1. Can I get a Master’s in Computer Science even if I didn’t major in CS as an undergraduate?

Yes! If you’re interested in being admitted to the MS in Computer Science, you need to first get a good foundation by taking the following introductory courses, which are offered every regular semester and usually every summer as well. Equivalent courses taken at other universities may be used to fulfill requirements. You must take each course on a graded basis and earn a grade of B or higher.

  • MATH 211 Survey in Calculus and Analytic Geometry or MATH 231 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
  • COMPSCI 250 Introductory Computer Programming
  • COMPSCI 251 Intermediate Computer Programming

Two additional Computer Science courses. Courses usually taken by all UWM CS majors:

  • COMPSCI 351 Data Structures and Algorithms (Programming III)
  • COMPSCI 315 Assembly Language Programming (requires CS 201 & Math 231)
  • COMPSCI 317 Discrete Information Structures (requires Math 231)

2. What are the “Undergraduate Requirements”?

We want candidates who completed undergraduate degrees in other fields to be able to get an MS in Computer Science at UWM. However, we also want CSMS graduates to have a good grasp of the core of Computer Science. All of our MS students complete three introductory Computer Science courses and three intermediate/advanced courses. The introductory courses are:

  • COMPSCI 351 Data Structures and Algorithms (Programming III)
  • COMPSCI 315 Assembly Language Programming (requires CS 201 & Math 231)
  • COMPSCI 317 Discrete Information Structures (requires Math 231)

The intermediate/advanced courses are:

  • COMPSCI 458 Computer Architecture
  • COMPSCI 535 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMPSCI 537 Operating Systems

These six courses are called “Undergraduate Requirements” for the MS in Computer Science. All students in the program must complete these six courses either prior to coming to UWM or during the completion of their program. The introductory courses are undergraduate courses and will not count as part of the 30 or 31 credits for your CSMS program of study. The intermediate/advanced courses do carry graduate credit; however, you are limited to using only two of the intermediate/advanced towards your program of study.

3. How are the “Undergraduate Requirements” different from the admission requirements?

The admission requirements described in Question #1 are courses that you are expected to complete before you will be admitted to the MSCS program. We sometimes admit talented applicants who have not taken all of the admission requirements, but are admitted with “course deficiencies” (one or two missing courses). Students with course deficiencies must complete the required courses within the first three semesters of their graduate studies or risk dismissal from the program.

The “Undergraduate Requirements” must be completed before the student will be permitted to graduate from the MSCS program, but can be taken any time during completion of the program. You would take them in addition to the courses for the admission requirements, though there can be some overlap between the two sets of courses. Most students are admitted with no course deficiencies; however, many students entering the program must take one or more courses to fulfill the Undergraduate Requirements. Students coming from very different fields (e.g. Film, Psychology,) may be required to take all of the “Undergraduate Requirements” courses.

4. Are letters of recommendation required?

Letters of recommendation are not required for MS students; however, they may be used to support a weak application.

5. Am I required to submit GRE scores?

Submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is recommended, but not required. GRE scores help our application committee compare you to students using the same measure. Like recommendation letters, GRE scores may be used to support a weak application. UWM’s GRE institutional code is 1473.

Can I overcome a bad undergraduate GPA?

If your undergraduate GPA is above 2.50 (but below 3.0), you may be considered for admission on probation by presenting evidence of ability to succeed in graduate-level work. Applicants with GPA of 2.50-2.74 must present at least one of the following:

    • A grade point average of 3.0 or above during the final 60 semester credits of your baccalaureate degree program.

Completion of 6 or more credits of program-approved, post-baccalaureate coursework in Computer Science. The grades earned must be a “B” or better (B- not acceptable). More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

  • Submission of official GRE scores that indicate a high probability of success in graduate school. Official is defined as having been sent directly from the testing service to UWM. Our GRE institutional code is 1473.
  • An advanced degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

 

Applicants with a GPA below 2.50 must present at least TWO of the following conditions to be considered:

    • A grade point average of 3.0 or above during the final 60 semester credits of your baccalaureate degree program.

Completion of 6 or more credits of program-approved, post-baccalaureate coursework in Computer Science. The grades earned must be a “B” or better (B- not acceptable). More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

  • Submission of official GRE scores that indicate a high probability of success in graduate school. Official is defined as having been sent directly from the testing service to UWM. Our GRE institutional code is 1473.
  • An advanced degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

 

7. Do you offer evening and online courses?

Most CS graduate courses are taught in the late afternoon or evening. The program is currently not fully online. But, a number of our courses are offered in “blended” format with fewer in-person class meetings (e.g. 8 or 10 total) and with much of the instruction being provided online.

8. When will I know whether I have been admitted?

After all application materials are submitted (see application checklist) your application is evaluated by the Graduate School and then released to the College of Engineering & Applied Science Graduate Programs Office. CS applications are evaluated by an admission committee. It may take up to two months after an application has been released for an admission decision to be made.

9. Should I apply for the PhD or the MS?

The CS department rarely admits directly to the PhD without an MS in Computer Science. For people with a MS in electrical engineering, computer applications, information science, or information technology, we recommend a second MS in CS before applying to the doctoral program. These related fields are not close enough to core computer science to give a strong foundation for doctoral studies. Additionally, a maximum of 33 credits may be considered for transfer credits into the PhD from an earned MS degree.

10. Can I change the degree to which I’m applying?

If you originally applied to a different program you may request the Graduate Programs Office to forward your application to the Computer Science department for review via e-mail. The same applies to people who applied to the PhD and wish to be considered for the MS program.

11. Can I ask for reconsideration if denied admission?

Within a year you may ask for reconsideration of a negative decision, especially if the circumstances of your original application have changed.

12. Can I defer admission?

Students may defer admission up to two semesters without completing a new application. If a student would like to defer, e-mail the College of Engineering & Applied Science Graduate Programs office at: ceas-cs@uwm.edu