FAQ - OMS CS Admissions

What are the admission criteria for the OMS CS degree program?
Preferred qualifications for admitted OMS CS students are an undergraduate degree in computer science or related field (typically mathematics, computer engineering or electrical engineering) from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants who do not meet these criteria will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; significant professional or other work experience with supporting recommendations may qualify as an adequate substitute for the appropriate academic credentials, however work experience will not take the place of an undergraduate degree. Georgia Tech will not admit applicants into the OMS CS degree program without the minimum qualifications for success. The Georgia Tech minimum criteria used in determining each applicant's eligibility for consideration shall include:


  1. Evidence of award of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent (prior to matriculation) from a recognized institution, demonstrated academic excellence, and evidence of preparation in their chosen field sufficient to ensure successful graduate study; and
  2. For international applicants, satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).


I don’t have the academic credentials for full admission now, but I would like to work toward that. What advice do you have?
The best advice is to take (and pass) courses in computer science from an accredited institution. If you don’t have a computing background, passing these courses will present its own challenges and give you a preview of what the OMS CS curriculum will be like. If you have a computing background (either academically or professionally) and just need to plug a few holes, such courses are a great way to do it. All applicants to the OMS CS or other graduate degree program must meet the Georgia Tech minimum admission criteria (see above), however admission is not guaranteed for those who meet the minimum criteria.


If I meet the admission criteria, am I automatically admitted?
Applicants will be conditionally admitted into the degree program and must pass their first two OMS CS foundational courses with a grade of B or better to be fully admitted. Students do not need to take these foundational courses before registering for elective courses, however we recommend students take at least one foundational course per semester in which they are enrolled until they are fully admitted to Georgia Tech.


What are the foundational courses?
They are indicated in the course listing on the Program Information page of this website.


What kind of proof of U.S. citizenship is required?
For more information on accepted proof of citizenship, please visit the Georgia Tech graduate admissions website.


I’m not a U.S. citizen and/or don’t live in the United States. May I still apply?
Yes, subject to U.S. export control policy.


How does the admissions process work?
Prospective students will have to furnish materials commonly required for graduate admissions (prior degrees, transcripts, etc.). For full information about application requirements, please visit the Program Information page of this website.


Do applicants need to take the GRE?


When can I apply?
Application periods, including deadlines, will be announced on the OMSCS website under the Program Information page. You can also receive application information by joining the OMS CS mailing list.


How do I apply?
First, review the information on the Program Information page, which explains the relevant dates, costs and student information necessary for application. During application windows, a link to the OMS CS application site will be posted on the Program Information page.


If my country’s primary language is English, do I still have to provide a TOEFL score?
Exceptions are given to the applicants from countries where English is the SOLE OFFICIAL language of instruction (Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-except Québec province, England, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Trinidad, Tobago, Uganda and Wales). An applicant is exempt from TOEFL only if they are a naturalized citizen, a Green Card holder or have spent at least one year in residence and enrolled at a U.S. college or university.
Please visit the Georgia Tech Catalog - TOEFL for International Students page for further information regarding TOEFL requirements.


Can I submit my TOEFL score after the application process ends?
No. TOEFL scores are due upon completion of your application.
Lawful Presence
Under Policy 4.1.6, the lawful presence of any student applying to an institution must be verified before a final offer of admission can be extended. This policy applies to any student admitted for the Georgia Tech Fall 2011 semester or any semester thereafter. If the student will remain living outside of the U.S. and will be enrolling only in distance education courses, then it is not necessary to verify lawful presence. International students residing outside the United States do not need to submit proof of lawful presence. All other applicants must submit proof of lawful presence. Please visit the Lawful Presence page of our website for a complete list of acceptable lawful presence documents.


What is meant by official or unofficial transcripts? When can I send them?
Official transcripts can be delivered in several ways. Most common are those delivered directly to Georgia Tech from your academic institution. Some institutions also provide certified PDFs to alumni for use in graduate applications, as well as sealed, physical transcripts. If you are accepted to OMS CS, you will be asked to verify your unofficial transcript provided at the time of application with an official copy through one of these methods.


I am an international student. Do I need to have my transcripts translated or converted?
You will be asked to provide an unofficial English translation of your transcript upon application. If your undergraduate institution does not grade on a 4.0 scale, there are services online to convert the institution's grading system to 4.0.


How many recommenders will I need? What is the process?
Applicants must procure recommendations from three individuals. As part of the application, applicants will provide their recommenders' email addresses. Those individuals will be contacted through email and provided instructions on how to submit their recommendations online. A physical letter will not be required.


How do I provide criminal and academic misconduct history?
On the OMS CS application, you will be asked to report your own history to be verified by Georgia Tech's Office of Graduate Admissions.


Is there a cap on admissions?
There is no hard cap on admissions, however Georgia Tech and Udacity are controlling enrollments until the necessary infrastructure is in place to deliver a high-quality, supported degree program to enrolled students. The inaugural admissions class for Spring 2014 included about 400 students, and this number will scale up gradually over time.


When will the program start and run until? What’s the academic calendar and schedule for the program?
All relevant dates are maintained on the Program Information page.


What is the curriculum, and how does it compare to the curriculum for the residential degree?
The curriculum in the pilot OMS CS will represent a subset of the on-campus curriculum, allowing for a full MS in computer science but with only some of the specializations available in the on-campus program. The OMS CS curriculum will expand as more courses come online.


I don’t have a formal education. Do I still qualify for the program?
Georgia Tech grants graduate admission only to applicants who have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent prior to matriculation.


May I take OMS courses for college credit without being enrolled in the degree program?
No, Georgia Tech does not currently offer OMS courses for credit to students not enrolled in the degree program.


I’m not interested in the degree program, credentials or credit, but I would like to take the courses for free. Is this possible?
Yes, the OMS courses are available for free on the Udacity website. These free courses do not carry college credit and offer limited academic support.


Can this degree program be audited if I already have an MS CS degree?
Not at first. We will provide additional program tracks following successful launch of the degree program, including possibly an audit track.


Will the degree I receive from the OMS CS program be the same as the on-campus MS in Computer Science or will my degree say “Online”?

Your diploma will read "Master of Science in Computer Science," exactly the same as those of on-campus graduates. There will be no "online" designation for the degrees of OMS CS graduates.

If my application is rejected, can I submit an appeal for a new review of my application?

Yes, you can request an appeal for additional review of your application. Please visit the Submitting an Appeal for Review of Your Application page for more information.