The Application Evaluation Process

First - Evaluations by the Kahlert School of Computing

Application evaluations begin after the December 15th deadline.

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.

The Kahlert School of Computing send out all admissions decisions by mid-March and the beginning of April. Applicants will receive the decisions about acceptance to our department via e-mail. The Kahlert School of Computing only sends out admissions offer letters. These are not considered official acceptance letters.

Students who receive an offer to be admitted will need to inform the Kahlert School of Computing’s graduate advisors about their acceptance or decline response between April 15-30th.

The Graduate Advisors will not be able to share any results over the phone or in person. The Kahlert School of Computing does not provide feedback to students who receive a rejection letter. 

Second - Evaluations by the Office of Admissions (University of Utah)

Evaluations began after the student accepts the Kahlert School of Computing’s offer.

During the Office of Admissions’ evaluation, they will verify that all your supporting documents are processed. They will contact you (the applicant) directly if they need additional materials for their verification. 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.

The Office of Admissions evaluates all applicants that accept the Kahlert School of Computing’s offer to ensure students have met the Graduate School & University-wide requirements. Once this evaluation is complete, the Office of Admissions will contact the student directly with their official acceptance letter and their student UNID.

It is our understanding that I-20’s will only be issued once official acceptance letter has been issued by the Office of Admissions. You will want to verify that will the International Admissions Office (

Online Application Status

You will want to check the Application Dashboard to check the status of all your supporting documents in your application. The Kahlert School of Computing does not receive or process any supporting documents/test scores so we cannot verify their status in your application.

There are three common application status for you to recognize.

  1. “Waiting for Department Referral” when you have submitted your application and the Kahlert School of Computing’s graduate admissions committee has not finished evaluating your application.
  2. “Review in Process” when you have accepted the Kahlert School of Computing’s admissions offer and the Office of Admissions is currently evaluating your application.
  3. “Admitted” once the Office of Admissions has completed your evaluation and sent that decision to you directly via email.