Admission Requirements

Admission is competitive. Preference is given to applicants with strong credentials and appropriate undergraduate and/or professional preparation. Specific admission requirements for the program include:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a recognized institution. Students must show evidence of preparation in their chosen field sufficient to ensure profitable graduate study.
  2. A satisfactory past academic performance as usually reflected by a grade point average of (or equivalent to) at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on courses related to the chosen field of Ph.D. study.
  3. Excellent GRE or GMAT scores.
  4. Applicants whose native language is not English must score at least 83 on the Internet-based version, 220 on the computer-based version, or 557 on the paper-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In addition, they will be required to take an English Proficiency Examination prior to the beginning of the first semester of study. Students who do not pass this examination must pass ENGL 1100 (English as a Foreign Language) with a grade of B or higher.
  5. A one-page essay that addresses the following:
    1. The applicant’s motivation
    2. Area(s) of research interest
  6. Three letters of reference from professionals working in the applicant’s field of interest that address the applicant’s previous experience and potential to do research.

Further documentation that will support the application may include: evidence of scholarly and creative activity, including publication list; awards; results in national or international contests related to computing and information systems and the like.

Highly qualified individuals who may not meet all the required prerequisites may be admitted with a clear agreement to make up the prerequisites.

concentration specific additional admission requirements

Computer Science Concentration

Additional admission requirements for the Computer Science concentration include:


Incoming students should possess a Master’s or at least a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a closely related discipline. Specifically, students should have demonstrable knowledge in at least four of the following areas:

  1. Algorithms and Data Structures
  2. Theory of Computation
  3. Programming Language Concepts
  4. Computer Architecture
  5. Operating Systems
  6. Software Engineering and Design

Course requirements may be satisfied through prior undergraduate or graduate work, or by a satisfactory score on the Computer Science Subject GRE examination. Admission into the Computer Science concentration is highly competitive. Thus, satisfying the requirements listed above does not guarantee admission.

Exceptionally strong students from other disciplines will be considered and may be allowed to make up the deficiencies at the discretion of the CS Ph.D. Admissions Committee.


Prior research experience and strong recommendation letters (preferably from university faculty or researchers at corporate labs) will be a significant consideration in evaluating the applicant’s research potential. Research experience maybe demonstrated via publications, Bachelor’s or Master’s theses. A good match with faculty research interests as well as faculty input to the Admissions Committee will play a significant role in the final decision. Potential applicants are encouraged to communicate with research faculty regarding their interests.

Admission Deadlines

Application deadlines are in accordance with UNC Charlotte Graduate School deadlines. However, to ensure full consideration for financial support, applications must be received by September 1 for Spring admission and February 1 for Fall admission.

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