Resources for prospective graduate students
Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in Computer Science at Rensselaer. We have one of the strongest computer science programs in the nation, and are actively looking for graduate students with a solid undergraduate record and a strong potential for research. Below you will find answers to many of the questions frequently asked by applicants to our program.
What is the application deadline?
In order to give you full consideration for financial aid, we need to receive all your materials by January 1 for fall admission or August 15 for spring admission. We will not look at your application until we have received all required documents. After the deadline, we will look at your application whenever we receive all required documents, but the later it is, the less likely it is that there will be aid available and that we can get the decision to you in time for you to make arrangements to enroll.
How do I apply for financial aid?
I do not have a Master's degree. May I apply directly to the PhD program, or do I have to apply to the MS program, and then apply to the PhD after completing the MS?
I have a 3-year bachelor's degree. Am I eligible to apply for your graduate program?
I am interested in a Master's degree. Should I apply to the Computer Science Department or the Information Technology Department?
What are the chances I'll be admitted?
What type of academic background is required for admission?
Overall, we look for a strong academic record. An undergraduate major in Computer Science is not required for admission, but some background in Computer Science is needed. At a minimum, applicants should have taken the equivalent of the Rensselaer course CSCI 2300 Introduction to Algorithms and be able to demonstrate competence at the advanced undergraduate level in the core areas of Computer Science – Algorithms (Design and Analysis of Algorithms), Systems (Operating Systems), and Software/Programming (Programming Languages). You should also have some math background, including courses in Calculus, Discrete Structures, and Liner Algebra. An academic background in Computer Science in more important than professional experience in the field.
What are the GRE requirements for admission?
Required for all MS and PhD applications (not required for current RPI undergraduates). For more information: https://admissions.rpi.edu/graduate/masters-and-phd-applicants
What are the TOEFL requirements for admission?
What are the chances I'll be granted financial aid?
Do you offer financial aid in the spring semester? Do you offer financial aid to international applicants? Do you offer aid to MS students?
May I apply to start in summer?
The Computer Science department does not accept applications for Summer terms, only Fall and Spring terms.
Can my recommenders submit hard copy letters?
Via your online application, your recommenders will be sent a link where they will upload directly to your application.
Will you accept a photocopy of my test scores or transcripts?
Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded to your graduate application. If you prefer to send your transcripts via postal or electronic mail, please note that they will not be returned to you. The minimum requirement for admission consideration is the completion and award of a four year U.S. bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, by the time of planned enrollment.
Will you waive the application fee?
My school does not compute rank/GPA. Is that okay?
Yes, just submit your transcript.