Application Instructions for Master of Science in Computer Science & Software Engineering


Autumn Quarter Application Deadline

April 2 (International Applicants)
  May 1 (Domestic Applicants)

The MS in CSSE enrolls new students for Autumn quarter only. Applicants must submit all application materials by the following deadlines to be considered for admission.

Application Checklist

The application to the Master of Science in Computer Science & Software Engineering is submitted online via the Graduate School Application. All Application materials should be submitted online, and are due by the application deadline.

To learn more about the application process to the University of Washington, please read: Understanding the Application Process.

Please complete all components of the application checklist:

1. Application & Paid Fee

Complete the application to the UW Graduate School and pay the application fee.  All applications must be completed online.

2. Unofficial Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts must be uploaded into the online application.  Applicants will be asked to submit an official hardcopy transcript only if offered admission. Please do not send hardcopy transcript materials until you are asked to do so.
Applicants with degrees from outside the United States must upload detailed official mark sheets and official documentation showing degree earned. All documents must be in English, and be the official translation from the institution in which the degree(s) was earned.

3. Personal Statement

All applicants should answer the following question. Please limit your statement to a maximum of 1000 words.  Statements should reflect thoughtful consideration of an applicants appropriateness of fit for the Computer Science & Software Engineering master’s degree and the UW Bothell campus.  Applicants are encouraged to view the Computing & Software System Division mission and goals, as well as the mission and goals of the School of STEM for inspiration.

“Describe why the Computer Science & Software Engineering graduate program is of interest to you and how it will support your scholarly and career goals.”

4. A Current Resume 

Show relevant work experience in detail and include any information relevant to admission prerequisites.

5. Letters of Recommendation

Applicants should have 2 - 3 letters of recommendation. All recommendations are submitted electronically as part of the application process. Once a recommender has been designated in the application recommenders will automatically be sent an email from the University of Washington Graduate School with instructions on how to submit their letter of recommendation.

(Professional references may be substituted for academic ones if academic recommenders are unavailable.)

6. Scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Applicants are required to submit scores on the GRE General Exam. No subject test is required. Applicants need to have ETS send scores electronically to Institution code 4854 (University of Washington).  Mailed copies of score reports are not considered official and will not be accepted.  Scores are valid five years from the testing date.  We recommend scheduling the GRE early in the year in order to have scores arrive prior to the selected application deadline. There is no minimum score for the GRE.

GRE Waiver: The GRE requirement will be waived for students who have received the BSCSSE (Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Software Engineering) or GCSDD (Graduate Certificate in Software Design and Development) from UW Bothell.

7. Writing Sample or Essay

Please choose one topic question from the options below and write a one-page essay.  The Writing Sample gives the admission committee both a better sense of an applicants writing ability as well as possible research interests or software development skills.

  1. The UWB graduate program offers students the option to complete either a thesis or a capstone project as part of their graduation requirements. Describe a project that interests you and that could serve as your thesis/capstone. Please discuss the project functionality and the technologies involved. What skills would be necessary to complete this project, and what would you take first in order to be successful?

  2. Assume that you could lead a small experienced team of seven developers from a quality-oriented technology company toward the development of a software system. Please choose and detail the software process model(s) and software engineering methods that you feel most appropriate to accomplish the project, and justify your choices.

8. Additional Documentation

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following five ways:

  1. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States where English is the medium of instruction.

  2. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.

  3. Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #2 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School; credential service reports are not acceptable. Acceptable documentation must be one of the following:
    • Official or attested letter from the undergraduate college, University Registrar, or Controller of Examinations office.
    • Official transcripts, attested mark sheets, or degree statements are also accepted if English is stated as the medium of instruction.
  4. An official letter stating successful completion of the UW Intensive English Program (IEP). The letter must be submitted to the Graduate School.
    • University of Washington Seattle: Campus Intensive English Programs (CIEP)
  5. If none of the four above stated options pertain, the applicant must submit an official English language test score to the Graduate School (institution code: 4854) as follows:
    • 92 on the TOEFL iBT
    • 580 on the TOEFL pBT (paper-based)

For further information, please visit

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Special Information for International Applicants

  • International applicants are those who currently hold or expect temporary U.S. Visas, including holders of H1-B, H-4 or any other non-immigrant classifications.
  • U.S. permanent residents (Green Card holders or immigrants) are NOT considered international applicants.

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Application Checklist

  • Completed application
  • Fees paid
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Current resume
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Official TOEFL scores (Non-Native English speaking applicants)
  • Writing Sample or Essay
  • Additional documents (Optional)


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