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Undergraduate Preparation for Admission

The Computer Science and Engineering graduate program is open to majors of any discipline that have sufficient preparation in at least two of the three areas: algorithms, computer architecture, and programming languages.  At a minimum, students applying to the CSE programs are expected to have taken courses on Data Structures and Algorithms (equivalent to CSE 101), Computer Architecture (equivalent to CSE 120), and Programming Languages (equivalent to CSE 114A). Additional courses in analysis of algorithms, computational models, software engineering, operating systems, computer security, distributed systems, artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, computer networks, graphics, visualization, database systems are recommended.  At least three more courses in above mentioned areas are expected of all applicants. Students applying to the Ph.D. program should demonstrate their research potential through completion of a significant project and/or a publication.

Application Materials

Application Fee (Domestic): $135

Application Fee (International): $155

Departmental Application Fee Waivers
If you are a US citizen, AB-540, or a US Permanent Resident, you may be eligible for the Graduate Admissions’ Fee Waiver for financial hardship or for students currently receiving financial aid, or for a Fee exemption for applicants who participate(d) in a qualifying program. Please see their website for more information.

If you are applying to the PhD and are not eligible for Graduate Admissions' Fee Waiver/Exemption, the CSE Department offers a departmental application fee exemption for applicants to the CSE PhD program who are currently enrolled at and plan to graduate from a UC (University of California) or CSU (California State University) in a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Certificate program. See instructions to the right.

  • Applicants must submit a transcript from the qualifying UC or CSU program as part of their application to be considered.
  • This departmental exemption is available to both domestic and international applicants.
  • Applicants to the CSE MS program are not eligible for a departmental fee exemption. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Application Requirements:


  • GRE scores are no longer required for CSE PhD or CSE MS applicants.
Application Instructions & FAQ

Instructions for CSE PhD Applicants Applicants Requesting the Departmental Exemption:

  1. In the application portal, on the "Fee Waiver/Payment" page of the application, please choose "no" to the question, "Do you believe you will need assistance paying for your application processing fee?"
  2. Select “Credit Card” for the Confirm Payment Option question. Click Continue. Do not worry about this, and do not pay it; if approved for the exemption, the Department will pay for it on your behalf.
  3. Submit your application as soon as it is ready.
  4. After you have submitted your application, you will be directed to the Status portal. There will be a Fee Payment link. Do not pay this fee yet, as you will not be refunded. 
  5. Your payment will be waived once CSE Graduate Advising and the Graduate Division have reviewed, approved, and processed the request to pay your application fee.

NOTE: If you have applied, and received, a fee waiver in a previous application cycle, we are unlikely to grant one for this application cycle.

For more information please contact the BE Graduate Affairs Office