Application Instructions for Domestic Students

1.  Auburn University Rankings 

2.  Application Procedure

3.  Your Application Package

4.  Prerequisite Background

5.  Application Deadlines

6.  Assistantships and Fellowships

7.  Faculty Research Interests

8.  Deferral for Admission

9.  Expense Budgets 

10. Insurance

11. Application Review

Auburn University Rankings

Auburn excels in teaching, research, and extension/outreach. For 23 consecutive years, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Auburn as one of the nation's Top 50 Public Universities. Auburn University is an “R1” institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education; an R1 designation is reserved for doctoral universities with the highest levels of research activity. Auburn is a comprehensive land, sea, and space-grant institution, among the few to hold that distinction. Auburn ranked No. 1 nationally in the “happiest students” category as part of The Princeton Review’s annual “Best 385 Colleges” rankings list. ranked Auburn #1 as the 2017 Best Value College in Alabama. Auburn ranked 8th in public colleges with high student satisfaction by, 2016. The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, within which CSSE is located, is ranked 29th in the nation among public universities by US News & World Report in 2019.

Our department is the largest computer science department in the State of Alabama, and ranked number one in the state and one of the top programs in the Southeastern region of United States by US News & World Report in 2018. All of our graduate degrees (with the exception of MS in Data Science and Engineering) are available both on-campus and online. Our online graduate programs were ranked #20 in the nation by US News & World Report in 2019. The 31 faculty members in our department are committed to offer a unique opportunity for our graduate students to conduct cutting-edge research and develop in-depth knowledge of the field. We cater to graduate students with an outstanding aptitude and strong analytic skills for advanced research and development in all subareas of Computer Science and Software Engineering.

Application Procedure

Step 1. Complete the online application at ApplyYourself

Note that all application materials are available at the Graduate School's website, where you can find the information needed for your applications. 

Step 2. Mail your original transcript(s) to our Graduate School (address: Graduate School, 106 Hargis Hall, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849; or Email for Electronic Transcripts). In general, only students who have at least a 3.0/4.0 undergraduate grade point average will be considered for graduate admission.

Step 3. If you have not paid your application fee online, then make check or money order (US dollars only) payable to The Graduate School of Auburn University. Until fees are received, no application will be forwarded to the Department; therefore, no decisions will be made concerning admission and/or assistantships. Application fees are $60 for domestic applicants.

Step 4. Order your GRE (Auburn University’s GRE School Code is “1005”) scores to Auburn University. GRE combined score (V+Q) should be greater than 300, with a verbal score of at least 150, a quantitative score of at least 150, and a written score of at least 3. We don't automatically discard applications that fail to meet these requirements. We take a "whole person" approach to evaluating applications to our graduate programs.  

Step 5. Invite your references to submit letters of recommendations in the ApplyYouself system.

Step 6. Upload your resume and statement of purpose in the ApplyYouself system.

Application Package Checklist

Without all of the required items, your application is not complete and will not be processed by the Graduate Programs Committee.

  • Official GRE scores. Please use a school code of 1005 and a department code of 5199
  • Official transcripts of previous coursework (one copy is needed per university). Transcripts should be sent to the Graduate School.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Recommendations should be submitted through the application system. Please note that we have no specific form for recommendations; those who write recommendations may use any format they choose. Applicants are also strongly encouraged (but not required) to ask their recommenders to complete the ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI) in addition to writing letters of recommendation. If you registered for the GRE on or after May 1, 2009, or have registered to take the GRE, you can send up to four evaluation reports free as part of your test fee. Please enter your name exactly as it appears in your registration. To sign up for the PPI, create an ETS PPI applicant account by clicking here
  • Resume. Please upload with the online application.
  • Statement of purpose. Please upload with the online application.

Prerequisite Background

Per the MS-CYBE/MS-CSSE/PhD-CSSE description on our department’s website, most applicants should have an undergraduate degree in a closely related area. Appropriate background in the following undergraduate-level areas will be required for MS-CYBE/MS-CSSE/PhD-CSSE students.

  1. Fluency in a high-level programming language such as C, C++, Java, or Python
  2. Data structures and algorithms
  3. Discrete mathematics
  4. Computer organization and architecture
  5. Operating systems
  6. Computer networks

Students without this background will be required to take the following courses before admission to the MS-CYBE/MS-CSSE/MS-PhD program.

Semester 1

  • COMP 2210 Fundamentals of Computing II
  • COMP 3240 Discrete Structures
  • COMP 3350 Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming

Semester 2

  •  COMP 3270 Introduction to Algorithms
  •  COMP 3500 Operating Systems
  •  COMP 4300 Computer Architecture
  •  COMP 4320 Computer Networks

This prerequisite prescription is largely dependent on the individual applicant's background and job experience. 

You may take the pre-requisite courses through our online undergraduate degree program or CPSC for short: may contact Mr. Russell Denney ( – Student Services Coordinator or Dr. Chapman ( – the director of the program, if you have any question regarding the online undergraduate degree program. The following table summarizes the mappings between CSSE Graduate Program Pre-requisites and the CPSC equivalent courses (i.e., online undergraduate courses listed at

COMP Course

CPSC Equivalent

COMP 2210 Data Structures in Java

CPSC 1233* (*1213 & 1223 if no background)

COMP 3240 Discrete Structures

CPSC 3243

COMP 3350 Comp Org and Assembly Language

CPSC 3303

COMP 3270 Algorithms

CPSC 3273 & CPSC 3283

COMP 3500 Operating Systems

CPSC 3333

COMP 4300 Computer Architecture

CPSC 3323

COMP 4320 Computer Networks

CPSC 3353 & CPSC 3363














Table: The mappings between the pre-requisites and the online CPSC equivalent courses

Application Deadlines

Application packets must be complete by May 1 to receive priority consideration for funding for the fall semester. June 15 is the latest an application can be accepted and still provide enough time for processing at the university level. The corresponding dates for the spring semester are Oct. 15 and Nov. 15. Please note that applications are accepted and evaluated after these deadlines; however, this may delay the desired starting semester.

Assistantships and Fellowships

Our department offers financial support to outstanding graduate students (e.g., admitted PhD students), usually through teaching and/or research assistantships (GRA). All assistantships include tuition waivers. A very limited number (i.e., 4-8 per year) of fellowships may also be available. Competition for support is open to all students (MS, Ph.D., domestic and international students). All new students, both domestic and international, are automatically considered for the award of graduate teaching assistant (GTA) positions. Graduate research assistantships (GRAs) are offered by faculty members through their research grants. Please refer to the “Faculty Research Interests” section below for details on our faculty research.

In an effort to recruit outstanding graduate students, the university and college offer fellowships to a select group of candidates who have the potential to excel in graduate studies at Auburn (AU Presidential Graduate Research Fellowships and College of Engineering Fellowships). If you are admitted to our graduate program, the department will assist you in applying for these fellowships.

Faculty Research Interests

For details about the research interests of our faculty members, and other information pertaining to our graduate programs, please visit our website below

Deferral for Admission

Admission to the Graduate School is valid for one year. For example, if you are admitted for Fall 2018, you may enroll anytime during the 2018-2019 academic year (i.e., Fall 2018 or Spring 2019). If you wish to delay admission, please send your request of deferral for admission through an email to Dr. Qin at

Expense Budgets 

Information on the cost of attending Auburn University in residence can be found here:


All graduate assistants with assignments of 10 hours/week (i.e., 0.25 FTE) or greater for the full semester in the fall and/or spring semesters, who meet the minimum monthly stipend established by the Office of the Provost, and are in good academic standing are required to have health insurance coverage. Further information on graduate student health insurance program can be found here:

Application Review

After you complete your application, the Graduate Programs Committee, of which Dr. Qin ( is the chair, will review the materials and make an admission recommendation to the graduate school.


Last Updated: 2/20/20 11:10 AM