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CSE Distance Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Certificate in Software Engineering (CSE) program typically program hold undergraduate degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or physics. Programming experience is essential. A minimum of 6 months of industrial experience is required, preferably working as a member of a team on a significant software development project.

ATTENTION RESIDENTS OF AL, AR AND MN: If you are a resident of Alabama, Arkansas or Minnesota, you are not eligible to apply for enrollment in Carnegie Mellon courses and programs delivered via distance education. Note, however that residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota are eligible to apply for enrollment in all other Carnegie Mellon courses and programs, including those offered at any of its various campus locations.

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

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

3. Practical knowledge of programming methods and computer organization

4. An undergraduate degree in Computer Science or other scientific or technical discipline. 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.

5. In-depth knowledge of at least two of the following topics:

  • Comparative Programming Languages
  • Compiling Techniques
  • 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
  • unofficial undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts
  • unofficial TOEFL (or equivalent) exam scores for all international applicants/non-U.S. citizens
  • application fee.

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