Graduate Admissions

Students who wish to perform graduate studies in Computer Science must satisfy different conditions depending on their degree program. This includes coursework, examination, and English proficiency requirements. Requirements specific to CSE are detailed herein; for general requirement at the University level, please refer to the Catalog.

Coursework Requirements for Computer Science Degrees

A student who wishes to study Graduate Computer Science (MS or Ph.D.) must have the ability to develop and analyze software for their study. Understanding the interface between computer hardware and software is required as is some mathematical fluency:

  • Two semesters programming with some OO
  • Data Structures
  • Operating Systems Fundamentals
  • Basic Computing Theory
  • Mathematics for Computer Science

At Mississippi State University, these requirements map onto the following courses:

  • CSE 2383: Data Structures
  • CSE 4733: Operating Systems I
  • CSE 3813: Introduction to Formal Languages & Automata or CSE 4833: Introduction to Algorithms
  • MA 1723: Cal II, MA 3113: Linear Algebra, or CSE 2813: Discrete Structures

This coursework must be completed before admission to a degree program. For students admitted without some of these courses or on contingency, these must be completed in a timely manner with a minimum B grade in order to proceed in the program. This coursework cannot count on the Program of Study if taken at the undergraduate level; pre-requisite coursework taken at the graduate level may count depending on the student's program as determined by their guiding committee.

Coursework Requirements for Cyber Security & Operations Degrees

A student who wishes to study Cyber Security and Operations must have knowledge of the low level interface between hardware and software, and the core of protocols that underline communications from the Internet to mobile devices. In addition, some knowledge of programing and algorithms is required to use and write tools to interface with hardware, software, and networks.

  • C/C++ Programming
  • Data Structures
  • Computer Architecture and Microprocessors
  • Data Communication and Networking
  • Operating Systems Fundamentals
  • Algorithms, Automata Theory, or Mathematics for Cryptography

At Mississippi State University, these requirements map onto the following courses:

  • CSE 2383: Data Structures
  • CSE 3723: Computer Organization or ECE 3724: Microprocessors
  • CSE 4153: Data Communications & Computer Networks
  • CSE 4733: Operating Systems I
  • CSE 3813: Introduction to Formal Languages & Automata, CSE 4833: Introduction to Algorithms, or MA 6173: Number Theory

This coursework must be completed before admission to a degree program. For students admitted without some of these courses or on contingency, these must be completed in a timely manner with a minimum B grade in order to proceed in the program. This coursework cannot count on the Program of Study if taken at the undergraduate level; pre-requisite coursework taken at the graduate level may count depending on the student's program as determined by their guiding committee.

Other Requirements

M.S. CS and CYSO applicants are required to have a 3.0/4.0 GPA in overall undergraduate work  before admission. International students require a suitable demonstration of English proficiency.

An entering Ph.D. student with an M.S. degree should have a 3.5/4.0 grade point average in M.S. work, while a Ph.D. student entering with only a B.S. degree is expected to have a 3.5/4.0 grade point average on overall undergraduate work. A student with a lower GPA may still be eligible for admission based on outstanding qualifications in other areas. International students require a suitable demonstration of English proficiency.  Online PhD students must identify a research topic and identify a major professor; these must be identified in their statement of purpose (a limited list of topics and professors is allowed). Finally, a student must possess those qualifications and research interests that indicate to the Computer Science and Engineering Graduate Studies Committee that the applicant will be successful in the computer science doctoral program.

The GRE is not required of any graduate program at MSState; however, it is useful for consideration, especially with respect to potential assistantships.

Application Procedure & Review

The Graduate School's Admission Portal is the first stop in applying for a graduate degree in Computer Science. It is there that the student's transcripts, exam scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation are submitted. The primary deadlines for admission in all program is February 1 for Fall intake and October 1 for Spring intake.

Review of students begins after the primary deadlines and after all materials are received. Reviews are batched in two week periods; responses usually take a month after materials arrive. Applications whose completed material arrives significantly after the deadline or during Break will generally be delayed.

Financial Aid

Assistantship, whether a Teaching or Research assistantship or some other support, is a separate process from admissions. Details on the CSE process can be found here. Note that funding is not guaranteed for any program.