Universities for GRE 318 – MS in Computer Science

Raghuram Sukumar Universities 28 Comments

My GRE score is 318 GRE 318 Verval : 150 Quantitative : 168. AWM: 3.0

I have completed BE in Computer Science with aggregate of 72%. Have 1 years of exp in a reputed IT MNC. Planning to apply for CS in Fall 2013 for the following univs:

1) Pennsylvania State Univ
2) SUNY, Stonybrook
3) North Carolina State Univ
4) Universisty of Southern California
5) University of Texas, Austin
6) Carnegie Mellon University for MIS and CS
7) Arizona State univ
8) Ohio State University
9) University of California, Santa Cruz
Please let me know from which of these universities I can get admit. Please also suggest me some other good universities according to my profile.

Universities for GRE Score 318

Selecting schools just based on your GRE is not the right way.

Read the following articles to learn the right way to select universities

How to Select Grad School in USA

After selecting universities, you need to get strong Letter of Recommendation and write strong statement of purpose.

Using your SOP, you need to make a strong case to why they have to admit you the program.

Stand out from common standard way students to submit application.

Can you share the criteria you used to select the above 9 universities?

Add more details to your answer, other community members will be able to answer to your questions.


  1. Choosing universities is quite a challenging task because it depends, equally, on the universities opinion about your contribution towards its research as much as your desire to be a part of the university. This is contrary to India where an IIT aspirant with a good enough rank can seek admission in IIT Delhi (for example) and IIT Delhi can have no say in that but to give admission.
    In other words, admission to US universities is based on more than just GRE or academic scores.
    Please keep in mind that you can increase or decrease your chances by aligning your interests with the interests of professors or research groups in any university. It is also recommended that you apply to universities which have a strong hold in the areas of your interest.

    1. Hi
      I have done Btech in Computer Science [2008-2012]. My GRE score is 318 (Verbal: 152 Math: 166 Essay: 3.5) My CGPA is 9.2, 10th -99.4% 12th-93.6%. I have done an internship (2.5months) in a research lab. I have a work ex of around 4 months in a research lab. I also worked as a research assistant. Apart from that I have done 3 more research oriented internships. Course projects too. Planning to apply for MS in Comp Science Fall 2013. What universities should I target?
      What are my chances in the following universities?
      University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
      UCLA vs CalTech
      Uni of Penn

  2. Universities listed above are reputed for course in computer science, while NCSU is good for Networking. I have not considered other criteria mentioned in the link. Please suggest if it is possible to get into these universities with my academic profile and GRE score.

    1. Universities like UT Austin and Carnegie Mellon look for extensive research background. If you have that, then you stand a chance.
      But you can surely make it with USC, NCSU, Stony Brook, ASU and OSU.
      Penn State is highly unpredictable, so I cannot say anything about that.

      1. Thanks for the reply…I am working on a research project with an MNC. This project is a reasearch grant from Indiana University. But it is in Life science and health care domain. I have no research background in computer science. Will this project help me to get through these universities?

        1. There is one thing important to understand. When we talk about research in universities, we are indirectly referring to research by individual professors. Every professor is autonomous in his ways of research preference, funding and choice of students. There might be some who look for students with research experience in Computer Science and some who look for any research experience at all.
          But one thing is certain, every professor will want his students to have good knowledge about the area. Thats the reason they ask you to take their courses before they take you into the group.
          All this aside, sometimes, the admission committee decides on whether your past experience is worth offering you an admission. Then, things become highly unpredictable. Thats the reason I believe one must always narrow down their area of interest at least to improve admission chances.

  3. A good list…you can even try a few more good universities like UPenn,Cornell,Columbia ,Georgia tech,Purdue

    1. Thanks for the information. But I am not sure if I would be able to make it through these universities? Can you please suggest me universities for MS in computer science based on my profile? Are there any chances of getting admit from the universities you have mentioned above?

  4. i am a pass out(2008-2012) engineering student .My branch is electronics instrumentation and control engineering.I have started preparing for GRE but i am unable to find my course in both Germany and USA.I Wanna pursue my M.S in the same,so please could u suggest me top-notch universities of both the countries which offer my course.

    1. In the US, instrumentation is offered under Department of Electrical & Computer Science.But you wouldn’t find any course named M.S. Instrumentation.Specializations like Embedded,VLSI,Robotics,Communications,Signal Processing,Controls etc are offered through Electrical engg.There is also a Systems engineering department at some universities that offers inter-disciplinary studies.

  5. Is the backlogs are going to affect the chances? For ex, if i’m getting the same score in GRE and holding acads % of 72% but with only one history of backlogs. Will it make a huge difference is university selection?

  6. My AWM score is low. Will it affect my chances of getting into a good university?

    1. I think it matters only if you are applying for admission into Literature or History programs. But I think the the “good” universities do give it some importance. Again, I am just guessing.

  7. Hi!
    To be admitted to top universities, a research background is required. However, an undergraduate student may not have enough research experience. Having completed my BE in CS, I have done research work on Image Bandwidth Optimization which involved development and implementation of a new algorithm for bandwidth optimization based on pixel intensity difference. I have also published my research paper in SKIMA, an international conference. I have got first rank in Univerisity in Engineering, Tribhuvan Univerisity, Nepal. A expect to get a score of 330+ in GRE and 100+ in TOEFL. Also, I have been working as a lecturer in an engineering college since last December when I passed out. Can you please suggest me some universities? Should I apply to top universities? Is it possible to get admitted to top Universities of US?

    1. Hello Dipendra,
      You have a pretty impressive profile. If you want to continue in the field of Image processing and analysis, I suggest you apply to Stanford. They have a lot of good work in the area. If you want to work in the field of Artificial Intelligence then I suggest MIT because the pioneers of AI are still faculty members there. If you are Interested in Networking of Software Engineering, I would suggest UC Berkeley or UCLA. UC Berkeley is extremely selective so I think its a dream university no matter what your profile is. UCLA must be moderate for you.
      I also suggest you take a look at the faculty profiles and narrow down your area of interest. Do write to the faculty member and tell him about your interests and research background. And most importantly, apply for PhD. I am sure you can have good opportunities during and after graduating with a PhD degree.

      1. Thanks Varun for your reply. I think Stanford and UCB does not provide full funding to all PhD students and so I m thinking of applying to MIT, Carnegie Millon, Princeton and Harvard from top 20s and other universities like Rice, Brown, Michigan State, etc. because I need full funding. My area of interest is Distributed System, Database management, Parallel computing and Cloud Computing. I may also work in Biomedical or software engineering in other cases. I need full funding and also I think of getting MS along with PhD. Do you think I can get in any of the universities I mentioned above. Won’t it be hard to get in Stanford or UCB with full funding?

        1. My personal opinion about universities is that they love good and potential researchers. If you work with professors on their most prized research, they wont think about giving you a fully funded Research assistant-ship. But again, what most faculty look for is the duration for which you ll stay with them. For a masters thesis, faculty members usually do not consider your contributions to the group noteworthy and so do not consider funding you in most cases. Thats the reason I asked you to apply for a PhD. If you are interested in Distributed systems, MIT’s CSAIL or UPenn can be your universities. For databases, UCB, Upenn, UMich, UT Austin or Columbia. I think Carnegie Mellon is good for Parallel Computing but I am not sure because a lot of universities have good research in the field.
          Stanford and UCB will definitely fund you but make sure you make your interests parallel with some of the best research going on in the departments there.

          1. Hello Varun!
            I am feeling a bit insecured about applying just to the top ones, should I apply only to the top 20’s or 50’s or do I need to apply to universities around 100 in rank for PhD in CS? And also when is it appropriate to contact the professors, before giving GRE and TOEFL or after giving them? I have GRE on 12 Sep and TOEFL on 13 Oct. Will it be too late if I contact after my exams? Please guide me…

          2. Dont rely completely on the top ones. You have to follow the Dream – Moderate – Safe combination no matter what. When you apply to dream universities, you can make sure that you apply to the top ones. For the moderate ones, you can look for universities ranked within 20. There are a few universities that are good for Computer Science although they are not in the top ranks. U Kansas, Tennessee, Houston etc. These might be your safe.
            Contact professors after your GRE. Usually they will want to see your entire set of records before they can make a decision like your academics, research background, GRE and TOEFL. But start your professor research from now itself. You will need to choose the right professor with whom you can match your research interests.
            If you want to stand a chance in the Top 5 in US, make sure you try to get above 320 in GRE. I think that must be a defending score.

  8. I have done my B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology,Silchar. I want to do my MS in Computer Architecture. My CPI is 8.28. My GRE score is 317 out of 340(analytical writing-4 out of 6). My TOEFL iBT score is 95 out 120. I have three IEEE conference papers, two of them being in digital logic design. And also a paper in a paid Journal of ACEEE. In my final year project, I scored 10 out of 10. In my high school, I had an AIR of 76 in Natioanl Science Olympiad and AIR 130 in National Science Talent Search Examination. I am concerned about my TOEFL score. Some US univs such as University of Illinois, Urbana Champaigne needs a sore of 102+. Similarly, other US univs where I would like to apply ,including NCSU which needs a TOEFL score of 92 as minimum. Do I need to retake the costly test of TOEFL considering the above two univs? Do I stand chances if I think of applying to Stanford, Rice Univ or Georgia Tech? Kindly advice.

  9. TOEFL is a minimum score based test. I don’t think it matters for Computer Science admissions if you have a high or a low scores as long as you have the minimum scores required by the universities. Stanford and similar universities require that you have a lot of research background. I think you stand a chance because you have a few papers and all that.
    You can take chances with TOEFL as the universities are not that concerned about the TOEFL scores as much as they are about GRE and your academic aggregate. You can always make that up in your SOPs and LORs.

  10. I am doing btech in biotechnology .Can you please tell me about universities in usa providing ms-phd course in cancer biology and genetics with full funding?

    1. I am not sure about funding but UT Medical School, Baylor and UMass Medical have good programs.

  11. Please evaluate my profile…

    GRE Score: 320 (Quant: 170, Verbal: 150)
    Toefl: Not taken yet. Expecting anything above 100.
    B.Tech: 71% (3.76 according to wes)
    10th: 91%
    12th: 83%
    4-5 Undergraduate Projects.
    6 weeks Internship in DRDO in ASP.NET
    1 research paper in International Journal
    2-3 Extracurricular certificates
    I want to do MS in Computer Science.
    I have sent my gre scores to:
    George Washington University
    John Hopkins
    Oakland University, Michigan
    University of Maryland, College Park
    Please suggest some other universities too…

    I have shortlisted some universities:
    1. Carneigie Mellon
    2. UCLA
    3. University of illinios-Chicago
    4. USC
    5. University of Florida
    6. University of Minnesota
    7. New York University
    8. Columbia University
    9. University of Rochester
    10. Boston University
    11. SUNY, Stony Brook, NY
    12. Upenn
    13. University of California – Berkley
    Plz tell me what are the chances in the above universities..

  12. hello, i have done be in biomedical and planning to give gre in march but i want to do ms in computer science because i dont no is biomedical having any scope or not ?
    and with that can any one tell me if i give gre in march 2013 then when i can go in us for study.

  13. I m going to complete my BE in computer science in June 2013, n my results will be out in August… I m not good at my Academic, my score is less than 60%. I want to do MS, but i don’t have any one to guide.
    I want to know what’s difference between new GRE Exam n old?
    what are the branches or fields in computer science in other universities..

    I have cracked SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD n OCP of oracle certifications in merit list.
    I want a proper guidance.
    I want all the details about Gre exam n books to be reffered?

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