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.

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, scores will be converted to the 4.0 system.  Note that this is not a hard limit, and we will do our best to put GPAs into context on a per-school basis.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

  • Satisfactory performance in the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections is required of all applicants.
  • There are no strict minimum score requirements for GRE scores, but generally, admitted applicants will have a perfect score on the quantitative portion of this exam.

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.

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.