BioTechnology to MS in CS : How to Get Admission

Raghuram Sukumar Admission 25 Comments

I have my +2 from Science stream and am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Technology(BTech) in Bio-Technology. I want to do MS in Computer Science in USA. Now my first Question is

  1. Will i be granted I20 if i opt for MS in Comp Science directly with my GRE score of 1100 considering i am from Science stream and Btech in Bio Tech
  2. If 1st Question answer is ”No” then is it a good to choose some course and try for Branch Transfer there(i heard stream transfer is flexible in US unlike India).
  3. What do u suggest is the ideal approach to this problem?”
  4. Is it better to apply for cs directly or opt for branch transfer there.
  5. Is it expensive if i take all prerequisite courses

By – Sai via Email

1) Admit for MS in CS

Yes, you can get admission for MS in Computer Science with GRE score 1100, but your statement of purpose should explain why you are changing the department.  Admission to MS in CS will come with several pre-requisites course work, which will be core under-graduate courses in computer science (Database, Architecture, Networks, Algorithms, C programming…)

2) Department Transfer

Department transfer is much simpler process once you have admission and you are already in the university. You have to meet with CS department admission adviser and have them review your profile and transfer you to CS department.

3) Ideal Approach

  • Apply for MS in Biotechnology in the university where they offer MS in Computer Science
  • Talk to CS department adviser to learn about transfer process (just in case)
  • Get Admission, I-20, F1 Visa
  • After attending student orientation, you can start the transfer process.

5) Pre-Requisites Courses

If you are given admission with pre-requisites courses, most likely your admission status would be conditional (or probationary). Which means you have to complete all the pre-requisite courses before your admission status will be unconditional.

  • You will be paying out-of state tuition fees to complete pre-req courses.
  • If you have 6 pre-req courses, then you may have to send additional 2 semester to complete those courses
  • Some schools will not allow you to take Graduate level courses before completing pre-reqs
  • If MS takes 2 years to complete, with pre-rea, it would take 2 to 3 years depending on number of pre-reqs.

MS in CS will be lucrative compared to Masters in Biotechnology. Since software engineer are paid much higher then Biotech graduates. Entry level salary in Biotechnology will be around $35,000 to $55,000. Where as for Software engineer entry level salary will be from $45,000 to $90,000 per year.


  1. Hi How much score is required for any m.s in bio tech ,medical biotech, environmental biotech

    1. All fields which you would guess would be run through government because of the research funding required would be a "Tough to find job courses". Astronomy , aerospace belong to these categories. These courses leads to careers in defence and as a F1 students it tough for you to get in.
      @sai : I would say think over it. Masters is a different ball-game ,and not like undergrad. If you are transferring then your MS would be atleast 3 yrs because of the huge number of pre-reqs. I would say anything more than 4 pre-req is tough.Most of us people from Cs bachelors ,slog 16-20 hrs with normal course-work ,to complete them. I am not scaring you ,but painting the picture.
      hope this helps

      1. @shashank

        Hi, Thanks for the valuable advice you have given me but I am in a different position right now, I dont want to continue in Biotechnology course , so tought wil change the stream for good. Can anyone suggest me what all the pre requisties courses to be taken to change stream???

        Thanks in advance

        1. Hi sai,
          I am done with my Maters in Biotechnology in India, and am planning to change my stream and do MS in Software engineering in US. My GRE score is 1350. I need your suggestions in building a SOP that strongly supports my stream change. Could you please help me in this regard?


    2. HI sandeep, this is suneetha, even i a also trying fot ms biotech programme in us, it seems like we need to get gr score around 1100+ to get in to better universities.have you given gre already??????????
      I have given it once and i got 1000,but i have decided to give it once more on 30th december trying to get 1200.
      Can you please contact me once you read this to share some more info if you have,
      thank you

  2. hi,,,

    would you say that it is a mistake to apply for a phd in astronomy in US after completing B.Tech in ECE in india? what i want to know is compared to ECE what is scope to get a job after phd in astronomy?

  3. HSB please tell me about some good colleges offering paper technology.I am currently pursuing my mechanical engineering..

  4. i'm an employee in wipro technologies. i did my bachelors in mechanical. i want to do masters in computer science. what r my chances to get into a good university?

    1. i my case i have a 1.5 years work experience in java and c language. will this "Pre-Requisites Courses" applicable to me also?

  5. for these applicants (without B.S in CS), is there a chance to get funding for M.S in CS but with a great resume? or funding usually doesn't belong to these applicants?!

  6. Hi
    I have my +2 from Science stream and i just passed my Bachelors of Engineering(BE) in Computer Science. I want to do MS in Auto-Mobile in USA. Now my first Question is
    #Can i get i-20?
    #Can i get visa?
    #The prerequisite courses…
    pls guide me

  7. I have done my Masters in Biotechnology from India.I am on H4 visa in US & I want to go for MS in Biotechnology from OSU.How can I proceed for the course, and does having a masters degree adds to my credit report and where the evaluation of transcripts done and if yes, then does it gives any exception from appearing for GRE. I am so confused please reply.


  8. In some univs if you are in some related program(like electrical engineering) you can take CS courses towards graduation requirements and when companies are looking to hire computer engineers you can show your course work to say you have an experience in computer related courses. This is not true for all univs though. Also if you don't have previous experience in Computer Science field it might be really difficult for you to cope up with graduate course work as it is generally quite heavy. I agree with @shashank on this. @pooya I think funding and scholarships really depends on the school and the department and can't be generalized. So even if you transfer you have a chance of getting funding if the dept usually awards funding. Having said all this if you really have your heart in some other program and if you want to transfer to it and if you are ready to work hard in it yes it is usually easier to transfer once you get into the university.

  9. Hi,

    I am working in Supply Chain Management product of SAP, to be precise in Advanced Planning and Optimization. Is there a MS degree in SCM or should i do a MS in CS stream itself.

    Thanks and Regards,

  10. If a student does B.Des. (Bachelor of Design) course, get employment in the field of Business Analytics and since last three and half yrs working in this field. Now, he is keen to pursue MS course in Financial Mathematics or MBA from US.
    His scores are as follows GMAT 720, GRE 1380 (Q800, V580), TOEFL 106, B.Des. : CGPA – 8.44 (10), (IIT, Guwahati), Higher Secondary: 81%, Secondary: 80%.
    Can you kindly guide and inform me (i). whether he will get admission in Fin Maths or not. (ii) if he may get admission in MS Fin Maths than, which course (MS/ MBA) will be better for him.

  11. my gre score 1310 i want to change branch in MS from mechanical to aeronautics is it possible . Does i also need to some pre requisite courses?

  12. i am pursuing my btech in eee nd is it good to opt ms in eee or ms in cs which is paid high

  13. hi i'm from ece and i want to go to cs in ms… gre score is 1100(800+300)and tofel is 104 with 63% in…..if im asked for pre-req courses can i complete them in india during 3 months of free time after…..any one please help me…..

    1. Hi i don't think u can do the pre-req courses separately. it must have been taken as a part of your undergraduate program. however wat u can do is many univs ve eecs prog wer ee and cs prog r in the same dept. u can apply to those univs and once in those univs u can take courses pertaining to cs. sometime some courses will ve undergrad prereqs but allowing u to take the courses will depend on the prof discretion. however u must know if this is allowed in the univ before hand . for this u can either talk to the people in the univ or go through the graduate booklet or bulletin.

  14. HSB i’m working in wipro technologies and my domain is java. i have 1.5 years of experience in it. will the “Pre-Requisites Courses” apply to me also.

  15. @HSB,,
    I am done with my Maters in Biotechnology in India, and am planning to change my stream and do MS in Software engineering in US. My GRE score is 1350. Could you please suggest me some reasons that I could explain in my SOP for making a decision to change my field?


  16. Hi I have done my Btech in Biotechnology, now i am working in a software company hence i got deviated from my field of study, now i want to do masters in Biotechnology as i think i will excel more in the field of biotechnology ,is it possible?

  17. I have my +2 from Science stream and am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Technology(BTech) in Bio-Technology and now i m planning to change my stream I want to do Masters in Nursing in USA. I did my GRE in september 2012 and i got 299 score. Now a days i am in new york and i have green card of USA. But i am new in this country so confused. Can anyone suggest me what all the pre requisties courses to be taken to change stream??? thanks

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