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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Computer Science Admissions 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: Submission of scores on the General Test of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required as part of the application to the Graduate School.

English Language Proficiency:  Proficiency in written and oral English is required for enrollment. Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English are required to submit the results of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test scores with the application, unless they have earned a degree from an American or English-speaking institution. International students transferring from unfinished degree programs of other universities in the United States should present TOEFL or IELTS scores.

The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL PBT (paper-based test) is 570, and for the TOEFL iBT (internet-based test), 88.For IELTS, 6.5 is the minimum acceptable overall bandscore.

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
  • GRE scores, and if applicable TOEFL scores
  • 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 www.vanderbilt.edu/gradschool