How to Apply

The CSE graduate program is part of the University of Michigan’s Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Prospective master’s and doctoral students should submit applications through the Rackham Graduate School by following the instructions below.

Application information

The application for admission to the doctoral and master’s program is completed online through the Rackham Graduate School. The site allows you to save your work and complete the application over time. A UMID number will be issued to you by the Rackham Graduate School via email within 5 business days of completing pages 1-5 and advancing to page 6 of the ApplyWeb application. The online application will be accessible until 11:59 p.m. (EST) on the application deadline.

For full admission consideration, supporting materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores) should arrive by the deadline.

Doctoral (PhD) Application Deadline: December 15th (Fall only)
Master’s (MS/MSE) Application Deadline: January 15th (Fall only)
SUGS (MS/MSE) Application Deadline: October 1st (for Winter term) or January 15th (for Fall term)

Once an application has been submitted, it cannot be updated.

Application checklist

GRE scores are not considered in the admissions review of Ph.D. or Master’s applications.

  • Statement of Purpose: Your statement of purpose should be a concise, well-written document about your academic and/or research background, as well as your career goals. Additionally, it should communicate how CSE’s graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives. The statement of purpose has a 3 page limit.
  • Personal Statement:  Your personal statement should describe how your life experiences – cultural, geographical, financial, educational, and/or other opportunities/challenges – motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree in CSE. Suggested topics for your personal statement are:
    • volunteer and/or community service;
    • extra-curricular activities;
    • leadership pursuits;
    • educational, cultural, geographic or socio-economic background underrepresented in your discipline of graduate study;
    • financial hardship;
    • first generation U.S. citizen or first generation in family to graduate from a four-year college

The personal statement has a 500 word limit and is not identical to the statement of purpose.

  • Resume: Please provide your resume that highlights your education, work experience, research publications, teaching experience, professional activities, volunteer service, community engagement, honors and awards.

  • Research Interest (PhD applicants only): Select your primary and secondary areas of research interest.

  • Faculty Interest (PhD applicants only): Select up to five CSE faculty whose research interests align with yours and whom you would consider as potential research advisors. 

  • Letters of Recommendation: Request 3 letters of recommendation from people who are familiar with your academic performance and research potential. Recommendation letters should be submitted electronically through the online application system. Applicants must select “Yes” on the application when it asks if they want to “Use Online Recommendation System” – we do not accept letters by email, physical mail, or other systems (e.g. Interfolio). Registering your recommenders must be completed before you submit your application – please refer to Rackham’s Letters of Recommendation page for more information on how and when a recommender can be updated.

    Technical assistance requests should be sent directly to the ApplyWeb team at [email protected], and the following information must be included in the request: user name, full name, email address, and phone number. Please allow 24 hours for a response.

  • GRE and English Proficiency Test Scores:
    • GRE: GRE scores are neither required nor considered in the admissions process.
    • English Proficiency Test Scores: Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency, unless they meet one of the criteria for an exemption. Further information may be found here.
  • Transcripts:
    • Applicants who attended, or are attending, a U.S. Institution:
      • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript(s) for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and doctoral degree earned, or in progress, through your ApplyWeb application account. 
      • If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require official transcript(s). Recommended applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcript(s) are required for submission. All students are asked to include an electronic unofficial transcript during the online application process.
    • Applicants who attended, or are attending, a Non-U.S. Institution: Review Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for transcript/academic record requirements by country or region.
      • Upload an electronic version of your official transcript/academic record for each institution attended through your ApplyWeb application account.
      • If offered admission, you must also submit an official transcript/academic record for each institution attended. See Rackham’s detailed instructions on how to submit transcripts/academic records to the Rackham Graduate School.

If you have community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework, please indicate this information on page 9 of the application under the “Additional Education Information” section.

Note: Original educational documents will not be returned. All documentation received becomes the property of the Rackham Graduate School and will not be returned. 

After application submission

To verify the receipt of your application and materials, please follow the instructions listed on the Rackham website.

The CSE Graduate Admissions Committee, comprised of faculty, begin making admission offers in January and continue through April. You will be notified by email once a decision has been made. Decisions for admission and financial aid are made separately. If you are awarded departmental financial assistance, you will be notified via email.

SUGS applicants for the Winter term can expect decisions no later than early December.