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Graduate School Preparation

If you are considering graduate school:

  • Discuss your interests with faculty members in the Computer Science Department. They can guide you to courses you can take at Wofford and to graduate schools that specialize in your interests.
  • Plan your coursework so you can meet the admission requirements for graduate schools of interest. Most graduate schools require:

    Some require:

    • taking the GRE Computer Science Subject Test or
    • completing specific courses as an undergraduate—for example, a course in operating systems or in theory of computation.
     
  • Get research experience. Get a summer internship or a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). These experiences are critical to your professional development and will provide you with important contacts that might improve significantly your chances for admission to the best graduate programs. Start applying for these 
  • Prepare for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test. Educational Testing Service provides materials to help you to prepare.
  • Prepare for the GRE Computer Science Subject Test if it is required for admission. Make sure you complete the courses that the test covers: COSC 350 Data Structures, MATH 235 Discrete Mathematics, COSC 351 Advanced Data Structures, PHY 203 Computer Organization and Interfacing, COSC 340 Theory of Computation, COSC 360 Operating Systems, and COSC 410 Software Engineering. It is good to also have completed COSC 315 Computer Networks and COSC 320 Programming Languages.
  • Get to know your professors and make sure they know you. (This is easier to do at Wofford than at most universities.) They will have difficulty giving you a strong recommendation if they don't know you. A typical recommendation asks to rank a student relative to other students (Top 1-2%, Top 5%, Top 10%, and so on) with respect to:
    • Knowledge in subject of proposed study
    • Ability to grasp new concepts
    • Originality and intellectual creativity
    • Mathematical and logical thought
    • Written expression
    • Oral expression
    • Perseverance toward goals
    • Potential in research
    • Ability to get along with others
    • Ability to analyze problems and formulate solutions

    A strong recommendation must include examples that substantiate a particularly high rankings.

  • Apply to graduate schools early in your senior year. While application deadlines often extend into March, most fellowships and assistantships are award in January or February.