Computer Science Graduate Admission


The department will consider applicants who have completed two courses of calculus-level mathematics, a course in discrete mathematics (equivalent to MATH 225), and two computer science courses equivalent in level to CSCI 135 (CS131) and CSCI 136 (CS132). Students who do not meet these requirements are advised to register with graduate nondegree status.

The following prerequisite courses, or their equivalents, must be taken before courses can be taken for graduate credit. While required, these courses do not count toward a graduate degree. They are: (1) data structures CSCI 232 (CS 241), (2) architecture CSCI 361 (CS 281), and (3) algorithms CSCI 332 (CS 332).

Additionally, two of the following four courses must be taken: programming languages CSCI 205 (CS 242), operating systems CSCI 460 (CS 344), software engineering CSCI 323 (CS 346), and CSCI 340 databases (CS 365). These three courses may be taken at the same time as graduate credit courses and do not count towards the graduate degree. Students lacking all prerequisites should plan for one more year of study in the program.

In order for an applicant to be granted full admission status, the applicant must meet the following conditions:

  1. International applicants whose native language is not English, must take one of the following exams and have official scores sent to the Graduate School: TOEFL scores of at least 580 (paper-based exam), at least 237 (computer-based exam) or at least 92 (internet-based exam); IELTS score of at least 7.0 or the MELAB score of at least 82. These minimum score requirements may be waived at the discretion of the Graduate Advisor and the ESL Supervisor.
  2. The applicant must have completed all of the prerequisite courses (or equivalents) as specified in the catalog description of the program with a grade of B or better.

Prospective graduate students who do not qualify for FULL admission, are eligible for PROVISIONAL admission in accordance with the following policies:

  1. International applicants whose test scores fail to meet the minimum for full admission will be required to register for ESL (English as a second language) course work at the University of Montana until they meet the minimum test requirements for full admission given above.
  2. The student is expected to receive a B grade or better when taking prerequisites and ESL courses. When a student receives a grade of less than B in a prerequisite course or ESL course, the department will send a recommendation to the Graduate School to drop him/her from the program.
  3. "Application of Candidacy" paperwork will not be approved until FULL admission status has been achieved.
  4. The student will meet with the graduate adviser, and together they will make a plan of study to fulfill the requirements for full admission. The student is expected to follow the plan of study.
  5. With the approval of the Graduate adviser, the Department may accept more advanced courses in place of some of the prerequisites. A grade of B or better will be required in the more advanced course.
  6. At the end of each semester, the Graduate Admissions Committee will review the status of each graduate student who is on provisional admission. When a student has met the conditions for full admission, the department will send a request to the Graduate School recommending full admission. If a student has not made satisfactory progress towards making up the deficiencies, the Graduate Admissions Committee may send a recommendation to the Graduate School to drop the student from the program.
  7. All course work taken by CS-MS graduate students to fulfill prerequisites or degree requirements must be for a letter grade (i.e. courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit).
  8. The Department of Computer Science will not accept a late drop petition from a CS-MS graduate student, except in an extreme hardship case.
  9. At the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, assistantships may be granted to students provisionally admitted.

Transfer students will be dealt with on a case-by-case situation.

Waivers will be approved by the Graduate School Dean regarding the transfer credit limit.


Application Deadline: None (rolling admissions). If you wish to receive a Teaching Assistantship for the academic year, your complete application packet must be received by February 15.

Instructions for applying to the Graduate School can be found in the Applying for Admission on the Graduate School web site.

In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, for admission for the M.S. in Computer Science program the Department of Computer Science also requires:

A brief letter explaining objectives for graduate study in computer science.