How to Apply

In addition to fulfilling the Graduate Division requirements for admission, the Department of Computer Science requires a bachelor's degree in some discipline of science, engineering, or mathematics.  Please see the information below for additional points to consider as you prepare your PhD application.  For questions related to the online application, don't forget to check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) provided by the UCSB Graduate Division (here).

Online Application

Applications to the UCSB Computer Science MS and PhD programs are accepted once per year. All applications should be submitted through the Graduate Division’s on-line application here.

BSMS Application

Applications to the UCSB Computer Science BSMS program are accepted once per year. All applications should be submitted via this application. The application contains much more information about the program itself, or you can see the Special Programs section of the CS Undergraduate Program for more information.

Minimum Requirements for All Graduate Applications

Grade-point Average

  • 3.0 in undergraduate study. For schools that do not use a 4.0 GPA system, GPAs will be evaluated based on your grading system. Please do not convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale.  Note that this is not a hard limit, and we will do our best to put GPAs into context on a per-school basis.

GRE Suspended for Fall 2021 Applicants

  • Please do NOT submit GRE scores. By not requiring them for Fall 2021 admissions we are prohibted from reviewing them for all applicants.

Non-native English Speakers (or ESL Students)

  • Students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum score for consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test.
  • The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is accepted as an alternative to the TOEFL. A minimum overall band score of 7.0 is required on the IELTS.
  • Applicants who have received a bachelor's or master's degree from a U.S. college or university are exempt from this requirement.

TOEFL/IELTS Requirements and Alternative Exam Options for Fall 2021:

  • For those completing TOEFL, the paper-based test (PBT), internet-based test (iBT), or iBT Special Home Edition are accepted.
  • For IELTS, the IELTS Academic test and IELTS Indicator are accepted.
  • No changes have been made to minimum score requirements.
  • Alternative exam options, such as Duolingo or TOEFL ITP Plus, do not meet minimum requirements.

Additional Information Specific to PhD Admissions

  • Students may apply directly to the PhD program without a Master's degree. A solid background in computer science or one or more fields of science and engineering is strongly suggested.
  • Applicants who are admitted to the PhD program generally have a grade-point average of at least 3.5 in their undergraduate study.
  • Students entering this program should be committed to completing a PhD.  The department discourages students petitioning to switch to the Master's program; such petitions are approved only under exceptional circumstances.

Current UCSB Graduate Students

  • To switch to or add a Computer Science MS degree objective, please submit the Graduate Student Petition available on the Graduate Division website. Do not complete the on-line application.
  • Submit your petition and supporting materials to the Computer Science department in 2104 HFH by the annual December 15 deadline. Petitions are reviewed along with the applications received. Our department asks that you complete 3 of our graduate courses before petitioning to add or switch to our MS program. CS graduate courses may only be added through approval codes by non-CS majors.
  • To switch to or add a Computer Science PhD degree objective, please complete the on-line application by the annual December 15 deadline.