Graduate Admissions FAQ


The CLSP Admissions FAQ can be found here.
Getting Information and Applying
  • All application must be submitted through our online application system, SLATE which is maintained by our Graduate Admissions Office. The application can be found here.
  • The deadlines are listed below. Any information received after that point has a chance of not being taken into account in the review of your application. However, as soon as the information is received it will be placed in your electronic folder by the Graduate Admissions office and thus may be used. Final decisions are usually made in March.

    Application Deadlines:

    • The PhD deadline for Fall is December 15th. (No recruiting for Spring admissions)
    • The MSE deadline for Fall is February 15th.
    • The MSE deadline for Spring for US citizens and permanent residents is November 15th.
    • The MSE deadline for Spring for international applicants is September 15th

    The application will be available for submission on or about August 15.

  • Each application cycle is different, and the timing of the PhD and MSE review processes occur, more or less, simultaneously. Whether we’re able to consider your PhD application for acceptance into our MSE program depends on several factors – the amount of MSE applications received, the speed at which our MSE Admissions Committee reviews said applications, and the number of MSE offers made during a given cycle.

    In short, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to review your PhD application for our MSE program. But if you email Zack Burwell by February 1, stating that you’d like your PhD application to be cloned for MSE review, it is likely that we will be able to accommodate your request. Please keep in mind that you may not have received your formal PhD Admissions decision yet.

  • The application is online and all recommendations must be submitted online. We receive GRE and TOEFL scores electronically directly from ETS. Please do not mail anything. We will request your official transcripts if you are admitted to the program. All documents submitted online will also be dropped into this folder which the faculty will access. Your job is to construct a folder that will impress the faculty. The main thing to avoid is leaving out key materials, including GRE’s, statement of purpose, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation (two for MSE applicants) which include the rating table. We require that your recommendations be submitted online; the system will email the instructions and formats to the recommenders.
  • All documents must be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office:

    Johns Hopkins University
    Full-time Studies in Arts, Sciences and Engineering
    Graduate Affairs and Admissions Office
    W601 Wyman Park Building                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3400 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21218

    To contact: go to :

    Note from the Graduate Admissions office:

    Paper:  Paper documents will be processed (scanned) and inserted into the appropriate applicant’s electronic folder, but these documents can only be matched up if the applicant has submitted the online application.

    Emailed Documents:  Please do not email documents unless they are requested.

  • Graduate Admissions answers these types of inquiries. Please go to and fill out the requested info. We in the departments do not collect or record any application documents. Grad Admissions will be able to research and answer you within ten business days. The email address for Graduate Admissions is


Getting Accepted
  • The four areas we weigh are, in rough order of importance: letters of recommendation, your record of projects or research, undergraduate institution and transcript, and GRE scores.
  • First we consider the source of the letter. A letter from your cousin who happens to teach at a two-year college is weighed significantly less than a letter from a researcher at a top computer science school! Next, we look for evidence of research potential. In particular, evidence of outstanding performance in past projects is of high importance. Somewhat less important is evidence of outstanding ability in the classroom. A good letter writer should know you well and be able to rank you very favorably in comparison with your peers.
  • Yes, we do. Both your grades and courses are important, primarily your grades in CS courses during the last two years of undergraduate study.
  • Previous research experience is the easiest way to be placed on the top of the applicant interest list. For this reason we encourage you to send a link to detailed information on your past research experience if you have any. Projects performed for classes, as part of a job, or on your own are also important, in particular if the projects are research-related. Make sure to include a description of these projects with your application – better yet is a link to an online file. Previous teaching experience also improves your chances.
  • Statements of purpose are very important, as they allow us to better form a picture of each applicant, and convince us that you have the attitude needed to succeed in a PhD program.

    The Graduate Affairs and Admissions Office does not accept paper copies of the statement of purpose since applicants are expected to submit this document through the online application. The uploaded file cannot exceed 500KB in size. The document must also adhere to 1″ (inch) margins. Further details can be found at With regards to a Sample of Work (if your department requires this or its applicants have a habit of submitting it anyway), the online application can only accept samples of work up to 500KB in size. The document must also adhere to 1″ (inch) margins. We only accept samples of work via paper that exceed the 500KB size limit. Please do not send duplicates of documents that were successfully uploaded to the online system. Further information can be found at

  • We encourage you to include any information that you think will help us make a more accurate assessment of your abilities. However, it is generally better to give short abstracts of papers or projects (links to online versions are better) rather than full papers or reports. We cannot read everything that everyone sends since every year we receive over 300 PhD applications and 300 MSE applications.

ETS and the GRE and TOEFL exams


Application Materials


Financial Aid
  • Basically 100%. Full-time CS PhD students in good academic standing are guaranteed full-funding. This includes a yearly stipend, tuition and health insurance. Our students are primarily funded on research assistantships, with some amount of time on teaching assistantships (teaching for at least one semester is a requirement of the CS PhD program.)
  • Many first-year PhD students in the department are given teaching assistantships (TA). A few students are given fellowships, and a few start directly as research assistants (RA). By their third year, nearly all students are supported by an RA-ship from an individual professor.
  • The department regrets that we are unable to give financial aid to MSE students. Once you are here, however, you can apply for part-time student work as a course assistant or for other types of work, but we cannot grant tuition waivers for this work. MSE students are never given a stipend of any form, but may be hired on an hourly basis.


  • Yes, we offer a full-time day program for the MSE degree in Computer Science. The average length of time to complete is three or four full-time semesters, depending on the students other commitments. One advantage of our MSE program is that it is relatively small, so unlike some of the more well-known masters programs, you will be in classes of 20-30 students, not 200-300!
  • If you satisfy all the qualifying requirements for the PhD and a professor wishes to serve as your PhD thesis advisor and secure financial support for your research, you can become a PhD candidate. You will still have to apply for admission into the program and be approved by the Admissions Committee and the Chair of the Department.
  • Entering students are expected to have completed a program of study equivalent to that required by the B.S. in computer science. Applicants from other disciplines are required to have coursework (or equivalent experience) in intermediate programming (C++ and Java), data structures, automata theory, computer systems fundamentals and algorithms. We do not offer remedial coursework at the graduate level.
  • Full-time working professionals should apply to JHU’s Engineering Programs for Professionals (EP). This is a completely separate program from the day school, and offers a large number of computer science courses online, in the evening and during the summer at several locations in the Baltimore-Washington area, leading to the MS degree. Telephone 1-800-548-3647 for more information, and check out the web page at The exception to this rule is if you are considering continuing on to a PhD; in this case you should enroll in the day program (our program) if you can. Keep in mind, however, that the University has a residency requirement. YOU MUST BE A FULL-TIME STUDENT FOR AT LEAST TWO CONSECUTIVE SEMESTERS to qualify for a degree from the day school.


For More Information

My question is not on the list. What do I do?

For questions that are not Computer Science Department – specific, you will be able to find answers to many more questions at Make sure to look at the official application instructions for domestic and international students on the Graduate Admissions website.

If you have questions about the Computer Science program requirements, the Graduate Program description in the catalog is the official source. Note, the answers in this FAQ are more current than the answers found in the official documents. If answers to your questions still cannot be found, please e-mail


Back to top