For additional information please contact:
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Computer Science
2063 Kemper Hall
Phone: (530) 752-7224
Fax: (530) 752-4767
Our primary goal in selecting students for our graduate program is to find individuals who have demonstrated academic achievement (average undergraduate GPA of those admitted is 3.60), a solid academic background in computer science (completion of an undergraduate program comparable to the undergraduate program at UC Davis) and the potential to tackle the complex thinking and writing that graduate study requires. We evaluate this by looking at specific coursework in computer science and we also use your statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.
The average scores for the Revised GRE (2011 onwards) for those admitted are:
|Test||Average Score||Average %||% Median||% Mode|
The averages for the General GRE (pre-2011) for those admitted were:
|Test||Average Score||Average %||Median||Mode|
Admission to the Graduate Group in Computer Science is highly competitive. On average, we receive over 1,000 applications for admission and generally admit the top 10%.
The GGCS admissions committee is primarily looking for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in computer science. However, we know that a student with an undergraduate major in a related field (electrical engineering, mathematics, physics, etc.) may have the ability to do well in our program. In addition, in the past truly exceptional students with a background in a field not related to computer science have been admitted to our program. The latter students have demonstrated their academic potential through their undergraduate experience, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. The likelihood of admission to the program in any year depends on the applicant pool. In recent years, the applicant pool has become increasingly competitive. Very few students without a solid academic background in computer science are currently able to put forth a competitive application. At the very minimum, students without a degree in computer science must complete the courses listed in Appendix A of the Graduate Degree Requirements, though completion of this list of courses is rarely sufficient to gain admission.
All applications must be submitted online and all transcripts must be received by January 15th. Applications received after January 15th may not be considered and the application fee will not be refunded. We do not mail paper applications and we also do not accept paper applications.
All applications must include the following materials in order to be considered complete. An application will not be reviewed until it is complete.
All applications must be submitted online and all transcripts received by January 15th. Applications received after January 15th may not be considered and the application fee will not be refunded.
The application opens every September for the following academic year. Check the Office of Graduate Studies’ Admissions & Application page for more information.
The supporting materials that are required for the graduate application are:
You will receive a confirmation email once your application is complete.
No, we do not process any application until we have received an application fee.
Once a completed application and all supporting materials (transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, TOEFL (when required) and the application fee have been received, the application will be submitted to the our admissions committee. Based on a review of application materials, a recommendation is made to accept or decline an applicant’s request for admission. That recommendation is forwarded to the Dean of Graduate Studies for verification of admission requirements. Notification of admissions decisions will be communicated in writing by Graduate Studies. Neither Graduate Studies, or the CS graduate program will respond to telephone or email inquiries for admissions decisions.
The admissions committee does not begin reviewing applications until late January. Generally, most applications submitted by the January 15th deadline will be reviewed prior to mid-February, though some applications are held for later consideration. Most decisions are communicated by early spring.
You can check the status of your admissions application by logging back into the webpage where you originally applied. The Office of Graduate Studies reports decisions after they have been communicated by the department.
Our primary goal in selecting students for our graduate program is to find individuals who have demonstrated academic achievement, a solid academic background in computer science (completion of an undergraduate program comparable to the undergraduate program at UC Davis) and the potential to tackle the complex thinking and writing that graduate study requires. However, we also welcome outstanding students from a variety of backgrounds as long as they have a good grounding in computer science.
We evaluate this by looking at specific coursework in computer science and we also use your statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.
The GGCS admissions committee is primarily looking for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in computer science. However, students with a related major (electrical engineering, mathematics, physics, etc.) may have the ability to do well in our program. In addition, truly exceptional students with a background in a field not related to computer science have been admitted to our program. These students demonstrated their academic potential through their undergraduate experience, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. The likelihood of admission to the program in any year depends on the applicant pool. In recent years, the applicant pool has become increasingly competitive. Very few students without a solid academic background in computer science are currently able to put forth a competitive application. At the very minimum, students without a degree in computer science must complete the courses listed in Appendix A of the Graduate Degree Requirements, though completion of this list of courses is rarely sufficient to gain admission.
While work experience will augment your application materials, the application review is concerned mostly with your academic qualifications, and your preparation to succeed in a rigorous, theoretical, research-based, academic program.
Because the applicant pool varies from year to year, we are unable to do this. The answers to some of the following FAQs will help you determine if you meet the requirements for admission. In general, if your undergraduate record is excellent and your GRE scores are high (90th percentile and above for all tests) we would encourage you to apply. (See information above for admission statistics). Please remember that in a large and competitive applicant pool, some applicants who meet all requirements will not be offered admission.
The GGCS requires that students demonstrate a high level of proficiency in five key areas: Theory, Computer Architecture, Programming Languages, Operating Systems and Mathematics. For specific UC Davis courses that fulfill these requirements, see Appendix A of the graduate degree requirements.
All students accepted into the GGCS are screened for fulfillment of undergraduate proficiencies. Very few applicants are admitted prior to completion of the majority of these courses.
Students who are prepared through professional experience may take a graduate level course (see Appendix B of the Graduate Degree requirements) to fulfill both the undergraduate proficiency and satisfy a graduate course requirement. Approval to do this is made after consultation with the faculty graduate adviser. In general, industry experience does not replace academic preparation.
Admission to the Graduate Group in Computer Science is highly competitive. We review more than 600 applications every year and admit only the top 15 percentile. Financial assistance for graduate study comes in the form of fellowships, Teaching Assistantships (TA’s) and Graduate Student Research (GSR) positions. Approximately 70% of those PhD’s who chose to attend have a guarantee of support for at least a year. MS students generally do not receive an offer of support.
The GRE revised general test is required for all applicants.
The Computer Science subject test is strongly recommended, but not required. A strong computer science subject test score can enhance an applicant’s chance for admission.
Yes, scores from the GRE taken before August 2011 are still being considered. However, the department will not consider scores taken more than five years ago.
No. The department requires scores from the GRE taken within the past five years. Scores that are older than five years will not be considered.
The department can review an applicant’s file based on photocopies of the examinee’s score report sent to you by ETS. However we must receive original scores before an admission decision can be communicated to you.
All domestic applicants must file a FAFSA. This application is essential in order to qualify for many types of financial assistance including any departmental or campus fellowship. The application can be filled out online at the FAFSA website. This application is necessary to qualify for many types of financial assistance including most departmental awards.
Information about student loans and Cal Grants can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.
We also encourage all applicants to file an application for fellowships prior to the January 15th deadline. This application is necessary to qualify for non-resident tuition waivers and other departmental fellowships.
The standard form of Ph.D. graduate student support is a 50% TA position for the first three quarters and either a 50% TA or 45% GSR position for the remainder of a student’s academic career. The amount and type of aid that the department can offer varies from year to year depending on the number of TA and GSR positions that are available, the fellowships that the department is authorized to award, and the number of students requesting financial assistance. It has become increasingly difficult to provide funding for M.S. students.
In addition, there are also fellowships. We strongly encourage all qualified applicants to apply for external fellowships offered by both government and private agencies. Recipients of fellowships such as NSF, NPSC, and DOE fellowships are highly regarded as applicants. However, the deadline for some of the most prestigious and highly competitive fellowships is generally the first week in November, so an early start on the application process is essential.
A complete list of external fellowships and their respective deadlines can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies’ website.
UC Davis Budget & Institutional Analysis offers estimated expenses for students on their website.
Many graduate students serve in one of these two positions for all or most of their graduate student career. These positions offer professional development, research opportunities and significant financial rewards. In addition to a monthly salary, these positions provide a full or partial fee waiver.
We currently offer most qualified graduate students a TA position during the first year of study. Students entering with a strong background in computer science may be offered a GSR position if there is a good match between a research program and a student’s background.
The rapid increase in Ph.D. enrollments in the past two years has significantly decreased the likelihood of TA or GSR funding for M.S. students.
When you submit your application the department automatically considers all qualified full-time program applicants as candidates for TA positions. As applications are reviewed we compile a list of potential TA’s and send offers to applicants that we are certain we will have a position for and give a deadline to make a decision to accept or decline our offer. Sometimes these awards are made in “rounds” with the most highly qualified students given the first offers.
Students at the University of California, who are not California residents, are required to pay non-resident tuition. Each year we have a limited number of non-resident tuition fellowships (NRTFs) to award. In order to be a competitive candidate for this type of fellowship, all your application materials MUST be filed no later than January 15. Domestic applicants must file a FAFSA to be awarded a NRTF.
Domestic students (US citizens and permanent residents) are usually eligible for California residency after one year if certain requirements are met. After residency is established, a student no longer pays non-resident tuition. All students, regardless of residency status, pay educational fees. All questions regarding California residency must be directed to the Residency Deputy in the Office of the Registrar. For more information, see the General Catalog’s page on residency.
Certain non-resident students may qualify for in-state fees and a waiver of non-resident tuition if they attended at least three years and graduated from a California high school.
International students on F-1 or J-1 visas cannot establish California residency and therefore are assessed non-resident tuition the entire time they are a graduate student. Some students on H-1B visas may qualify for California residency after 12 months, but full time student status may violate visa provisions. All visa questions should be referred to Services for International Students and Scholars.
We strongly believe one of our best recruiting tools is a visit to our campus, so we welcome visitors! The Graduate Group in Computer Science holds a graduate recruitment event in early March of each year for admitted Ph.D. applicants. The Department of Computer Science invites qualified applicants who have been recommended for admission to spend a day meeting faculty and current graduate students, touring the research facilities and familiarizing themselves with the Davis community. The department reimburses some students for a portion of their travel expense. Information about this event is sent to invited students during mid-February.
If you cannot join us for our applicant visit event, we encourage you to contact us regarding a visit to UC Davis at another time. We try to arrange appointments with representative faculty and a tour of our research facilities for each interested candidate. In addition, we attempt to arrange some time for applicants to meet with current graduate students.
In late June, the Office of the Registrar mails registration materials to each domestic student who has indicated their intent to register. International students receive registration materials when they arrive on campus. While most new graduate students will enroll in the graduate core courses offered in their first quarter, course selection should be made with consideration of the undergraduate proficiencies that must be fulfilled. For specific advice on your program of study for your first year, contact your Research Advisor.
For more information on the housing market in Davis, see UC Davis Student Housing’s website.
Send all questions to the Graduate Program Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). From there, questions will be routed to someone who can adequately answer your query.
Most leases in Davis begin the first of September, but the academic quarter does not begin until late September. It is strongly recommended that you arrive in Davis well before the Week of Orientation and Welcome. You will need time to settle in to your new home, find a bicycle, figure out where things are, and, if applicable, spend some time preparing for your TA duties before classes begin.