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Graduate Program

Frequently Asked Questions

This page covers frequently asked questions on the following topics:

We also direct you to review the FAQ's from the Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs website. 

If you still have questions please email gids-ms@rochester.edu.


GPA and Standardized Tests

What GPA, TOEFL/IELTS, and GRE scores should I have to be considered for your program?

See our application page for more details about the standardized test scores we are seeking.

If my GPA, TOEFL/IELTS, or GRE score is below the minimum specified in your page, do I have a chance of being admitted?

Yes, if the other parts of your application are particularly strong. The committee will look at your application as a whole.

Do I need TOEFL or IELTS scores if I am enrolled in a program in the US or other English-speaking country?

If you have completed a bachelor’s, master's or PhD degree from an English-speaking school located in one of the countries listed below, then the TOEFL/IETLS/PTE academic requirement is automatically waived.

List of countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

If your university degree is from a country not listed above, we do require the TOEFL or IELTS. 

Applicants whose native language is not English are strongly encouraged to upload a one page essay written in English. Pursing an advanced degree takes enormous effort, particularly when the language and culture are not your own. We encourage you to share information about your experience with the English language, including formal study in English, time spent in an English-speaking environment, and your comfort level speaking and writing English.

In rare exceptions, you can petition the department to waive the English Language Exam Requirement. Please contact the department’s graduate coordinator to request a waiver.

Is the GRE test required?

No, we do not require a GRE score. However, we do recommend taking the test and submitting your scores.

Is the verbal part of the GRE important?

Yes, all parts of the GRE are important.

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Bridging Course

How will I know if I need the summer bridging course?

Your offer letter will state whether or not you need to take the summer bridging course. This requirement is based on previous coursework, employment, and grades.

Is the summer bridging course an introductory level computer science class?

No, it is an intermediate-level course. If you do not have introductory-level programming knowledge, additional summer courses may be recommended for entry into the program.

What if I can’t start in the summer in order to take the bridging course?

If for some reason, you are unable to make it to the University of Rochester during the summer semester and your offer required matriculation for the summer bridging program, the Graduate Admissions Committee reserves the right to rescind your acceptance.

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MS Program

Can I take longer than two or three semesters to complete the program?

The program is designed to be cohort-based so all full-time students must complete the program in two or three semesters (one academic year).

In rare circumstances, we allow a student to take the program with part-time status. Part-time students are not allowed to take more than two courses per semester and should have a flexible schedule as courses are not typically offered at times convenient to a working professional. A matriculated part-time students will not receive tuition discounts.  The degree must be completed within five years of matriculation to the program.

Students considering part-time status should contact the education program coordinator to seek advice on the program of study before applying.  

Can I apply for spring admission?

At this time, we only take applications for a fall admission cycle. 

Only students who are internal within the University of Rochester may be considered for spring admission and should contact the education program coordinator before Thanksgiving break to discuss consideration to be admitted for the spring.

Can I take the program at night or online?

Courses for this program are only offered during the day and all require in-person attendance.

What is the typical cost of the MS program?

The amount of tuition for the MS program will vary depending on whether a partial tuition waiver is offered within the acceptance letter. See the Graduate Studies Office’s estimated expenses page for more information.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. Partial tuition discounts are offered for qualified students, but we do not offer full scholarships. We have had prior US citizens apply for and receive the Avangrid scholarship.

Do you offer any teaching assistant or research assistant opportunities?

We typically have one or two teaching assistant opportunities to MS students in the second or third semester of the program but not during the first semester of study. We do not offer research assistantships to MS students. Some students find opportunities paid positions within departments on campus or by becoming an intern at the Rochester Data Science Consortium.

Does your program provide placement for internships and jobs?

The Greene Center for Career Education and Connection is a resource students in our program use to prepare themselves for careers and assist with their job search. The Greene Center offers many activities such as:

  • Preparation workshops
  • Information sessions
  • Career fairs
  • A robust job postings database

What are the career outcomes of students who have completed your program?

Many of our students get jobs in industry while several of our students go on for further study to complete PhD program. The university’s career outcomes website can give you a sense of where our graduates are now working. In addition, you can search for many of our graduates on LinkedIn.

Is your program STEM-certified?

Yes. Because we are STEM-certified, an international student on an F-1 visa is eligible for the STEM Extension OPT which grants an additional 24 months period to work in the US, following an approved and unexpired 12-month OPT period.

I am an international applicant, and after completing the MS degree I want to get a job in the US. Are jobs more restricted for foreign citizens?

It depends on the industry you are seeking to gain employment. Some companies and national laboratories do require US citizenship or permanent residency (green card), or have limited offers for foreign nationals.

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