Apply

Application Process

To apply to the MCS program:

  1. Schedule an appointment to meet with an MCS Advisor to review admissions requirements.
  2. Complete the online application, which includes an online statement of purpose.
  3. Provide two letters of recommendation. Name and email address of professional references will be entered in the application.
  4. Send all official university transcripts. If requesting electronic copy from your university, official transcripts must be emailed to etranscriptr@uvu.edu. To be fully accepted into the MCS, you will need:
    • An overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
    • An undergraduate degree in a computer-related field (Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, or a closely related field).
    • A C+ or better in the following UVU or equivalent classes:
      • CS 2300 Discrete Structures I
      • CS 2420 Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures
      • CS 2810 Computer Organization and Architecture
      • CS 3060 Operating Systems Theory
      • MATH 1210 Calculus I
  5. For international students whose native language is not English, a TOEFL score of 80 iBT (550 pBT) or higher, or an IELTS band score of 6.5 or higher within the past two years, is required.
  6. Pay $45 application fee. (The application and application fee differ for International Students).

3 Main Reasons Candidates get Rejected

Inadequate Background

The minimum qualifications for entering the MCS are an undergraduate degree and a C+ or better in the follow UVU or equivalent classes:

  • CS 2300 Discrete Structures I
  • CS 2420 Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures
  • CS 2810 Computer Organization and Architecture
  • CS 3060 Operating Systems Theory
  • MATH 1210 Calculus I

Your industry experience can be used to mitigate poor grades if they happened years ago, but industry experience is not a substitute for a formal education in these core areas. As these classes constitute the bare minimum qualifications UVU is looking for, it will greatly enhance your ability to compete for a position within the MCS if you have additional computer science education beyond these classes and/or years of industry experience.

Based upon the quality and quantity of candidates we have seen apply to the MCS, it is reasonable to expect that each year’s pool of candidates will be both larger and more qualified.

How to address this issue:

The MCS has identified three tracks of study beyond the minimum qualifications that would greatly improve your chances of being accepted into the program if you were to excel in one of these areas of study.

  • If your personal interests are in web development and networking, we suggest you take CS2690 Computer Networks II, CS3660 Web Programming II, CS3450 Principles and Patterns of Software Design, and CS3520 Database Theory.
  • If your personal interests are oriented more towards software engineering and project management, we suggest you take CS4400 Software Engineering II, CS4550 Software Engineering III, CS3450 Principles and Patterns of Software Design, and CS3520 Database Theory.
  • If your personal interests are more hardcore programming and computer science oriented, we suggest you take CS4470 Artificial Intelligence, CS4380 Advanced/High-Performance Computer Architecture, CS4490 Compiler Construction, and CS3520 Database Theory. Given a B- is the minimum grade the MCS will accept for any graduate level courses, we strongly suggest you not make less than a B in any of the upper division classes you take.

Weak or inappropriate recommendations

Recommendations from friends and relatives are not appropriate recommendations for the MCS. Professional recommendations should come from co-workers, supervisors, and/or educators.

How to address this issue:

It is important that you choose recommenders that actually know your strengths and weaknesses. Too much praise from someone who barely knows you will come off as exaggerated hype, while a bland, mediocre recommendation from a supervisor or educator will never help you. Talk to those who are recommending you—whether they be co-worker, supervisor, or educator—about your reasons for applying to the MCS.

If you don’t feel you currently have strong enough recommendations to apply, consider taking upper division classes from the UVU Computer Science Department, get to know your professors on a personal level, and get to know members of the MCS faculty, as well as the MCS Director, MCS Advisor, and the CS Department Chair. This will always benefit you.

Terse or non-compelling statement of purpose

Short, disassociated statements tell us nothing about you or your goals. If you don’t know why you want to be in the MCS, then we don’t know if we can help you achieve your goals, and as such we will look for candidates who appear to be a better fit for the MCS. If all you want to do is write code, the MCS will surely require you to do this, but it isn’t just about writing code, so again we are a poor fit for you. If making more money is your primary motivation for entering the MCS, the MCS can help you to make more money, but the goals and student outcomes of the MCS aren’t about making money, so again we are a poor fit for you.

How to address this issue:

Tell us about yourself, who you are, and what you want to become. The MCS is focused on having students design and implement large-scale systems, so highlight any relevant work experience you have and tell us about the most significant project you’ve ever worked on and what you did on that project. Let us know how you see the MCS helping you achieve your goals. Make time to talk to the MCS Director, and/or MCS Advisor; they can help you to better understand the role of the MCS and how you can fit in it.

They can even connect you with current MCS students to help broaden your perspective. Even consider talking with your boss or CEO about how they see the MCS benefiting you in your current job situation. In the end just remember, we’re interested in you and your goals, not the goals others have for you, and that is ultimately what you should be interested in also.