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Northwest Missouri State University


Requirements for Admission

Candidates for the M.S. in Applied Computer Science should meet the following requirements:

  1. Compliance with all of the eligibility requirements of the Graduate School as set forth in the Graduate Catalog.
  2. Acceptance to graduate study by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  3. Completion of a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants are expected to have an undergraduate major or minor in a technical computing discipline, including coursework in
    • data structures
    • computer networks
    • database systems
    • discrete mathematics
    • statistics
    Applicants who do not satisfy these requirements may take undergraduate level courses to remove any deficiencies except for Data Structures. The applicant must satisfy the requirement for Data Structures to be admitted.
  4. Minimum GRE and TOEFL scores, as described below. 

Before the program director is allowed to review your application, the Graduate school must verify your TOEFL score.  The acceptable TOEFL score is set by the University as: 

  • 213 for computer-based TOEFL
  • 79-80 for the Internet-Based TOEFL
  • 550 for pencil-and-paper-based TOEFL
  • 6.5 overall, with no bands below 6.0, for IELTS

Applicants not meeting the TOEFL/IELTS requirement are not forwarded to the department for consideration.

A student is admitted by the department if 

  1. The student's undergraduate degree is in Computer Science or a closely related field AND
  2. the student has successfully completed a course in data structures* AND
  3. total GRE >=294 (1000 on the old scale) AND
  4. undergraduate GPA >=3.0, on a 4.0 scale AND
  5. number of backlogs <=5

A student is denied admission if

  1. total GRE < 289 (950 on the old scale) OR
  2. undergraduate GPA < 2.9 OR
  3. the student has not completed a course in data structures* OR
  4. number of backlogs is excessive, especially during the last two years of study

Students with a total GRE >= 289 but < 294, or students who have an undergraduate GPA >= 2.9 but < 3.0, will be considered for admission on an individual basis.  Factors that will be considered include:

  1. If the student's GRE is low, is the undergraduate GPA sufficiently high to compensate for the lower GRE? For example, a student with a GRE of 289 who has a GPA of 3.5 would be admitted if all other admission criteria are met.
  2. If the student's GPA is low, is the total GRE sufficiently high to compensate for the lower GPA?  For example, a student with a GPA of 2.9 who has a GRE of 300 would probably be admitted if all other admission criteria are met.
  3. A strong verbal GRE score(140 or higher), a strong TOEFL score (95 or higher), or a strong AWA score (3.5 or higher) will be a positive factor in  admission for students in this category.

 *Undergraduate courses in computer networks and database management systems are required.  Students admitted without these courses can take them at Northwest upon arrival for graduate study.  However, students must have successfully completed a course in data structures prior to being admitted to the program.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements may be admitted provisionally.

The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems reserves the right of final decision in accepting students to graduate degree candidacy in the department. Criteria for admittance to the program and acceptance to degree candidacy may include academic qualifications and performance, letters of recommendation, number of applicants, and available resources.