USF students talking after a presentation
G Web Science

How to Apply

Apply Now for Spring 2014 or Fall 2014!The M.S. in Web Science program start each fall (late August) and spring (late January). The priority application dates are:
  • March 1 for fall (August) admission
  • October 15 for spring (January) admission

Application Process

The application system is online and is managed by the Office of Graduate Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Applicants do not need to mail any application items to the Office of Graduate Programs or to the Urban Affairs program office. Applicants create an application account and then complete the application at their own pace. When the application information is completed and all application documents have been uploaded to the online account, the applicant can then submit their application with the $55 application fee.

Once all application items have been received and verified, applications will be reviewed for admission and for a limited number of scholarships. It is best to apply as early as possible, before the deadline.Applications that are complete and on file at USF at that time will be given priority consideration for admission and financial assistance offered by the Department of Web Science. Applications are accepted and reviewed after these dates on a case-by-case basis. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application earlier than the date listed above.

Admission decisions are released after the deadline. Included in the admission decision letter will be notification of any scholarship awarded by the graduate program. Once the class for the fall program is filled, later qualified applicants may be placed on a waiting list.

Start your application online. You can scan and upload your application items to your USF online application account. Please ensure that your scanned documents are easy to read and printable. If you are submitting test scores, you must request that official scores are sent to USF. You are encouraged to submit your completed application several weeks before the deadline.

Admission Requirements

These courses are required to be completed before admission:
  • Introductory Programming (two courses)
  • Upper-division Programming (two courses)
  • Discrete Math (one course)
  • Data Structures (one course)

Required Application Items

First, create an application account through USF's online application system. Then, upload the following items into your application account.
  • A transcript from each university, college, community college, and study abroad program attended. Three-year Bachelor's Degrees are accepted for admission review.
  • Computer Science Background Essay - Please see the description below.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE General score report is required (verbal section is not considered). Please request that ETS send your GRE score to USF (school code is 6996 or 4850).
  • International students need to submit these three additional items : TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score (sent to USF by the testing agency); copy of the photo/information page of the passport; completed Certification of Finance form with supporting bank statements (see International Students). The USF school code for the TOEFL and the GRE is 6996 or 4850.
Please read the application instruction pdf for more details about each item that is required for admission review. Do not mail any application items to the Department of Computer Science or the Office of Graduate Programs.

Computer Science Background Essay

This 1- to 3-page double-spaced statement describes any involvement in software development, research and extracurricular experiences. This statement is used in conjunction with other application items to evaluate your eligibility for admission and for a Graduate Fellowship. Topics in your statement may include:
  • Any significant software development projects. Include the purpose of the project - commercial, academic, or just for fun.
  • Research projects in which you may have been involved.
  • Any published articles or other technical documents
  • Significant skills and interests you may have beyond computer science, especially skills that show creativity.
  • Any experience in communicating technical material, such as teaching or making presentations.
  • Management or team leadership roles
  • Experience in public/community service projects
    The department seeks highly-motivated students with strong technical backgrounds who are eager to develop innovative software and to perform research, as well as extend their computer science education.

Tests and GPA Requirements

The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) score needs to be 1200 or higher through a combination score of the quantitative and analytical writing sections (Q + 100xAW + 200). The GRE General exam scores are required for admission (the verbal section of the GRE is not considered in the admission decision process). The GRE may be waived for applicants with exceptional professional or academic experience. The average GRE Quantitative score is 700 and higher. The USF school code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 6996 or 4850.

An official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score is required of international applicants. A minimum TOEFL score of 71 (iBT) or 530 (print-based) is required for consideration. The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. After review of an application, coursework in USF's Intensive English Program may be recommended or required. Students applying to the MSCS program with an Emphasis in Entrepreneurship require a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (iBT) or 600 (paper test). The USF school code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 6996 or 4850.

There is no strict GPA (grade point average) requirement for admission to the graduate program. In general, however, a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a scale of 4.0 as the highest score) strengthens an application to any graduate program. International applicants do not need to calculate their GPA. The MSCS and MSWS Programs will review all courses and grades (marks) for each course.

Financial Aid

Learn more about the Admission and Fellowship Award policies for graduate students on the Financial Aid and Tuition website.

If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident, you can begin the free application process for a U.S. federal student loan at The USF federal school code for the FAFSA is 001325.

All applicants – U.S. domestic and international – are considered for scholarships and teaching assistantships offered by the Department of Computer Science. Applicants are notified of these awards by letter in the admission letter. There is no separate application for scholarships or teaching assistantships.

Application Status

Start your application online and complete all required sections, including uploading required unofficial documents. All application items (for example, resume, official transcripts, English language test scores, and recommender information) must be uploaded before you submit your application. Once you submit, your application will be incomplete until your recommenders submit their online letter of recommendation. Check your online application frequently to monitor the status of your application.

Notification of Admission Decision

When an application and all application items have been submitted and verified, then an application is complete and ready for admission review by the Web Science Program. Admission decisions are released beginning 4 to 6 weeks after an application is complete.

Included in the admission decision letter is notification of any scholarship awarded by the graduate program. Applicants receive email notification when the admission decision is available online. Admitted applicants also receive an admission package in the mail.

Advising, Registration, Orientation and Start of Classes

Admitted students should contact the Department of Computer Science for details about the advising and registration schedule in late August for fall students and in late January for spring applicants. The Computer Science department can be contacted at 415.422.6530 or

International students should note that the earliest arrival in the United States that an F-1 visa allows is 30 days before the start date on the I-20 form issued to you.

Each Fall (August) and Spring (January) International Student Orientation
International students are highly recommended to arrive at USF at least 10 days before the first day of classes in the fall and spring in order to finalize housing arrangements and attend the International Student Orientation. Orientation is held by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. All international students are required to attend the International Student Orientation, as well as the Computer Science Graduate Student Orientation. For details, time and location, please visit and click on "New Students".