Information for Students
Application and Decision Process
The Computational Sciences (CSci) graduate program, welcomes applicants who hold a bachelor or master degree in Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics. Other disciplines may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants are required to demonstrate adequate preparation in the form of relevant coursework and research experience. It is highly desirable that applicants provide evidence of experience in interdisciplinary work in connection with the core research areas of the program:
- Data Analytics
- Computational Physics
For specifics within each of these core areas, please refer to the current faculty research interests [link to Faculty page].
The program is currently reviewing applications in a rolling basis. However, applications submitted before March 1 (to start in the Fall of the same year) will be given priority for funding.
The general application requirements are determined by the Graduate Admissions office. These are some highlights:
Curriculum Vitae. Applicants are required to submit their CV as the first piece of evidence to make their case to be considered for admission to the program. Informal inquiries about the program should always be accompanied by the applicant’s resume, sent by e-mail to the Program Director.
Test Scores. The CSci program requires a general GRE test for all applicants, and a TOEFL or IELTS test for foreign applicants whose native language is other than English.
Transcripts. Check the Application Requirements for compliance rules.
Statement of Purpose. Prospective students must include a two-part essay in their application. The first part should focus on the general reasoning behind the wish to pursue graduate studies. The second part is significantly more technical in nature. It should provide a summary of the applicant’s qualifications, emphasizing prior coursework and research experience, demonstrating how this experience makes the applicant suitable to pursue graduate-level interdisciplinary research within the focus areas of the CSci program. For this reason, prospective students must contact faculty members before officially submitting their application. As the applicant gets ready to submit their application, they must already have identified possible faculty matches and include the outcome of those preliminary interactions in their statement of purpose, making the case for admission.
Tracks. Applicants are expected to decide the track which is best suited for their research interests. There are currently three tracks in the CSci Program: Data Analytics, Computational Physics, and Bioinformatics. The applicant’s track choice will be as a result of their prior conversation with faculty members that could potentially work as their primary PhD advisor.
Recommendation Letters. The CSci program requires three letters of recommendation. These letters should be written by professors who are familiar with the applicant’s work. Letters written by professionals outside academia are acceptable if they are directly relevant to the applicant’s graduate research interests.
Only the Graduate Admissions office can determine if an application is complete. Applicants are encouraged to read the Graduate Bulletin and contact the Graduate Admissions office to make sure all applications requirements are met.
- Application is submitted to the Graduate Admissions office.
- When complete, the application will be reviewed by the Program Director.
- The application is then forwarded to possible mentors/advisors in the program for review.
- All applications are subsequently reviewed by CSci Graduate Program Committee for decisions on possible acceptance.
- Acceptance/Rejection letter is sent out.
- Acknowledgement of acceptance by the student must be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions, by the deadline written on the letter, in order to retain a position in the program.
Ready to apply? Proceed by filling out an online application HERE
Processing time notice: only complete applications reach the Program Director’s desk. This process takes an average of two weeks.
Assistantships and Fellowships
Students in the CSci program are supported through Doctoral Fellowships, Graduate Research Assistantships (RAs) and Teaching Assistantships (TAs) provided by the Office of Graduate Studies and faculty grants. Additional university sources of support include Sanofi Genzyme and Oracle Fellowships, available to students who have advanced to candidacy, as well as various travel grants to support conference participation.
All CSci students are strongly encouraged to apply for extramural fellowship support such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowships. Applications are due in November of each year. Prospective students wishing to apply for these fellowships are encouraged to contact the CSci Program Director early in the year. For applications and instructions go to: https://www.nsfgrfp.org
The DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship: https://www.krellinst.org/csgf/ is another funding opportunity offered by the Krell Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy. Applications are due January.
In addition to the above, CSci graduate students may be eligible for NSF Mathematical Sciences Graduate Internships. This is an NSF program intended to introduce doctoral students in mathematics to interesting applications of mathematical or statistical theories outside of academia. Details: https://orise.orau.gov/nsf-msgi/default.html.
Students can also look into grants at a federal level through the website Grants.gov by doing a search for student level or graduate-level grants. The Community of Science (COS) also offers grant opportunities. A broad range of funding opportunities can found at the Open Education Database.
Another list of funding opportunities is available at the UMB Graduate Research Opportunities website: