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SCS Graduate Application Instructions

To apply for admission to our master's and/or doctoral programs, read the following instructions carefully and make certain that you have met all requirements when you submit your application.

Our online application allows you to apply to up to three Ph.D. programs and most of the master's programs.

Note that seven of our master's programs have separate online applications, which you can learn more about on their admissions pages. MSIT in Privacy Engineering, Master of Human-Computer Interaction, Master of Software Engineering, Master of Software Engineering - Scalable Systems, Master of Software Engineering - Embedded Systems, MSE Online and Master of Science in Product Management.

  1. The Graduate Application
  2. Application Fee
    • Applications are due on December 13, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The application fee is $125 for one program and $75 for each additional program.
    • Application Fee Waivers: We expect all applicants to submit payment with their online application. However, note that we do waive the required fee under certain circumstances. Fees for application to a limited number of our programs can be waived for participants in certain programs. In addition, if you are unable to pay the application fee, the School of Computer Science will consider a fee waiver request. For information about how to apply for an application fee waiver, visit the SCS Graduate Application Fee Waiver Page.
  3. Test Scores
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
      • Each program sets its policy on whether GRE scores are required or not. You can read short descriptions of each program's GRE policy on the Graduate Admissions Overview page.
      • Send scores via ETS using our SCS/CMU codes:
        • GRE Institution Code: 2074
        • GRE Department Code: 0402
      • GRE scores will not be accepted if they are more than five years old.
    • Proof of English Language Proficiency (if applicable) If you are an international applicant and your native language (language spoken from birth) is not English, an official copy of an English proficiency score report is required. The English proficiency requirement cannot be waived for any reason. We strongly encourage applicants to take either the TOEFL or IELTS. In cases where these are not available it is acceptable to take the Duolingo test. We discourage the use of the "TOEFL ITP Plus for China," since speaking is not scored. Additional details are provided on the Frequently Asked Questions page.
      •  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
        •  Send scores via ETS using our SCS/CMU codes:
          • TOEFL Institution Code: 4256
          • TOEFL Department Code: 78
        • If you are currently working on or have received a bachelor's and/or a master's degree in the U.S. and your native language is not English, you may submit an expired test score up to five years old. (TOEFL scores taken before August 20, 2016, will not be accepted.)
        • Important: Applicants applying to MCDS and MHCI are required to submit a TOEFL score taken within the last two years. TOEFL scores taken before August 20, 2019, will not be accepted. For more information about the MCDS and MHCI TOEFL policies, visit their admissions websites: and
        • If you have not received a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., you will need to submit a TOEFL no older than two years. (TOEFL scores taken before August 20, 2019, will not be accepted.)
        • A successful applicant will normally have a total iBT score of at least 100.
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 
        • We prefer that you take the TOEFL, but we will accept the IELTS.
        • The same restrictions of expiration dates apply with an IELTS.
        • A TOEFL Score of 100 is equivalent to an IELTS score of 7.
        • IELTS scores cannot be sent through ETS and should be mailed to: 
          Carnegie Mellon University
          Attn: SCS Graduate Admissions Team
          Gates and Hillman Center, 6010
          5000 Forbes Avenue
          Pittsburgh, PA 15213   
  4. Unofficial Transcripts 
    • All transcripts must be uploaded by the final deadline.
    • Since fall grades are not required, upload your transcripts as early as possible.
    • We do not require hard copies of your transcripts at the time of application. If you are accepted to a program, you will be given instructions to mail your transcripts at that time. 
  5. Résumé/CV 
    • Submit your current résumé. It should outline your education, research experience, work experience, publications, scholarships awarded, prizes and honors received, society memberships, and any other extracurricular activities. 
    • You must upload your résumé in PDF format. 
  6. Statement of Purpose (SOP) 
    • Submit a Statement of Purpose. Prepare a concise one- or two-page essay that describes your primary areas of interest in research, your related experiences and your objective in pursuing a graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon.
    • Your essay should be specific in describing your interests and motivations. When describing your research interests, you should explain why you think they are important areas of study and why you are particularly well-suited to pursuing them.
    • You should describe any relevant education, research, commercial, government or teaching experience.
    • If you are applying to more than one program, you may (but are not required to) submit a separate Statement of Purpose for each program.
    • If you choose to write more than one Statement of Purpose, you need to combine the documents into one PDF file. Include a table of contents page. 
  7. Letters of Recommendation (LOR) 
    • Submit three letters of recommendation. Recommenders should know you relatively well and be able to evaluate the quality of your previous work. At least two should be from faculty or recent employers.
    • With the online application, letters will be requested and submitted electronically. 
  8. Supplemental Information (If applicable)

Notes for Specific Programs

Application Deadline

December 13, 2021 (11:59 p.m. EST)


GRE Report Codes:

  • Institution Code - 2074
  • Department Code - 0402

TOEFL Report Codes:

  • Institution Code - 4256
  • Department Code - 78


The Master of Science in Information Technology - Privacy Engineering degree is a 12- or 16-month program designed for computer scientists and engineers who wish to pursue careers as privacy engineers or technical privacy managers. MSIT-PE has a separate application process. Visit the MSIT-PE site to apply.
For students interested in becoming leaders with the critical thinking skills and strategic perspective needed to solve challenges within the information and cybersecurity domains, MITS offers a multidisciplinary approach within which students obtain both breadth and depth. MITS has a separate application process. Visit the MITS site to apply.
The MHCI program is the first in the world dedicated to preparing professionals for careers related to human-computer interaction, user-experience design and user-centered research. MHCI has separate application process. Visit the MHCI site to apply.
Indicate your intended area of emphasis in the first paragraph of your Statement of Purpose. If appropriate to your background, you may include a link to your portfolio.
Describe any team-oriented software development experiences you have had. (If there are numerous examples, pick two or three.) Briefly describe the nature of the projects, the general technologies involved, how many engineers were on your team and your role on the team. Describe your short-term goals (2-4 years) and long-term goals (5-7 years) upon graduation from this program. Feel free to explain your goals in terms of relevant roles, domains, organizational technologies, expertise and so forth. Describe specifically how the program to which you are applying, and CMU more generally, aligns with your professional objectives.
Indicate your intended area in the first paragraph of your Statement of Purpose, along with the name of a possible advisor. For those with industrial or government experience, describe how this experience prepares you for graduate-level academic work. Submit this information in the Supplemental Information section under Experience (Research, Industry) in the online application. Applicants may also submit a short prior publication related to their research interests.
Provide some background information on your academic/industrial career to date, and why/how that leads you to be interested in CMU's unique industry-oriented MRSD program. It would be helpful for the committee to understand your career aspirations, how you imagine the mix of technical/management education from MRSD would assist you in achieving these, and what you see yourself doing five to ten years after graduation.
Discuss your purpose in pursuing a master's degree in computer science. For example, you might explain how advanced study in computer science fits into your future career ambitions. There are no right answers, and you do not need to have worked out your future plans in detail. We just want to see that you have thought your purpose through. If your background is unusual, this is also the right place to explain it to us.
Students interested in a ML-Joint Ph.D. degree should first apply to the Ph.D. program that best aligns with their research interests. Once you are enrolled in one of the participating Ph.D. programs and have passed 10-715, 10-705 and 10-716, there is a lightweight application to apply for a joint Ph.D. in Machine Learning. 
Students must apply via the Medical Scientist Training Program. More information is available on the medical scientist training program website.
Students should apply to their primary Ph.D. program via the SCS Graduate Online Application, but must also apply to the CNBC Graduate Training Program. More information can be found on the CNBC Website.