Switching Departments in Masters and Prerequisite Courses

I find that 90 % of the students are responding in your blog stating that they got admission in US universities for MS(CS). Most of them do not specify what is their basic Indian specialization. I am presuming that at least some of them are switching to CS in USA after doing their graduation study in India with some other specialization like ECE, EE, Civil etc.,

One of my friend tells me that most of the Universities in USA would insist that some mandatory subjects needs to be cleared by such candidates, before they being admitted to MS (CS). This is likely to lead to additional burden financially and also from time perspective, since his / her MS (CS) will get delayed by so many months.

Appreciate if you could kindly highlight the difficulties , if any, students with other specialization from India will face after they get admitted into MS(CS) in USA. Are there any universities in USA where Indian students with different specialization (Other than CS) are admitted directly into MS (CS) without insisting that they need to clear some additional subjects? If so , what are those universities?

– By Shyam

Department Transfer in Grad School

Answer to your question is already posted long time back. Right search keywords within the blog (“Department Transfer”).

Mandatory Prerequisite Courses:

One of my friend tells me that most of the Universities in USA would insist that some mandatory subjects needs to be cleared by such candidates, before they being admitted to MS (CS). This is likely to lead to additional burden financially and also from time perspective, since his / her MS (CS) will get delayed by so many months.

Yes, what your friends said is 100% correct.

Number of courses depends on your major/degree in undergraduate and university where you plan to attend in US. I have seen a Civil engineer who had not taken any Computer Science related courses in bachelors, got 8 prerequisite courses.

  • 8 Courses – 3  courses per sem = 2.5 semesters to  complete prerequisites courses.

On top of 8 courses, you will have to complete the requirements for Masters degree.

For a typical students without prerequisite courses, if it takes 4 semesters (2 years) to compete Masters, add 1 to 1.5 years to that.

Some schools, will give only 1 or 2, if you had taken few computer science related courses in bachelors degree.

I have seen few instances, where students from different department were able to successfully waive pre-requisite courses. They proved they had knowledge of those courses through work experience and combination of other similar courses.

I don’t have the list of schools, where you can get admit without prerequisite courses.

3 Comments

  1. VJ on November 19, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    I would like o ask that I have My B. tech. in Bioinformatics , and I would like to switch to computer science complety. Will it create any problem. ? Though, I have studied most of the CS subjects in My B. tech.
    Please help me in this regard.
    Thank You

    • Deepak on August 3, 2012 at 8:18 AM

      Hey VJ
      I am doing my B. Tech in Bioinformatics too, and I would like to switch to Computer Science for my MS completely as well. Can you please contact me, and tell me what you have done? What MS course have you taken? Did you do any prerequisites? I would be really gratefful if you could help me out. Thanks in advance. 🙂

  2. Vincy on August 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Does this apply  to biotechnology courses too??

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