Letter to Prospective Graduate Students

A Letter to Prospective Graduate Applicants

Dear Prospective Graduate Student:

Thank you for your interest in the graduate program of the Computer Science Department at Kent State University.

The Master of Science degree in Computer Science program includes the following optional concentrations:

  • The Computational Data Science concentration prepares students to process big data. In a spectrum of real-world applications, the collected data (from such sources as mobile devices, GPS, sensor/RFID networks, Internet, social media, etc.) is so large and complex, the traditional data processing tools cannot efficiently and effectively handle it. This concentration focuses on algorithms development, machine learning, computation techniques, network and computing infrastructure and software.
  • The Computer Engineering concentration prepares students to meet the need of computer engineering professionals in the industry for designing and managing emerging smart devices and computer-integrated physical systems with programmable intelligence. Students learn the hardware-software co-design principles and theory, architecture of the associated software and hardware, devices and sensors communication protocols and the interfaces to effectively design, build and evolve such smart devices and computer-driven intelligent physical systems.
  • The Computer Security concentration exposes students to a wide range of topics on the security of computer systems. Students study the vulnerabilities in software and networks and develop algorithms and software to protect data, using digital encryption coding, protected databases and protected computer networking techniques.
  • The Non-Thesis Option concentration is available for students who do not plan to complete a PhD in Computer Science and, instead, are pursuing a professional career that does not involve research and desire an individualized plan of study.

Students who are seeking academic careers or positions in research and development may complete a thesis instead of selecting a concentration.

  • A Master of Art degree program that provides students with the technical knowledge and skills necessary for success within the information and high technology industries. The program emphasizes breadth of knowledge in advanced computer science topics to augment the student's baccalaureate degree.
  • A PhD degree program that promotes research, discovery and integration. It is designed for students interested in becoming professional scholars, college and university teachers, or independent research workers in private, industrial or government research institutions.
  • A Combined Baccalaureate and Masters (4+1) degree program which is a fast-track to graduate education. It is designed primarily as an option for advanced students in our Baccalaureate program.
**For a list of typical book assignments and their cost, go here.

The Computer Science Department has 20 full-time faculty members, (Stark and Kent Campuses) approximately 240 graduate students and approximately 450 undergraduate students. The department covers nearly every aspect of computer science, including:

  • database systems, data mining,
  • distributed systems, parallel processing, interconnection networks,
  • graphics, scientific visualization, image processing,
  • software engineering,
  • algorithms and computational theory, computational intelligence,
  • communication networks, wireless and sensor networks, and multimedia networking,
  • web-based applications, symbolic computation, multimedia languages,
  • information security, and network security.

Students entering our Master's program are generally expected to have a Bachelor's degree in computer science or a related discipline, with a grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0. Students who have very little computer science background should apply to Kent State as a Post-undergraduate Student (see "Types of Admission to the Master's Program" below).

Applicants for Fall 2015 and after are required to submit their GRE scores. While we evaluate each application in its totality, we expect GRE scores for Verbal plus Quantitative to be greater than 295.

International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency and receive a minimum score of 525 PBT(paper-based TOEFL), 71 IBT(Internet-Based TOEFL), 6.0 (IELTS) or 48 (PTE ).

We expect applicants to our program to have mathematical proficiency through Linear Algebra and Discrete Mathematics, and to have taken computer science course work that minimally includes Data Structures, Structure of Programming Languages, Operating Systems, and Computer Architecture.

Several types of Graduate Assistantships are available on competitive basis. The assistantship normally carries tuition scholarship plus stipend. Applications for financial assistantship must be received before the deadlines of January 31 (for Fall applications). Students who receive awards will be notified by late March, or late October, respectively. Unfortunately, due to the large number of requests, we can only notify applicants who will be awarded an assistantship. All graduate applicants will automatically be evaluated for graduate assistantship.

Applications without any request for assistantships are accepted on a rolling basis, although for international applications to be considered they must reach the CS Graduate Office no later than November 15 (applications for Spring semester) and no later than June 15 (applications for Fall semester).

Since it may take 3-4 weeks for our graduate office to process those applications, students should apply well in advance of the deadlines listed above. Applications for admission sent in the last few weeks before a deadline will probably not be processed in time to be considered for admission.

If you are interested in our program, please apply electronically through the Admissions Office at Kent State University.

Please refer to FAQ to find answers to some typical questions about the graduate program. If you have any further questions, please contact gradinfo@cs.kent.edu.

We appreciate your interest in our program, and we look forward to considering your application!

Graduate Coordinator