See our graduate programs for information about the CS master's program.
If you have questions on our programs and the admissions process, please first read over all of the information on this page and on pages linked from here. If you still have questions, then you should contact...
- If you have questions related to getting an I-20 (this applies only to international students), contact ISU-IPS@mail.indstate.edu.
- If you have questions about having an incomplete application, contact email@example.com.
- If you have been admitted and have questions about setting up your ISU online account, contact the department administrative assistant listed on our homepage.
- If you are ready to sign up for courses and need to know which courses to sign up for, contact a CS graduate advisor.
First, all conditions of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies must be met, as listed on their website. In particular, an applicant must hold a 4-year undergraduate/bachelor's degree before beginning at Indiana State, and must either upload a transcript showing the final degree awarded into the application system or have an official transcript sent to ISU. International students must also satisfy English proficiency requirements listed at the bottom of https://www.indstate.edu/cgps/graduate/apply/international-degree-seeking-application.
All applicants who have a complete application will have a Skype interview with a CS faculty member. For admission, the following is the minimum standard we are looking for: (a) can communicate clearly in English, (b) can do basic programming from scratch, (c) basic understanding of data structures and algorithms. See the interview evaluation form and sample questions we are using (sample questions beginning on page 2). For consideration for an assistantship the standards are much higher. For those who need to study before performing the phone interview, please do so! We will be happy if you studied for the interview and do well! Note - please make sure you know how to share your screen in Skype. For the programming questions we will have you share your screen and type in your text editor or IDE of choice.
Note that we only give one chance for the phone/skype interview, so make sure to study and prepare if you need to. We are looking for competency at least at the level of having taken a course in programming and a course in data structures and algorithms. You may be able to get to this level with self-study (there are many wonderful resources online for learning or reviewing). To study and refresh on data structures and algorithms, we suggest - Khan Academy - CS - Algorithms and/or Harvard CS50 (parts involving programming/algorithms. To study and refresh programming, pick a tutorial online for the language you are most familiar with.
Note that we have recently been admitting roughly 1/3 of applicants, and assistantships have been awarded to less than 10% of applicants.
The department makes an effort to make the CS MS program available to as many students as possible. All students are by default placed into the professional concentration. Students interested in the academic concentration should be in touch with the director of CS.
Admissions Deadline and Timeline
In general, for spring admission we consider all applications that are complete before November 15; for fall admission we normally consider all applications that are complete before July 15. To be complete, you must have uploaded a resume into the application. If you are an international student you must have scores sent demonstrating you have met the English language requirements of ISU as mentioned above. You should also check the application system to see if it indicates any other information that is missing.
Last chance deadlines The following are the dates that are normally used as the "last chance to apply". After these dates, it is not possible to apply for the given term, and an application should be complete before the deadline.
- Admission to begin in Fall: July 15
- Admission to begin in Spring: November 15
- Admission to begin in Summer: March 15 (though note that we only admit to begin in the summer in special circumstances)
Assistantships and Funding
The department regularly supports some of our best students with full assistantships, which cover the cost of tuition and include a stipend. Positions are limited and competitive. Those awarded funding typically are strong in both algorithms/theory and programming, obtain at least 80th percentile on the quantitative portion of the GRE, and are very hard working and earnest individuals. All who apply for admission will automatically be given consideration for an assistantship position.
Deadline For new students to be considered for departmental assistantships, their application must be complete before March 15 for fall admission, and before Oct 15 for spring admission. Note that if you are applying during your final term of your undergraduate degree, you should upload an unofficial transcript into the application system.
Other positions Most CS students end up with an on campus job by the end of their first term at ISU, and are able to earn roughly half of their living and tuition expenses. Around half of CS students end up with an assistantship position in some department by the time they are done at ISU. You can see job and GA postings at https://jobs.indstate.edu/.
If you have other questions that have not been answered, you are encouraged to view the pages linked at http://indstate.edu/gradexpress/ for further information about Indiana State University. Pages of particular note there are the current tuition and fees.
The instructions and application for applying for a master's of Computer Science are on this webpage at the College of Graduate and Professional Studies' website. They will process your application and route it to the Math and CS department for consideration. After we have decided on whether to admit you to the program, you will be contacted by the College of Gradate and Professional Studies.
Important: It generally takes about about 4 weeks to process an application and come to a decision on admittance. If all required documents have been submitted and you have been admitted, you will receive an email and an official acceptance letter in the mail. If this is being mailed to an international address, the standard mailing system can take up to 4-6 weeks of shipping time. In this case, we recommend that you choose the expedited shipping so that your acceptance letter arrives sooner - giving you more time to schedule for a visa interview. For information on expediting your I-20 shipment, see this link.
Important: Make sure to submit all required documents when applying (according to the application instructions). If you do not submit all required forms, this will delay a decision on your admittance. You will not be admitted until all required forms have been received.
Application status: If you have been contacted by the department with the current status of your application, the meaning of the status codes mentioned in the email are as follows.
- Regular Admission - you have been granted admission, and should receive an official email to this effect from firstname.lastname@example.org, ISUemail@example.com, or a similar address soon (or you have already received that). See the New Graduate Students and other pages linked off of the CS homepage to get information on what to do next.
- Updated to Different Term - you were granted admission and later changed which term you wanted to begin.
- Referred to Department - the department has been sent your application information, and the department has not yet decided. If you were sent a message by someone in the department (e.g., the director of CS) asking for some information and have not responded, then you cannot be admitted.
- Incomplete Application - there is something missing from your application. This is most often an official transcript. Note that the transcript must be sent from your university to ISU directly.
- Not admitted - the department considered your application and decided to not admit you. We wish you the best in finding a program somewhere else that will work for you.
For international students, once all documents have been verified you will receive an email from the admissions office notifying you of your admission. Within a week or so you should hear from the ISU International Programs and Services office with information on having an I-20 shipped to you, which you will need to apply for a student visa to enter the US. Some of our previous students have compiled some advice to consider when preparing for your visa interview.
- During the visa interview the consulate performs a thorough background check. We need to make sure we have all the documents accurate and ready.
- We have to provide a strong proof of financial security, either from the bank or show that our family has enough funds to support our education.
- They go through our undergraduate records, and they will ask us the reason if we have any backlogs or failed in any of the subjects. We must be ready to give a reasonable response.
- They will ask us the reason we chose ISU (Indiana State University) to pursue our Masters. The students can mention some of the things I experienced after coming to ISU. ISU has a small program, where each individual gets a lot of focus. Highly skilled and dedicated professors, from whom we can learn a lot, get an opportunity to be involved in their research work. Lot of opportunities to get Graduate Assistantships, which will provide job and a fee waiver. (In the visa interview it's best not to mention about future employment opportunities, because the consulate expects students to return to their homeland after their education.)
- The students could go through some of the papers or current work of some of the professors, relate their own field of interest or research experience and explain why studying or working under them will be a great and beneficial experience.
- Finally what matters is how we present ourselves and how well we convey our message to them.
- You need to be completely CLEAR on your aim and what you are going to do in US. Be CONFIDANT to answer the questions. Go through cs.indstate.edu to check all course work, professors and summer research areas. In ISU you will have good opportunity to learn and you will be involved in the research areas based on your interests. (You can mention these points in the visa interview to show him your interest.)
And the following is advice form the assistant director of our Center for Global Engagement
- From Homeland Security - how to prepare for a visa interview
- The Right Attitude
- Speak in English - Practice interviewing in English with a native English speaker. Being fluent and confident will help you present your case better. However, avoid preparing a speech
- Speak for yourself - Make your case yourself. Having your parents or others speak on your behalf does not make a good impression on the consular officer.
- Be brief - Keep your answers and explanations short and to the point, as consular officers can only spend a limited amount of time with each applicant.
- Be positive - Do not argue with the consular officer or come across as rude and sarcastic, even if you are denied a visa. Instead courteously ask the officer to suggest additional documents you could bring in order to overcome the refusal.
- Some tips to demonstrate your intentions to return to your native country:
- Convince the consular officer that the sole (not just "primary") purpose of your visit to the US is to pursue a program of study.
- Outline your plans for when you complete your education and return to your country.
- Document family ties, business interests, and assets in your home country.
- Discuss your job prospects, upon completion of your US education, in your native country.