Our Graduate Program

Our graduate program offers a Master of Science and a PhD in Computer Science. The research interests of our students, and faculty, span a broad cross-section of computer science ranging from bioinformatics, cloud computing, computer architecture, computational science and engineering, database and information systems, foundations and algorithms, intelligent and interactive systems, networks and wireless networks, operating systems and distributed systems, programming languages, quantum computing, software engineering and security. We continue to attract top-quality students from all over the world.

Female grad students


In addition to fulfilling the Graduate Division requirements for admission found in the UCSB General Catalog (see the chapter "Graduate Education at UCSB"), the Department of Computer Science requires a bachelor's degree in some discipline of science, engineering, or mathematics.

Applicants must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate study. PLEASE NOTE: The UCSB Computer Science department will not require the GRE requirement for Fall 2023 applicants. Because the GRE is not a requirement, this means we are prohibited from reviewing test scores for all applicants. Please do not attempt to upload GRE scores to your application as they will not be reviewed. Further information is listed at the Graduate Division Exams FAQ page

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Exemptions are only considered for students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution whose verified sole/only official language of instruction is English. Applicants must upload a copy of official transcripts to their application and the transcript must indicate both of the following: (1) the expected or actual completion of the degree program and (2) that English is the official and sole/only language of instruction at the institution. 

The department's minimum TOEFL score for consideration is 600 on the paper-based test and 100 on the Internet-based test. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is accepted as an alternative to the TOEFL. A minimum overall band score of 7.0 is required on the IELTS.

All fall application materials must be received by December 15.

Prospective Students

Prospective applicants should apply on-line through the Graduate Division.

Additional PhD Admissions Information

Students may apply directly to the PhD program without a Master's degree. However, a solid background in computer science or one or more fields of science and engineering is expected. Applicants to the PhD program generally have a grade-point average of at least 3.5 in their undergraduate study. Students entering this program should be committed to completing a PhD. The department discourages students petitioning to switch to the Master's program; such petitions are approved only under exceptional circumstances.

What are the most important things to do, to ensure that your application receives maximal consideration?

  1. Make sure your application is complete. Why? If some required documents are missing, it is possible that your application may not come to the attention of the graduate admissions committee.
  2. Decide which areas you are most interested in, and indicate that on your application. Why? This will help to ensure that faculty in those areas are aware of your application. We understand that you may not feel ready to make a decision on area, and that you may change your mind later, but do your best to identify your areas of interest.
  3. Mention specific faculty with whom you may be interested in working. Why? This will help to ensure that specific faculty will be aware that you are potentially interested in working with them.

Financial Support

All PhD applicants are considered for campus and departmental fellowships, including but not limited to, the Doctoral Scholar Fellowship, Chancellor's Fellowship, Regent's Fellowship, Citrix Fellowship, Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship, Lisa Kaz Fellowship, and the Eugene Cota Robles Fellowship.

Admitted PhD students are typically given guaranteed financial aid via student employment to fully support them throughout their studies, based on meeting our program requirements. PhD students may be funded by a combination of Fellowships, Graduate Student Researcher employment positions, and/or Teaching Assistant employment positions.


General Inquiries/Admissions Questions: gradhelp@cs.ucsb.edu

Graduate Advisor email - for current CS grad students: cs-gradprogram@ucsb.edu

Graduate Vice Chair: grad_vc@cs.ucsb.edu