FAQs for Prospective Students and New Applicants

You're expected to have questions. To make it easier for you, the FAQ section below has answers for you as a prospective student and/or new applicant for one of our graduate programs. After you read the FAQs below, if your questions are not answered, please contact us

General FAQs

What if I want to visit the Watson School?

How do I apply for graduate school?

Is graduate admission ultimately decided by the Graduate School or by the department? And do I need to send one package of application materials to the grad school and another to the department separately when I apply?

Application

What are the deadlines for the fall and spring applications?

What kind of applicant background is competitive? Is it high test scores, research experiences or something else?

Do you consider the reputation of the applicant's undergraduate university?  Is it important?

Financial Information

What are the approximate tuition, fees, and living expenses?

What about the financial aid for master's students? As far as I know, few master's students can get financial support.

Examination Requirements (TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, GPA, etc)

What are the exam requirements for international students? What is an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score?

What proportion of the TOEFL and GRE scores do you take into consideration during the admission process. Are they decisive?

I'm an international student, but I will be receiving an undergraduate degree from a U.S. school. Am I required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

Is the GPA a decisive factor?  Will you even consider an applicant whose GPA is below your requirement?


GENERAL FAQs

What if I want to visit the Watson School?

You're encouraged to visit the campus if you are interested in attending the Watson School. You are welcome to join group information sessions and student-guided tours of the campus held on most weekdays and selected Saturdays during the academic year. These sessions cover general information about admissions, academic and campus life, housing and the surrounding community. We encourage you to phone 607-777-2171 at least one week in advance of to be sure that a session will be scheduled for the day that you choose to visit.

Each fall the Admissions Office and individual Binghamton University schools host an open house for all interested potential applicants and their families.  Check out the visiting campus section of the University's website for more information about visiting our campus.

Students interested in master's or doctoral studies at the Watson School should view our video on what makes a graduate education at Binghamton University so outstanding.

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How do I apply for graduate school?

For more information on how to apply for graduate studies, visit the Graduate School's website, and you are encouraged to check the special FAQ - Graduate section below.

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Is graduate admission ultimately decided by the Graduate School or by the department? And do I need to send one package of application materials to the grad school and another to the department separately when I apply?

The department decides. You should send only one package directly to the Graduate School, which will organize the application materials and send them to us.

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APPLICATION

What are the deadlines for the fall and spring applications?

Applications are considered for both spring and fall semesters and are reviewed on a rolling basis. For fall semester admission, apply before February 1 for funding consideration or April 1 for regular admission. For spring admission, apply before October 15 for funding consideration or November 15 for regular admission.

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What kind of applicant background is competitive? Is it high test scores, research experiences or something else?

It is difficult to isolate a single factor; they are all important.

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Do you consider the reputation of the applicant's undergraduate university?  Is it important?

Yes, it is important and we consider the reputation of an applicant's undergraduate university.

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FINANCIAL INFORMATION

What are the approximate tuition, fees, and living expenses?

The total costs for your graduate studies can vary depending on the number of credits you will be taking and your living expenses. The Graduate School's web site lists tuition and fee rates.  (based on the Student Funding Survey published by Graduate School).

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What about the financial aid for master's students? As far as I know, few master's students can get financial support.

Some master's students can receive financial support, usually as a teaching assistant (TA), and sometimes as a research project assistant (RPA). Exceptional academic performance, high test scores and research experience can increase your chances of receiving support.

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EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS (TOEFL, GRE, IELTS, GPA, etc)

What are the exam requirements for international students? What is an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score?

 Exam requirements and acceptable scores for international students can be found on the Graduate School website.

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What proportion of the TOEFL and GRE scores do you take into consideration during the admission process? Are they decisive?

All factors are taken into consideration, including TOEFL and GRE scores. Strength in other areas can compensate for low test scores. There are minimum required TOEFL scores. Although there is no firm minimum required score on the GRE, successful applicants typically have a score of 700 or higher on the Quantitative part of the GRE. Slightly lower scores may be accepted if the applicant is strong in other aspects (e.g., good course grades and/or strong research experience).

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I'm an international student, but I will be receiving an undergraduate degree from a U.S. school. Am I required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

The TOEFL/IELTS score is not required if you have received a degree from a U.S. institution or if you have received a degree from an institution in a country whose native language is English.

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Is the GPA a decisive factor?  Will you even consider an applicant whose GPA is below your requirement?

All factors are taken into consideration, including GPA. Strength in other areas can compensate for low GPA. We pay particular attention to your academic performance in the key courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering; grades in junior-level and senior-level courses tend to be weighted most heavily.

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Last Updated: 11/27/13