Application Requirements / Qualifications
Our chief administrator, Elaine Guthrie, explains the application requirements and steps.
We have four entries each year. For most countries, one should apply at least 3 months prior to the desired entry. However, you should check visa appointment wait times in your country. An application is valid for 12 months.
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 12 months of programming work experience.
3-year degree graduates are required to have a minimum of 2-3 years of software development work experience.
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 very familiar with one of these programming 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: Have an English interview via telephone or Skype.
Phase 3: Receive Acceptance
Phase 4: Verify Finances
- Send bank statement. Admissions will require you to show you have sufficient finances.
- Complete and submit Program Agreement form.
- Submit application fee.
- Sign and submit Student Agreement form.
Note: Students from Algeria, Bangladesh, Benin, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mongolia, 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 hopefully, receive your visa. To lookup wait times for scheduling a visa interview in your location, please click here.
Phase 6: Travel Arrangements
6.1: Make transportation reservations. Click here for travel options.
6.2: Notify your admissions representative of your travel itinerary and ask for instructions on transportation to the University.
Phase 7: Arrive 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 U.S. company under the guidance of our Computer Science Career 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 Application Requirements and Admission Procedures, and giving an Academic overview of your MSCS Program?
1.1 What are overall program requirements?
To learn about the MS in Computer Science program requirements for Computer Professionals, please visit our website at https://compro.miu.edu/apply/.
Basically, you need to have a 3-4 year bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field, with some formal university programming, mathematics, and data structures and algorithms courses; a GPA of 3.0 out of 4, and international applicants need at least 12 months of full-time computer programming work experience after earning your bachelor’s degree. (With a 3-year degree, 2-3 years of software development work experience are required.)
With a grade point average below 3.0 your application will be considered if there is professional solid work experience as a software developer, or you have graduated from a top-level university (as ranked on the world scale).
To be eligible for our Computer Science Master’s program, you must have a working knowledge, and pass a test in one of the following programming languages: Java, C, “C ++”, or “C #”. We are looking for experienced software developers.
Intermediate English is also needed.
To apply, please go to https://ComPro.miu.edu/apply/ and APPLY ONLINE. Initially free to apply.
1.2. What is the total cost of the program?
One initial payment for internationals, of only $5000 covers all on-campus costs for two semesters (8 months), including tuition, single residence hall room, and organic dining. **The initial payment of $5000 is NOT DUE until you arrive on campus to start courses.
When students get a paid internship offer, we help them get a bank loan for the balance of the total program cost of ~$54,322. Students also need to bring an additional $2000 for personal expenses while on the MIU campus. See https://ComPro.miu.edu/financial-aid/, please. You also pay your own visa and travel expenses.
1.3. 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.)
2. 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 3800+ graduates from 105 nations since 1996. Here is an interactive world map showing the national origins of our MSCS graduates.
3. What is the minimum required cumulative grade point average (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 (GPA) 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). With a GPA below 3.0 you might need to take the Graduate Record Exam (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.
3.1. What is a GPA?
GPA is the Grade Point Average of your grades during your degree and sometimes is called the Cumulative Grade Point Average.
4. What is the degree requirement for acceptance?
Having a 3- to 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related technical fields with an acceptable GPA is a requirement. See Academic requirements.
5. What is the work experience requirement for admission?
A four-year degree graduate will need a minimum of 12 months of programming work experience. A three-year degree graduate will need 2-3 years of programming work experience.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents do not need work experience.
6. 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, and comfortable housing (single room) on our campus in the U.S. (near Chicago) is $5000. You would pay us $5000 when you initially register on campus while having at least $2000 also available for personal expenses while here. NOT DUE until you start classes on campus.)
The remainder of the $54,322 total program cost is covered by a loan we help you to arrange in a local bank. You will only take a loan AFTER getting hired to do curricular practical training (CPT) internship/practicum in a U.S. company (up to 2 years). Typical starting salaries have been $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 2023, February 2024 and May 2024 entries.
6.5. 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 of on-campus study.
- Track 2 requires a 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 Optional Practical Training (OPT), and requires full program payment at the beginning of each semester.
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.
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. 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.
11. 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 different Master’s in Software Development only for U.S. citizens and green cardholders. This 12 or 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. 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 our location on this map .
16. Is TOEFL or IELTS a requirement for this program?
No. We do 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 requirements, we may ask you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). You would 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: The 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. 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 Graduate Record Exam (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 a lower GPA. Click here for more GRE information, please.
20. How much does it cost for me to apply?
There is no initial fee to fill out the online application, which 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: February (with late January arrival date), May (with late April arrival date), August (with late July or early August arrival date), and November (with late October arrival date). Please allow 2-3 months for MIU application approval, and possibly more for the visa process. You might want to check on the visa appointment wait time in your city at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html.
U.S. students may enter only in February and August.
For more details on arrival dates, please contact your Admissions Representative.
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.
Your university can send official online or official paper transcript copies to our admissions office. Please see https://ComPro.miu.edu/application-checklist/ for more details.
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 $5000 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. These 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, because our block system of courses involves studying each course full-time for about a month, and students are in class 5 1/2 days each week.
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 $80,000 – $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 24 months ago.
33. What are my chances of finding paid curricular practical training?
Your chances are good. 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.
Success in finding practicum employment has been over 98% during the past ten years.
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.
You can learn about the many services of our Computer Science Career Center at https://compro.miu.edu/blog/computer-career-strategies-workshop-empowers-students/.
36. What are the MSCS graduation requirements?
Please see the 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 $5000 upon enrollment. The balance of your program expenses is then paid through the Computer Professionals Loan.
MIU is the guarantor of a bank loan with a local bank.
38. What are 14 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 4000+ graduates from 108 countries since 1996, and 800 MSCS students are currently enrolled.
- *One low initial payment covers all education, housing, and 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% is the typical practical training placement success rate, with salaries typically $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 their 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 the “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.
- The home of MIU, Fairfield, Iowa, is a climate change “safe haven.” Over the past ten years, we have had no severe extreme weather/climate problems and no natural disasters.
* 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.
40. What is Consciousness-Based education?
Learn about Consciousness-Based education (CBE) here. The many successes of MIU education are primarily due to the many benefits available due to our consciousness-based approach.
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 the 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 practicums/internships 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 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.
42. What is the Block System?
At MIU, you are fully immersed in only one subject each month. This is immensely popular with our students because they naturally learn more, and it eliminates the stress of studying multiple subjects at once. And there’s never a finals week!
To learn more about the block system, please watch this video.