Graduate Requirements

* *Computer Science Graduate Admissions Changes Due to COVID-19**

The UCLA Computer Science Department is committed to a fair and equitable process for admission to our M.S. and Ph.D. programs.  Many students are currently facing significant educational changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In response, today we are announcing a policy change for our Fall 2021 graduate admissions process.  We will not penalize applicants for any classes that are taken Pass/Fail instead of a letter grade during the COVID-19 outbreak time period, including classes in Computer Science and related fields. We hope that this policy change will reduce the stress and uncertainty that our applicants are feeling in these unprecedented times.

We are pleased that you are interested in applying to the Computer Science Graduate Program at UCLA. The following information provides an overview of the requirements for admission to the department and an explanation of the application procedures. Additionally, see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

For admission consideration, all applicants are required to upload ONE (1) official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended in their online application. (Please see additional information about transcripts below.)

An applicant for admission must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, must have the necessary academic preparation to complete graduate level courses in Computer Science, and must be able to score competitively on the GRE test. International applicants must meet the university’s minimum requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS. Conditional admission is not offered and a transitional or pre-master’s program is not available. The department does not provide “pre-application” reviews. Prospective applicants should review this page, frequently asked questions, and the department’s annual report to determine their admission competitiveness, and academic and research fit with the university.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE

The most competitive applicants have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 (on a 4.00 scale),and at least a 3.50 in any graduate study. The average cumulative GPA of admitted applicants is 3.60.

The university requires a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for consideration. The department reviews all applicants who have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Staff in the Computer Science Graduate Student Affairs Office review and convert, as necessary, the marks or grades of all applicants. The Graduate Division online application asks applicants to submit their grade point average on the scale used by their institutions.

DECIDING BETWEEN THE PH.D. AND M.S. PROGRAMS

Students may apply for either the Ph.D. program or the M.S. program but not both. Admission to the Ph.D. program is more selective than for the M.S. program. In general, the admissions committee does not consider Ph.D. applicants for admission into the M.S. program and vice versa. While a Ph.D. degree prepares students not only for careers in research and academia, those who apply for a Ph.D. degree typically demonstrate significant achievement in and/or potential for advancing knowledge through independent research and teaching.

While a M.S. degree prepares students not only for careers in the industry, those who apply for an M.S degree typically demonstrate interest in developing and applying technical skills and translational knowledge. M.S. applicants should be aware that the selection process is rigorous for M.S. students who later apply for admission into the Ph.D. program.

Applicants who hold a master’s degree in computer science or a closely related discipline will not be considered for admission to the master’s program. Applicants who hold only a bachelor’s degree may apply to the Ph.D. program. In recent years, the majority of PhD admittees have completed only a bachelor’s degree.


APPLYING FOR GRADUATE ADMISSION

APPLICATION DEADLINE

The deadline to submit an application for admission is DECEMBER 1, 23:59, PST. Students are admitted only once a year to start in the fall quarter only. Applications should be submitted only between mid-September and December 1.

UCLA GRADUATE DIVISION ONLINE APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION

All applicants must complete a UCLA Graduate Division online application for admission. For more information about applying for graduate admission to UCLA, visit the Graduate Division webpage.

All application material for the computer science department may be submitted through the online UCLA application website noted above. Material to be submitted includes the following:

(1) Letters of Recommendation
(NOTE: Please utilize the Graduate Division Recommendation, and NOT the Electrical Engineering Recommendation.)

At least THREE (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted.

For M.S. applicants: We recommend that you provide letters of reference from professors who have taught you in your junior and senior years.

For Ph.D. applicants:We urge that all your letters be from academic or professional references as recent as possible and from people who can comment on your recent professional accomplishments and your qualifications for graduate study in Computer Science. If you have an M.S. degree, letters from professors who have served on your M.S. committee are particularly helpful.

Letters are due December 1. We will make every effort to review late letters received between December 1 and December 15, but we cannot guarantee that they will be included in the review.

(2) Academic Transcripts (Not required from UCLA students and alumni.)

All applicants are required to upload ONE (1) official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Official transcripts should be uploaded to your online application only. Only if you are officially offered admissions into our program will you send us your final official transcript/degree certificate/diplomas.

Applicants who are attending or have graduated from a U.S. institution that transmits transcripts electronically may request to have official transcripts emailed to: but can also upload the official transcript in their online application.

Official transcripts are defined as original documents issued by the institution that bear the actual signature of the Registrar — not a photocopy — and the seal of the issuing institution. Do not, however, send the original of an academic record that cannot be replaced; upload a properly certified copy instead.

International applicants should refer to the “Requirements for International Students” section of the Graduate Division webpage for information about submission of foreign academic records. We do not request or review WES evaluations.

Most applicants are in the process of completing a degree. If offered admission, the final transcript indicating the date of the degree conferral may be submitted during the summer. Applicants from India and China who have graduated must submit official copies of their degree certificates along with their final official transcripts and diploma: 

If you are receiving your bachelor’s degree from a university in China

 

If your bachelor’s degree has been awarded, please upload your final official transcripts both in English and Chinese (make sure the GPA scale is included when you upload these documents), the official degree certificate both in English and Chinese and the official diploma in both English and Chinese in your online application.

If you are still enrolled and have not been awarded your degree from your university in China, please be sure to upload your latest official transcripts both in English and Chinese in your online admissions application (make sure your university’s GPA scale is included when you upload these documents).

If you are receiving your bachelor’s degree from a university in India

 

If you have received your bachelor’s degree from a university in India, please be sure to upload a copy of your final official transcripts along with a copy of your official diploma that shows when your degree was officially conferred and awarded.

Please note the conferral certificate is NOT the same as the official diploma.

If you have not been awarded your degree and are still enrolled in a university in India, please be sure to upload a copy of your official transcripts in your online admissions application (make sure your university’s GPA scale is included when you upload these documents).

 

 

 

If you are receiving your bachelor’s Degree from a University outside the U.S. (and not from India and China)

If you have been awarded your degree, please be sure to upload your official transcript both in English and the native language from the country the university is located in, and a copy of your official diploma both in English and the native official language from the country the university you attended in your online application.

If you are currently enrolled and have not been awarded your degree from your university, please be sure to upload your official transcripts in both English and the native official language from the country the university you are attending in your online application (make sure your university’s GPA scale is included when you upload these documents).

Official transcripts are due December 1 along with the application. We will make every effort to review late transcripts received between December 1 and December 15, but we cannot guarantee that they will be included in the review.

UCLA students and alumni please note: You do not have to submit an official UCLA transcript. You may upload your MyUCLA record in the online application.

(3) Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE scores on the General (Aptitude) test are required for admission to both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs. There is no minimum GRE score requirement. However, the most competitive applicants earn average or above average scores compared to the computer science applicant pool. (See Frequently Asked Questions for data.)

All students applying for fall should take the GRE test early in the fall before the application deadline (Dec. 1). The test must have been taken within five (5) years of the submission date of the UCLA Graduate Division online application. Check the testing schedule and registration information on the GRE homepageThe UCLA institution code is 4837. The Computer Science department code is 0402. Official scores should be sent to UCLA as soon as possible. Meanwhile, applicants are encouraged to submit unofficial student score reports on the Supporting Documents Upload section of the UCLA Graduate Division online application.

In order to ensure your scores synch up with your online application make sure your last name, first name, middle name (if any) and email address match exactly on your ETS registration and on your online graduate admissions applications. If you leave out your middle name or use a different email address the scores might not synch up to your graduate admissions application and we cannot guarantee your scores will be received by the deadline.

The GRE computer science subject exam is not reviewed by the department. The GMAT may not be substituted for the GRE.

Applicants must take the exam well before the December 1 deadline. Reports on exams taken in November will be received in time for review. GRE reports may be sent to UCLA before online applications are submitted.

If you plan to take or have already taken an additional exam, please make sure that ETS has already sent your first exam report to UCLA before December 1.

(4) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

International students must submit a TOEFL with a score of at least 87 (computer-based) or 560 (paper-based), or an IELTS with a score of at least 7.0. Exams must be taken within two (2) years of the date of the online application submission. The UCLA institution code is 4837. The Computer Science department code is 78. Official scores should be sent to UCLA as soon as possible. Meanwhile, applicants are encouraged to submit unofficial student score reports on the Supporting Documents Upload section of the UCLA Graduate Division online application. Additional TOEFL information is available at Frequently Asked Questions.

Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a university within the United States or in another country in which English is both the official language AND the medium of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution, are exempted from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. If you seek this waiver, you only need to submit your official transcript to the CS department as part of the routine application process. You need not do anything else.

Applicants must take the exam on or before the December 1 deadline. Reports on exams taken in November will be received in time for review. TOEFL reports may be sent to UCLA before online applications are submitted.

If you plan to take or have already taken an additional exam, please make sure that ETS has already sent your first exam report to UCLA before December 1.

In order to ensure your scores synch up with your online application make sure your last name, first name, middle name (if any) and email address match exactly on your ETS registration and on your online graduate admissions applications. If you leave out your middle name or use a different email address the scores might not synch up to your graduate admissions application and we cannot guarantee your scores will be received by the deadline.

For more information, visit the UCLA Graduate Division web page.

(5a) Statement of Purpose (SOP)

All CS applicants submit an SOP (500 word limit) in their Graduate Division online application. Instructions are provided in the SOP section of the online application. The SOP is considered to be the writing sample. No additional writing sample is requested. 

(5b) Personal history

All CS applicants submit a personal history statement (500 word limit).  No additional writing sample is requested. 

(6) Resume or Vitae (Not required)

Applicants are not required to submit a resume or vitae. This information may be presented in the UCLA Graduate Division online application in the awards, distinctions, publications and organizations sections, or uploaded as a supporting document.

(7) Supplemental Application and Writing Sample (Not required)

Computer Science does not have a supplemental application or require a writing sample. The notation on the Graduate Division webpage concerning the supplemental application does not apply to CS applicants.

CHECKING APPLICATION/DOCUMENT STATUS

You will be contacted if any document or application material is missing or needed. Please do not email or call to inquire about receipt of documents as it will delay our efforts to process application material. Our office is able to match test reports and transcripts for nearly all applicants. An applicant is denied admission consideration due to an incomplete file only if he or she does not respond to our request to submit missing material. Ph.D. decisions will be emailed to all applicants by the end of February. M.S. decisions will be emailed out by the end of March.


MAILING ADDRESS FOR OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS (If offered admissions only)

If you are offered admissions into our program, please arrange to have official transcripts sent to the following address:

Graduate Student Affairs Office
UCLA Computer Science Department
Engineering VI room 291
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1596

Phone: (310) 825-0060
Fax: (310) 206-8133


FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Applicants to the Ph.D. program will automatically be considered for departmental funding, and awards will be given based on the applicant’s academic merit and potential. All Ph.D. applicants who are offered admission are provided financial support from either department resources or the research grants of individual faculty members. Ph.D. admittees are provided a funding offer shortly after being notified of their admission. Domestic Ph.D. applicants are strongly encouraged to explore university-wide fellowships, especially the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, detailed in the UCLA Graduate Division financial support webpage.

Unfortunately, M.S. applicants are not eligible for departmental financial support. Domestic M.S. applicants are strongly encouraged to explore university-wide fellowships and grants and external fellowships, especially the Graduate Opportunity Fellowship Program (GOFP), detailed in the UCLA Graduate Division financial support webpage.

International M.S. applicants must demonstrate personal or agency financial support of at least $52,000 for the first year to qualify for a visa to study in the U.S. Prospective international M.S. applicants should apply for admission ONLY if they can provide such documentation, which will be requested if admission is offered, in early March. Information on the cost of attendance is available on the UCLA Graduate Division webpage. Specific charges for tuition and fees and non-resident supplemental tuition are listed on the Registrar’s fee page.


QUESTIONS?

Please CLICK HERE to see our “Frequently Asked Questions” page. For additional assistance, please contact the Computer Science Graduate Student Affairs Office.