Computer Science Graduate Admissions

Phase 1 Pre-Application


Pre-applications are free. Submit your Phase 1 Pre-Application HERE. Documents needed to start:

  • Current resume/CV
  • Transcripts - Unofficial transcripts are ok for the pre-application.
  • Statement of Purpose - Our guidance can be found here.pdf

Please do not submit names for Letters of Recommendation in your pre-application (these are included in the final application).

It is optional to submit GRE and English proficiency test results. The Phase 1 Pre-Application includes an automatic evaluation for a GRE waiver.

Phase 1 Pre-Application Evaluation Timeline: You can expect a decision within 2 to 4 weeks. If approved you will be invited to continue your application for a final admission decision. 

Phase 2 Final Application

You can only start the final application after pre-application approval. The final application requires the following documents:

  • (3) Letters of Recommendation – the application system will automatically contact your recommenders (preferred process) or you can send the LOR form to your recommenders. They can email their completed LOR forms directly to
  • Approved GRE waiver/recommendation or GRE scores
    • We can accept the GRE sample report. Official GRE results are preferred if only this can be done for free.
  • Official Transcripts - Scanned copies of official transcripts are required for Phase 2. Physical copies of official transcripts need to be mailed to Admissions if admitted.
  • Degree statements (required for each completed degree) – statements for degrees still in progress will be required later, if admitted.
  • Publications (optional)
  • Additional application documents for international students – please see the application instructions for specific requirements
    • Passport/ Immigrant Card
    • English proficiency test results
  • Application Fee ($65 US, $100 International)

Essay and Portfolio documents are not used for computer science applications.

Final Application Evaluation Timeline: Varies based on fall or spring entry, please see detailed dates below.

Application Deadlines

  • Pre-applications must be approved before submitting a final application.
  • The pre-application deadline is one month before the final application deadline.
  • Each term has an early and a standard application deadline.
  • The early deadline is suggested for international applicants requiring a new visa and Ph.D. applicants interested in competitive scholarships/grants.

Entry TermsNew graduate students typically start during the Fall and Spring terms. We do not offer Summer admission.


Fall 2023 Standard Admission 

  • Pre-Applications can be submitted until February 1, 2023.
  • If invited to continue, your full application can be submitted any time after approval until March 1, 2023.
  • Standard admission decisions will be communicated on a rolling basis starting in April 2023. Ph.D. applicants are typically notified first and M.S. applicants following.
  • Applicants may be notified that they are on a waitlist for Fall 2023.

Spring 2024 Early Admission 

  • Pre-Applications will open February 1, 2023.

Application Instructions

  • Apply to Iowa State University: Please submit your university application for admission. Instructions for U.S. citizens and international students are included on the admissions website. Please follow the instructions in the ISU graduate application regarding the statement of purpose. We do not accept paper copies of application materials.
  • Additional materials sent to the department, such as certificates, additional statements of purpose, etc...are not guaranteed to be included in your application file.

Financial Support

PhD candidates who pass the admission round are then screened for teaching and/or research experience and skills needed by the department or by CS research laboratories. Offers for teaching assistantships (TA) or research assistantships (RA) are made with the offer of admission for two to three academic years. Funding is not guaranteed for any applicant. Applicants who are not offered funding at the time of admission often find support through a number of different research labs and organizations outside of the CS department, after they arrive on campus.

MS applicants are generally not considered for support. Many MS students also find support once they arrive on campus.

Contact Us

Email the CS Graduate Admissions Team at