materials that reflect the change in your situation .


The Application: Finances

Q. Do I need to complete a financial information form and submit it with my application for graduate studies?

No. The department does not use this information for graduate admissions. After you have been admitted, this information may be requested by other offices, such as ISS (International Student Services) or Student Business Services.

Q. Do I need to complete another application to be considered for teaching assistantships or fellowships?

No. All applicants are automatically considered for financial aid. Students who were not offered funding with admission can apply with current graduate students once they have accepted our offer of admission. Those decisions are made during late Summer for the Fall semester.

Q. Can you waive the application fee for me?

No. The fee is required by Admissions. We cannot pay the fee for you either.

Q. What are my chances of obtaining an assistantship or fellowship?

There are a number of fellowships and assistantships available within the department. All applicants will be considered for all such opportunities. Ph.D. students receive the highest priority. Next priority is given to M.S. (thesis) masters students. Non-thesis masters students may be offered a scholarship. The decisions are made in conjunction with admission, so it is not possible to evaluate your case in advance.

Teaching assistantships are awarded by the department. International students who are not native English speakers must pass the speaking section of the Texas A&M English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) administered on campus at Texas A&M or be certified in English via test scores, to qualify as teaching assistants. All students holding department assistantships are required to pass the ELPE speaking section or otherwise be certified in English by the end of their first semester. See http://ogaps.tamu.edu/New-Current-Students/English-Language-Proficiency for more information.

Research assistantships are offered by individual faculty members. Inquiries about these opportunities may be initiated by individual faculty members or by students.

Additional positions are available in other university departments where students can work in information technology support positions. Arrangements with other departments are made by the student. This is normally done after the student arrives on campus, typically in the 2-3 weeks before classes start for the semester. These jobs are posted on the  Jobs For Aggies site, which is accessible to enrolled students.

Assistantship positions require an average of 20 hours of work per week. All Ph.D. students with assistantships have their full-time resident tuition paid. (Having an assistantship qualifies a student for in-state tuition rates, unless they have spent more than 21 semesters at Texas A&M as a full-time Ph.D. student or completed more than 99 hours of Ph.D. level coursework as a part-time Ph.D. student). Ph.D. assistantships within CSE also cover required fees, which can be very substantial. Assistantships elsewhere on campus may or may not cover fees. Students with assistantships are eligible for University health insurance coverage and a portion of their monthly premium is paid by the employer; information on premiums and coverage is available at the  Office of Graduate Studies and from the  Texas A&M University System .


The Application: Eligibility

Q. What are the minimum GRE scores necessary to be admitted? What about grade point average or class rank?

There are no specified minimums. These quantitative measures are just one part of the application. The admissions committee considers all aspects of every application before making any decisions - this includes your previous academic performance, test scores, letters of recommendation, previous research experience, etc. Thus, it is not possible to evaluate your chances of admission based on a few quantitative measures such as your test scores or grade point average. For international students, low English scores on the GRE verbal or TOEFL exams (e.g. less than 100 on the iBT) greatly reduce the chances for admission.

Q. I received a three year bachelor’s degree. Am I eligible for admission to the graduate program?

Texas A&M accepts European degrees following the Bologna Process, which typically takes three years for a bachelor’s degree. For other educational systems, the admissions committee evaluates the applicant on a case-by-case basis. If your bachelor’s degree is equivalent to our undergraduate Computer Science or Computer Engineering degrees, then the admissions committee will consider it as such.

Q. I already have an M.S. degree can I apply for an M.S. degree with CSE department?

If a master's applicant already holds a thesis or non-thesis master's degree in computer science, computer engineering or a closely related field, they must make a strong case in their statement of purpose about why a second master's degree is appropriate .


The Application: Standardized Tests (GRE/TOEFL)

Q. Do I need to take the GRE? How long are the scores valid? How should the scores be submitted?

All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general exam.

GRE scores should be from a test date within 5 years of the date that the test scores reach Admissions. For example, if you are applying for MS admission for Fall 2018, you would normally submit your application and test scores by January 15, 2018, so the test must be from 2013 or later.

Q. Do I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)? How long are the scores valid? How should the scores be submitted?

Applicants whose native language is not English (as determined by Admissions) are required to submit proof of English proficiency. The most common method is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

TOEFL scores should be from a test date within two years of the date that the scores reach Admissions. So for documents arriving by January 15, 2018, the TOEFL exam date must be in 2016 or 2017.

Q. I took the GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT. Can I submit those scores instead of GRE test scores?

No. The GRE is required.

Q. I don't know my test scores yet. Can I submit the application and letters of recommendation without entering my test scores?

Yes. If you do not know your GRE/TOEFL scores yet (either because you didn't take the exam yet, or the scores are not yet known), then please go ahead and submit the application - simply leave the test scores blank. You can submit your test scores when they are available.

Q. What scores on the GRE and TOEFL do I need to be admitted? I obtained scores of XX/XX/XX on the GRE and YY on the TOEFL - can you please tell me my prospects for admission?

No. The department does not answer such queries. The admissions committee considers all parts of every application before making any decisions. Hence, it is not possible for tell you your chances for admission based on your test scores. However, low English scores (e.g. iBT below 100) make admission unlikely.

Q. Can I have the TOEFL waived?

If a student from a non-English speaking country will hold a master's degree from an accredited U.S. university by the time they enroll at Texas A&M, we can request alternate English verification in place of the TOEFL.

Q. I sent my GRE/TOEFL test scores to Texas A&M University, not EngineeringCAS. What should I do?

Test scores are to be sent to EngineeringCAS (code 4119 for GRE, code B887 for TOEFL). If you accidentally sent your scores to Texas A&M University (code 6003 for both GRE and TOEFL), then the Texas A&M Admissions office will combine them with your application. However the scores will not appear as official in your EngineeringCAS application, and it will not show as complete. You should upload an unofficial copy of your scores to your EngineeringCAS application .


The Application: Statement of Purpose

Q. Do you have any guidelines for writing the statement of purpose? Are there any specific details that should be included? Any that should not?

The admissions committee would like to see a discussion of the following issues:

  1. Why do you want to pursue graduate studies in CSE?
  2. Why are you interested in Texas A&M?
  3. For Ph.D. and MS thesis (Most important) What are your research interests and why do they interest you? What is your background for working in this area? Describe your research plans (if any) and what faculty members you think have closely-related research interests.
  4. MS (non-thesis) -- What are your career goals?

You should not recall your earliest remembrances of exposure to a computer or some other life story about why you are interested in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Talk about research interests. 


The Application: Letters of Recommendation

Q. Do my letters of recommendation have to come from my professors? Can I ask my employer for a letter?

The preferred source of letters of recommendation is the faculty who advised you in research projects and who taught your most advanced computing courses. We are most interested in assessments of your research potential and scholarly aptitude, and your rank and performance in the courses they taught you.

If you cannot obtain enough letters from your current or previous professors, then you may also include letters from employers. However, you should understand that in most cases such a letter will not be given the same weight as letters from your professors. 


The Application: Transcripts

Q. Do I need to provide transcripts from my previous institutions?

Yes. You need to provide unofficial or official transcripts from each post-secondary (above high school) institution that you have attended. The exact requirements for transcripts can be found on the  Admission's webpage . Official transcripts are required after you are admitted. A WES evaluation of your transcripts is not required. Texas A&M undergraduate students should upload an unofficial copy of their transcripts into EngineeringCAS, rather than having an official copy sent.


Applications to Transfer from Other TAMU Departments and for Post Baccalaureate Non-Degree (G6) Status

Q. I am currently a graduate student in another department at Texas A&M. What do I need to do to apply to transfer to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering?

Current students in another department who wish to transfer to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering must be actively doing research with a current CSE faculty member. That faculty member must be interested in becoming chair of your advisory committee. They must send an email to CSE Graduate Advising requesting that an application be created for you. Then you will be emailed instructions on submitting application materials.

The Department does not accept transfer requests from non-thesis master's students, or students who do not have a CSE faculty member wishing to be their advisor.

Q. Can I use courses taken as a non-degree (G6) student at Texas A&M towards a graduate degree?

Maybe. If at a later date, a post baccalaureate non-degree student is admitted to a graduate degree program, with the approval of the student's graduate advisory committee and the graduate advisor, a maximum of 12 credit hours taken in post baccalaureate non-degree status at Texas A&M may be used on a student's degree plan. This evaluation is made on a case-by-case basis and the courses must meet the degree plan requirements for the degree.


 

Force Requests

Q. I want to take a CSCE graduate course but the course is currently full. How can I get on a waiting list for the course?

See  /cse/academics/undergraduate-program/force-request.

  • It is essential that you are registered as a full time student before making the force request. 
  • In the comment section, state which class should be dropped if the force request is approved.
  • Complete the form and submit. 
  • Force requests will be processed during the first week of classes. 
  • Please do not call the computer science offices regarding your force request status. 

This force request system cannot be used for non-CSCE classes; you have to contact the department teaching the class for those requests. 

Q. I do not have a CSCE account. Can I use the system to submit a force request?

Yes. If you have never had a CSE Department login, you can log in using your TAMU NETid and password. If you have previously had a CSE Department login that now is inactive contact the CS Department Helpdesk for assistance (this will be the case if you previously took CSCE classes). 

Q. I am unable to reach the CSCE force request page. What can I do? 

You need to be within the firewall of Texas A&M University. If you are off campus, you will need to use VPN.