Frequently Asked Questions — CSE Graduate Admissions

  1. Does my undergraduate degree have to be in computer science?
  2. Are there separate admission procedures for the Master's and Ph.D. programs?
  3. What should I do if my recommender has not received my online invitation to recommend me?
  4. Do you accept transfer credit?
  5. Do you have part-time or evening programs?
  6. Can you waive or defer the application fee?
  7. What documents or standardized tests are necessary for applying?
  8. What is the institution code for the GRE and TOEFL?
  9. Can the TOEFL be waived in certain cases for non-native English speakers?
  10. Who should write my recommendation letters?
  11. I have been in the work force for several years. Should I ask my employer or supervisors to write letters in support of my application?
  12. How do I apply for departmental financial aid?
  13. Can I apply to more than one Rackham graduate program?
  14. I applied to the CSE graduate program last year and was rejected. How can I reapply?
  15. When will I receive my decision notification?
  16. Will I be notified if something is missing from my application?
  17. How can I stay informed about the status of my application?
  18. Can my friend/relative call and find out my status for me?
  19. Can my materials be returned to me?
  20. Can I defer my admission?
  21. Whom can I contact if I have a specific question?
« CSE Graduate Admissions

Does my undergraduate degree have to be in computer science?

No. However, most successful applicants have a degree in computer science, engineering, physics, or mathematics. Your application should demonstrate that you have sufficient preparation to succeed in the required courses for the degree program.

Are there separate admission procedures for the Master's and Ph.D. programs?

No. There is only one admission process. You should indicate the program you are applying for on the application form. However, it is helpful to the Admissions Committee for interested Ph.D. applicants to indicate in their Statement of Purpose their willingness to be considered for the Master's program.

We consider each applicant for both the Master's and Ph.D. programs. If you are admitted to the Ph.D. program (and you do not already hold a relevant Master's degree from another school), you will receive a Master's degree while working towards the Ph.D. If you applied to the Ph.D. and are admitted to the Master's program, you will be able to re-apply for the Ph.D. track after your first year of Master's study.

What should I do if my recommender has not received my online invitation to recommend me?

This tends to be a problem with a recommender's email account set up. The emailed invitation is either blocked or automatically filtered into a junk mail folder. An applicant can check the status of their recommendations, resend a recommendation request, and even change a recommender if the recommendation is not yet started via an applicant's Personal Activity page. This page may be accessed under the Manage Your Account section of your online application homepage and by clicking on the Review Your Activity link. Once the application is submitted, the online application cannot be modified. Please refer to the application instructions for more details.

Is it possible for me to update my application after it has been submitted?

No, this is not possible. You should include all relevant information in your application before you submit it.

The only exceptions are new GRE and/or TOEFL scores. If you retake a test after you submit the application, but before a final decision is communicated to you, have the official score(s) reported to the University and submit your unofficial scores by email. Please include your full name and UMID#. However, due to the review timeline and the large number of applications, it is not guaranteed that new test scores will be included in an application before it is reviewed.

Do you accept transfer credit?

Please refer to the Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies for rules about transfer of credit into the Master's degree program. The Ph.D. program does not accept transfer credit.

Do you have part-time or evening programs?

All CSE graduate programs are intended for day-time students. Some Master's students choose a part-time schedule of one course per term.

Can you waive or defer the application fee?

Sorry, no. The application fee is determined by the graduate school. We're unable to waive or defer it.

What documents or standardized tests are necessary for applying?

We require GRE General Test scores and, for most international students, TOEFL scores. We also require official transcripts and three letters of recommendation. Please follow the application instructions carefully.

What is the institution code for the GRE and TOEFL?

The institution code for both the GRE and the TOEFL is 1839. The GRE Dept Code is 1201; the TOEFL Dept Code is 78.

Can the TOEFL be waived in certain cases for non-native English speakers?

Please refer to these Rackham guidelines.

Who should write my recommendation letters?

Your letter writers should be people with whom you have worked closely, and who are familiar with your academic work and research potential. We suggest that at least two of the recommendation letters be from academia.

I have been in the work force for several years. Should I ask my employer or supervisors to write letters in support of my application?

In a case like this, we suggest that you receive at least one letter from a faculty member who knew you well, and the other two from employers. When in doubt, remember that our admissions committee wants to know about your ability to do coursework and independent research. Character references do not carry much weight.

How do I apply for departmental financial aid?

Every admitted Ph.D. student who applied before the deadline will be considered for departmental assistantship support. Decisions on support are made after decisions on admission, and are based on the information supplied in the application for admission. Refer to the page on CSE Financial Aid for more information.

Can I apply to more than one Rackham graduate program?

All CSE applicants will be considered for both the Ph.D. and M.S. degree programs. To apply for a program other than CSE, you must complete a separate online application, pay a separate application fee, and submit separate copies of ALL required credentials, GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc. Please refer to the Rackham admissions page for instructions.

I applied to the CSE graduate program last year and was rejected. How can I reapply?

Unfortunately, you will need to complete a new online application, pay the application fee again, and submit new supporting documents.

When will I receive my decision notification?

The faculty make admission offers in March and April. You will be notified by letter or email as soon as decision has been reached.

Will I be notified if something is missing from my application?

If something is missing from your file that is necessary for our decision, we will contact you regarding the missing item.

How can I stay informed about the status of my application?

There is an on-line process for checking application status through the Rackham Graduate School. However, this will only indicate whether a decision has been made; it will not inform you of any missing documents. We urge you to submit all supporting documents online in order to get instant confirmation.

If something is missing from your file that is necessary for our decision, we will contact you regarding the missing item, and we will inform you as soon as an admission decision has been made. If you have serious concerns about the status of your application, please contact the CSE graduate program office at the email address at the bottom of this page. Please understand that we receive a huge volume of inquiries and may be unable to respond immediately. Thank you for your patience.

Can my friend/relative call and find out my status for me?

If you would like to give someone permission to contact us on your behalf, you must indicate this on your application before you submit it.

Can my materials be returned to me?

Sorry, no. We are unable to return or forward any submitted documents.

Can I defer my admission?

Deferral requests are reviewed and approved by the Admissions Committee. An admitted student may make a written request to defer admission for one year to csegrad@eecs.umich.edu. International students must submit financial aid documentation along with the deferral request. Please be aware that deferrals are for admission status only; departmental financial aid offers may not be deferred.

Whom can I contact if I have a specific question?

If you have a specific question that is not answered here, please contact the CSE graduate program office via email at csegrad@eecs.umich.edu.