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: Final year or graduate students with a high GPA and no work experience may apply.
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 for 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 and Iran unless you have 2 years or more of paid professional programming work experience, and your GPA is above 3.0 (B average).
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.
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 Egypt, Ethiopia and Nepal 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) internship job 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 20 different countries, and have 2800+ graduates from 93 nations since 1996. Here is a world map showing 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, or 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 greencard holders. 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 and online (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. Our university is located only in the U.S.
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 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 all applicants from Iran. Those from India must also take the GRE 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?
You can apply online at this link. You will need your university transcripts in order to fill out the application.
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.
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 internship of up to 24 months. We help you with preparing and applying for your paid work internship in any company in the US. We do not directly hire you.
While studying on-campus, students require full-time attention on 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 February, April, August or November.
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 for international students: February, May, August and November. Please allow 2-3 months for the application and visa process. U.S. students may enter in February 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.
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, single residence hall room with high speed Internet, organic dining, and health insurance 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 internship.
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 internship that typically earns $85,000 to $90,000 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 36 months ago.
33. What are my chances of finding an internship?
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 internship portion of your academic program, the student CPT (Curricular Practical Training) 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 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 (MUM cosigns loans with the student) Please read 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, MUM is the guarantor of a bank loan with a local bank. Please note: MUM 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 3000+ graduates from 95 countries since 1996, and 1000 MSCS students currently enrolled.
- *One low initial payment covers all education, housing, organic dining, and health insurance costs for 8 months on campus.
- Free online application.
- Experienced, caring, multi-national faculty prepare students for immediate success in 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% internship placement success rate, with salaries averaging $90,000 per year.
- *Once students obtain a paid practical training internship, the University assists in getting a loan for the balance of program costs, and students comfortably repay 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 365 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 February
- Are not required to have work experience
- Are usually qualified for U.S. federal student loans (after submitting FAFSA)
- Program usually takes 12-13 months on campus.
- Internships are not required, but optional for up to 3 years.
40. What is Consciousness-Based education?
Learn about Consciousness-Based education here.