How to Apply — CSE Graduate Admissions

The CSE graduate program is part of the University of Michigan's Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Prospective master's and doctoral students should submit applications through the Rackham Graduate School by following the instructions below.

« CSE Graduate Admissions

Application Information

The application for admission to the doctoral and master's program is completed online through the Rackham Graduate School. The site allows you to save your work and complete the application over time. A UMID number will be issued to you by the Rackham Graduate School via email within 5 business days of completing pages 1-5 and advancing to page 6 of the ApplyWeb application. The online application will be accessible until 11:59 p.m. (EST) on the application deadline.

For full admission consideration, supporting materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores) should arrive by the deadline.

Doctoral (PhD) Application Deadline: December 1st
Master's (MS/MSE) Application Deadline: January 15th

Once an application has been submitted, it cannot be updated.

Application Checklist

  • Statement of Purpose: Your statement of purpose should be a concise, well-written document about your academic and research background, as well as your career goals. Additionally, it should communicate how CSE's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.

  • Personal Statement: Your personal statement should describe how your life experiences - cultural, geographical, financial, educational, and/or other opportunities/challenges - motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree in CSE. Some suggested topics for your personal statement are:
    • volunteer and/or community service;
    • extra-curricular activities;
    • leadership pursuits;
    • educational, cultural, geographic or socio-economic background underrepresented in your discipline of graduate study;
    • financial hardship;
    • first generation U.S. citizen or first generation in family to graduate from a four-year college

The personal statement has a 500-word limit and is different from your statement of purpose.

  • Resume: Please provide your resume that highlights your education, work experience, research publications, teaching experience, professional activities, volunteer service, community engagement, honors and awards.

  • Research Interest: Select your primary and secondary area of research.

  • Faculty Interest: Select up to five CSE faculty whose research interests align with yours and whom you would consider as potential research advisors.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Request three letters of recommendation from people who are familiar with your academic performance and research potential. Recommendation letters should be submitted electronically through the online application system. Registering your recommenders must be completed before you submit your application.

    Technical assistance requests should be sent directly to the ApplyWeb team at help@applyweb.com, and the following information must be included in the request: user name, full name, email address, and phone number. Please allow 24 hours for a response.

  • Test Scores: You are encouraged to take the GRE and TOEFL no later than one month prior to the application deadline; however, earlier is recommended. GRE and TOEFL scores should be sent to institution code 1839; a department code is not required.

    • The GRE is required. Scores are valid 5 years from the date you took the test to the deadline date when you apply.

    • The TOEFL is required for applicants whose native language is not English, unless they meet one of the exemption criteria. Scores are valid two years from the test date. The scores must be received from the testing agency no later than the graduate program application deadline.
  • Successful applicants typically have GRE scores of at least 70%, 90% quantitative, and 40% analytical writing. International students should have a TOEFL score of at least 100.

  • Transcripts: Submit an official transcript for each bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress. For instructions on submitting transcripts, please see the Rackham Graduate School's website.

    Submitting your transcripts is a two-step process:

    • Submitting transcripts with the Online Application: Applicants upload a copy of their official transcript/academic record to the online application.

    • Submitting official transcripts to the Rackham Graduate School: Applicants are required to submit an official set of transcript/academic records as an e-transcript or by mail to the Rackham Graduate School before the graduate program application deadline.

    International applicants and those who attended or are attending a Non-U.S. Institution should review Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for transcript/academic record requirements by country or region.

    If you have community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework, please indicate this information on page 9 of the application under the "Additional Education Information" section.

    Note: Original educational documents will not be returned. All documentation received becomes the property of the Rackham Graduate School and will not be returned.

After Application Submission

To verify the receipt of your application and materials, please follow the instructions listed on the Rackham website.

The CSE Graduate Admissions Committee, comprised of faculty, begin making admission offers in January and continue through April. You will be notified by email once a decision has been made. Decisions for admission and financial aid are made separately. If you are awarded departmental financial assistance, you will be notified via email.

Please refer to Rackham's website for information regarding:
Rackham's Minimum Requirements to Apply
Application Fees and Waivers
Application Process
Official Transcripts
English Language Proficiency
Immigration Documents
Checking the Status of Your Application
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