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How To Make Your MSCS Application Stand Out

October 26, 2023

With each passing year, tech professionals recognize that a graduate degree in computer and information sciences becomes less an option than a requirement. The proof is in the data. In 2010-11, American academic institutions conferred about 20,000 master’s degrees in computing and information sciences. By 2020-21, that number increased by more than 160 percent to 54,000 computing and information sciences master’s degrees. Clearly, a growing number of current and prospective computing professionals recognize the need and value of an advanced degree.

The reasons for earning a computer science master’s degree are just as evident. The demand for professionals with high-level computer science skills continues to increase as companies advance their digital transformation strategies, collecting massive amounts of data that must be organized, analyzed, and protected. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information technology (IT) occupations are forecast to grow much faster than average for the entire job market over the next decade, with around 400,000 job openings expected annually. 

A graduate-level computer science degree can equip you with the knowledge and expertise necessary to thrive in a computer science role in almost all sectors of the market. According to Lightcast, 75 percent of IT job postings in 2022 were from companies outside the tech industry. The manufacturing industry, for example, had 31,000 job openings, while the finance and insurance industries posted over 24,000.

If you hope to develop or advance a tech career, an Online Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) can help you achieve your goals. First, however, you have to gain admission to an MSCS program. This article highlights some of the qualities of a persuasive MSCS application and increases your chances of gaining admission to a top MSCS program, such as the one offered by Tulane University.

What Makes a Strong MSCS Application?

Tulane’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS) program offers a 100 percent online curriculum that focuses on the needs of career changers and computer science professionals looking to advance and earn their degrees while continuing to work. The program provides opportunities to specialize in computational geometry, computational biology and bioinformatics, algorithms and theory, systems, data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning — all enabling students to align their education with their career goals. The Online MSCS faculty includes internationally recognized researchers and practitioners who impart their real-world know-how and experiences to their students.

Of course, you must gain admission to take advantage of the Tulane Online MSCS program’s benefits. Read the suggestions below for assembling a persuasive program application.

Are You Eligible for Tulane’s Master of Science in Computer Science Program?

To be eligible to apply to Tulane’s Online MS in Computer Science program, you  must hold a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field. You don’t have to be a computer science major — any science, technology, engineering, or mathematics degree suffices. You should, however, have some programming experience and be able to demonstrate a solid background in mathematics

The program does not require a minimum undergraduate GPA, although a GPA of at least 3.0 is preferred. GRE scores are not required. Graduates of institutions outside the United States where English was not the language of instruction are strongly encouraged — but not required — to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

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Are You Submitting Effective Letters of Recommendation?

Like most master’s programs, the Online MSCS at Tulane University requires candidates to submit letters of recommendation. Tulane asks for two references, preferably one professional and one academic. Choose authoritative recommenders — a work supervisor or university professor, for example — with whom you have a positive relationship and who can attest to your abilities, character, expertise, and work ethic. Approach them well ahead of the application deadline. 

Are You Presenting a Compelling Personal Statement?

Your personal statement is your opportunity to communicate directly with the admissions board. Explain what led you to seek an MSCS degree at this point in your life, why you chose Tulane’s program, and how it aligns with your career goals. Discuss your strengths and successes, making sure to highlight relevant professional and leadership experiences. If your application has any weaknesses, such as a low GPA or an employment gap, your statement is the place to address these as well. 

Keep your statement concise, adhere to the word or page limit specified by the application guidelines, and edit and proofread for spelling, grammar, and clarity. Also, consider soliciting feedback and help from others (for example, a trusted colleague) to fine-tune your personal statement and double-check for errors. 

Is Your Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) Well-Organized?

Construct your resume or CV to showcase your most relevant experiences and accomplishments. Tulane’s Online MSCS requires a solid foundation in programming and computer science principles, so you will want to highlight your computer science experience, including relevant examples of key projects and professional recognition. 

Thoroughly proofread your resume or CV before submission, and ask a trusted colleague or friend to do the same. 

Are You Consulting with a Tulane Enrollment Advisor?

A Tulane enrollment advisor (EA) can help guide you through the application and enrollment process. In addition to confirming your eligibility to apply and ensuring you are submitting all the necessary application materials, EAs can share what the admissions team is seeking in applicants. They can also answer questions on how best to craft your application to reflect your strengths, and address any potential weaknesses.. 

Are You Paying Attention to Application Deadlines?  

The Tulane Online MSCS typically offers two application deadlines. The first usually qualifies you for an application fee waiver and triggers eligibility for a scholarship. The second is the date the admissions office must receive all application materials.

Why Earn Your MSCS From Tulane University?

If you choose to earn your Master of Science in Computer Science online at Tulane University, you will have the opportunity to learn from our world-class faculty who incorporate their research into practice, are passionate about supporting your development, and will help shape you and your high-achieving peers into the next generation of computer science experts charged with solving tomorrow’s challenges. 

The MSCS program at Tulane University focuses on producing graduates equipped with a keen sense of theory, application, and critical thinking who join our global community of over 160,000 alumni. Studying at Tulane can prepare you for a successful computer science career in whichever industry you choose. 
Want to learn more? Reach out to an enrollment advisor to discuss program prerequisites, your application, or any other questions you may have.

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