Joining our Graduate Program
The School of Computer Science has offered graduate education for fifty years. Today it is one of the highest ranked and highest impact graduate research programs in the nation. According to the 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best graduate schools, the UMass Amherst graduate program in computer science ranked 20th, while its artificial intelligence specialty ranked 8th and systems specialty ranked 18th.
The graduate student body consists of more than 200 graduate students from many different backgrounds and all parts of the globe. As a group they are characterized by a spirit of cooperation and camaraderie that contributes significantly to the School.
Once students enter graduate studies, the school aims to see that they not only successfully complete a comprehensive academic program but also prepare themselves well for their future careers. Students are involved in research programs from the beginning of their graduate careers. Upon graduation, our students have consistently found positions in some of the best academic and industrial settings.
The Computer Science graduate program has three tracks: PhD, MS/PhD, and MS. The two PhD tracks have been the main focus of graduate studies in our school: they focus on research toward a PhD as well as a broad background in the field. The MS track serves students interested in expanding their undergraduate education in Computer Science, either in preparation for a job where a Masters degree is important, or as a first step toward a PhD here or elsewhere.
How do you decide which track is the right one for you?
Admission is very competitive: a typical graduate class numbers 20-30 PhD or MS/PhD students and 40-50 MS students selected from around 750 domestic and international applicants. Backgrounds vary: we have students from engineering, math, computer science, electrical engineering, psychology and social sciences. With such a diverse group, emphasis is placed on letters of recommendation, the personal statement, GPA and GRE scores.
These pages are provided to help answer the questions that prospective graduate students often ask about our School, graduate programs of study, and the graduate admissions process. Applicants are also encouraged to learn more about our Faculty and Research, and the many benefits of living in the Amherst Area.