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PhD and MSAI Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I be admitted into your program with X GPA?

Particularly given that our graduate students come from many different disciplines, there is no formal minimum GPA. However, we have historically not admitted students with a GPA lower than a “B” (3.0 out of 4.0 in UGA’s grading system).

What language exams do you accept?

We accept scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo exams.  Please see this website for score requirements.

Do I need a computer science background to be admitted or do well in the program?

A prior degree in computer science or related field is not required, but some background or experience in computing, mathematics, and/or quantitative methods is strongly recommended. Admitted students must be able to succeed in graduate-level computer science courses, and your application should provide evidence of this to the admissions committee.

What type of undergrad degree is required to be admitted?

Both the PhD AI and MSAI program are interdisciplinary degrees. Historically, we have admitted students from a diversity of fields in the sciences, humanities and engineering.

Are the MS and PhD in Artificial Intelligence STEM degrees?

The 6-digit 2020 CIP code for each degree is 11.0102 (Artificial Intelligence), which appears on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List. As this list might change over time, and as the definition of "STEM" itself might be different in different contexts, applicants should verify with the relevant government entities whether the UGA AI degree programs count as STEM for a specific purpose.

Do you offer an online degree?

The PhD and MSAI degrees are traditional in-person degree programs. We do not currently offer an online-only degree, and only rarely are courses offered online. The expectation is that students will devote themselves full-time to the degrees.

Must I write (and defend) a dissertation/thesis?

Yes. The dissertation/thesis requirement cannot be waived. Under the guidance of a major professor and advisory committee, student must write and orally defend a dissertation (for the PhD program) or thesis (for the MSAI program). To ensure completing the degree in a timely manner, students should identify a major professor and advisory committee early within the program.

What is the deadline for admission? For fall? For spring?

We follow the Graduate School deadlines.

Do you admit students for the summer semester?

Generally, we do not. There are typically no courses relevant to the PhD and MSAI degrees offered during the summer term.

What type of score is considered good for the GRE?

Since we admit students from many different fields, there is no hard limit which would preclude consideration of the application. Standardized test scores are an important component of the application, but they are not the only component. Overall, your application should indicate to the admissions committee a high probability of success in the program.

How many letters of recommendation are needed?

In order to be considered complete, your application should contain three letters of recommendation.

What if I was admitted into the program but would like to defer to another semester? Who should I contact and what should I do?

You should contact the Graduate School at and also the Institute's graduate coordinator Dr. Neal Outland ( to let them know that you will be deferring your matriculation date to the semester of your choice. Your file will be moved to the semester you decide along with the admission decision. You will not incur a cost for a one-time deferral.

How much is tuition?

Information on tuition is posted by the Bursar’s office. Tuition for the graduate programs falls under the “Standard Rate for Master & PhD Candidates”.

What type of financial assistance is available to me?

The Graduate School provides information on financial assistance.

The Institute has a limited number of research assistantships that it can offer to graduate students. These provide reduced tuition as well as a monthly stipend. Students on assistantship are required to work 13-15 hours per week on Institute-related projects.

If you are interested in being considered for an assistantship, you would indicate this on your application.

When are assistantships decided?

The Institute generally awards assistantships on a yearly basis. Decisions are made in the spring semester for the next fall and spring terms. We generally do not award new assistantships for only the spring semester.

How will I know if I received an assistantship?

Students who are offered an Institute assistantship will be notified by a letter sent via email, and they must accept or decline the offer in writing. Notifications generally occur no later than the end of April. No notifications are sent to students who are not offered an assistantship.

If I do not get an assistantship in AI are there other opportunities for financial support?

It is not uncommon for our students to receive assistantships from AI faculty fellows with research grants or from other units on campus. These come with a stipend and a reduced tuition. There are also many student jobs on campus which pay an hourly wage. These are not classified as assistantships and do not come with reduced tuition.

Can I simultaneously pursue multiple graduate degrees at UGA?

Yes, this can and has been done. E.g., it is possible to pursue a PhD in another subject at UGA while simultaneously pursuing the MSAI degree.

Can the same course satisfy the requirements of two or more degrees?

Generally not. The same course cannot appear on two distinct degree programs of study. In cases where a student has already taken a course at UGA which otherwise fulfills an MSAI or PhD AI requirement, the student's advisory committee and the graduate coordinator determine whether a substitution would be appropriate.

Once admitted how do I get advised to lift the advisement flag?

Information regarding advisement will be sent out by our graduate coordinator. Please note that there are several flags which must be cleared before an admitted student can successfully register for classes. Among them, students must provide proof of lawful presence.

Once admitted what do I do next?

Please review the materials for new students provided by the Graduate School.

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