I am finishing my computer science studies and I want to apply for a master degree. The CS department in my university opened 2 different master programs. One is more research oriented and the other is more professional oriented. The courses of each program are selected from the same table of courses, however there are some limitations in the professional program.

Probably, the same persons will evaluate both applications.

My question is: will applying for both programs affect my chances of entering the research oriented program which is my first choice, or will it maximize the chances of entering to at least one program?

  • 2
    I doubt that it is a huge issue for a masters degree. But the statement of purpose would be different for the two degrees and the two might be inconsistent. What do you really want?
    – Buffy
    Oct 30 '20 at 21:42
  • Hello Buffy. I want to deepen my knowledge in some areas of comouter science that I am interested. Something that I can do in both programs. However the first one fits me best, in my opinion, as I am a student, without a working experience. The reason that I think to apply in the second one is that the number of opened positions are limited. Oct 30 '20 at 21:49
  • 2
    Since this is your own institution, perhaps you can speak to someone there for advice. Maybe applying for the research one only would result in an offer for the other if you don't make the cut. But they would know about the possibility and whether you should raise the issue in an application.
    – Buffy
    Oct 30 '20 at 22:08
  • @Buffy is absolutely right. You should ask someone. Policies (and pet peeves of administrators) will vary.
    – Dawn
    Oct 30 '20 at 22:16
  • 1
    Start with office staff and if they seem unsure ask the director of the grad program you most want. Make it clear that the program is your number one choice but you would be interested in the other one if faculty think you are a better fit there.
    – Dawn
    Oct 31 '20 at 3:22

Speaking as someone who did apply to his own undergraduate institution for a graduate program, and as someone whos institution has two programs within the same department (although I did not apply to both). I don't think it will have a big impact on your chances of getting accepted into a single program, here is why I say this.

  1. At my institution they have different people reviewing the applications into each program, meaning it is likely at your institution the same person will not see nor know that you applied to another program as well.
  2. I was actually advised to apply to both, though I did not apply to both.

As others have mentioned, you can ask around and get a final confirmation from someone at your institution on how they feel about you doing this.

  • Hello. Finally, I think I will apply for both programs as the courses are similar. I am not mentioning in my statement that I want to follow a reasearch career and honestly I am not sure, so both programs may be suitable for me. Oct 31 '20 at 8:01

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