Lab Frequently Asked Questions

What items should be included in my application?

An application is complete when all of the following materials have been received:

  1. A completed on-line application form.
  2. Application fee payment.
  3. GRE or GMAT scores and official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work sent directly to the Computer Science Department office.
  4. Two letters of recommendation sent directly to the Computer Science Department office.
  5. Letter of application.
  6. International students must also submit a sponsorship form, a transcript evaluation, and evidence of English proficiency.
  7. Additional materials in support of the applicant, as appropriate.

Where is the online application form?

The online application form for CIS can be found by clicking the following link: Graduate Student Application Form.

What is the current application fee?

A $56 US non-refundable application fee.

What are the application deadlines?

Application deadlines are:

   Semester Date
   Fall August 1
   Spring December 15
   Summer April 15

International students requiring an I-20 form to study in the U.S. should apply at least two months prior to these deadlines.

Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation?

You should seek letters of recommendation from those who are familiar with your academic work and who can comment with confidence on the likelihood of your success in graduate studies. You can also seek letters from employers who are familiar with your work habits and problem-solving abilities, though such letters should not be used exclusively.

What should I include in my letter of application?

Your letter should address your educational and career goals, including how your CIS graduate studies will help to achieve these goals. If you believe your supporting documentation (including transcripts of prior academic work or test scores) may be viewed as deficient, your letter should address these deficiencies and should indicate why you believe you can be successful as a graduate student.

Should I have recommendation letters sent directly to UW-Parkside?

Yes. Have your recommendation letters sent directly to the Department of Computer Science at UW-Parkside.

Do I need to take the GRE or GMAT?

Yes, even if you have been out of school for a long time or if you are unsure of your likelihood of getting a good score. We use the GRE and GMAT scores as only one of several indicators of the likelihood of success of our applicants.

If I take the GRE, do I need to take a subject test?

No, you need only take the General Aptitude Test.

What are the cutoff scores for the GRE?

On the General Aptitude Test, we look at your Analytical and Quantitative scores. The sum of these two scores should be above 1100.

What are the cutoff scores for the GMAT?

Your GMAT score, plus 200 times your undergraduate GPA, should exceed 1000.

What if my undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 or my GRE or GMAT score is below the cutoff?

We can admit you into the CIS program provisionally if your other supporting documentation strongly indicates you have significant promise for success in graduate work. Such documentation may include particularly strong letters of recommendation or a clear indication of success in graduate work at other institutions, for example. Your letter of application should address these issues. If you are admitted without meeting normal admission standards, we will consider your admission to be probationary during your first 9 credit hours of graduate work; to continue in your graduate studies, you must earn a UW-Parkside GPA of 3.0 in these first 9 hours.

Are unofficial transcripts acceptable?

You may submit unofficial transcripts for an initial review of your application, but official transcripts should be sent directly from your prior institutions before your admission is complete and you begin taking classes.

What if my institution cannot provide official transcripts?

If your institution is unable to provide official transcripts, you will need to obtain documentation from an official source indicating the nature of your studies and their equivalents. If all or part of your studies were taken abroad, you may use the services of a credit evaluation agency that can verify your educational background and provide US equivalents.

What does the "consent of instructor" course prerequisite mean?

Most CIS core courses have a prerequisite of "consent of instructor". Students who have completed the prerequisite courses and who follow their peer group by taking Foundation and Core courses in proper rotation will automatically satisfy the course prerequisites. Those who take courses out of rotation or who are starting their degree requirements with some transfer credits may need to discuss their preparation with the instructor.

What can I expect my tuition costs to be per semester?

Your actual tuition costs will depend on the tuition schedule for the semesters in which you enroll. See the Cashier's Office Fee Facts Booklet for full information about tuition and fees for the current semester.

What financial aid is available for my graduate study?

Graduate students who are at least half-time status (5 credits) and have applied for federal student financial aid through the FAFSA form are eligible to receive federal Stafford student loans. For more information, contact the Office Financial Aid at 262-595-2574.

As an international student, what additional information do I need to supply with my application?

You must provide evidence of financial support and copies of your passport and visa indicating that you are eligible to study in the United States. A financial sponsorship form should be submitted with the information indicated on this form to the Department of Computer Science for review along with your other information in support of your application.

What if my visa status requires that I be a full-time student?

The CIS program can be completed as a full-time student (9 credits per semester for graduate students.)

What if I do not have a degree from a US college or university?

You must have your foreign credits evaluated by a recognized evaluation agency. The evaluation should clearly indicate you have achieved the US equivalent of a BS or BA and should give a list of all courses you have taken along with their associated US equivalent credits and grades. You are responsible for paying for this evaluation and for having the evaluation sent directly to the Department of Computer Science (or for providing a copy of the evaluation in a sealed envelope properly authenticated by the agency). We recommend the following agency:

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee WI 53203-3470
phone: 414-289-3400

You may obtain a list of acceptable evaluation agencies by consulting the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES) web site.

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

If English is not your native language, you are required to provide evidence of English language competence, normally by presenting a degree from an English-speaking university or by satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by the Educational Testing Service:

Corporate Headquarters
Educational Testing Service
Rosedale Road
Princeton, NJ 08541

You are responsible for paying for this test and for seeing that your test scores are sent directly to the Department of Computer Science.

What are the cutoff scores for the TOEFL?

If your TOEFL score is at least 550 (paper based) or 213 (computer based), you are considered to have adequate English ability for graduate study at UW-Parkside. If not, you may encounter some difficulties with the English language in your coursework and in your interaction with faculty and students. In such a case, we will review your application more carefully and may ask you to complete further study of English before we make an admission decision.

What are my estimated fees and expenses for graduate work in the CIS program?

Your full-time graduate tuition (based on 9 credits for Fall and Spring semesters and 3 credits for Summer) amounts to approximately $20800, based on the 2010-2011 nonresident fee schedule from the Cashier's Office. Your entire package of fees and expenses, including housing and other costs, will be approximately $32350:

Tuition and fees: $20800
Housing and meal plan: 9000
Books and supplies: 900
Personal expenses: 2000
Medical insurance (reqd): 900
Total: $33600

This estimate of fees and expenses assumes that you have an F1 student visa and are required to take a full-time course of study. If your visa status does not require full-time study, you will normally take only 6 credits in Fall and Spring semesters; consequently, your tuition and fees will be lower.

As an international student, how would I qualify for resident tuition?

You may apply for resident tuition if you have a record of high academic achievement and if you can show evidence that you are unable to pay for your expenses as a non-resident graduate student. At your request, the Department of Computer Science and the Office of Admissions will evaluate your academic record and financial sponsorship statement and will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether or not to grant you resident tuition.

Am I able to begin taking courses without being accepted?

No. To be eligible to study in the U.S., you must be accepted as a degree-seeking student.

What is the difference between the CIS graduate degree program and graduate programs in CS or IS?

The CIS degree at UW-Parkside is designed for students seeking credentials for entry into the information technology professional workforce or for those seeking professional advancement. The CIS curriculum is oriented more towards practicality than most graduate programs in CS, while providing more technically oriented study than most graduate programs in IS.

What if I do not have an undergraduate degree in CS or MIS?

It is not necessary to have an undergraduate degree in Computer Science or Management Information Systems to be successful in our CIS program. If you have a solid math background which includes algebra and geometry, our two prerequisite classes, CSCI 145 or 241 and CSCI 242, will complete the preparation needed.

How many prerequisite classes will I need to take?

This depends on your prior coursework and background. Please see the list of prerequisite classes.


Which classes that I have already taken may count towards my CIS degree?

Normally, graduate-level classes in CS or MIS can be counted towards your CIS degree if the content is similar to CIS required courses. A maximum of 12 semester hours of graduate work may be transferred into the CIS program. Transfer eligibility depends on the content and level of those classes, and you must have received a B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) or higher before they can be considered.

How long will it take me to complete my CIS degree?

Without any prerequisite courses, plan to arrive for the fall semester and expect the CIS program to be completed in two years of full time study. With sufficient background, it is possible to complete the program in one-and-a-half years of full time study or three years of part-time study.

At what time of day and days of the week are CIS courses offered?

Most CIS courses are offered in the evenings, but some classes may be offered during the day. Each summer one or two classes will be offered, or it is possible to arrange to complete a course through independent study.

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