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MSE Admission Requirements

Although most students admitted to the MSE program hold undergraduate degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or physics, applicants who can clearly demonstrate the ability to perform graduate-level work in software engineering are also considered. Excellence and promise will balance a lack of formal preparation. Programming experience is essential, but applicants who have allowed a zeal for programming to interfere with other aspects of education are not usually considered qualified.

Three-year undergraduate degrees from outside the United States (i.e., United Kingdom, India, etc.) are generally not considered to be the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor degree. A bachelor degree from an accredited institution is the minimum requirement for admission to our professional master's programs.

Consumer Information:

We encourage all prospective students to review all released consumer information regarding study at Carnegie Mellon; this information is available via The Hub.

To enter the Carnegie Mellon program you must have:

1. Two years experience working in a significant software development project (if you do not have at least two years experience, you may qualify for the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT-SE) degree.

2. Knowledge, at least at the level of an undergraduate course, of discrete mathematics, algorithms and data structures and programming languages.

3. Skills in programming-in-the-small, as well as competence in using an imperative block-structured or object-oriented languages such as Java, C++, Pascal, Modula2, Ada or C.

4. Practical knowledge of programming methods and computer organization.

5. In-depth knowledge of at least two of the following topics:
  • Compiling Techniques
  • Comparative Programming Languages
  • Operating Systems
  • Database Systems


6. Application materials for the graduate software engineering degree programs are as follows:

  • a completed application form
  • a well-developed statement of purpose (SOP) 
  • a 1-page summary of significant professional experience
  • a current resume
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • a video essay of yourself. Tell us something about yourself in a 1-2 minute video that we can’t know from the rest of your application materials.
  • unofficial undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts
  • unofficial Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores
  • unofficial TOEFL (or equivalent) exam scores for all international applicants/non-U.S. citizens
  • Codility Testing - Test Window, January 12 - January 20, 2018 (midnight)
  • application fee.

**Note: Official GRE and TOEFL score reports are required to be sent at the time of application.  Please note that these will not be tracked until acceptance of admission offer.  

Official hard copies of your transcripts will need to be sent upon acceptance of admission offer.

Please see Prerequisite Knowledge for more detail about the required background in these areas.