FSU Computer Science

Graduate FAQ


  1. Are paper recommendation letters accepted?

    No. All recommendation letters must be submitted online through the application system. Information on completing the online recommendation forms will be sent directly to those listed by the applicant.
  2. Are photocopies or faxes of transcripts accepted?

    No. An official transcript from each institution attended by the applicant must be sent directly to the Florida State University Admissions Office. That address is:

    Florida State University
    Office of Admissions
    282 Champions Way
    PO Box 3062400
    Tallahassee, FL 32306

  3. My TOEFL and/or GRE score(s) is/are below the department standards. Will I be automatically denied? Should I apply?

    All complete applications are submitted to the Admissions Committee for review. If you do not meet the department standard, it is less likely that you will be recommended for admission, particularly if you fall below the university requirement of 80 (IBTOEFL) and 1000 (GRE).
  4. I took the GRE more than once. Which score do you accept: the highest or the most recent score?

    The highest GRE score is considered for admission.
  5. How long should my statement of purpose be?

    The statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  6. What should I include in my statement of purpose?

    You should state the interests and reason(s) for wanting to attend Florida State University.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

  1. What should this document contain?

    • List any academic honors
    • List any computer related course work and/or experience and all the programming languages that you know.
    • List any teaching experience
    • For international students, please describe your training and experience with English


  1. Is the GRE required for admission to the University? Can it be waived?

    The University requires test scores from a nationally standardized graduate admission test. The Department requires the General GRE test. This requirement cannot be waived.
  2. Can I send you a certified copy of my GRE score so you can make a decision and I will follow up with an "Official" score later?

    We can only accept official test scores for the purpose of evaluating your application. A GRE score is considered official when it is sent directly from the testing center to the university Office of Admissions. No other method is acceptable. This requirement cannot be waived.
  3. Do you count the Analytical portion of the test?

    Some of our faculty do look at all the scores but the total GRE score is based only upon the Verbal and Quantitative portion. The minimum score is 1100 ( Verbal + Quantitative ) with at least a 650 on the quantitative.
  4. If I score at least an 1100 will I be accepted?

    A minimum score does not assure a candidate of acceptance. The average GRE score among our graduate students is 1295.
  5. Do you require the Computer Science Specific GRE test?

  6. I have not taken the GRE test yet. Can I still go ahead and apply?

    Yes you can. However, your application will not be reviewed until complete.
  7. The undergraduate GPA requirement for the graduate school is 3.0. If I score very good on the GRE would that offset a poor GPA?

    Not really. Your entire folder is evaluated by our Admission and Financial Aid Committee. A strong showing in one area does not necessarilly offset a weak showing in another.

TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) QUESTIONS

  1. I did not score high on the TOEFL test, can I still be admitted?

    The minimum score required by the University on the TOEFL test is 550 for the paper-based and 80 for internet-based. Falling below the minimums is an automatic denial without exception. The Department standards are significantly higher than the University requirements.
  2. What is the average TOEFL test score?

    The average is over 610 for the paper based. We have found that students who score below 600 on the TOEFL test do not typically do well in our courses because of the lack of communication ability.
  3. My English is very good and I have lived in the United States since I was young. Do I need the TOEFL?

    If you are permenent resident, no. However, if you require a visa in order to stay in the country and you have not attended an American School for at least one year you need the TOEFL.


  1. I'm interested in an assistantship through the department. What additional forms do I need to fill out?

    All Computer Science graduate applicants will be considered for an assistantship through the department, unless otherwise sponsored by a third party (e.g. Military, Government of Origin). For international students required to take the TOEFL exam, a score of 620 (Paper Based) or 105 (Internet Based) or 250 (Computer Based) is necessary to be considered for an assistantship through the department.
  2. What is the critieria for getting a Teaching Assistantship?

    This is a very difficult question. The Department uses Teaching Assistantships in various ways. (1) To attract highly qualified PhD students to our Department. They are given teaching assistantships in the assumption that they will eventually become research assistants. (2) To attract masters students with exceptional teaching ability to support the large number of lower level classes in computer science and computer literacy.

    Basically we look at all of the following criteria:

    • Quality and ranking of the schools attended
    • GPA
    • GRE Scores
    • TOEFL Scores (if applicable)
    • Teaching experience
    • Previous degree program
    • Quality of research or research potential
    • Quality of letters of recommendation
    • An overal assessment of whether the student is serious about the degree program
  3. I understand that if you apply to the PhD program, you stand a better chance of getting an assistantship. Is this true?

    No. Students should apply for the degree program that they intend to complete. TAs must have exceptional public speaking abilities and a solid academic background. Many of these students are MS degree-seeking students.