Our Graduate Program

Our graduate program offers a Master of Science and a PhD in Computer Science. The research interests of our students, and faculty, span a broad cross-section of computer science ranging from bioinformatics, cloud computing, computer architecture, computational science and engineering, database and information systems, foundations and algorithms, intelligent and interactive systems, networks and wireless networks, operating systems and distributed systems, programming languages, quantum computing, software engineering and security. We continue to attract top-quality students from all over the world.

Female grad students


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. Applicants must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate study. 

The department does not currently require the GRE requirement for any applicants. Because the GRE is not a requirement, we are prohibited from reviewing test scores for all applicants. Do not attempt to upload GRE scores to your application as they will not be reviewed. Further information is listed on the Graduate Division FAQ page

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS or Duolingo English Test (DET). The department requires a higher minimum score on certain tests than the University minimum score requirements; the department minimums are listed on the Graduate Division CS Department webpage. Further information on the type of English language exams UCSB accepts is listed on the Graduate Division FAQ page and Graduate Division How to Apply page.

Exemptions from the English language exam requirement are permitted for applicants who have completed an undergraduate (bachelor's or equivalent) or graduate (master's, doctoral, or equivalent) degree at an institution where the verified sole official language of instruction is English. Further information on how exemptions are verified after the application deadline and during the review process is listed on the Graduate Division FAQ page

The department receives thousands of applications every year and the review process starts very quickly after the application deadline. Therefore, all required application materials must be received by the admission deadline in order for the application to be considered complete for review.

Prospective Students

Prospective applicants should apply on-line through the Graduate Division.

If you're from an underrepresented or marginalized background in CS, take advantage of our new PhD Application Support Program, designed to guide and refine your application materials with insights from trained mentors.

Additional PhD Admissions Information

Students may apply directly to the PhD program without a Master's degree. However, a solid background in computer science or one or more fields of science and engineering is expected. Applicants 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.

What are the most important things to do, to ensure that your application receives maximal consideration?

  1. Review the Graduate Division's 'Preparing for Graduate School' page. Why? The first step in preparing to apply to graduate school is planning your academic goals and thoroughly understanding the admission process. 
  2. Make sure your application is completeWhy? If some required documents are missing, it is possible that your application may not be reviewed by the reviewing committee.
  3. Decide which research areas you are most interested in, and indicate that on your application. Why? This will help to ensure that faculty in those areas are aware of your application. We understand that you may not feel ready to make a decision on one area, and that you may change your mind later, but do your best to identify a few areas of interest.
  4. Mention specific faculty within our research areas with whom you may be interested in working. Why? This will help to ensure that specific faculty will be aware that you are potentially interested in working with them. 

Financial Support

All PhD applicants are considered for campus and departmental fellowships, including but not limited to, the Doctoral Scholar Fellowship, Chancellor's Fellowship, Regent's Fellowship, Citrix Fellowship, Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship, Lisa Kaz Fellowship, and the Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship.

Admitted PhD students are typically provided with fee remission via student employment to fully support them throughout their studies, based on meeting our program academic requirements. PhD students may be funded by a combination of fellowship awards, Graduate Student Researcher employment positions, and/or Teaching Assistant employment positions.


General Inquiries/Admissions Questions: gradhelp@cs.ucsb.edu

Graduate Advisor email - for current CS grad students: cs-gradprogram@ucsb.edu

Graduate Vice Chair: grad_vc@cs.ucsb.edu