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Admissions Criteria

Program Admissions Criteria

Admission decisions will be based on 1) undergradute courses and GPA, 2) GRE scores, 3) TOEFL for international students, and 4) your statement of purpose and recommendation letters.  Those not meeting the minimum GPA, GRE or TOEFL should not apply.

Undergraduate Courses and Minimum GPA

Admission to the program requires an undergraduate degree including the courses as required for the Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at Cal State San Marcos, or their equivalents. Course descriptions may be obtained by referring the Computer Science section of CSUSM General Catalog. Admission also requires a minimum of 3.0 grade point average in the upperdivision Computer Science courses and at least a 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester units (or last 90 quarter units) attempted.

Students with non Computer Science undergraduate degrees, who demonstrate good academic standing but lack background in some of the following computer science courses, may be admitted with the condition that they have to make up the undergraduate deficiencies. For details, click the FAQ link.

  • CS 311 (Data Structures; after CS111&211),
  • CS 331 (Architecture),
  • CS 351 (Programming Language),
  • Physics 301 (Digital Circuits), and
  • Math 270/370 (Discrete Math)
  • CS 421 (Theory)
  • CS 433 (Operating System)
  • CS 441 (Software Engineering)

GRE Minimum Scores:

The general test is required. Our institution code for GRE - 4155. Our Dept. code for GRE - 0402.

All students must submit general GRE scores when applying to the CS master's program. There are no exceptions. Minimum GRE required:

  • Verbal 350 (old) or 143 (new)   
  • Quantitative 700 (old) or 155 (new)
  • Analytical Writing 3.5 (Students with 3.0 Analytical Writing but satisfy other admission criteria may be admitted with the condition that they satisfy the GWAR requirement within the first year of their study. )

International Students:

All applicants must have a TOEFL score of 80 iBT or above (213 on the computer-based examination, 550 paper-based), or an IELTS score of 6.0, unless they possess a bachelors degree from a post-secondary institution where English was the principal language of instruction. Conditional admission via ALCI is available to students who do not meet this TOEFL requirement but otherwise are qualified (in terms of GPA, courses taken, and GRE) for our program.  International students have additional requirements in terms of the number of courses they must take per semester.  Please note that those who must first take pre-requisite courses may not be able to maintain the required load.