APPLYING TO THE MS PROGRAM
All applications to the M.S. program are handled through the Cal State Apply web site. Details on application deadlines and instructions for submitting the application can be found at https://www.calpoly.edu/admissions/graduate-student/how-to-apply . The graduate admissions office receives all transcripts, standardized exam scores, etc for campus. Do not send and of those items to the department or graduate coordinator. They can not accept them. Questions regarding the application process should be sent to the graduate admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org . Questions about the M.S. program itself should be sent to the graduate coordinator.
You are required to provide a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation as part of your application (in addition to scores, transcripts, and personal data). The Graduate Committee is currently not considering GRE scores as part of the application process. You do not need to take the exam to apply and you do not need to submit your scores if you have already taken the exam. There is an “other documents” section in the Cal State Apply system. That section is unused by the CSSE program.
One big factor in evaluating your application is making sure there is a good match for your thesis – as that is a big part of the program. A well-written statement of purpose can have a big impact on your application. Things that make a difference in your statement of purpose are:
- Follow the career service’s guidance on writing statements (here)
- Express clarity around your interests in computing in terms of field (or even research project) reflected in your statement of purpose
When selecting people to write letters of recommendation pick individuals who are in a good position to evaluate your ability to be successful in a Computer Science graduate program. Some recommenders, for instance band directors, can provide character references but not evaluate your Computer Science aptitude. Try to avoid such recommenders where possible.
It takes between six and eight weeks beyond the due date to complete the entire application review process. This is sometimes shorter if the number of applications is small. This means that applications submitted for a January 2nd deadline can expect a response sometime around the end of February. Submitting an application early does not result in an earlier decision. All applications are reviewed together once the deadline has passed. The decision notifications will come from the graduate admissions office. The graduate coordinator is not authorized to communicate decisions directly to applicants.