Admissions Requirements

Program Requirements

Previous Degrees:   Qualified applicants with bachelor’s or comparable non-U.S. degrees in computing are eligible for admission to the CS Graduate Program. Students with other than computing degrees in engineering or natural science but with a strong emphasis on computing will be considered. Normally, students are not admitted to the CS graduate program unless they have previously taken basic computer science courses equivalent to CS 2201 (Program Design and Data Structures), 2231 (Computer Organization), 3250 (Algorithms), 3270 (Programming Languages), and 3281 (Operating Systems). Any deficiencies become required courses. CS 2201 and 2231 do not carry graduate credit, and thus would have to be taken in addition to the requirements listed below if equivalent courses were not taken previously. Admission is competitive and students are selected on the basis of their scholastic preparation and intellectual capacity. Research experience is highly recommended. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required for admission.

TOEFL/IELTS:  Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received a degree at a university in an English-speaking country must submit official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS.

Evaluation criteria: The applications are reviewed by the CS Graduate Admissions Committee. In addition, CS faculty review applications related to their respective research areas. The criteria used in evaluation for admission and financial award include:

  • Academic performance in previous degrees
  • Previous research experience
  • TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores, if applicable
  • Relevant background (typically document in the applicant’s CV)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • The applicant’s statement of purpose

Information regarding the elements of the application and the submission process is available at

Accelerated BS/MS Admission Requirements

Vanderbilt undergraduate students satisfying the following requirements:

  • at least 86 credit hours by the end of the sophomore year, and
  • at least 3.5 GPA

are eligible to apply to the accelerated BS/MS program in the second semester of the sophomore year. These requirements are strict; no exceptions can be granted.

The application process starts by meeting with the student's advisor. The advisor in turn sends his or her recommendation via email to Associate Dean, Cynthia B. Paschal, Senior Associate Dean, E. Duco Jansen, and MS Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), Abhishek Dubey. The student then needs to schedule a meeting with Dean Paschal by calling (615) 343-3773. If the Dean supports the application, the student needs to meet with the DGS. The final meeting is with Dean Jansen. After receiving his approval, the student is automatically enrolled as a graduate student and is able to register for graduate classes starting in the junior year.