Computer Science

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Master of Science (M.S.), Applied Scientist (App.Sc.), Engineer (Engr.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

GW's Department of Computer Science offers a Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science, as well as two professional degrees (applied scientist and engineer) and a graduate certificate in computer security and information assurance.  Our graduate students choose from among numerous focus areas, including: Algorithms and Theory; Computer Architecture, Networks, Parallel and Distributed Computing; Computer Security and Information Assurance; Database and Information Retrieval Systems; Machine Intelligence and Cognition; Multimedia, Animation, Graphics and User Interface; and Software Engineering and Systems.

Our doctoral students conduct cutting-edge research with world-class faculty, have access to collaborative opportunities unique to the Washington, D.C., area and benefit from the superb cultural and intellectual experience that the campus and program provide.

Our master's students learn excellent skills at the forefront of computing, get individualized attention from world-class faculty and benefit from evening classes that accommodate the schedules of those who are working professionals. Students may choose a thesis or non-thesis option.

Those who would like to pursue a graduate certificate will acquire up-to-date knowledge and skills in cyber security—a field of ever-increasing importance to national security, the economy, and individual users—and can transfer all their certificate courses to the M.S. program if they decide to get a master's degree.  All certificate courses are offered after 6 p.m. to accommodate the schedules of working students. To learn more, go to graduate certificate in computer security and information assurance.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – January 15
Spring – September 1
Summer – March 1

Standardized test scores:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all applicants (Institution code 5246). Average scores for our Fall 2014 incoming class were: 161 (Q), 148 (V), and 3 (W).

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.  Minimum scores:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; applicants requesting funding consideration must have an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based; applicants requesting funding consideration must have 600 on paper-based; or 100 on Internet-based; or
  • PTE Academic: 53; applicants requesting funding consideration must have 68.

Applicants with lower test scores may qualify for our full-time Applied English Studies program.

Recommendations required:

Three (3) recommendations required for Ph.D. applicants and two (2) recommendation required for M.S. applicants applying for fellowships/assistantships. Two (2) recommendations required for all other applicants.  If possible, one recommendation should be from your advisor at the institution from which you earned your highest degree. 

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If academic records are in a language other than English, a copy in the original language and an English language translation must be uploaded. Transcript evaluations should not be uploaded. Applicants with degrees from Indian universities should upload transcripts and/or detailed marksheets.

Statement of purpose:

M.S., Engr., and App. Sc.: In an essay of 250 to 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University; describe your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans; and discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned. 

Ph.D.: Please write a more comprehensive essay of 400 to 600 words, indicating your primary and supporting fields of study, your specialized interests, and the general subject area of your planned dissertation or professional project.

Additional requirements:

M.S.: Bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 hours of coursework; two courses in mathematics beyond pre-calculus; one year of science with laboratory; courses in computer science using a structured language, discrete structures, data structures, and computer architecture.

Ph.D.: Applicants without a master's degree must have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale; two math courses beyond pre-calculus; a strong academic background that includes courses in structured programming language, discrete structures, and data structures.

Applicants with a master's degree in a computer related field must have a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale; master's courses in advanced software paradigms, computer architectures, and design and analysis of algorithms.

All applicants should choose an area of focus that most closely matches their interests and note this on the online application. All applicants must submit a resumé or CV. Applicants to the doctoral program should identify one to three faculty members whose research interests most closely match their own and note this on the online application.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW.

* A limited number of doctoral applicants are accepted for the summer. Please contact the admissions office for details.  International applicants who require a visa from GW are eligible to apply for admission in fall and spring only (not summer).

For more information on the admission process, please visit the SEAS Frequently Asked Questions page

Contact for questions:
[email protected] - 202.994.1802 - 202.994.1651 (fax)
9:00 – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Skype: GWEngineering