Our chief administrator, Elaine Guthrie, explains the application requirements and steps.
1. Academic Requirements
You must possess a 3-4 year undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related subject from an accredited college or university with a GPA minimum of 3.0 out of 4.
With a grade point average below 3.0, your application will be considered if there is strong professional work experience as a software developer, or you have graduated from a top-level university (as ranked on the world scale).
2. Work Experience
4-year degree graduates are required to have a minimum of 6 months of IT work experience.
3-year degree graduates are required to have a minimum of 2-3 years of IT work experience.
Students: Recent graduates with no formal work experience after graduation, but who have a high GPA from a highly ranked university may also apply.
We do not count work experience done prior to your Bachelor’s degree graduation date.
No work experience required to apply
3. Knowledge Level
You need to be familiar with one of these languages: C, C#, C++, or Java 8 or 9.
4. Good English Proficiency
You need to be able to read, speak, and understand English well. Neither TOEFL nor IELTS is required. We do phone or Skype interviews to assess your English skills.
5. Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Although not required from most countries, we strongly encourage you to take the GRE general test. A high GRE score may decrease the initial amount international students are asked to pay upon enrollment. Also, taking the GRE increases the likelihood of internationals obtaining a student visa for our program.
GRE is required from all applicants from India unless you have 2 years or more of paid professional programming work experience, and your GPA is above 3.0 (B average).
If your grade point average is much below 3.0 out of 4.0, you will be asked to take the GRE general test and score at least 70% (158) on the quantitative section to be considered for admission to our MSCS program. See https://www.ets.org/gre/ for more information, please.
6. Age Requirements
There are no maximum age requirements for applying.
Phase 1: Complete the online application form HERE.
Phase 2.1: Take programming exam.
For this simple test, you are required to write code in one of the following languages: Java, C++, C#, or C language. If you do not pass the test, you will need to study programming for some time and then take the test again before your application can proceed. See sample test.
NOTE: In countries where a proctored local programming test is required, a local fee may be charged.
2.2: Send the items requested on the Application Checklist including your transcripts and resume for academic review.
Note: Please do NOT send these items until you are asked to send them.
Admissions will review all your documents and determine if you can be accepted to the MS in Computer Science Program. Some students will be required to have a technical interview with one of our faculty. If you are not accepted to the program, then Admissions will let you know the requirements you will need to fulfill in order to be accepted in the future.
2.3: English interview via telephone or Skype
Phase 3: Acceptance. Financial aid level given
Phase 4: Verifiying Finances
- Send bank statement and Program agreement form.
- Send documents verifying finances.
- Submit application fee.
- Sign student agreement form.
Note: Students from Algeria, Bangladesh, Benin, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are required to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique in their home countries before final acceptance is granted.
Phase 5: I-20 & visa status
5.1: We email I-20 to accepted applicant.
5.2: You schedule your visa interview at the U.S. embassy, attend your visa interview and receive the visa.
Phase 6: Travel Arrangements
6.1: Book a flight to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
6.2: Notify your admissions representative of your travel itinerary and ask for instructions on transportation to the University.
Phase 7: Arrival on campus
Once You’ve Arrived, Here’s What to Expect:
- Enjoy 8-9 months of coursework on campus.
- Search for a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) practicum position at a US company under the guidance of our Career Placement Center.
- Complete coursework via distance education while gaining hands-on, professional experience at a full salary, and gain academic credit.
- Attend graduation ceremonies!
Most Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you have videos explaining Applications Requirements and Admissions Procedures, and giving Academic overview of your MSCS Program?
- Yes. Elaine Guthrie, Chief Administrator for the Computer Professionals Master’s Program at MIU, describes all the requirements and admissions steps in this video.
- Dr. Greg Guthrie, Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Computer Science Department at MIU, gives a thoughtful and detailed MSCS overview in this video.
2. What is a GPA?
GPA is the Grade Point Average of your grades during your degree and sometimes shows as Cumulative Grade Point Average
3. I am not from the USA can I still join your program?
Yes, almost all our students are international students. In every entry, we have had students from at least 25 different countries, and have 3600+ graduates from 102 nations since 1996. Here is an interactive world map showing the national origins of our MSCS graduates.
4. What is the minimum GPA?
You must possess a 3-4 year undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related subject from an accredited college or university with a GPA minimum of 3.0 out of 4.
With a grade point average below 3.0 your application will be considered if there is strong professional work experience as a software developer, or you have graduated from a top level university (as ranked on the world scale).
5. What is the degree requirement for acceptance?
Having at least a 3-year Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related fields with an acceptable GPA is a requirement. See Academic requirements.
6. What is the work requirement for admission?
A four-year degree graduate will need a minimum of 6 months programming work experience. A three-year degree graduate will need 2-3 years programming work experience.
Note: Final year or graduating students with a high GPA and no work experience may apply.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents do not need work experience.
7. I have not finished my Bachelor’s degree yet. May I still apply?
Yes, but you cannot be accepted until we receive official confirmation that your Bachelor’s Degree is completed.
8. Can I take this degree online?
Sorry, no. Program duration is 8-9 months studying on our campus, taking one course each month. Then taking a 3-week Career Strategies Workshop with our HR experts to prepare for finding a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) paid internship for up to 24 months.
Total MSCS program time for internationals is around 32 months, unless you want to go to school full-time for 12-13 months and pay the full amount ahead. During internships, students take at least 4 courses part-time via distance education, studying on evenings and weekends. (Each distance course takes about four months to complete.)
9. After completing this program, what kind of degree will I get?
You will receive a Master of Science degree in Computer Science, which is recognized worldwide.
10. What is the length of this MS program?
There are now three possible program options for our MS in Computer Science.
- It typically takes about 32 months to complete Track 1 of our MS in Computer Science for international students, with 8-9 months on campus study.
- Track 2 requires larger initial payment, but less overall time to earn the degree.
- Track 3 requires full-time study on-campus for 12-13 months with Optional Practical Training, and requires full program payment in the beginning.
11. Do you offer a Masters degree in IT, computer networking or database management?
Sorry, no. We only have a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, and the focus is on advanced software development, web applications and architecture, and some courses in data science.
12. I don’t know how to program with C, C++, C# or Java. Am I eligible for this program?
Sorry, no. In order to be considered for this particular program, you need to have working knowledge in at least one of these programming languages, in addition to other application requirements.
Java is our primary teaching language in the MS program. Applicants wanting to strengthen their knowledge of Java may want to earn an online Oracle Java Certificate. Please click here to learn more. We recommend the SE8 or SE9 course. Microsoft C# certificates are also valuable.
U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents: We have a new Master’s in Software Development only for U.S. citizens and green cardholders. This 12-18 month program allows U.S. individuals with no IT background to become full-stack developers. A bachelor’s degree in any field is required. New 18-month options on-campus (not for internationals) are available starting August 2020. See https://msd.miu.edu for details.
13. Is there an age limit for joining this program?
There is no age limit, but it is important to have current knowledge and experience with C, C++, C#, or Java.
14. Do you have a branch campus in other countries?
Sorry, no. Maharishi International University (formerly Maharishi University of Management) is located approximately 5 hours drive southwest of Chicago, in Fairfield, Iowa–in the upper midwest of the United States. Please see a map on https://ComPro.miu.edu/contact/ .
16. Is TOEFL or IELTS a requirement for this program?
No. We use telephone or skype live interviews to assess English skills. If needed, we have our own English proficiency tests to evaluate your level of English comprehension and speaking. There is no need for any outside English tests.
17. Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required?
No, not unless your grade point average (GPA) is below our minimum requirement of 3.0 out of 4.0. If your GPA does not meet our requirement, we will ask you to take the GRE. With a GPA below 3.0 you might need to take the GRE general test and score at least 70% (158) on the quantitative section to be considered for admission to our MSCS program. Click here for more information, please.
Note: GRE is required from those from India unless they have 2 years or more of paid professional programming work experience, and their GPA is above 3.0 (B average).
For applicants from other countries, we strongly encourage you to take the GRE, but it is not required. A high GRE score may decrease the initial amount international students are asked to pay upon enrollment. Also, taking the GRE increases the likelihood of internationals obtaining a student visa for our program. A GRE score is a good way to indicate your overall strength, and even if it is not required, it can be an asset to your application.
18. My GPA is less than 3.0. Do I still have a chance to be considered for your program?
The best way to offset your low GPA is to take the GRE and score high in all sections, especially the quantitative section. You would need to take the GRE general test and score at least 70% (158) on the quantitative section to be considered for admission to our MSCS program. Considerable programming work experience might also compensate for lower GPA. Click here for more GRE information please.
19. How can I apply for your program?
Steps of applying are shown on https://ComPro.miu.edu/apply/. It’s easy to apply. There is no initial cost to apply, and we will give a preliminary response within 5-10 days. For international students, the initial cost, covering 2 semesters of coursework, organic dining, health insurance, and comfortable housing (single room) on our campus in the US (near Chicago) is between $4000 and $7000, depending on your initial level of qualification. More experienced, senior SDs pay the least upfront. (You would pay us between $4000 and $7000 initially while having at least $2000 available for personal expenses while here. NOT DUE until you start classes on campus.)
The remainder of the $55,740 total program cost (starting October 2022) is covered by a loan we help you to arrange in a local bank. You would only take a loan AFTER getting hired to do curricular practical training (CPT) practicum in a US company (up to 2 years). Average starting salaries have been around $80,000 – $95,000 /year, so it is very comfortable to repay the loan while doing a practicum. See https://ComPro.miu.edu/financial-aid/ for details. We are now accepting applications for our October 2022, January 2023 and April 2023 entries.
20. How much does it cost for me to apply?
There is no fee to fill out the initial online application, and it is simple and straightforward.
NOTE: In countries where a proctored local programming test is required, a local fee may be charged.
21. Can you give me a job?
We are an accredited university offering a Master’s degree in Computer Science with a required practical training practicum of up to 24 months. We help you with preparing and applying for your paid work practicum in any company in the U.S. We do not directly hire you.
While studying on-campus, students require full-time attention to their classwork, so there is no time for part-time employment during this period.
22. I want to join this program after one year, should I apply now?
You may apply up to 12 months before your selected entry date.
However, if you simply want to find out if you will qualify for this program, then you may apply prior to 12 months. But you will need to reapply when you are ready to come.
International students may enroll in our MSCS program in January, April, August, or October.
U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents may only apply to enroll in February or August.
23. Which entries do you offer every year?
We have four entries per year to the Computer Professionals Master’s Program for international students: January, April, August, and October. Please allow 2-3 months for the application and visa process. U.S. students may enter in January and August, only.
24. My English is not good enough to communicate with you in English. Could I use other languages?
No, sorry. In order to join this program, you need to have an acceptable level of writing, speaking and listening in English. If you don’t, you will need to improve your English before applying.
There are free online English lessons at http://www.talkenglish.com/ and some of our students have had great success using the following free online chat groups to help improve their English speaking skills: http://www.paltalk.com/ and http://www.sharedtalk.com/ as well as the apps WhatsApp, HelloTalk and Skype.
Also, if you have the time before coming to MIU, we recommend taking an intensive English program, to improve your fluency and pronunciation. Here is some advice about selecting an intensive English program:
(1) Look for a program with a good reputation for producing rapid improvement in spoken English.
(2) Look for a program that teaches in small groups (preferably 15 students or less).
(3) Ask how many hours you will have in small-group instruction each week.
(4) The teachers should be well trained, have professional experience, and preferably speak English as their native language.
(6) Take advantage of all opportunities to interact with individuals and teachers who use English as their native language. English is the most important factor in getting a Practicum for the Computer Professionals program as well.
25. My transcripts are not in English, what should I do?
You may fill out the online application, and provide the non-official translation of the courses you have taken in your Bachelor’s degree, but we will need to receive official translations of your transcripts before we can grant final acceptance to the program.
27. Can you provide me with the visa?
We assist you in this process. After you complete all the admission and application requirements and have been granted final acceptance to the program, we will provide you with an I-20 form. This is a legal document that will allow you to apply for an F1 student visa at the U.S. embassy in your country of residence.
28. Do I have to pay for my room and food during my stay on campus?
You do not have to pre-pay for your room and food costs. Your initial payment, due when you arrive on campus, covers tuition, a single residence hall room with high-speed Internet, and organic dining for the first 8 months. Those costs are part of your overall program cost that is paid for primarily by your bank loan that begins after you have started making an income in your paid practicum.
29. Can I work during my on-campus courses?
Sorry, no. During your on-campus courses, you will need to focus only on studying.
30. Will you pay for my traveling expenses to the U.S.?
You are responsible for paying for your own travel costs and visa costs.
31. Do you know anyone who can sponsor me for the initial payment of this program?
Finding a sponsor is your own responsibility. You can ask friends and family for assistance. If you know someone who is a U.S. permanent resident or citizen who would be eligible and willing to co-sign a loan from a U.S. bank, you might qualify for an Alternative Loan.
32. Do you have scholarships?
What we offer is actually better than a scholarship. Low initial cost, bank loan we help arrange, and paid curricular practical training that typically earns $94,000 a year to start. The loan is easily repaid prior to graduation.
We offer $1000 scholarships to individuals who score at least 90% on the quantitative section of the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) general test, if it was taken no more than 24 months ago.
33. What are my chances of finding paid curricular practical training?
Your chances are excellent. We pre-select students for the program who we think will do well in the U.S. practical training market. If you have properly represented your background and skills, and if you have good communication abilities (written and spoken English), you will do well in today’s IT market. Current placement rates for our internship students are 98 to 99%.
34. What are the options for practical training internships (CPT/OPT)?
Once you begin the curricular practical training (CPT) portion of your academic program, the student CPT visa program allows you up to two years of doing CPT internships in the U.S. (this depends on how quickly a student begins the CPT position), with a possible extension for one more year on the Specialization track. This means a maximum total of 3 years on CPT.
The other option is to do OPT (Optional Practical Training). In order to be approved for OPT, students must complete all graduation requirements and have done less than one year of CPT. Once those requirements are completed, then students are eligible for one year of OPT plus 2 more years of STEM extension. So, 4 years total. Learn more here.
35. Am I required to take out the Computer Professionals Loan if I do not have a CPT internship?
No. The Computer Professionals Loan is not taken until you secure a curricular practical training internship that pays enough for you to live comfortably and make payments on your loan.
36. What are the MSCS graduation requirements?
Please see Graduation Requirements here.
37. What if I do not have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident?
If an international student has no co-signer, you will be required to pay a modest amount upon enrollment. The amount required will depend on the level of financial aid for which you qualify. The balance of your program expenses is then paid through the Computer Professionals Loan:
Charter One (U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner required)
Citizen Bank(U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner required)
Discover(U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner required)
Midwest One (MIU cosigns loans with the student) Please read the disclosure.
Navient (Sallie Mae) (U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner required)
Pentagon FCU (U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner required)
Wells Fargo (U.S. citizen or permanent resident cosigner required)
As you can see from the above list, MIU is the guarantor of a bank loan with a local bank. Please note: MIU receives no benefit or advantage from this arrangement and you may choose any lender you wish including lenders not on this historical list.
38. What are 13 Great Reasons to apply for your MS program?
- MIU offers one of the most unique, affordable and successful master’s programs in Software Development, Web Applications and Architecture, and Data Science in the USA. We have 3600+ graduates from 102 countries since 1996, and 1000 MSCS students are currently enrolled.
- *One low initial payment covers all education, housing, organic dining for eight months on campus.
- Free online application.
- Experienced, caring, multi-national faculty prepare students for immediate success in the IT industry.
- Safe, friendly, family-like, and diverse international community. (See our blog.)
- *Computer Science Career Center staff prepare students for success in locating paid practical training internships. 98-99% curricular practical training placement success rate, with salaries averaging $80,000 – $95,000 per year.
- *Once students obtain a paid practical training practicum, the University assists in getting a loan for the balance of program costs, and students comfortably repay the loan from salary prior to graduating.
- All courses are taught on the block system, where students study one course per month full-time. This allows deep focus on each new discipline, freedom from fragmented course load, and elimination of end-of-semester exam stress.
- Prepare for management success through “Leadership for technical managers course.”
- The campus is designed for student convenience in a very attractive, pollution-free natural environment on 391 beautiful acres in the heartland of America (not far from Chicago).
- All students learn a simple, scientifically verified technique for increasing mental clarity, creativity, energy, job satisfaction, and eliminating stress.
- Graduate after up to 2 years of professional experience with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and no education debt.
- We provide fresh organic vegetarian dining and single residence hall rooms.
* For international students
39. What information do U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens need to know about our MSCS program?
- U.S. applicants may only enroll in August or January
- Are not required to have work experience
- Are usually qualified for U.S. federal student loans (after submitting FAFSA)
- The program usually takes 12-13 months on campus.
- Internships are not required but are optional.
- Starting in August 2023, tuition for U.S. students will increase from $38,000 to $44,000 for the program.
40. What is Consciousness-Based education?
Learn about Consciousness-Based education here.
41. What are CPT, OPT and the STEM OPT option?
Curricular Practical Training (CPT), optional practical training (OPT) and the additional STEM OPT option are three valuable training options for international students in our unique and affordable MS in Computer Science with Paid Training & Financial Aid in USA for experienced software developers.
Learn more on this U.S. government site.
If you are an F-1 student, you have the option of training in the United States by engaging in curricular practical training (CPT) during your program or after it ends. Practical training can provide valuable work experience by sharpening and adding to the skills you are learning in school. There are two types of practical training available for F-1 students: curricular practical training (CPT) and optional practical training (OPT).
- CPT is integral to your major and the experience must be part of your program of study.
- When you enroll at the graduate level, your designated school official (DSO) may authorize CPT during your first semester if your program requires this type of experience. Ask your DSO for details.
- Your DSO will provide you with a new Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” that shows that the DSO has approved you for this employment.
- You can work on CPT either full-time or part-time.
- CPT requires a signed cooperative agreement or a letter from your employer.
- If you have 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you are ineligible for OPT, but part-time CPT is fine and will not stop you from doing OPT.
- OPT must relate to your major or course of study.
- You can apply for 12 months of OPT at each education level, (i.e., you may have 12 months of OPT at the bachelor’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the master’s level).
- Your DSO will provide you with a new Form I-20 that shows the DSO recommendation for this employment.
- For work authorization, you must mail a completed Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization,” to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and pay a filing fee. USCIS will send you a Form I-766, “Employment Authorization Document,” (EAD) upon approving your Form I-765.
- Wait to start work until after you receive your EAD.
- While school is in session, you may only work 20 hours per week.
24-Month STEM OPT Extension
All F-1 students who are currently on a regular period of OPT and are eligible for a STEM OPT extension must apply for the 24-month STEM OPT extension.
- You may qualify for an additional 24 months of OPT under the following circumstances:
- You are currently participating in a regular period of OPT.
- You received a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree at an undergraduate level or higher and seek a training opportunity related to this degree.
- You received your qualifying STEM degree from a currently accredited SEVP-certified college or university.
- The employer from which you are seeking employment uses the E-Verify program.
- You and your prospective employer have completed and signed Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students.”
- For more information about the specific eligibility requirements for the 24-month STEM OPT extension, please visit the STEM OPT Hub on Study in the States.
- Once your DSO verifies that your Form I-983 is complete and keeps it in your student record, they will provide you with a new Form I-20 that shows their recommendation for this training opportunity.
- You must apply for work authorization by filing a Form I-765 with USCIS and paying a filing fee. USCIS will send you an EAD upon approving your petition.
- You may continue to work on your expired EAD for OPT for up to 180 days while your 24-month extension petition is pending if you meet the following conditions:
- You are currently in a period of post-completion OPT.
- You properly and in a timely manner filed your application for the 24-month extension with USCIS.
- You must report changes in name, address, employer, and loss of employment to your DSO within 10 days of any change.