Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the deadline for submitting my application for Fall or Spring semester?
The Graduate School has posted deadlines for submission of Fall and Spring applications on their website at http://grad.uga.edu/index.php/prospective-students/. The Department of Computer Science considers applications on a continuous basis. Applications that do not meet the deadline for the upcoming semester are considered for the following semester.
I am thinking of applying to the Department of Computer Science but before I do, I would like to know if I would be eligible for admission with financial aid. My curriculum vitae/resume is attached. Would it be possible for me to know if the Department would admit me with financial aid?
The department follows a two-phase process for admission to the graduate degree program (MS, MAMS or PhD) and award of financial aid. First, the applicants are considered for admission to the graduate degree program. Second, the applicants who are admitted are considered for financial aid. To know your eligibility for admission and/or financial aid, you will need to submit a formal application to one of the degree programs. The Department of Computer Science does not do an “informal” review or assessment of applications.
What are my chances of getting admission and/or financial aid given my GRE score?
The GRE score is only one of several criteria that the Admission Committee uses to evaluate applicants. The other criteria include:
- Academic record (GPA);
- Caliber and reputation of the applicant’s institution(s);
- Applicant’s academic preparation (i.e., the courses taken in previous degree program(s));
- TOEFL score (iBT) or IELTS score;
- Letters of recommendation. This includes the contents of the letters and the professional/academic standing of the authors of the letters;
- Statement of purpose;
- Publication record (if any);
- Other factors which indicate that the applicant has special promise or potential.
Note that your chances of getting admission and/or financial aid also depend, to some extent, on the overall quality and size of the applicant pool (i.e., your competitors) at the time your application is under consideration. Also note that the Graduate School has stipulated some basic requirements for domestic and international applicants at http://grad.uga.edu/index.php/prospective-students/. In addition, some international applicants must satisfy basic English language proficiency requirements as described in http://grad.uga.edu/index.php/prospective-students/international-application-information/international-supplement/english-language-proficiency-requirement/
Can the GRE requirement be waived in my case?
The short answer is NO. The GRE is a Graduate School requirement and cannot be waived by the department.
Do my chances of getting financial aid depend on which degree program I apply for? Should I apply for the PhD program instead of the MS program in order to enhance my chances knowing that I cannot study in the US without financial aid?
Your chances of admission and award of financial aid depend primarily on your credentials and do not depend on which degree program you apply for.
Ideally, when should I apply for financial aid?
Most financial aid awards are made in the Fall semester. Deadlines for nominating students for Presidential Graduate Fellowships are typically in January whereas deadlines for Graduate School Assistantships are typically in February (the actual deadlines are on the Graduate School website at http://grad.uga.edu/index.php/prospective-students/). Decisions regarding departmental assistantships are made starting typically in March for the following Fall semester and in October for the following Spring semester. It is to your advantage to have a complete application on file as early as possible if you are seeking financial assistance since it will improve your chances.
How do I apply for a Departmental Teaching Assistant (TA) position?
Please contact Dr. Hamid Arabnia email@example.com for information on department teaching assistantships. Note that the Center for Teaching and Learning, under the auspices of the Vice President for Instruction at the University of Georgia, has stipulated certain criteria based on TOEFL iBT Speak scores and IELTS scores for eligibility for Teaching Assistant awards. Please refer to http://www.ctl.uga.edu/pages/ta-policy for details.
How do I apply for a Research Assistant (RA) position?
Research Assistant (RA) positions are funded typically by research grants or contracts awarded to individual faculty members. You may peruse the Computer Science departmental web page (www.cs.uga.edu) and the web pages of the individual faculty members to determine their research interests and current research projects. You may then contact the relevant faculty members to ascertain whether they have an open RA position and whether your credentials fit the requirements of the RA position.
I have been admitted to your degree program but have not yet received the I-20. What should I do?
Please contact Ms. Vickie Bridges (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Graduate School to resolve the issue. Also, kindly cc Samantha Varghese (email@example.com) in the Department of Computer Science on all correspondence with the Graduate School.
I have been admitted to your degree program for the upcoming semester but I have not yet received my visa to the USA. I am afraid that I may not be granted the visa in time to be at the University of Georgia for the upcoming semester. Can I defer my application to the following semester?
The short answer is YES. But please get in touch with Ms. Vickie Bridges (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Graduate School to formally defer your application. Also, kindly cc Samantha Varghese (email@example.com) in the Department of Computer Science on all correspondence with the Graduate School.
I have been admitted to your degree program but I have not yet arrived on the University of Georgia campus. Can you please advise me (via email or telephone) regarding the courses I should be taking?
The short answer is NO. To be formally advised, you need to meet with the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Hamid Arabnia in person. When you arrive on the University of Georgia, please get in touch with Samantha Varghese (firstname.lastname@example.org, Room 422, Boyd GSRC Building; Tel No. 706-542-3477) to schedule your advisement with the Graduate Coordinator.
The annual expenses stated on the I-20 exceed the assistantship award. What do I need to do?
For purposes of filling out I-20 forms and the like, the University of Georgia could come up with a total estimate of costs which somehow exceeds the assistantship award by a few thousand dollars. The estimate is arbitrary, and often higher than it needs to be; however, it must be dealt with. In this situation, you have to prove that the funds to cover the shortfall are available from your personal assets. You will need to fill out a “Certification of Finances” form and provide a supporting bank statement. However, you will not actually need to spend these funds if you are at all careful with your discretionary choices of housing etc. in Athens, GA. The monthly stipend in your assistantship award is sufficient for an unmarried (single) student to live on comfortably in Athens, GA.