Admission to Computer Science

picture of students crossing Guy West Bridge (rounded corners 190 pixels max)Undergraduate Program

Eligibility for admission to the University is described at Sacramento State Admissions; registration dates and fees can be found at General Registration Information.

Students must apply online.  If you are an international student, please visit: Office of Global Education.

Once accepted, new undergraduate (freshman and transfer) students attend the mandatory campus orientation session. Major advising is provided as part of the orientation sessions. For information about transferable courses, see  If you took a course at an institution that does not have a transfer agreement with Sacramento State, contact the Associate Chair, Dr. Scott Gordon.

Please note that ALL new students, freshmen or transfer students, are admitted as Pre-Computer Science students and cannot register for restricted upper-division courses (CSC 133 and above) until they complete all requirements to change their major to Computer Science.

Information about financial aid can be found at the Financial Aid website. Please note that financial aid is generally not available for international students.

Graduate Program

Eligibility for admission to the University is described here: Graduate Studies Admission Requirements

Students should apply online.  If you are an international student, please visit: Office of Global Education.

Admission as a fully classified graduate in either Computer Science or Software Engineering requires:

  1. A baccalaureate degree. 
  2. A minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 units attempted. 
  3. GRE General Test. Note: There is no minimum score. Your score will be compared with the average of each semester's applicants.
  4. Mathematical preparation including two semesters of calculus, one semester of calculus-based probability and statistics, and discrete mathematics corresponding to Sacramento State courses Math 30, Math 31, and Stat 50.  Mathematics Courses.
  5. Computer Science lower division preparation including: 
    • programming proficiency, 
    • machine organization, and 
    • UNIX and PC-based program development environment proficiency corresponding to CSUS courses CSC 015CSC 020CSC 028CSC 035 and  CSC 060, and as evidenced by a pass on the graduate student placement test or a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science. 
  6. Computer Science advanced preparation as evidenced by a 3.25 GPA in the following Sacramento State upper division computer science courses or their equivalent elsewhere: 
    • CSC 130 Data Structures and Algorithms 
    • CSC 131 Computer Software Engineering 
    • CSC 132 Computing Theory
    • CSC 134 Database Management and File Organization  
    • CSC 137 Computer Architecture 
    • CSC 138 Computer Networks and Internets
    • CSC 139 Operating System Principles 

Although a bachelor's degree in computer science is not necessary, applicants must meet the requirements described above. Applicants with deficiencies in the admission requirements are advised to remove any such deficiencies before applying.  The department will only grant conditional admission to students who are likely to complete all admission requirements by the semester they enter the graduate program.  The specific courses required for an individual student are determined by an evaluation of the student's transcripts and will generally be specified in the student's letter of acceptance as a graduate student. For more information, see Graduate Student Status.

Students with inadequate preparation in Computer Science may acquire the necessary background in several ways:

  1. Enroll at a local community college in courses equivalent to Sacramento State lower-division requirements and transfer to Sacramento State at a later date for the upper-division requirements;
  2. Enroll as an unclassified graduate (if permitted by the University and visa restrictions) and, after satisfying deficiencies, apply for classification in the graduate program;
  3. Enroll at Sacramento State as a second bachelor's degree student and, after satisfying deficiencies, apply for classification in the graduate program;
  4. Register in regular Sacramento State classes through the Open University mechanism offered by the College of Continuing Education. The registration counter is located in Napa Hall. Call (916) 278-4433 for more information.


  • All graduate and post-baccalaureate applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English. Those who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based, 80 on the Internet-based (IBT), or 550 on the paper-based Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For registration and general TOEFL information, please contact the TOEFL division of the Educational Testing Service at (609) 921-9000 or visit their website at
  • The GRE General Test is required of all applicants, as noted above. For registration and general GRE information, please contact the Educational Testing Service at (800) GRE-CALL (473-2255) or visit their website at
  • The Computer Science Graduate Student Placement Test is also required of all entering students except those with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. This test will be administered during the week prior to the first week of classes. Exact date, time, and location is announced prior to each semester.


Please check the Graduate Studies website for Application deadlines.

Financial Aid for Graduate Students

The department has only a limited number of teaching assistantships, and these are not generally offered to first-year students. Because Sacramento State is primarily a teaching institution, we do not have research assistantships available. Federal Work Study, Perkins Loans, and Stafford Loans are available to classified and conditionally classified graduate students. There is no financial aid available for international students. For more information, see the Financial Aid website.

Questions about Our Graduate Programs

For questions about our graduate programs, please contact Dr. Jinsong Ouyang, Computer Science Graduate Coordinator, at (916) 278-5769 or email His office hours may be viewed at Faculty Office Hours.

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