Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the Computer Science Master or PhD programs at UCR?

Complete the application. You can select the “Apply Now” button or select the “Online Application” link under How to Apply.

What are the application requirements to apply for the graduate programs?

The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and need to have a substantial background in both mathematics and computer science. Satisfying minimal standards does not guarantee admission since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a result, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated. For specific admission criteria, please visit graduate admissions.

Am I eligible to apply if my academic background is not in computer science?

The majority of our applicants have a background in computer science. In the past, we have admitted students with a background in Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Math. Applicants are expected to have competency in the areas of Intermediate Data Structures and Algorithms, Theory of Automata and Formal Languages, Compiler Design, Design of Operating Systems and Design and Architecture of Computer Systems.
Please refer to the section on Academic Background Requirement for more information.


Do I qualify to apply if I hold a three-year degree?

If you are an international applicant and hold a three-year ordinary bachelor's degree or a certificate, you are not eligible for graduate admission.

Are applications accepted year round?

No, applicants are only reviewed and accepted for the Fall quarter of each year.


What are the deadlines to apply?

January 5 - Admission deadline for fellowship consideration (for Ph.D. applicants)
March 1 - General admission deadline for international applicants
May 1 - General admission deadline for domestic applicants
Fall quarter begins at the end of September.


May I apply to the M.S. or Ph.D. program if I already have earned or will soon earn a graduate degree?

Permission to work for a second M.S. degree in a new area may be approved on the individual merit of the application when there is little or no relationship between the two subjects. Duplication of a M.S. degree in computer science is not permitted, and duplication of a doctorate is not permitted, regardless of the field of study.


I would like to transfer from my current M.S. or Ph.D. program to your graduate program. Can I do that?

No, it’s not possible to transfer. You need to apply for one of our programs and be offered admission to come study at UCR.


Do I need to pay an application fee? How much is it?

The international application fee is $155 and the domestic application fee is $135.


Who should submit TOEFL/IELTS?

TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted by students whose native language is not English and who do not have a bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution where English is the exclusive language of instruction. The scores cannot be more than two years old from the date of matriculation.


What is the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score required to be admitted?

Internet-Based (iBT) Home Version (iBT) Paper-Based (PBT)
80 80 550

What is the UCR institutional and departmental code for the GRE?

GRE UCR code: 4839
GRE Department code: 0402 Computer Science

Is the GRE required if I already have a master’s degree?

GRE General Test is required of MS applicants. For PhD applicants, it is optional but encouraged.


Do I need to take the GRE subject test in Computer Science?



If my GRE test score is not available until after the deadline, can I still be considered for admission?

Yes. However, you need to submit your application by the deadline. You may email your unofficial score to the department and you should request that your score be sent electronically to UCR as soon as possible.

May I submit my GRE score before I submit my online application?

Yes, you may. You need to make sure your name and date of birth are the same on both the GRE score and online application.

Are conditional admission offers made to applicants?

No, all application material must be submitted before admission consideration is given.

How do I know if my transcripts, GRE or TOEFL have been received?

You can access your online application and see if your documents have been received. However, there will be a delay in updating your information in the system because we receive a very large number of documents during this time of the year.


How many transcripts are required and where do I mail them?

One official transcript is required from all academic institutions you have attended after high school. International applicants must submit one official transcript and Certificates of Degree/Diploma in their original language, with English translations prepared by the issuing institution. Notarized documents or copies are not accepted.


May I submit electronic or unofficial (copy) transcripts?

Electronic transcripts issued by US institutions and unofficial (copy) transcripts are accepted for initial review purposes only. If an admitted applicant accepts our offer of admission a final official hard-copy transcript will be required from the institution's Office of the Registrar (not electronic format or unofficial) before admission can be finalized.


Where do I mail my transcripts?

Send all academic records (transcript and certificate of degrees if applicable) to:
Attn: Marlene Garcia
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Winston Chung Hall, Room 351
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521, USA


Can I mail in my letter of recommendation?

No, all letters of recommendation must be received electronically so that they can be attached to the applicant's file for review. All electronic letters uploaded to an application MUST be from an official, company or university affiliated e-mail address. Recommender's personal email accounts are not permitted.


May I change my recommenders?

You can add recommenders. To add a recommender, please email with the following information.
Full name and Title
Institution Name
Institution complete address (include street, number, city, state, zip code, and country)
Phone number
Email address
You also need to state if you are waving the right to access the letter of recommendation or not.


I graduated many years ago and I no longer have contact with my professors. Can I use my employers as recommenders?

Academic letters of recommendation are preferable; however, if you graduated several years ago and are unable to reach your professor you can submit a recommendation from an employer who can write about your potential, skills, and qualifications to succeed in a rigorous graduate program.


I submitted my transcripts and it’s not showing in my application that it has been received.

We make every effort to process and update the system with the transcripts we receive as quickly as we can. However, we receive a very large number of documents and it can take some time for the system to be updated with your transcript information.


When will I be informed of my admission status?

Ph.D. applicants who are offered admission will be contacted via email by late February or early March. Acceptance or declination of the admission offer must be submitted by the April 15 deadline. M.S. applicants can expect a notification in April.


Can I defer my admission to the next term?

No, the university does not allow for admission deferral. You will need to reapply and be considered for admission again to start at a later time.


Can I reapply if I am not offered admission?

Yes, you can. You need to submit a new online application and supplemental documents. Your test scores should be available if not expired.


As an international student, do I need to submit an International Applicant Confidential Financial Statement?

Yes, if you are offered admission to the program and are self-supported. The International Applicant Confidential Financial Statement with the original signature and the bank letter need to be mailed to the department on March 1 or later. This document is used for immigration purposes and cannot be older than six months (needs to be valid until September).
Mail documents to:
Vanda Yamaguchi
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Winston Chung Hall, Room 351
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521, USA


How do I know if I am eligible for a fellowship package?

Fellowship packages are offered to Ph.D. applicants who apply by January 5. Fellowship support is not available for International M.S. applicants. For full consideration of financial support, an application must be received by January 5. Domestic student applications may be considered for fellowship opportunities after this deadline, pending funding availability but are encouraged to apply by this date. International students cannot establish California residency and should expect to pay nonresident tuition every quarter in addition to all other assessed fees.


Is there an application to apply for funding (fellowship, assistantship, TA positions)?

PhD applicants are automatically considered for funding when they apply by the fellowship consideration deadline of January 5. Awards are given to applicants based on academic merit and potential. However, not all Ph.D. applicants received a fellowship due to limited funding. Ph.D. applicants are notified of their financial support at the same time the admission offer is made.
MS applicants are not eligible to receive financial support (fellowship, TA, GSR). International applicants for the master’s program need to demonstrate financial support of at least $46,896 for the first year.

What is the cost of attendance?

Current quarterly fees can be found at


As an international student, how much funds do I need to show to come study at UCR?

In Fall 2023, self-supported students estimated cost of attendance was $51,451.  The amount included fees, tuition, and living expenses.


Can I apply for both M.S. and Ph.D. programs?

No, you can apply for only one program in the Computer Science and Engineering Department.


Do I need a master’s degree to apply for the Ph.D. program?

No, a master’s degree is not required to apply for the Ph.D. program.


Does the Computer Science and Engineering Department offer online degree?

The department does not offer an online degree. However, the College of Engineering offers the Online Master of Science in Engineering.


Do you offer a part-time program?

All of our graduate programs are full-time. Students enroll in a minimum of 12 units every quarter.


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