Carnegie Mellon University

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All aspects of the candidate's packet are given equal weight and consideration. No single admission criterion overshadows another; rather, it is the composite of all of the application materials that determines the admission decision. The ability to perform graduate-level work, a solid undergraduate background in computer science or related disciplines, software development maturity, and industry experience are several factors considered for admission. In some cases, excellence and promise can balance a lack of formal preparation. 

Application fee waivers are available for qualified participants of certain events, organizations, and programs, and to those for whom the application fee would be a financial hardship.

Admission Requirements

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MSE for Recent Grads

  • An undergraduate degree in Computer Science or other scientific or technical discipline.
  • Cumulative QPA higher than 2.5.
  • Less than two years of industry experience. Preference is given to applicants with at least one year of experience, such as an internship in a software development role.
  • Knowledge — at least at the level of an undergraduate course — of discrete mathematics, algorithms and data structures, and programming languages.
  • Skills in programming-in-the-small, as well as competence in using imperative block-structured or objective-oriented languages such as Java, C++, and Python.

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MSE for Professionals

  • An undergraduate degree, preferably in Computer Science or other scientific or technical discipline.
  • Cumulative QPA higher than 2.5.
  • At least two years of industry experience in one or more software development roles, including the ability to describe specific tasks performed in those roles.
  • Knowledge — at least at the level of an undergraduate course — of discrete mathematics, algorithms and data structures, and programming languages.
  • Skills in programming-in-the-small, as well as competence in using imperative block-structured or objective-oriented languages such as Java, C++, and Python.

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

  1. completed application form.
  2. well-developed statement of purpose (SOP), including specifics about your professional goals and about your software development experience on teams and in projects. 
  3. current resume.
  4. three (3) letters of recommendation, which provide specific examples of your maturity, leadership, and software development experience.
  5. video essay. Tell us something about yourself in a 1-2 minute clip that is not included in the rest of your application materials.
  6. unofficial undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts. Official hard copies of transcripts are required upon your acceptance of an admission offer.
  7. optionally, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score. The GRE is optional, but recommended as part of a holistic review and evaluation of applications by the MSE Programs Admission Committee. Scores can be sent to the School of Computer Science (code 0402), Carnegie Mellon University (code 2074). CMU undergraduates with a QPA over 3.0 are not required to take the GRE.
  8. unofficial TOEFL (or equivalent, such as the IELTS) exam scores for all non-native English speakers. TOEFL scores are only valid and accepted if the score is no older than two (2) years old. Applicants who are non-native English speakers may only be considered for a waiver of a recent TOEFL score (less than 2 years), if they attended and completed a four-year undergraduate program at a university within the United States. Those applicants may submit an expired test score up to five years old (TOEFLs taken before August 20, 2015 will not be accepted) and expired scores must meet our admissions score requirements. An interview may be requested before final admission decisions can be made.

     

    To ensure accepted students are able to fully participate in the programs, we recommend a TOEFL score of at least 100, and no less than 25 in each section. However, the listed TOEFL score minimums are recommendations, not firm cut-offs. Our reviewers will look at your application holistically; your TOEFL scores will factor in, but they are not the only deciding factor. 

     

    Official scores should be sent directly to the MSE (code 78), Carnegie Mellon University (code 4256).

  9. online programming assessment — invitations are sent out December 11, and the assessment must be completed by December 18.
Overview Recording
Title slide from MSE Application Workshop.

Significant Notes

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

Official GRE and TOEFL score reports are required to be sent at the time of application. They will not be tracked until acceptance of an admission offer.