Admissions FAQ:

Typical undergraduate preparation for this program will include degrees in computer science, computer engineering or electrical engineering. Applicants from other sciences, engineering or business will be considered if they demonstrate sufficient computer science preparation.

Students should have the following:
1.  A year of programming preferably in Python, C++, or Java; or equivalent or better of professional experience
2. Adequate knowledge of and proficiency in C/C++
3. Familiarity with discrete mathematics topics such as those covered in ICS 6B and ICS 6D
4. Familiarity with linear algebra topics such as those covered in Math 3A or ICS 6N
5. Completion of an introductory statistics course

** Admitted students in the first year of the program should make every effort to take community college classes in the summer to fill holes in their knowledge or to take Coursera or EdX classes. There is an excellent on-line book on Discrete Mathematics offered by Zybooks.

Domestic students are eligible to submit a FAFSA, online, starting October 1st thru March 2nd.

No, students are admitted once a year – for the following FALL quarter.

MCS does not defer admission.  Admission is only valid for the year it is offered.

Yes, the general GRE exam is required of all applicants. GRE scores are good for five years, after which time the exam must be repeated.
Only the General exam is required; we do not require the subject GRE exam, although it is recommended for applicants without a background in Computer Science or a related area.

Please review our admissions requirements on this page for more information

Only official transcripts are acceptable.

For GRE and TOEFL, use institutional code 4859 to have your scores sent from the testing agency to UCI.

No thesis or dissertation is required. There is a comp exam.

For information on TOEFL waivers, please see here.

Three letters of recommendation are required, but you may submit as many letters.

No, there is no minimum score.

Program FAQ:

This is a five quarter (15 month) academic program.

At this current time, the program is designed for full-time students; however, we anticipate that it will be available as a part time option for working professionals or students with outside other obligations in the future.  Please check back later for updates.

No, students in professional programs are not eligible for these positions.

No.  However, since we are a professional program, we strongly support internship experience.  Students with significant prior work or internship experience may forgo the internship, but should consult with our career counselor first.

The current cost of the program is $51,041 (regardless of residency). Fees subject to change.

Full fellowships of up to 100% of tuition are available to domestic students based on academic merit. Full fellowships of up to 100% of tuition are also available to domestic students who strengthen our commitment to diversity and under-representation in Computer Science.

All MCS student are automatically charged for and enrolled in the UC Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan. If you are covered by another health insurance plan that complies with UC’s waiver criteris, you may apply for a waiver.

Student Insurance Advocates: The Student Insurance Advocate Program is a service available at no charge to all UC Irvine Students. When you have questions about your health insurance, whether about the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) or other health insurance that you may have, we have a resource to provide you with the answers! We’re partnering with Barney & Barney, an insurance firm, to offer this concierge resource.  Access: By phone: (855) 251-9086 or Email:

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM PST

While health insurance is not required for MCS students, students have the option of purchasing health insurance (Wells Fargo) or through UCI SHIP. See site for more information. Students may also purchase other health insurance on their own.

No, this program is not online.

Most courses will be offered in the late afternoons or evenings.

All of our faculty in MCS are full-time UCI Computer Science faculty.

No, students can only take the designated courses offered through the program. These include any graduate course that ends with a ‘P’. (Ex: Students may enroll in Comp Sci 250P, but students may not enroll in Comp Sci 250)

All ICS programs (unless otherwise noted) benefit from a STEM classification

Yes, MCS students can take advantage of UCI career fairs, and the program has a dedicated technology career counselor, so students in this program will have extra assistance for finding the best employment opportunities and careers.

This is a lock step professional program, where students pay one program fee and graduate in fall quarter. Therefore, filing fee is not offered for professional programs.

Yes. While we believe that most students will secure a summer internship, if for some unforeseen reason you do not, you are welcome to pursue an internship somewhere else or to stay at UCI and prepare for your job search in Fall (by improving your English language skills or taking self-paced on-line courses or by doing careful research on job opportunities).

Yes. The Career Development team will offer career-related workshops and will also be available throughout the program for one-on-one coaching sessions.

Yes.  We will encourage students with Engineering or Business (or science) backgrounds to include domain specific companies in their searches in order to increase their chances of success.  However, we believe that those students will be able to secure positions in pure technology firms once the program is over and that many will do so in Summer.

No, it does not, the MCS is a terminal degree. You could pursue a PhD degree at another university and they would view the program like any MS in CS, but if you intend to apply to the PhD program at UCI, you should apply to the MSCS program, which contains exactly the same coursework as the PhD program.  Note however that successful completion of the MSCS degree does not guarantee admission to the PhD degree program.

Career Development FAQ:

Yes! Here are ICS/UCI events for 2019 – 2020* we encourage you attend to increase your chances of getting interviews and securing a summer internship and/or full-time position for after graduation:

UCI Fall Career Fair

September 25, 2019

ICS Industry Showcase + Career Fair

October 16, 2019

UCI STEM Career Fair

October 17, 2019

UCI Internship & Career Fair

January 23, 2019

EngiTECH Career Fair

February, 2019

UCI Spring Career Fair

May, 2019

* Schedules subject to change and additional events may become available. Please refer to CODE and Handshake for most up to date information throughout the year.

Large tech companies will participate in upcoming career fairs, but not all of them, due to the high volume of student interest they receive and because of their recruitment timelines.  In addition to career fairs, large tech companies may be on campus for other events, so always be on the lookout!

To register for upcoming UCI Career Fairs and to see employers who will be in attendance, please log into Handshake

Employer events hosted by the School of ICS or by ICS Professional Programs will be in ICS CODE.    

Most large tech companies will begin recruiting in Fall, some as early as July, but mostly late August/September.  Smaller to mid-size companies will usually start in Winter beginning as early as December/January. 

Once you have identified your target companies, we recommend you visit their career/university pages to find the internship postings, most of them have deadlines that you should not miss.  If you do not see a posting, set up email notifications through their website so you are alerted right away and can apply as soon as the position is posted.   

Regardless of when you apply, the most important thing is to make sure you meet the application deadline, if any.  We recommend you submit your application at least one week prior to the deadline listed.

If you see an internship postings on a company’s website, and you are confident with your application materials, we recommend you apply as soon as possible.  Please also pay careful attention on the postings to see whether there is a deadline to apply, and plan to apply at least one week prior to that deadline. 

For larger companies, anyone you talk to will likely direct you to apply on the company website, including the recruiter.  It will not be harmful to do both.  However, another way is to reach out to your current contacts at the company, if you have any, to see if they are able to make a referral before you submit your online application.  This way, some job sites may allow you to include the employee’s name as your referral.  Even better, your contact may send your information to their seniors or managers, which will help you in the entire process and increase your chances for being invited for interviews. 

Industry research shows that on average, the entire recruitment process from sourcing a candidate to hiring a candidate takes 26 business days.  While this timeline is mostly accurate, this timeline does vary with different companies, regardless of their size. 

Some students received call backs within one week of application submission, some received call backs one or even two months later.  The key is your follow-up; sometimes that makes a significant difference in how fast the process will move forward, if it moves forward at all!

For internship positions, you will quickly learn that HR/recruiters play the role of a gatekeeper, ensure equal opportunities, and manage a fair and consistent recruiting process for all applicants.  As such, due to the high volume of applicants they receive, an HR/recruiter will most likely redirect you to apply via the company’s website.

For full-time positions, however, a company’s recruiting process can be a bit different wherein an HR/recruiter may be more responsive because they may actually be seeking you out to consider their company for employment.  Again, this varies depending on the company and how they leverage their recruiters. 

In all, while it is good to know recruiters, we encourage you focus your networking effort in connecting with actual working professionals (including UCI alumni) who is working or has worked at your target companies.  Usually, these contacts can offer additional advice for you and some may have insights as to hiring needs within their teams. 

First and foremost, let’s stay positive from the get-go and approach your search with the intended result of securing an internship.  This mental shift will help you tremendously throughout your search. 


That said, if you are truly concerned, here are some options in lieu of an internship:

  • Take on a personal project to boost your resume (e.g. build a website or app)
  • Work for a professor on campus
  • Volunteer for an organization that needs software/web development support
  • Learn a new skill through online courses from Udemy or Coursera
  • Participate in in-person or online Hackathons
  • Practice on Leetcode or HackerRank to improve performance on technical interviews
  • Fully dedicate time to networking with industry professionals and secure a full-time position for after graduation

As a student in an ICS Professional Master’s Program, you have access to a dedicated Career Development team that will provide you career development and job search support during your program.  Throughout the year, the Career Development team will deliver career workshops that have been strategically timed according to the internship and job search timelines for most students.  Please sign into CODE to see upcoming workshops and events.

You also have the option to attend events and workshops through UCI Division of Career Pathways (DCP)

The Career Development team will hold office hours beginning Fall Week 1.  In order to support as many students as we can prior to the ICS Showcase Career Fair and the STEM Career Fair, there will be additional office hours for individual appointments during Weeks 1 through 3. 

Please note that appointments during Weeks 1 to 3 will be limited to Resume and Cover Letter review for incoming students.  Again, this is to ensure all students have a chance to have their materials reviewed prior to those two events.  Other appointments such as LinkedIn review, mock interviews, will be available to all students beginning Fall Week 4.

You can make an appointment with an advisor on the Career Development team in CODE up to two weeks in advance.

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