James Madison University

Admission to the Program

Admission preference is given to students with undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, related fields, and/or professional experience in computing. The program is open to all students who have completed a baccalaureate degree, however, and strong students from other disciplines are encouraged to apply. Students judged able to complete the program but lacking background in Computer Science can be admitted conditionally and will be required to complete up to six preparatory courses. Note that students who are taking preparatory courses for the program at JMU do not qualify for graduate scholarships or graduate assistant positions. All preparatory work must be completed before students can be considered for financial support.

Admissions decisions are based on a combination of undergraduate grades, GRE scores, professional experience (if any), and TOEFL/IETLS scores (if applicable). Professional experience is not a requirement, but is considered a positive factor if present. There are no specific requirements for grades and test scores, but we generally prefer to see at least a B average in grades, 50th percentile in GRE scores, and 88 on the TOEFL Internet-based test or 7.0 for the IETLS test, if applicable. Meeting these minimum scores will not guarantee admission, however.

Upon beginning graduate work, students are expected to have a practical understanding of object-oriented programming in Java and C++. Other programming languages may be introduced in specific courses as well.

Applicants to the MS/Computer Science program must submit the following credentials:

  • Application Form (online)
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter should be from a faculty member at a prior academic program the student was/is enrolled in.
  • GRE scores (waived for students with a previous MS degree)

International applicants must submit additional documents, including TOEFL/IETLS scores, a financial statement, and credential evaluations.
The Graduate School web site provides detailed information about: