Masters Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

The SCS Graduate Online Application is available ONLY for the following programs:

  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Intelligent Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Language and Information Technologies
  • Master of Science in Machine Learning
  • Master of Science in Robotics
  • Master of Science in Robotic System Development
  • Masters in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS)

Applying to Other Masters Programs at SCS

Application deadlines, procedures and policies for all other programs are at the discretion of the home department. Please refer to the Masters Programs page for links to individual program pages and application information.

General

When is the application deadline for fall admission?

Early deadline, noon (12:00pm) EST December 3: If you submit your application and pay the required fee by noon (12:00pm) EST December 3, the application fee is $75 for one program and $50 for each additional program. At 12:01pm EST on December 3, the application fee increases to $125 for one program and $75 for each additional program. The early deadline does not imply an early decision. You may continue to edit your application until the final deadline of December 15.

All transcripts are due December 3, regardless of whether you submit you application by December 3 or December 15. Since fall grades are not required, please send your transcripts as early as possible. They will be held until you submit your application. Please note that transcripts or test scores are not updated as received until you submit your application.

Final deadline, noon (12:00pm) EST December 15: If you submit your application between 12:01pm on December 3 and noon (12:00pm) EST on December 15, the application fee increases to $125 for one program and $75 for each additional program. No applications will be accepted after the final deadline.

All letters of recommendation are due December 15.

All official GRE and TOEFL score reports are due December 15. It is strongly suggested that you plan to take all required tests before December. Scores from tests taken in December may not arrive in time for the review process. Scores from tests taken in January or later will not be considered.


Are there additional financial aid forms to complete?

No.


I have my User ID and Password, but I can not access the online application. What is the problem?

If your browser accepts cookies and you are not behind a firewall, then you should be able to login successfully. Also, please make sure you are using the same website to login that you used to register. If you continue to have problems, send email to applygrad [atsymbol] cs.cmu.edu.


What if all of my supporting documents do not arrive by the deadlines?

They may not be considered in the review of your application. It is your responsibility to make certain that your application is complete and that the required materials reach us by the above stated deadlines. You may use your User ID and Password to check your submitted application to make certain that it is complete.


Can I make changes to my online application after it has been submitted?

You may return and make changes to your submitted application until the final deadline. No changes will be allowed after this date.


Can I transfer into a Masters program from another College/University?

You may not simply transfer to a program. You must submit an application and be accepted into the program.

If I applied last year and was not admitted, can I reapply this year?

Yes. However, all application materials must be resubmitted. This includes the resume, statement of purpose, test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the application fee.


Is there spring admission?

No.


How long does it take to complete a Masters program?

About 1-2 years.


Is it possible to work on a Masters degree part time?

Most of our programs require that you be here full time.


Is it possible to visit the campus and the School of Computer Science?

Yes, but we ask that you wait until you have been admitted to a program before you visit. If admitted, you will be notified in late January or early February. There are a few Masters programs that do Open Houses, however most do not. Programs that have organized visits will contact you regarding a visit if you are admitted to their program.

If you are going to be in the Pittsburgh area at any time, you are welcome to stop by the School of Computer Science. However, we may not be able to make any appointments for you at that time.


Should I contact faculty members directly?

You should feel free to contact professors with very specific questions about their research. However, we do request that you not ask to be accepted by a particular faculty member as a student, since under our admissions system individual faculty members do not make admissions decisions. Selection is by decision of the Admissions Committee, and students are not assigned an advisor until the beginning of the fall semester--after having an opportunity to attend project presentations by all faculty. You may obtain email addresses for anyone in the School of Computer Science (SCS) from the Directory.


Will I be considered for financial support if I am admitted?

No. Masters programs generally do not offer financial aid.


Programs

Where do I look for more detailed information on each of the Masters programs?

Please see Masters Programs page.


Is the Masters program in Computer Science a part of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering?

No. The Masters program in Computer Science is in the Computer Science Department, not the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. They are two entirely separate programs with different application forms and procedures. If you wish to apply for a PhD program in Computer Science, please use the SCS Graduate Online Application.


Once I begin a Masters program in SCS, is it possible to change to another program?

The School allows you to transfer from one program to another after your first year of enrollment, subject to the transfer policy adopted by each program.


If I am admitted to a program, can I defer admission?

This policy may vary from program to program. After you are admitted, please contact your program coordinator.


Biographical Information

How do I obtain an I-20 form?

Please refer to the Office of International Education page: http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/oie/index.cfm This page contains a wealth of information for foreign students accepted to CMU.


I do not currently have a visa, but will need to apply for one? What do I select under Residency Status?

Select the one that will most closely match your status when you arrive on campus.


What should I give as my current address?

Use the address where you will be available to receive mail through April. You may enter a permanent address if it differs from your current address. Do NOT enter a PO Box. The acceptance packets are sent by express mail (e.g. FedEx, UPS), and cannot be delivered to a PO Box address.


What do I do if my email address or current address changes before the end of the semester?

You may change your current address, email address and password in your submitted application until the final deadline. If there is any change after this date, please send email to applygrad [atsymbol] cs.cmu.edu, and the coordinator will make the necessary updates.


Test Scores

What are the GRE and TOEFL institution and department codes?

GRE: Institution code, 2074; Department code, 0402
TOEFL: Institution code, 4256; Department code, 78


Am I required to submit a TOEFL score?

If your native language is not English, then you must submit a TOEFL. If you are currently working on or have received a bachelors degree and/or a masters degree in the US and your native language is not English, the TOEFL is still required, but you may submit a copy of a previous TOEFL report even if it is more than two years old.


What is the recommended TOEFL score?

A successful applicant will normally have a total iBT score of at least 100.


Do you accept IELTS?

We prefer that you take the TOEFL, but we will accept the IELTS. Request that your official score report be sent to:

Applications Coordinator
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891 USA


My undergraduate degree is from a foreign institution. However, I have received a Masters degree from an institution in the US. Do I still need to submit a TOEFL score?

Yes, the TOEFL is still required. You have the option to submit a copy of a previous TOEFL report, even if it is more than two years old.

I plan to take the GRE in either November or December. However, the score will not be reported until after the final deadline. What should I do?

We suggest that you plan to take all required tests before December. Since the score report for December tests will not arrive until January and our Admissions Committees usually start their review process in early January, it may cause a delay in the review of your application.


What scores should I enter if I have taken the GRE test more than once?

Enter the test date and the scores from the test that you would like for us to consider in the review of your application. You need only enter the test date in order to submit your application. Scores will be added when the official report is received. It is highly recommended that you upload a copy of your score report, if it is available.


Education

I am in a five year program and will be awarded a masters degree. Do I enter this in the Undergraduate or Graduate section of Colleges/Universities?

This information should be entered in both sections.


What format do I use to enter my GPA and College/University Point System?

Please enter your GPA exactly as given by your College/University, e.g. 3.5, 4.9, 9.6, etc. In the box to right indicate the Point System that your College/University uses, e.g. 4.0, 5.0, 10.0, etc.


How many transcripts should I send?

Please send ONE copy only of your official transcript from each college or university attended, whether or not you received a degree. If you submit a transcript from a foreign country, you must include an English translation. Do NOT send copies of awards and certificates with the transcript. You are also required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript in the online application.


What if my fall semester grades are not on my transcript by the final deadline?

We do not require that you send a copy of your fall semester grades. If you are admitted, you should send us a final transcript.


What happens if my transcripts or test scores arrive before my application?

Any supporting documents that arrive before you submit your application will be kept on file. Transcripts and test scores are not updated as received until the application is submitted.


Where do I mail my transcripts?

Applications Coordinator
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891 USA


Resume and Statement

If I am applying to two programs, can I submit a different Statement of Purpose for each program?

Yes. However, if you are submitting different statements, please submit them as one file.


I have already uploaded my Resume/Statement of Purpose, but now I have made revisions and would like to submit the new version. What should I do?

You can simply upload the new Resume/Statement of Purpose, even if your application has been submitted. It will override the original one. However, you may not make any changes to your application after the final deadline.


Recommenders

If I submit an online application, can my recommenders use the paper recommendation form?

No. Recommenders must submit their letters online. We no longer accept any paper recommendation forms.


What should I do if the deadline is approaching or has passed and one or more of my recommenders has not submitted their recommendation?

You may send a reminder email to a recommender (but no more than three times and not after the deadline) from your submitted application. It is your responsibility to make certain that the letters are submitted by the final deadline. Any letters not received by the deadline may not be considered.


What if I want to submit more than three letters of recommendation?

Three letters of recommendation are required. However, space is provided for you to submit up to five. At least two should be from faculty or recent employers. Recommenders should know you relatively well and be able to evaluate the quality of your previous work.


Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?

The admissions committee wants to know about your ability to do independent research. You should select letter writers who can best speak to that point. Professors who interacted with you extensively in smaller classes are also a good choice. Employers are sometimes appropriate, but letters that are simply character references will not provide good support for your application.


Supplemental Information

I have a paper that has not been submitted for publication or was not accepted for publication, but I would still like for the committee to consider it in my application. Should I list it here?

Yes. However, published papers are viewed more favorably in the admissions process.


I have just received notice that a paper listed on my application has been accepted for publication. How can I add this information?

Please update this information yourself. The supplemental section will still be available after the deadline.


Application Fee

How much is the application fee?

The application fee is $75 for one program and $50 for each additional program, if you submit your application by noon (12:00pm) EST December 3. Between 12:01pm EST on December 3 and noon (12:00pm) EST on December 15 the application fee increases to $125 for one program and $75 for each additional program.


What if I cannot afford to pay the application fee?

We expect all applicants to submit the application fee. However, if you are living in the US and feel that you are financially unable to pay, then you should obtain a letter from your Financial Aid Office explaining your inability to pay and their support of a waiver. Upon receipt of this letter, your fee will be waived.


Can I pay the application fee by credit card?

You may pay the fee by credit card or by check. Instructions will be given when you submit your online application. If you do not want to pay by credit card with the online application, you may pay by a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to Carnegie Mellon University. Please include your User ID on the check or money order and mail to the Applications Coordinator at the address given above. DO NOT SEND CASH.


Check Application

How and when will I be notified if I am admitted?

Our programs make their decisions at various times during the month of February. You will be notified directy by each program that you applied to as to whether or not you had been admitted. All applicants will receive notification of their status by March 1. We realize that waiting is very difficult; however, we request that you do not call our offices to inquire about the status of your application.


How do I track the status of my application?

Use the same User ID and Password to access the submitted online application form. Receipt of the required documents (score reports, transcripts, letters of recommendation, or fee) will be indicated in the corresponding section. Please allow two to three weeks past the deadline for documents to be recorded. We receive a large volume of mail, and it does take time to process each application. Our offices are closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays (Dec. 22 - Jan. 2) which may further delay processing.