Entrance Requirements

An applicant must present a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science or a related field from an accredited institution. While a bachelor's degree in Computer Science is not required, admission without deficiency requires that an applicant has completed the following courses, or approved equivalents. If these courses are not taken before admission to the program, they may be taken at Penn State Harrisburg, but the student will receive at most 3 credits toward the M.S. degree for these courses.

In addition, the following courses are required for admission without deficiency. If these courses or approved equivalents are not taken before admission to the program, they may be taken at Penn State Harrisburg, but no credit from these courses will be applied toward the M.S. degree.

Admission to the program is based on a review and evaluation of the following items from the applicant:

  1. Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate education. A minimum GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) is required for admission.
  2. Three letters of reference, at least one of which is from an academic source.
  3. A letter outlining significant work experience and academic and career objectives.
  4. At the discretion of the program, students may be required to provide scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and/or the GRE subject test in computer science.
    NOTE: GRE scores MUST be submitted if the applicant is applying for an assistantship.
  5. The language of instruction at Penn State is English. International applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.
    International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a masters degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following countries: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada (except Quebec), Cayman Islands, Dominica, England, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya , Liberia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wales (Admissions Policies: P1).
  6. All applicants are required to upload copies of official transcripts from all institutions attended. All transcripts and academic records uploaded to the application are considered "unofficial." If you are recommended for admission to the program, you will be notified with detailed instructions on how to submit official/original transcripts, attested transcripts and/or attested diplomas in both English and the language of original, official documents.


For more information, contact the Penn State Harrisburg Graduate Admissions Office at:

Penn State Harrisburg
Graduate Admissions Office
Swatara Building
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057-4898

717-948-6250 or

To Apply: All students must apply on-line. For further information and the application form, see the Graduate School Admissions.

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