Graduate Application

Apply to the M.S. or Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems Engineering

The instructions on this page tell you how to apply to the M.S. in Intelligent Systems Engineering or the Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems Engineering.

If you have questions, the Luddy Graduate Studies Office is happy to help you. Email us at

Learn about our programs

Application deadline

We are currently accepting applications for fall 2020 admission.

  • Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems Engineering: January 1 for priority consideration
  • M.S. in Intelligent Systems Engineering
    • January 1 - Application deadline for mid-February response
    • February 3 - Application deadline for mid-March response
    • March 23 - Application deadline for early April response
    • After March 23 - Applications submitted after this date will be considered on case-by-case basis and subject to the availability of space
    • April 15 - Student Decision Deadline

International applicants

January 15 is our suggested application deadline for international students who want to enroll in the fall. If you apply by January 15, you should have sufficient time to get a visa before starting the program.

Submitting your application and supporting materials

You are required to submit an online application and supporting materials. For your application to be evaluated, it must be paid and complete—including all supporting materials.

You are responsible for making sure that your submitted application is complete. We do not typically acknowledge that we have received applications or supporting documents.

Application checklist

We strongly recommend that you have this checklist open in a separate window or print it so you can refer to it while you work on your application.

You should submit all these items through the online application. You can send your official transcripts later.

If you are a current undergraduate in our department who is applying for the Accelerated M.S. in Intelligent Systems Engineering, you don’t have to submit GRE scores, a statement of purpose, or letters of recommendation.

1. Completed online application

For your academic program, select “Engineering PhD” or “Engineering MS.” You can save your application at any time and continue working on it later.

Go to the online application

2. Application fee

The nonrefundable fee is $70 for domestic and international students.

3. Track

Choose one of our six tracks to list on your application:

  • Bioengineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Cyber-physical Systems
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Molecular and Nanoscale Engineering
  • Neuroengineering

You can learn more about the tracks on the page about your program.

4. GRE General Test report

You are required to submit your scores from a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test that you have taken within the past five years. Send your scores to institution code 1324 and department code 1699.

5. TOEFL  or IELTS scores (nonnative English speakers only)

All nonnative English speakers should submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS scores using our  institution code 1324 and department code 69.

We have no formal minimum score requirements, but a score of 100 or higher on the internet-based test (iBT), 250 or higher on the computer-based test, or 600 or higher on the paper-based test indicates that you are more likely to succeed in our program. Scores must be less than two years old by your date of enrollment.

If you would like to submit IELTS scores instead, please write to to request a waiver.

6. Statement of purpose

Submit an essay that is approximately 500 words long. Your essay should:

  • Explain why our program is the right fit for your academic/career goals.
  • List research topic areas that interest you and the faculty with whom you would like to work.
  • Discuss why you chose the track that you listed earlier in the application.
  • Demonstrate your preparation by describing courses or projects that you have been involved with and any experience you have doing research.

7. Official transcripts and degree certifications

Upload an electronic copy of your official transcript(s) from each previous undergraduate or graduate institution that you have attended. Each institutional transcript should be uploaded as a single PDF and include the following:

  • Institution name (official logo - not typed or handwritten by the applicant)
  • Title of courses and examinations completed with grades
  • Attendance dates
  • Degree or diploma you earned with awarded date

8. Three letters of recommendation

Enter your recommenders’ names and email addresses in the online application. Each recommender will receive an email telling them how to submit their letter.

We prefer that all three recommendations come from academic faculty. However, if you are currently working, one of your letters can be a professional reference.

If you have experience as a teaching assistant, a letter from your teaching supervisor attesting to your teaching ability could help your application for financial support.

9. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

Submit it with your online application. Please make sure it includes any awards or publications.

What happens next

We evaluate your application

The admissions committee takes several weeks to evaluate all complete applications.

We tell you whether or not you have been admitted

We will email you by April 1 (fall admission) or late October (spring admission) to tell you if you have been admitted. Because we receive hundreds of applications per year, we cannot provide case-by-case explanations about admissions decisions.

You tell us if you accept your admissions offer

If you are offered admission for the fall semester, you will have until April 15 to accept or decline the offer, including any funding.

Many colleges and universities in the Council of Graduate Schools have agreed on a common decision date of April 15 for offers of financial support. You can read the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants and see a list of the institutions that support the resolution.

International student applications and visa eligibility

If you are an international student, your application will be forwarded to the Office of International Services (OIS) for final processing. You are required to follow the steps on OIS’s page about the application process for international graduate students, which includes submitting financial documentation.

The Luddy Graduate Studies Office does not issue any visa documentation. If you have questions about the I-20, the DS-2019, financial documentation, or Atlas, contact the Office of International Services.

Financial support

Decisions on financial support from the Department of Intelligent Systems Engineering are made after decisions on admission and are based on the information in the application for admission. All newly admitted students are automatically considered for available fellowships and student academic appointments.

Learn about financial support