This supplementary page is unofficial, but is created to allow me to give you more timely information and to answer frequently asked questions. This is still experimental, so things are liable to change. There are three DGS in the Computer Science Department: one each for the PhD, MS(CS) and MS(IS) programs. This page caters to the MS(CS) and MS(IS) program. -- Chee Yap DGS for MSCS and MSIS
FAQs for the MS Program
This is organized into three parts:
(A) students not in MS program, (B) students currently in the MS program, and (C) non-students (alumni, organizations, etc) . There might be some overlap with other FAQs in the department page.
A: Yes. Many of our students are full-time employees. All our Masters courses are taught in the evening (from 5-7 or 7-9), to make it possible for students who hold a full-time job to take the classes.
Furthermore, many companies have a tuition remission program to help pay the tuition of part-time students. This is a cost-effective way for companies to increase the skill set of their employees. Contact your company to find out their requirements.
Below is FAQ with suggestions for
current part-time students.
A: We require GRE Verbal and GRE Math scores from all students. We do not require GRE Computer Science scores.
For foreign students, if your country does not
have English as the sole national language (even if your
university uses English as medium of instruction),
we require you to submit TOEFL scores.
Successful students in our program generally have
a GRE Quantitative (Q) and Verbal (V) scores
above the following:
Q>750 and V>480,
Q>720 and V>600.
These numbers are only indicative, as many other factors
in an application are taken into account for the
Note that we do not require taking the GRE Computer
A: TOEFL scores are only required of foreign students. This requirement cannot be waived. There are three versions: paper-based test (PBT), computer-based test (CBT) and internet based test (iBT). CBT is phased out after 2006. Normally, we expect at least 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT) or 600 (PBT). These numbers are only indicative, as many other factors in an application are taken into account for the final decision.
Some foreign students may be required to take English
courses at NYU's American Language Institute (ALI) as
condition for admission.
A: Many MS students take advantage of our highly successful internship program. Very often these internships turned into a regular employment. In 2007-2008, our MSCS students interned at the following companies:
* AllSector Technology Group * Bank of America * Barclays Capital * Battersby Capital Management LLC * BlackRock * Citigroup * College Hotlist * CVision Technology * Disney ABC Media Networks * E2 Consulting Group * Goldman Sachs * Inference Data LLC * KBC Financial Productions * Lehman Brothers * MediSpin * Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center * Merrill Lynch * Microsoft * Morgan Stanley * MSCI BARRA * Opt-Intelligence * Veritocracy, LLCIn the same period, our MSIS students interned at the following companies:
* Bloomberg * Goldman Sachs * Lehman Brothers * Liquidnet * Moore Capital Management, LLC * Morgan Stanley * Murex * Swiss Re
A: There are two answers. First, the generic answer: The Graduate School forwards your application to our department for consideration. The Graduate School does not provide the status of applications online, nor does it provide admissions decisions online, by email or by telephone. Applicants will be notified of all admission decisions by mail. For further information about our admissions process, see the Admissions FAQ at http://gsas.nyu.edu/object/grad.admissions.faq. Our department does a rolling admissions. If you have not received an admissions decision by late March or early April, you may contact us. Official admission decision letters are mailed by the Graduate Enrollment Services (GES), and not by the individual department. Admission decision letters are not sent by e-mail or fax, or reported by telephone. However, we normally send an informal email within a week of our decision.
Now, the specific answer for Fall 2007 applications.
As of March 27: about 3/4 of
the applications received before Feb 15, 2007, have been
processed by our department, and forwarded to
NYU GES. The remainder should be completely done by March 30.
This course is normally taken by our Masters students.
You can register as a special student to take this
course. Please contact the NYU admissions (see next
A: You can enroll as a special student (or non-degree student). Here is the direct link to the paper application. Here is another helpful link. For non-degree applicants, you must submit a completed application the supplement form, and official transcripts. You DO NOT need GRE, TOEFL or letters of recommendation. The application can be mailed either to us or to GES:
via regular postal service: New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences P.O. Box 907, Cooper Station New York, NY 10276-0907 or vial private express mail: New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Enrollment Services One-Half Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003If the applicant lives nearby NYU, s/he can drop it off at the CS department or at GES (1/2 Fifth Avenue). NOTE: Starting in fall 2008, I believe you should be able to apply as non-degree student via the internet.
In general, we require the equivalent
of an undergraduate degree in computer science.
Other kinds of background that we may find suitable are:
(1) You come from fields that are closely-related to computer science (e.g., undergraduate degree in mathematics, or electrical engineering, or information science).
(2) You have shown aptitude for analytical thinking and programming, usually through your work place.
We offer a 2-semester PAC (or Preparatory Accelerated Course) Program for students who wants to pick up the minimal Computer Science background to be considered for our MS degree. We may be able to admit you conditional on your successfully our PAC program, and/or taking a discrete mathematics course.
A: Depends on your goal. If you are doing PAC in order to have the minimal Computer Science background to enter our MS program, then it is best to directly apply to our MS program. We can accept you conditioned on your successful completion of PAC. Otherwise, you can apply as a non-degree student to take PAC program (or any other courses in our department).
I would like to welcome you to the Computer Science Department of New York University! We are located in charming Greenwich Village in Manhattan. Please view the DGS's office as a resource throughout your time at NYU as a student. Besides the DGS (firstname.lastname@example.org), we have an MS Program Administrator (Jennifer Conlan, email@example.com) who is one of your first contacts in the CS department. She is also the person who can take care of the administrative issues related to your program.
We hope you will take advantage of two great strengths of our department: its distinguished faculty doing research at the cutting edge of computing, and its unique location in the midst of New York City. We are a few subway hops away from the financial companies in Wall Street to the south, from the corporate headquarters in midtown and from the many dot-com companies throughout "Silicon Alley". Slightly farther afield, there are many industries and from the research labs within the greater metropolitan area. Our graduates are placed in companies all over the metropolitan area, and the opportunities for internships at such companies are practically endless.
As a member of the Computer Science Department, we want you to
feel part of a larger family, namely the Courant Institute.
We organize an orientation at the beginning of each semester.
Besides the many talks and research seminars
throughout the week, we hold special events such as
our highly-rated end-of-year party,
special Courant Lectures, and student awards ceremonies
and graduation reception.
For our many foreign students,
Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS)
also organize various events.
As a member of the NYU community, you can take advantage
of many NYU musical events, theatre and other performances
which are free or discounted.
Being in New York City, you can take advantage of an
array of cultural events and attractions ---
NYU's Kimmel Center has a ticket office
with special offers for students.
In short, welcome to one of the most exciting
learning environment available anywhere!
I view my principal role as ensuring the
quality and academic integrity of our program.
But with respect to you, as our MS student,
my main goal is to make sure that
you successfully go through our program, and that
your experience at NYU is a rewarding one.
I would like to hear your suggestions
for improving our program -- there is always room for improvement.
If you encounter difficulties in any form that
affects your life as a student, I am here to help.
I maintain an open door policy for students.
We have a very active organization for Masters Students
called MACS (Masters Association in Computer Science),
founded in 2008. You can visit their
In 2008-9, they organized social functions, trips to
corporate headquarters (Google, UBS), panels and talks by
movers and shakers in the world of computing,
alumni networking events, etc.
Three other student organizations are
the Courant Student Organization
for all Masters and PhD students in Computer
Science and Mathematics, and WinC (Woman in Computing),
and the ACM Club.
A: Your options can be greatly limited by poor GPAs. This information is basis for approving many of the special requests you make to the DGS. Here are some common student requests, and the GPA requirements:
Some companies (e.g., Google) may use your GPA as a cutoff criterion. If you think that you may some day apply to a PhD program, your grades would definitely be a significant factor.
To calculate your GPA, use this formula:
A=4, B=3, C=2, F=0. Grades with
+/- will add/subtract 0.33 from the integer value.
E.g., A- = 3.67 and B+ = 3.33.
Note that there is no A+ or any form of D grades.
Only indirectly, in as far as it affects
But there is one case where it matters:
to do a MS Thesis, you need at least a B+ grade in each
of the Core Courses (Fundamental Algorithms, Programming Languages
and Operating Systems).
Core Exam is required for all MS CS students,
although this is waived if you do an MS Thesis.
For most students, we urge you to take the exam
for the first time by the end of the first year.
If you enter in the fall, you should take your
first Core Exam in the fall of the following year.
We cannot stress this strongly enough.
This means that your course selection in the first year
should be geared towards knowing the core material
covered in this exam. In particular, you should not
try to take the Core Exam after you have finished
all your course work.
Here is the link to
Core Courses refers to the three courses that cover the three areas
of our Core Exam:
(I) Fundamental Algorithms (G22.1170),
(II) Programming Languages (G22.2110),
(III) Operating Systems (G22.2250).
Starting fall 2008, all MSCS students are required
to take these core courses.
Ideally you should take them within
the first six courses of our MS program. These
courses are pre-requisites for more advanced courses.
If you wish to place out of these courses,
there are placement exams each fall.
All three courses are considered suitable for
incoming MS students.
Generally, we suggest that students to
take Fundamenatl Algorithms (I) in their first semester.
This is a critical course, and is quite mathematical and
a challenge for many CS students.
There is no MS thesis requirement.
It is an option that you can choose in lieu of the Core Exam.
However, in order to choose this option, you
need at least a 3.75 GPA (after at least 6 CS courses)
and you need to find a
professor who agrees to supervise your work.
Each semester, the official department website
publishes a a list of all courses
that are considered suitable
for satisfying requirements C and D of the MS program.
Students should use this roadmap to help them select courses.
Requirement C is a breadth requirement -- it stipulates that
students must take at least one course in two of four prescribed
application areas. Requirement D is a programming requirement --
it stipulates that you need to take at least one
A: An (external) internship is a program for our MS students to obtain academic credits for work done with a company, industry or organization. Being in Manhattan means that the number and range of opportunities are incredibly rich. Such internships often lead to full time positions. The main information is found at http://cs.nyu.edu/web/Academic/Graduate/internship.html. I will elaborate on the process here. There are slightly different requirements for international students and American students. For this reason, the internships for international students is also called "CPT".
First, you should find a company with a job offer (be sure to get a formal letter). Foreign students must next contact OISS (see CPT below). Then all students must an email to our MS Program Adminstrator, including the following information:
We approve your internship by signing you up for a course called "Advanced Lab/Independent Study", G22.3813-xxx, which has up to 3 credits per semester. The "instructor" for this course is the DGS. At the completion of the project (usually a semester), you must submit a final report to the DGS. You need a supervisor in the company who agrees to supervise and sign-off on your final report.
Bear in mind that the credits (normally 3 units) obtained for "Advanced Projects" will count towards the limit of 9 units of credits allowed for transfers, courses in other departments, and external internships.
You can also sign up for "Advanced Lab" course
with a faculty in Courant Institute
to do independent research, without
any intervention by OISS or INS.
CPT (Curricular Practical Training)
OPT (Optional Practical Training)
are names used by the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS)
for programs to
allow International Students to obtain work experience.
The difference between CPT and OPT is that you get academic
credits in CPT but not for OPT.
The first step for CPT or OPT is to talk to NYU's
Office of International Students and Scholars
(OISS) about the process, and what the US Immigration Rules are.
Foreign students are not eligible for CPT or OPT until after
two semesters at NYU (a transfer student may be able to
reduce this requirement).
Ultimately, it is the OISS that give you the permission for a CPT/OPT. The student need to contact a potential company/employer. The NYU placement office can help you in this process. Next, you contact our department to apply for internship credits (if you are doing CPT) --- follow the general instructions for internship information above.
A: Your grade is given by the DGS. We base your grade on (a) the feedback from the supervisor from your internship/CPT, (b) your written report, and (c) the final interview with the DGA. We give you supervisors a standard list of criteria for evaluating your performance (you can get this list from the MS Office), but some supervisors may prefer their own set of criteria. The written report must be approved by your supervisor. In the interview, we go over your report and discuss feedback from your supervisor. To receive an A grade, you typically need excellent grades from your supervisor and a professionally prepared report. See the FAQ for how to write your report.
Your supervisor report is normally based on our standard form, which has the following categories (this may slightly change over time):
A: As DGS I see a wide range in the types of student reports. Your report must be approved by your supervisor at the company where you work. It is not acceptable to just print some information from the webpage to show what you did. There MUST be a good overview, body and a conclusion. It must be properly formatted as a report -- certainly not a collection of web pages or powerpoint slides!
First explain in plain English the setting of your problem, and what is needed to solve it. You must make clear what you personally did, not just what your group did. Minimize the use of technical jargon (esp. acronyms). But if they must be used, then clearly explain them. I like to see the following points addresses.
(0) Introduction: tell us something about the company, the industry or business that it is in, the group within the company that you work for.
(1) What technical (Computer Science) issues did you you have to solve? Do not swamp the reader with insider details -- we want the big picture of the task.
(2) What tools, skills and knowledge did you use to solve them? Mention the programming languages and software used.
(3) What did you learn (work experience as well as technical skills)?
(4) Reflect on the experience overall, including learning in a work place. Especially, make connections to our MS program and our courses.
I suggest a 4-12 page report, properly bound.
Feel free to use images, diagrams or screenshots.
The report should include the
supervisor approval signature and contact information.
A: Yes. The pay is strictly an arrangement between
you and the company.
You should use the official university
transcript that is available from the Registrars:
A: Yes, you are encouraged to do so. Go to our
and click "MSCS students" under people.
There you see instructions for adding your own
page to our list. We want you to have
a web presence as part of the Courant Family.
A: A limited number of courses from departements outside the Courant Institute may be used towards your MS degree requirements. Popular departments include those in the Stern School of Business and in the Tisch School of Arts. These courses require department approval. The DGS may pre-approve certain courses, normally on a semester-by-semester basis. Below is such a list. You need to see the Program Administrator to fill out the paper work, whether the course is pre-approved or not.
Some pre-approved courses for Summer of 2007:
Introduction to Physical Computing (Tisch H79.2301),
SciViz: From Interactive Virtual Spaces to Scientific Visualization
Fundamentals of Finance (Stern).
A: ALI (American Language Institute) is a department
in NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS)
for teaching English as a second. Some of our foreign
students are required to enroll for ALI courses, either
full-time or part-time.
ALI courses do not count towards your MS degree.
The question arises whether such students can still take
courses in order to make progress towards their MS degree.
You should discuss this with me (DGS) regarding this
possibility. I may approve one (two) regular courses
in conjunction with full-time (part-time) ALI courses.
You also need to approach OISS concerning getting
full-time equivalency while doing ALI courses.
A: Stern School of Business is organized independently from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which the Computer Science Department is under. As such they have a slightly different academic calender. Many of their courses have limited enrollment. In general, the DGS has to approve your Stern course -- see the MS Admin for the request paper work. Once approved, we will provide you with a special code to register for the Stern course. For MSIS students, many of the courses have been pre-approved.
You should include a description of the Stern course
in your request.
To look up description of Stern courses, go to
w4.stern.nyu.edu/registrar/descriptions/ to search.
A: First of all, we have a rule that you must complete your program within 5 years of your initial matriculation as a student. Second, our program requires about 12 courses of study. The number 12 is an estimate because the exact number depends on which MS program you are in, on whether you have transfer credits, and on whether you have internship or CPT credits.
Next, you should know that most part-time students take one or two courses per semester -- you must decide which is better for you. Also, you need to decide if you can take courses in the summer.
If you take only one course per semester, then you probably
need summer courses in order to complete the
requirements in 5 years. However, you should also
take into account that the summer offerings are limited,
and usually cover only the basic courses.
Some students take a semester off from work in order to study
in order to complete their degree within 5 years.
A: Certain basic courses (e.g., Algorithms, Programming Languages, Operating Systems) have a corresponding "honors" version. These are usually taken by PhD students and taught at a higher level than the corresponding regular courses. There are no restrictions on Masters students who meet the pre-requisites to take them. Students interested in applying to our PhD program might be advised to take these courses.
There is a slight issue if you plan to
take both the regular and honors version of a course.
Department permission is required.
Since the recent (2008) merger of NYU with Polytechnic University,
you can take courses at NYU-Poly as you would at any NYU school.
But NYU-Poly is not just any school at NYU,
as many of its strong engineering programs have a special affinity
with our department. We encourage students to explore the
available courses at NYU-Poly that can enhance your degree and experience.
A: You are referring to NYU Graduate school's 5-year limit on time to graduation. This is a problem for part-time students whose normal load is 1 course a semester, or 2 courses a year. You will need 6 years at this pace. There are several ways to solve this problem:
A: As DGS I would personally love to hear of your news. We are interested in knowing how our students are placed and their accomplishments.
If you are able to help provide placements for our current students, do let us know.
You can maintain your contact with NYU, the Courant institute, and the CS department in a number of ways:
A: Initially, we ask you to approve a clearly-defined project that involves substantial software development or programming. The time frame of the project should be specified, and normally spans an academic semester.
At the end of project, you will be asked to approve the final report of the student. If possible, we also like a brief evaluation of the student's work.
[CS Dept] [Courant Institute] [NYU]