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CSE Graduate Application Checklist

Updated July 1, 2015

We hope that those applying to our MS and PhD programs will find this checklist helpful.  

Current graduate UCSD students who wish to transfer from their current graduate program to a different program (e.g., MS to PhD) should contact their student affairs staff adviser for more information on that process.  Current UCSD CSE undergraduate majors who wish to pursue a CSE masters should consider the Bachelors/Masters program.

Below is a list of the required materials that must be submitted as part of the graduate application to the MS or the PhD program. Failure to submit these items will result in an incomplete application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The deadline for receipt of supporting documents is December 15, 2016.  

**All application documents are submitted online to the Graduate Student Online Application at

Because of the high volume of inquiries, application status checks will not receive responses. Similarly, please note that after submitting your application, requests to update any part of your application will not be granted. See also Applying to Graduate Admission.

  • Online Application: UCSD Graduate Division online application
  • Official Transcripts
    • Transcripts should be uploaded on-line to the UCSD Online Graduate application ( Please do not mail any documents to the department. If offered admission, students will mail the official transcripts to the Graduate Division.
    • If a student is offered admission to the program: Official transcripts of record from each university-level institution attended must be provided. A summary of credit transferred from an institution previously attended and recorded on the transcript issued by the school granting the degree will not suffice. Applicants should request that official transcripts of all previous academic work, including certification of degrees received or documentation of status upon leaving each institution, be mailed to the Graduate Division. Only official records bearing the signature of the registrar and the seal of the issuing institution will be accepted.
    • Applicants who attended any campus of the University of California, including UCSD, must provide official transcripts of the UC course work. Transcripts from UCSD may be ordered by an applicant from the Office of the Registrar. There is no charge for UCSD transcripts of record sent to departments in support of an application for graduate study.
    • International applicants: At the time of application, please upload all transcript documents to the online application. Please do not mail any documents to the department. If offered admission, students will mail the official transcripts to the Graduate Division.
      • If a student is offered admission to the program: True copies, facsimiles, or photostatic copies of foreign academic records will be accepted if, after the copies have been made, they have been personally signed and stamped by an educational official who certifies that they are exact copies of the original document. Properly certified and signed copies should be sent instead of irreplaceable original documents. Academic records must be in the language of the institution and should be accompanied by an official English translation. Foreign academic records must show all courses attended each year, examinations passed, seminars completed, and grades or marks received at all institutions where formal records are maintained.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • The statement of purpose must be submitted on-line through the UCSD Application for Graduate Admission (
    • An applicant's statement of purpose is very important and is given careful consideration in the selection process. There is no specific word limit, but be concise and specific in preparing your statement, giving information that demonstrates your level of preparation and potential for success in graduate school. Applicants should address past accomplishments within the realm of computer science and engineering, why they are qualified for the program, and goals they wish to pursue while in graduate school.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Three letters of recommendation are required.
    • It is important that letters of recommendation be completed by individuals who are in a position to analyze your abilities and academic promise. Our preference is that the referee hold an academic position, but we certainly understand that many of our applicants have been out of school for a number of years, and a letter from a professional referee is acceptable.
    • It is preferred that letters of recommendation are submitted online.
    • For additional information about the procedures and policies for letters of recommendation, please review the UCSD Graduate Division guidelines at Procedures for Letters of Recommendations
  • GRE Score Report
    • The General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations is required of all applicants. The computer science Subject Test is recommended, but not required.  Other optional relevant subject tests are math or one of the physical or natural sciences.  A high score on a subject GRE exam is a positive mark in an applicant's favor, particularly when an applicant does not have a bachelor's degree in computer science or in a closely related field. However, there is no penalty for not taking a subject GRE exam.
    • Applicants should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code R4836.
    • The GRE score results, test date, and registration #  must be entered in the online application by the application deadline.  Applicants are advised to schedule their GRE test far enough in advance to meet the deadline.
  • TOEFL Score Report (international applicants only)
    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time at a university-level institution in an English-speaking country for one uninterrupted academic year.
    • Applicants should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code R4836.
  • Resume/CV:
    • A resume or curriculum vita should be uploaded to the online application under the Resume/CV section.
    • Please do NOT mail documents to the department.