Student studies at a table in the library.
Computer Science Bridge, MS

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about our program? Take a look below. If you have any questions that we haven't answered, please ask.

How to Apply

    • How to Apply - see our College of Arts and Sciences Office of Graduate Admission page for all graduate programs
    • International Students - Additional requirements and information about tests, visa, orientation, and services

    See our program specific page for:

    • Application instructions
    • Prerequisite requirements
    • Test and GPA requirements

Tuition and Expenses

  • The Master of Science in Computer Science is 36 units.

    Please see our College of Arts and Sciences Office of Graduate Admission Tuition & Fees page.

Prerequisites

  • Yes, you may still apply as long as you have an equivalent background to match the majority of the prerequisite courses required for admission. This may be through extensive work experience in software development, or by taking equivalent courses at other institutions (such as state universities or community colleges). We also consider extensive academic and research experience if you already have other graduate degrees.

    Whether or not you have a formal CS background, you need to be prepared to take and pass the same set of core courses as everyone else if admitted.

  • It is feasible for students already in the United States to take some of our undergraduate CS courses as a visiting student. However, many of these courses have prerequisites and our undergraduate majors have registration priority. We cannot guarantee space in those courses, or admission into our program.

  • We will accept three-year bachelor's degrees from international applicants for admission review.

  • You may still apply if you have a bachelor's degree in an non-CS field, but need to demonstrate you have an equivalent background to match the majority of the prerequisite courses required for admission.

  • Yes, please include transcripts for all other degrees and courses completed in your application, and describe any research projects you worked on in your essay. Demonstrating you are a strong student through extensive academic and research experience can make up for missing background.

  • Yes, we consider work experience related to software development. Please include this experience on a resume or curriculum vitae, and describe the projects you worked on (with the languages and tools you used) in your essay.

  • While experience with those languages can help strengthen your application, they do not count as high-level or object-oriented programming languages for the required background.

  • We prefer to see transcripts from state-level universities or community colleges for the prerequisite courses required by our degree, but elective courses taken at places like Coursera, Udacity, or EdX will help strengthen your application.

Application Requirements

  • See our How to Apply page for more information.

  • There is no strict GPA (grade point average) requirement for admission to the graduate program. However, applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a scale of 4.0) will have more competitive applications and a higher chance of receiving a scholarship.

  • Yes, you may still apply if you have a low GPA. Please address your GPA in your essay and provide an argument that, if admitted, you will be able to maintain the minimum 3.0 GPA necessary for our graduate program.

  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general exam is not required for Fall 2021 MSCS Bridge applicants. Submitting a GRE score can strengthen an application, so applicants are encouraged to submit a score if they have recently completed the exam. International applicants must also provide a TOEFL or IELTS score. The USF school code for the TOEFL and the GRE is 4850. See below for more details.

  • We highly encourage all applicants to take the GRE test. However, it is possible to waive the GRE requirement if you have exceptional professional or academic experience.

    To receive this waiver, please start the application in the system and send an email, along with your resume and college-level transcripts to the graduate program manager at gbruno@cs.usfca.edu with your resume and application number.
     

  • Yes. For details on the waiver policy for TOEFL or IELTS scores, please see the International Graduate Students page (look for the "Exception Policy" listed under "Test Scores"). Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for the College of Arts and Sciences for questions.

  • The USF school code for the TOEFL and the GRE is 4850.

  • The average quantitative GRE score for the MS in Computer Science is 164. Applications with a quantitative score below 155 are not competitive. The minimum analytical writing score is 3.5 for non-native English speakers. The verbal GRE score is not considered in the admission process.

  • The USF school code for the TOEFL and the GRE is 4850.

  • The average TOEFL score of our Fall 2014 cohort is 86. The minimum required TOEFL score is 79.

  • No, you need at least two letters of recommendation. Applications missing this requirement will not be reviewed.

  • Yes, you can send in a recommendation letter from a supervisor (but not colleague). However, we recommend at least one recommendation letter be from a professor if possible.

Application Process

  • Applications are submitted online. Please see the Office of Graduate Admission for the College of Arts and Sciences How to Apply page for more information.

  • You can check the status of your application by logging into your online application account. You will also receive an email when an admission decision is posted.
     

  • Submitted and completed applications are reviewed by the MSCS Admission Committee, which is chaired by the graduate director. The entire application is considered during review, including transcripts, test scores, recommendation letters, and the essay. We typically begin reviewing applications in late December and early January. During that time, it usually takes between four to six weeks for an admission decision to be made.

    Unsubmitted or incomplete applications remain in the Office of Graduate Programs, and are not reviewed until the application is submitted, all of the letters of recommendation are received, and the application is marked as complete.

  • We usually begin accepting applications for fall admission in September, but do not begin reviewing applications until much later. We do not admit students for the spring semester.

  • We typically begin reviewing applications in late December and early January.

  • The final application deadline is March 1st. We do not admit students for the spring semester.

  • Yes, we will consider applications until the program is full and maintain a waitlist until mid-summer. Please note that international applicants should apply early so that there is ample time for the visa application process.

  • No, only submitted and completed applications are reviewed for admission. Submitted but incomplete applications are not reviewed for admission. Please check your application status frequently, and please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for the College of Arts and Sciences for questions.

  • Please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for the College of Arts and Sciences with application questions.

  • Many, but not all applicants are invited to interview. Those invited to interview complete an online technical interview with a member of our faculty. The interview consists of questions drawn from our prerequisite subjects and also serves as a chance for applicants to ask questions about the program.

Tuition and Expenses

  • Living expenses include rent, food, transportation, and utilities such as electricity and gas. Most students choose to live off-campus, but limited on-campus housing is available. See Student Housing for more information.

  • Yes, the MSCS program awards several merit-based scholarships every year. See Tuition & Financial Aid for more information.

  • The MSCS program do not offer any need-based scholarships or awards. However, there are on-campus positions, off-campus positions, and several other financial aid options that can offset the cost of the program. See Tuition & Financial Aid for more information.

  • We automatically consider all applicants, including domestic and international applicants. There is not a separate application for scholarships.

  • Being a full-time student is like a full-time job. However, some students are able to work part-time during the academic year or full-time during the summer to gain experience and offset the costs of tuition. There are no restrictions for domestic students, but international students must check their visa restrictions first. See the practicum option for more information.

International Students

  • Applicants who require an F-1 student visa must demonstrate that they (and/or other sponsors in their home country) can fund their educational and living expenses in the United States. To verify this requirement, applicants must complete a Certification of Finances section of the online application to the program. See the International Graduate Students page for more details.
     

  • As an international student, you will enter the United States for studies by applying for an F1 or J1 student visa. Most international students study in the program on an F1 visa. Once you receive your I-20, you should apply for a student visa right away. Note that some students must try several times before successfully obtaining a visa.

    If you are already in the United States on a different visa (e.g. H1B), you may choose to remain on your current visa or change to an F1 visa.

  • No, receiving a scholarship from USF does not influence the ability to obtain a visa. We encourage you to apply for a visa as soon as you receive your I-20. Students may need to try several times before successfully obtaining a visa, so we encourage students to try multiple times if necessary.

  • Yes, international students are eligible and automatically considered for all MSCS scholarships. See Tuition & Financial Aid for details.

  • The majority of international students are able to work on-campus, and are eligible to work off-campus via the practicum option after one academic year. Please contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for details.

  • Please contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) with any visa or immigration-related questions.

Next Steps After Admissions

  • Yes, a deposit of $700 is required to reserve your space in the program. You can pay this deposit through myUSF. The amount will be deposited into your student account, and applied towards your tuition and fees.

    We have limited space in our program. If you fail to pay the deposit on-time, your spot in the program will be offered to someone on the waiting list.

  • Registration can be done online. You must pay for courses or sign up for a payment plan by the payment deadline.

    You will register for courses for the first time during orientation. Payment will be due immediately after registration.

  • Yes, all full-time graduate students and international students are required to have health insurance and will be automatically enrolled in USF's health insurance plan. You can opt out of this health insurance plan if you have equivalent coverage. Visit Health Promotion Services for details.
     

  • Yes. All computer science graduate students must attend a one-day MSCS program orientation before classes begin. Details will be provided in your admission packet.

  • After receiving your admission packet, you should place your deposit, apply for a student visa (if applicable), order official transcripts to be sent to our Office of Graduate Studies, and start exploring housing options. International students should also see the Pre-Arrival page for additional steps.