Application Materials

Here we provide a detailed list of documents to include in your online application packet.

Application Form

All domestic and international students must apply online for the MS or PhD program. Please note that the online application process will require you to upload supporting documents.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable fee of $85 per degree must be submitted for each application to graduate degree study at any SUNY campus. You may pay the application fee online with a credit card or e-check.

Personal Statement

As part of the application, the department requires a statement of purpose briefly describing your background and your academic and career goals. The online application provides a space for you to type your personal statement.

College Transcripts

Copies of transcript(s) for all post-secondary schoolwork must be uploaded with the online application for initial review. Upon the offer of admission, accepted applicants will be required to submit official transcripts and proof of degree(s), in English, with the school seal.

Letters of Recommendation

For PhD applicants, three (3) letters of recommendation are required. For MS applicants and UB undergraduates, two (2) letters of recommendation are required.  The letters should be requested through the online application by providing the recommenders' names and e-mail addresses. While we will accept letters from professional sources, we strongly prefer letters from professors who are acquainted with your academic interests, achievements, and abilities. 

GRE Scores

Even though we do not put a hard-line on the minimum score, we expect applicants to score around 309/340 using the current scale (or 1250/1600 using the prior scale) for Verbal+Quantitative; and 4.0/6.0 for Analytical components. The average score of our recently admitted applicants is about 316/340 (or 1300/1600) and 4.0/6.0.

The GRE must be taken within five (5) years of entry date.

University at Buffalo undergraduates applying to the MS program are not required to submit GRE scores. ALL other applicants are required to provide GRE scores.  Arrange to take the exam via the Educational Testing Service (ETS) GRE site.

But, for the 2021 admissions cycle, the GRE is optional (due to impact of Covid-19). However, the submission of scores are recommended if available.


  • The University at Buffalo Institution Code is 2925
  • The CSE Department Code for the GRE is 0402

TOEFL Scores (for International Students only)

International applicants are required to provide proof of English proficiency via the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score, or Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). Starting in Fall 2016, all applicants whose native language is not English will be required to provide proof of English proficiency. Please use Institution Code 2925 and Department Code 78 to provide your scores to us.

The State University of New York at Buffalo has the following minimum admission requirements for these tests:

  • Minimum TOEFL score: 79 internet-based test, 550 paper-based test -
    A competitive TOEFL score (internet-based test) is at least 90.
  • Minimum IELTS score: 6.5 (with no individual sub-score below a 6.0)
  • Minimum PTE score: 55 (with no individual sub-score below a 50)

The exam results must be dated within 2 years from your proposed date of admission and remain valid upon entering the term for which you applied. For example, Fall 2020 begins in August 2020; therefore, your exam results must be valid until August 2020.

Find information and arrange to take the TOEFL exam via the Educational Testing Service (ETS) TOEFL site.  We strongly recommend that you make arrangements to take the test early in the year so ETS has sufficient time to report your results to us prior to our application deadline.

Are you unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you are not able to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home.

Learn more about UB English language proficiency requirements

Financial Form (for International Students only)

Fill out the International Applicant Financial Form. You will need to fill out the form labeled "Standard Graduate" for the appropriate academic year. (Please verify current year's financial requirement with the Office of Financial Aid). The Financial Form and supporting bank documents may be uploaded to your application after an admissions decision has been made. 

All international applicants must submit a completed financial statement. Answer all questions thoroughly. An I-20 cannot be issued without this statement documenting necessary funds for each year of intended study (two years for a master's program; five years for a PhD program).

Please note that original financial documents must be brought to the school in person upon arrival at UB or orientation.