Admission & Prerequisites

Application Deadline

Application Process

The application process is centralized at the university and requires TWO steps as described below:

  1. Apply Online at Cal State Apply. (Application Period for Fall 2021: October 1, 2020-February 15, 2021)
  2. Submit official academic records/transcripts to the Admissions Office within three weeks of university application submission. 
  • Effective with the Fall 2021 application cycle, unofficial academic transcripts must be uploaded as part of the Cal State Apply application. Please plan to have them readily available at time of university admission application submission. For Fall admission, transcripts should include coursework completed through the preceding fall term (usually ending in December). For Spring admission, transcripts should include coursework completed through the preceding summer term (usually ending in August). 
  • Be aware: If you are a current (or former) Cal State LA student, the Cal State LA transcript does not need to be submitted to the Admissions Office.
  • If you have studied at an institution outside of the US, you will need to have your foreign academic work evaluated by the International Education Research Foundation (IERF) or World Education Services (WES) for securing admission into the program. However, IERF/WES evaluation is temporarily SUSPENDED  for Fall 2021 admission.​
    • IERF - Visit to create an online application requesting the "Detailed Report". The foreign evaluation fee is $165 (USD). When submitting your course work to IERF please make sure to indicate that you were referred by "CSU Los Angeles-Office of Graduate Admissions" and that you would like to have the official agency copy of the evaluation report sent directly to CSU Los Angeles-Office of Graduate Admissions. 
    • WES - Visit to create an online application. You will need to order the course-by-course evaluation report. The cost is $160 for the WES Basic or $205 for the WES ICAP.
    • For steps on how to submit your foreign academic records to these agencies, visit the Admissions and Recruitment page on IERF/WES.
  • If you do not possess a Bachelor's (or advanced) degree from a postsecondary college/university where English is the only language of instruction, you will need to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test scores to the Cal State LA Admissions Office. Be aware, scores are only valid for two years from exam date.
  • See also


From Spring 2020 admission, students admitted to “Conditionally Classified Graduate Standing” are given up to three prerequisites (based on the evaluation of their transcripts). These three fundamental Computer Science course areas are:

  • Programming (CS 3035)
  • Algorithms (CS 3112)
  • Web (CS 3220)

The Computer Science Department will conduct advisement/orientation sessions (prior to the start of their first semester) for all new incoming graduate students. Students would be guided to set up a study plan to complete all the prerequisites in the first semester. Students admitted under “Conditionally Classified Graduate Standing” can request the opportunity to remove any of the assigned prerequisite conditions by successfully taking an Assessment Test in that area. (See the sample assessment test.) The request should be reviewed and granted by the graduate advisor individually. 

Prior to the Spring 2020 admission, all students will be considered as "Conditional" until evaluated for the following essential prerequisites as described in the flowchart below.

Prerequsites flowchart

The subject areas for prerequisite evaluation are identified by the three group levels indicated above. In addition, the CS Department will conduct an explicit ASSESSMENT TEST for admitted students to determine which courses must be taken as prerequisites prior to beginning any courses for the graduate program. See the SAMPLE ASSESSMENT TEST. Students should meet with the graduate advisor at least one week prior to the beginning of the first term.


Contact Us

For questions regarding MSCS Program Graduate Admissions, please visit the FAQ or contact us:  [email protected]