1. What are the requirements for admission to the Masters in Computer Science?

For admission, you must meet UWM’s graduate school admission requirements. These include English proficiency requirements.

There are different additional requirements for each track.

Professional Track Admission Requirements

You should have successfully completed two courses in programming, or gained equivalent experience through self-study or in employment (please describe in your reason statement). You may be required to take remedial programming courses unless you place out of them using our placement examinations, which can be taken only once.

Regular Track Admission Requirements

You should have completed a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or in Computer Engineering (if it has a strong Computer Science core) with an excellent overall evaluation from a respected university.

2. What semesters do you admit new students?

Starting in 2023, students are only admitted to Fall semester.  Students already admitted to Spring 2023, may start Spring 2023.

3. What is the deadline for application?

The deadline for application is March 15 for Fall semester.  We do not offer Spring semester admission any more.

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?

No, they are not required for admission to our masters program.  As with recommendation letters, GRE scores may be used to support a weak application. UWM’s GRE institutional code is 1473.

6. 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 in-person CS graduate courses are taught in the late afternoon or evening. Some are even taught over the lunch hour. The MS regular track (thesis) 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.

The Professional MS track is available online, in person or a combination of both; you make the choice.

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

After all application materials are submitted 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. This process usually takes two months.  We anticipate rendering a decision on all applications submitted by the March 15th deadline before June 1st.

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, or to be switched to your desired tracks.

11. Can I switch between tracks after being admitted?

A student admitted under the professional track may switch to the regular track after completing at least nine credits of advanced courses (CompSci 700-level or CompSci 751) in the professional track with at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Note that not all courses acceptable under the professional track may be acceptable under the regular track.


A student in the regular track may apply to switch to the professional track at any time; approval of the department will be granted, unless one has previously received a tuition waiver as a TA/RA.

12. 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.

13. 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

14. What support/employment can I get?

Students in the Professional Track are not eligible for departmental support or scholarships (including fee waivers).  Students on an F-1 visa may work up to 50% time in on-campus employment which ranges $10-15/hour (See https://pantherjobs.uwm.edu).  There is also the possibility of “Curricular practical training” after successful completion of two semesters in the program.

Students in the regular track are eligible for departmental scholarships, teaching and research assistantships.  Competition for the few slots available is stiff.  See Research and Teaching Opportunities

15. 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 CS MS graduates to have a good grasp of the core of Computer Science.

The courses required to satisfy Undergraduate Requirements for the Regular Track are:

  • COMPSCI 317 Discrete Information Structures
  • COMPSCI 351 Data Structures and Algorithms (Programming III) (can be taken for graduate credit as COMPSCI 751 Computer Studies)
  • COMPSCI 458 Computer Architecture
  • COMPSCI 535 Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMPSCI 537 Operating Systems

The courses required to satisfy Undergraduate Requirements for the Professional Track are:

  • COMPSCI 317 Discrete Information Structures
  • COMPSCI 351 Data Structures and Algorithms (Programming III) (can be taken for graduate credit as COMPSCI 751 Computer Studies)
  • COMPSCI 535 Design and Analysis of Algorithms

Plus your choice of the following:

  • COMPSCI 431 Programming Languages Concepts
  • COMPSCI 537 Operating Systems

All students in the program must complete these courses either (for regular track students) prior to beginning coursework at UWM, (for any students) with the “sufficiency” examination at the beginning of their first semester, or during the coursework of their program. All of the above courses, with the exception of COMPSCI 317, which is an undergraduate course, can count as part of the 30 or 31

16. What is the “sufficiency” examination?

This is an optional examination held in the second week of the semester to pass out of an undergraduate requirement.  You must register for the examination well before the start of your first semester with the CEAS graduate office. Please indicate which course(s) you are attempting to pass. You can request a syllabus for the examination at the same time. 

17. I’ve been admitted; how do I enroll in classes at UWM?

Account activation and course planning

  • You will need an active account (aka “pantherid”). See this webpage for how to activate your account.
  • Before you select classes, you might want to look at the public version of the schedule – as its interface is a bit easier to use
  • You will first want to verify any undergraduate requirements:
  • Work with your advisor to get the undergraduate requirements assessment approved.

Then, start thinking about your program of study – you may consult with your advisor regarding specific choices to meet your goals. Note: a full load for a graduate student is eight or nine credits unless you are a TA or RA, in which case it is six. Eligible courses differ by track (see the department webpages). Also make sure to complete the correct version of the program of study form (links below).

Enrolling in classes using “PAWS”

TO ADD A CLASS:

  1. Go to PAWS at https://paws.uwm.edu
  2. Enter the following information:
    ePantherID (the first portion of your UWM email address)
    Password (If you forgot, click on “Forgot Your ePantherID or Password?” or call 414-229-4040)
  3. Click on the “Sign In” button
  4. Click on “Enroll” link
  5. Select appropriate term (i.e. Fall, Spring, Summer, UWinteriM)
  6. Click on the “Search” link under “Find Classes”
  7. Go to “Course Subject” and choose the area of study
  8. Type in the course number under “Course Number” be sure the search criterion is set at “is exactly”
  9. Click on “Search” at the bottom of the screen
  10. Click on “VIEW ALL” in the grey bar at the top of the class listing
  11. Click on “Select Class” for the LECTURE you wish to add. If applicable, choose a discussion from the next screen
  12. Click on “Next” button
  13. Click on “Next” and select classes to add from your “shopping cart”
  14. Check the box that corresponds with the course(s) in which you wish to enroll
  15. Click on “Enroll”
  16. Click on “Finish Enrolling”
  17. Class is added if you see a green check mark in the status box. If an error occurs a red “X” will appear

TO DROP A CLASS:

  1. Select “Enroll”
  2. Select the “Drop” tab
  3. Check the box that corresponds with the classes you want to drop
  4. Click on “Drop Selected Classes”
  5. Click on “Finish Dropping”
  6. Class is dropped

TO SWAP A CLASS:

  1. Select “Enroll”
  2. Select the “Swap” tab
  3. If term is not correct, click “Change Term”
  4. Select the class you don’t want from your schedule under “Swap This Class”
  5. Under “With This Class”. Click search
  6. Go to “Course Subject” and choose the area of study
  7. Type in the course number under “Course Number” be sure the search criteria are se at “is exactly”
  8. Click on “Search” at the bottom of the screen
  9. Click “Next”
  10. Click on “Finish Swapping”
  11. Classes are swapped