The Application Evaluation Process
By the School of Computing Department
The department reviews graduate applications through sub-committees of faculty members who work in related research areas. Prospective students designate either a track or set of emphasis areas as part of their applications, and an application is assigned to the sub-committee whose faculty members work in the designated areas. In the case of applications for a Computer Science degree, the sub-committee may forward an application to another sub-committee if, say, the research statement sounds like a better fit for a different emphasis area than the one indicated. Your choosing a 2nd and 3rd option for research also helps for this purpose.
The sub-committee considers each application as a whole, including the applicant’s current and prior institutions, grades, test scores, purpose statement, reference letters, and whether the application is for the PhD or MS program. For a PhD application, reference letters are particularly influential, because professors value the opinion of other professors – particularly with respect to an applicant’s aptitude for research, as opposed to classwork. Furthermore, specific research experience stands out in an application, since past research experience is one of the surest indicators of an applicant’s potential to perform research in graduate school. Research experience is not a requirement for admission, but the review committee is looking for some indication of the applicant’s research potential, and a purpose statement and recommendation letters are considered in that light. For an MS application, research potential is less of a requirement. An application that shows significant research potential is apt to be treated more like a PhD application, including a much greater possibility for funding. Otherwise, for MS applications, reviewers primarily consider whether the applicant is likely to succeed in graduate-level classes. Sub-committee decisions are advisory to the director of graduate admissions, who is ultimately responsible for all admission decisions.
Applicants will receive the decisions about acceptance to our department in an e-mail. The Graduate Advisor will not be able to tell you about any results over the phone or in person.
Verifications by the Admissions Department
All supporting documents are verified, thus it’s important that names on these documents match your name in the application. It’s a good idea to put your full name: LAST name, FIRST name, plus your birth date, at the top of all supporting docs, and again, the name you write here should match your name on the online application.
Check Status of Application
Check your application status in the on-line application system. (AY)