caltech computer science masters

Last Updated on September 6, 2022 by Smile Ese

Caltech is one of the world’s leading science and engineering institutions. Here, you can find anything you want in education field. They are providing the best quality education and their teaching styles are very simple so that students can understand easily. The students who have completed their diploma or degree from here giving good work to their society. I wish to join Postgraduate program from this institute in computer science program because it’s a good opportunity for me to know about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and different kinds of Robotics by studying Mechanical Engineering at Caltech university.

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Best Computer Science Programs In The World |


Disciplines across the information sciences are experiencing an unprecedented convergence. As different areas interact, new fields are emerging. For example, combining Computer Science with…

…Optimization and Statistics has led to machine learning, “big data,” and the field of data science.
…Control and Electrical Engineering has led to the smart grid, smart buildings, and the internet of things.
…Physics has led to quantum computing and quantum information theory.
…Economics has led to algorithmic game theory, privacy, and the field of network science.
…Biology and Electrical Engineering has led to bioinformatics, molecular programming, and biomolecular circuits.

Because of this convergence, a new intellectual core is emerging in the information sciences. The core contains material from a spectrum of disciplines: algorithms, networks, machine learning, statistics, optimization, signal processing, and the underlying mathematics. But each area is enriched by the broader context. For instance, the study of algorithms now encompasses the traditional discrete problems of computer science, the continuous problems of applied mathematics, as well as worst-case and average-case perspectives.

The CMS PhD program is designed around the new information science core. This core provides the ideal foundation for future applications across the sciences, engineering, and beyond. Our approach requires the mastery of the following ways of thinking about information science:

  • Interpret “information” and “computation” broadly. We study mechanisms that communicate, store, and process information. These structures might be etched in silicon and called hardware or written in code and called software. But the same mechanisms may be expressed in nucleotides and called DNA. They also arise in our society, where they are called social networks or markets. Our view encompasses all of these manifestations.
  • Algorithmic thinking is the foundation. The modern world demands the ability to think algorithmically. Algorithms are not just the basis for advanced computer systems, but they help us understand biological organisms and auction design and more.
  • Data is central. Data is being collected at an unprecedented speed and scale. Every area of science and society will be transformed as researchers learn to use this data to develop and test new hypotheses. To unlock this potential, we need to develop reliable algorithms for extracting information and making decisions based on data.
  • Seek rigor and relevance. The CMS Program focuses on the theoretical core of information science. We believe that principled and rigorous methods provide the only solid basis for progress. But we also insist on research that is relevant to applications, and we train students to work at the interface of information science and other disciplines.

Students may select a research adviser from any of the 30+ faculty affiliated with the CMS Department, including specialists in Applied & Computational Mathematics, Biological Engineering, Computation & Neural Systems, Computer Science, Control & Dynamical Systems, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Philosophy, and Physics.

caltech masters computer science acceptance rate

Popularly known as Caltech, the California Institute of Technology is famous for its science and engineering research and is recognized as a global leader in education. The top-ranked universities in California focus on admitting students with a high GPA and Caltech is no exception.

The California Institute of Technology ranks amongst the world’s top ten universities and is known worldwide for its excellence in natural science and engineering. The University provides five NASA facilities that include even the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which is a leading research center for investigating our solar system. The Institute manages this lab for NASA, sending probes to explore the planets and examine changes on our home planet. Additionally, the starting salary of Caltech graduates is a staggering $83,200. The faculty and alumni network of the school comprises winners of 39 Nobel Prizes and one Fields Medal. Caltech has educated eminent scientists like France A. Córdova who is the fourteenth director of the National Science Foundation and Arnold Orville Beckman, a chemist and philanthropist. In addition to that, the founders of high-tech companies including Compaq and Intel are Caltech graduates.

California Institute of Technology offers a plethora of opportunities to lead innovation in business and technology, preparing students to enter a global workforce by providing them international exposure. Acceptance rate for masters is 10.6% and for PhD is 7.3% respectively. 

caltech computer science masters admission

The CMS program is meant for students who have interdisciplinary interests and do not want to be pigeonholed. Instead we are looking for students that want to be at the boundaries of disciplines, where ideas overlap and intersect and where new fields emerge. Many CMS students have studied more than one field during their undergraduate programs. Typically CMS students have undergraduate training in mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, or economics, but some have completed programs in other parts of engineering or the mathematical sciences. The common factor in the students is that they are curious about how areas interact with and influence each other.

The CMS core requirement

The CMS program builds on a set of core classes that students take together during the first year. These classes teach foundational ideas in computer science, economics, electrical engineering, mathematics, and statistics that support research in a wide variety of other disciplines.

Fall: Mathematical Fundamentals

  • CMS/ACM/IDS 107. Introduction to Linear Analysis with Applications
  • CMS/ACM/IDS 113. Mathematical Optimization
  • CMS 117. Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes.

Winter: Computing Fundamentals

  • CMS/CS/IDS 139. Analysis and Design of Algorithms
  • CMS/CS/EE/IDS 144. Networks: Structure & Economics
  • CMS/CS/CNS/EE/IDS 155. Machine Learning & Data Mining

Depth requirement: Research focus areas

In addition to the core classes, each CMS student is required to take three classes in a focus area, which is chosen in consultation with a faculty adviser. Example focus areas include:

  • Algorithms & complexity: Approximation algorithms, online algorithms, complexity theory, and computability.
  • Algorithmic economics: Auctions and mechanism design, algorithmic game theory, and privacy.
  • Biological circuits: Organic substrates for computation, including neuronal computing and DNA computing.
  • Feedback & control: Robust control, feedback, dynamical systems theory.
  • Inference & statistics: Statistical decision theory, information theory, and adaptive signal processing.
  • Information systems: Information theory, coding theory, communication, and signal processing.
  • Machine learning & vision: Algorithmic, mathematical, and biological perspectives on computational models for learning and vision.
  • Networked systems: The study of complex networks, in fields ranging from biology, social science, communications, and power.
  • Optimization: Convex optimization, conic and discrete optimization, and numerical methods for largescale optimization.
  • Quantum information theory: Quantum algorithms and complexity, convex optimization, and operator theory.
  • Scientific computing: Computational methods for problems arising in the physical sciences, partial differential equations.
  • Uncertainty quantification: Markov chains and martingales, stochastic system analysis, and convex optimization.

Admission Requirements

Please note that the following requirements are for the previous application cycle and will be updated in late Summer 2021.

  • GRE General: Not required
  • GRE Subject: Not required
  • Personal Statement: 1000-1500 word personal statement that gives your reasons to pursue graduate work in the field of your study. The statement should include examples of your past work in your chosen field, your plans for study at Brown, issues and problems you’d like to address in your field and your professional goals.
  • Recommendations: Three (3) recommendations required
  • Resume: Required
  • TOEFL/IELTS: Required for any non-native English speaker who does not have a degree from an institution where English is the sole language of instruction or from a University in the following countries: Australia, Bahamas, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada (except Quebec), Ethiopia, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Gambia, Uganda, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales), West Indies, Zambia).

We will NOT be accepting the TOEFL at home version or the IELTS Indicator exam. However, we WILL be accepting the TOEFL ITP Plus exam for students in mainland China.

Other degree requirements

The CMS Graduate Program is a research oriented course of study leading to the PhD degree in Computing and Mathematical Sciences. The requirements are designed to train students to undertake transformational research in a range of application areas.

Advising. Incoming students will be paired with an academic adviser who will provide guidance on coursework and help students make the transition into research. During the first year, each student will choose a research adviser from CMS, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, or an allied field.

Breadth requirement. In addition to the core courses and depth requirements above, students must complete three other graduate courses from mathematics, science, engineering, or economics.

CMS Colloquium. During their first year students are required to attend the CMS Colloquium (CMS 290abc), a biweekly technical seminar series featuring distinguished researchers from around the world who specialize in computing and mathematical sciences.

CMS preliminary examination. In the winter term of the first year, each student will complete an oral examination focused on his or her coursework in mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

CMS candidacy examination. By the end of the third year, each student will complete an oral candidacy examination designed to assess the breadth and depth of preparation for undertaking research in the chosen area.

The PhD dissertation. Each student will complete a PhD dissertation documenting independent research. To complete the degree, each student will given an oral presentation on the dissertation work to the thesis committee.

PhD thesis defenses consist of a public presentation with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. This is followed by a private examination with only the thesis committee and the candidate present. Thesis defenses will be announced and the CMS community as a whole is encouraged to attend.

caltech computer science masters

Graduate study in computer science within the Computing & Mathematical Sciences department is oriented principally toward Ph.D. research. The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of three academic years of residence; required coursework is generally completed within the first two years. Students must maintain high academic standards during their graduate residence. A student’s Ph.D. research must exhibit originality in the formulation, analysis, and solution of a problem that is significant to the field of study. The option representative and executive officers are available to discuss concerns regarding academic progress.

Computation is now pervasive, wide-reaching, and unavoidable in our daily lives, and in science and engineering. The Computer Science option gives students a strong grounding in the mathematical and algorithmic foundations of computing, provides an introduction to cutting-edge research in a variety of subfields of Computer Science, and prepares them to apply computational thinking to a diversity of applications in Computer Science and beyond. Our students and faculty strive to:

  • understand information and computation as intrinsic components of a broad array of natural and engineered systems
  • tackle challenging and fundamental problems with the potential for long-term and real-world impact
  • develop underlying theory
  • nurture collaboration between traditionally separate disciplines

The graduate computer science option is primarily oriented toward Ph.D. research. Students complete advanced coursework to achieve a breadth of knowledge in the core areas of computer science, and specialized coursework in their intended research area as directed by their research advisor and the graduate option representative. The M.S. degree entails a thesis and coursework and is normally awarded in the first two years as part of the overall progress toward the Ph.D.

The department expects Ph.D. students to achieve:

  • a thorough understanding of the mathematical and algorithmic foundations of computer science,
  • cutting-edge knowledge in the area of research specialization,
  • the ability to identify, formulate, and tackle problems at the research frontiers in the area of specialization,
  • success and originality in the formulation, analysis, and solution of a problem that is significant to the area of research specialization,
  • experience in critically evaluating computer science research,
  • experience in effectively communicate their ideas in writing and in oral presentations.

Master’s students are expected to achieve a thorough understanding of the mathematical and algorithmic foundations of computer science, and have gained significant knowledge in the area of research specialization through their coursework, and to demonstrate promise in independent research through an original thesis.

Caltech Announces the Schmidt Academy for Software Engineering | www.caltech .edu

CMS Meeting of the Minds

Each year, in the Spring, CMS hosts the Meeting of the Minds, an event that gives both undergraduate and graduate researchers a chance to showcase their work via a poster and/or demo. Many classmates and other members of the CMS community attend this poster session, and vote on their favorite research presentations. The presentations that receive the most votes are awarded with prizes.

More information about the event, along with participation guidelines, can be found at the Meeting of the Minds.

The Computing and Mathematical Sciences (CMS) PhD program is a unique, new, multidisciplinary program at Caltech involving faculty and students from computer science, electrical engineering, applied math, economics, operations research, and even the physical sciences. The program sets high standards for admission and graduation, and boasts a broad collection of world-class faculty (any faculty at Caltech from any of the areas above can advise students).

Frequently Asked Questions

Which PhD program is best for me (ACM/CS/CDS/CMS )?

If you’re unsure about which program is best for you, please feel free to apply to multiple programs. Also, note that it is possible to switch between programs once you arrive to Caltech. That said, each program has a specific goal. The ACM and CS programs are somewhat traditional PhD programs in Applied Math and Computer Science, while the CDS, and CMS programs are unique interdisciplinary programs meant to appeal to students interested in emerging areas at the boundaries of computing and mathematics. For example, our flagship program, the CMS program, is a unique, new program that provides students with a cross-cutting perspective on optimization, algorithms, learning, statistics, and networks.

When are graduate applications due?

Applications for the graduate program are due by December 1st. Late submissions are considered with a lower priority.

Can I earn a terminal Master’s Degree in Computer Science at Caltech?

We traditionally do not offer a Master’s degree as a terminal degree.

How do I apply for graduate admission?

Visit the Graduate Admissions website in order to download or request an application. Complete instructions may be found there. Applications are due on December 1st for entry the following September. Also peruse this website for detailed information on the faculty and their research expertise; current graduate students; alumni; and general information about our department.

Where can I find information about the PhD Programs in CMS?
Can I attend Caltech as a part-time student?

No. Our graduate programs are for full-time students only.

How many years does it take to earn a PhD within CMS at Caltech?

The PhD program requires a minimum of three academic years of residence. Most students complete the PhD program in four to six years.

Are stipends available for graduate students?

In general, students offered admission to graduate study at Caltech are simultaneously offered a package of financial support that pays all tuition charges and provides them with a stipend. Financial support for graduate students comes in the form of fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantship, or some combination of fellowship and assistantship support. In most cases financial assistance is awarded on an annual basis, but there are also multi-year fellowships available. Applicants requesting additional information on financial assistance may contact the Office of Graduate Studies at (626) 395-6348.

Must I take the GRE?

The Department of Computer Science’s master’s program is suitable both for those who wish to improve their professional competence in computer science and for those who seek to prepare for further graduate study.

The program offers three different tracks (thesis, project and coursework only) that enable individuals to customize their studies to match their particular ambitions and experiences. Computer-science classes at Brown are taught by the same professors who have earned our department’s reputation for innovative education and research. The department has expertise in a variety of areas of computer science, including algorithms and data structures, artificial intelligence, automated reasoning and planning, brain-machine interfaces, computational biology, computer security, cryptography, database management systems, distributed systems and ubiquitous computing, electronic commerce and agents, graphics and visualization, human-computer interaction, nanotechnology, natural language processing, networking, operating systems, operations research and constraint programming, programming languages, robotics and computer vision, software engineering, and stream processing.

Additional Resources

The Department of Computer Science provides leading-edge computing technology to all its students. Each Sc.M. student is provided with a desktop computer and desk in a departmental office. Students also have access to compute clusters. In addition, there are six research labs: the Algorithmics Lab, the Artificial Intelligence Lab, the Graphics Lab, the Internet Lab, the Motion Capture Lab, and the Systems Lab.