CSE Graduate Application Checklist

Updated January 2019


The Fall 2019 Application is currently CLOSED. The application for Fall 2020 admission will open in September 2019.

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.

CURRENT 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.

1. Online Application: UCSD Graduate Division Online Application

  • Applicants should review the Applying to Graduate Admissions prior to submitting their application. 
  • The Fall 2019 application deadline is closed. Please check back in September 2019 for information about the Fall 2020 application.
  • **All application documents are submitted online to the Graduate Student Online Application at https://apply.grad.ucsd.edu (please do not mail documents to the department). 
  • If you would like to request a CSE department fee waiver, please fill out the Fee Waiver Application.
  • Application Status Checks: All applicants will receive a final decision via the online application by April. Applicants may check their online application for updates. Due to the high volume of inquiries, application status checks prior to April will not receive responses.

2. Official Transcripts

  • Transcripts should be uploaded online to the UCSD Online Graduate Application.
  • Review the Graduate Division transcript instructions carefully - Academic Records and Transcripts
  • 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 coursework. 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: 
    • 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.


3. Statement of Purpose

  • The statement of purpose must be submitted online 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. For additional guidelines, please refer to Statement of Purpose. 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.
  • NOTE: Requests to update the Statement of Purpose are not granted after submission. Please carefully double-check edits prior to official submission. 

4. Three Letters of Recommendation

  • Three letters of recommendation are required.
  • LORs are submitted via the online application only. For additional information about the procedures and policies for letters of recommendation, please review the UCSD Graduate Division guidelines at Procedures for Letters of Recommendation.
  • It is important that letters of recommendation be completed by individuals who are in a position to analyze your abilities and academic promise. References generally hold an academic position. Letters from research or project advisors are also acceptable, as well as LORs from a professional/industry referee. 


5. GRE Score Report

  • The General Test of the Graduate Record Examinations is required of ALL applicants.
  • The GRE score (self-reported) including test date, results, and registration #  must be entered in the online application by the application deadline.  An official ETS-reported score must be submitted for an applicant to be admitted into the graduate program. Applicants are advised to schedule their GRE test far enough in advance to meet the deadline.
  • Applicants should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code 4836.  When ordering your GRE score reports, use UCSD's institution code 4836, the department codes are not necessary. Information about the GRE is available from the Educational Testing Service  (ETS) website. Note: An official ETS-reported score must be submitted for an applicant to be admitted into the graduate program. 


6. 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. ***No other test of English may be used to substitute for TOEFL for the CSE Graduate Application.
  • The UCSD TOEFL Institution Code is 4836 The university minimum TOEFL score required for admission is 550 for the paper-and-pencil version, 213 for the computer-based test or 85 for the internet-based test (iBT).

  • For more information on the TOEFL, visit the TOEFL website . The Test of Spoken English (TSE) is not required. An official ETS-reported score must be submitted for an applicant to be admitted into the graduate program.


7. Resume/CV:

  • A resume or curriculum vitae should be uploaded to the online application under the Resume/CV section.
  • Requests to update Resumes and/or the Statement of Purpose are not granted after submission. Please carefully double-check edits prior to official submission.


Contact Information

If you still have questions for which you could not find an answer on our website, please email either one of the following:

PhD Admissions at csegradinfo-phd@eng.ucsd.edu

MS Admissions at csegradinfo-ms@eng.ucsd.edu