Can I visit the department and meet the faculty?
The Volgenau School of Engineering hosts several Open Houses and Information Sessions for Prospective Graduate Students throughout the academic year. At these events you can meet administrative staff who can answer your questions regarding the admissions process and our graduate degrees. Faculty from the CS department are also available at several of these events. For more details, see the VSE Graduate Admissions web page.
My previous degree is not in Computer Science but I have taken several CS courses. What are my chances of being admitted?
All our MS programs will admit students with diverse academic backgrounds. Students with academic backgrounds in fields other than CS are typically admitted provisionally pending completion of foundation courses in mathematics and computer science. In particular, graduates of the M.S. in Software Engineering and the M.S. in Information Systems include not only students with academic backgrounds in Computer Science, general science and engineering, but also students with undergraduate degrees in the liberal arts and business.
I am an undergraduate student at Mason or Mason alum. Is there an expedited path for admission to the MS programs offered by the CS department?
Yes! In addition to the accelerated BS/MS programs available to BS-ACS and BS-CS and BS-IT undergraduates at Mason, Volgenau School of Engineering alums who graduated with a 3.0 or better overall GPA in one of our Bachelor of Science degree programs and current undergraduates within one semester of graduation with a 3.0 or better GPA can take advantage of our Fast-Track Graduate Admission process which requires fewer supplementary admission materials.
Do you offer Financial Aid for MS students?
While most of our GTA positions go to PhD students, a few are held by MS students. We seek students who have demonstrated a thorough knowledge of our curriculum. The most frequently successful way to do this is by outstanding performance in the core courses of the MS program. In addition, a variable number of Research Assistantships are available each year through faculty member’s research grants.
Do all applicants need to take the GRE?
International students must submit an official GRE General test score report. The GRE is waived for applicants with a US Bachelor's degree or higher.
Do you accept unofficial copies of GRE and/or TOEFL scores?
No. Note that delays in submitting official GRE and/or TOEFL scores will delay the processing of your application.
Do you accept unofficial transcripts of prior academic work?
Yes. We will evaluate your application using unofficial transcripts. However, upon admission, you will need to provide official transcripts before you can enroll in the program.
I received a letter saying I was admitted provisionally to an MS program and need to take some courses in my first semester. Will the courses count towards the MS degree?
It depends on the courses you have been asked to take. Some courses such as CS 530 and CS 531 will count towards a MS degree, but others such as INFS 501, INFS 515, INFS 519, and SWE 510 do not. Note that these courses teach undergraduate CS material, but are listed at the graduate level for the convenience of our provisional MS students
Do I really need to take the courses listed in my provisional admission letter? I already have taken equivalent course work at the undergraduate level
Yes, you need to take the courses listed in your letter of admission and pass the courses with a B or better grade. If you believe the admissions committee has overlooked courses you may have taken as undergraduate, you can appeal the foundation course requirement. See this page for more details.
If you believe you already know the material that is covered in these classes, you can test out by taking exams corresponding to various foundation courses. The test out exams are administered in the week before the beginning of the semester.