CSE Graduate Application Checklist

Updated September 2021

The application is open for Fall 2022 admission! The application will close on December 15, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST.

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 advisor 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 Application for Graduate Admission

  • Applicants should review the Graduate Division's Applying to Graduate Admissions website prior to submitting their application. 
  • The application for admission in Fall 2022 will open on September 8 and close on December 15, 2021. 
  • **All application documents are submitted online to the UCSD Application for Graduate Admission at https://connect.grad.ucsd.edu/apply/ (please do not mail documents to the department). 
  • A limited number of fee waivers are available for students who have demonstrated significant contributions to diversity in Computer Science. If you would like to request a CSE department fee waiver, please fill out the Fee Waiver Application by November 15, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST.
  • 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, emails requesting application status updates will not receive responses.

2. Transcripts

  • Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded online to the UCSD Application for Graduate Admission. This is all that is required for the application process.
  • 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 (3) letters of recommendation are required. Additional letters may be submitted, however, you must submit a minimum of three (3) letters.
  • 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

  • We understand that many of our applicants may face difficulty scheduling GRE tests due to complications with COVID-19. Because of this, the GRE will NOT be required for CSE PhD or Master's applications for Fall 2022 admission. Applicants may still submit valid scores if they have already taken the test.
  • Applicants with valid test scores should request that ETS submit the scores directly to the UCSD institution code 4836; the department codes are not necessary. Information about the GRE is available from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website. 

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 TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition will be accepted for admission at both the Master's and PhD levels. However, the TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution cannot be used to substitute for a standard TOEFL iBT test.
  • 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. An official ETS-reported score must be submitted for an applicant to be admitted into the graduate program. The Test of Spoken English (TSE) is not required. 

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

The University of California, San Diego does not discriminate on the basis of race, color,  national origin, religion, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation in any of its policies,  procedures, or practices, including but not limited to academic admission, financial aid, educational services, and student employment.