I am a Undergrad student of CS in India (in my 3rd year right now). I will have to apply for applications soon. I am planning on giving the GRE soon also (sometime this year). Assuming my GRE/TOEFL scores are good (325+ for GRE and 110+ TOEFL), what else would make my application stand out to really good universities in US/Canada? Please note that I have searched this question online many times and many people suggest to have prior research experience. But, in my case, I don't want to pursue a research based masters. I am looking for non-research/thesis based, professional masters in CS. Do I still need research experience for that? I have around 1-2 years of internship experience and many open-source projects that I have made and am currently working on. As for the SOP and LORs, I will make sure to have them as good as possible for the application. What else should I work on? As for the projects, are there some type that are considered really good/bad?

  • 1
    Consider contributing to open source software projects. Jan 20, 2021 at 14:15
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    If you're willing to pay the tuition and not applying to a well-known university, these programs are not actually that hard to get into. Jan 21, 2021 at 4:29
  • @AlexanderWoo I am aiming for some top universities in both USA and Canada. What about in that case? Would you say that my undergrad university rank matter in the application process (assuming other parts such as SOP, LOR, GRE, etc are really good)?
    – Ak01
    Jan 21, 2021 at 5:08

1 Answer 1


While some research experience might be helpful, you aren't applying for a research degree. In the US, at least, good letters of recommendation will be a big help. Make sure they are from people who know you well and can predict your success. If asked to write a Statement of Purpose, make it forward and goal directed. Demonstrate serious of purpose.

But research experience is a good thing for itself as well.

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