Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Graduate Programs & Admission
The following are answers to many common questions and concerns. We kindly ask that you read through this information before contacting us with questions.
I am visiting Pittsburgh. Can I meet with Faculty and Students?
- Yes! We welcome visitors at all times of the year. Please see our Visiting Students page for contact and scheduling information.
Is this a 'Professional' Architecture Degree program?
- No, the Masters of Science in Architecture (MSA) degree that we offer here at Carnegie Mellon is a research-based "post-professional" degree. It is NOT to be confused with a "professional" Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree.
I am having trouble logging back into my online application.
- Be sure to keep the email you were sent with the subject line: "PCS application login instructions [SAVE THIS]". This email has an embedded link for you to log back into your application.
- Or, if that does not work, go to the online application main page and enter the exact same email address you used to register the first time. You will be sent another email with the embedded link.
I have questions about GRE and/or TOEFL requirements.
- Please visit our GRE & TOEFL Tests page for information and answers to many of your questions.
I have questions about Expenses, Tuition, and/or Financial Aid.
- Please visit our Expenses & Financial Aid page, for information and answers to many of your questions.
Can you provide me with statistics about admitted students?
- Unfortunately, we cannot provide confidential information about our acceptance rates or average scores.
- If you meet our minimum requirements and feel confident you preformed well in school, please feel free to apply. Our graduate program is very rigorous, and we tend to accept students in the top percentile.
Can I use an agency, consultant, or other third party to complete my application for me?
- No. Every application must be completed, in its entirety, by the Applicant himself/herself.
- Except for applications made by bona-fide not-for-profit organizations (e.g. Fulbright, Amideast), any application filled out wholly or in part by any person other than the Applicant will be disqualified.
- All third parties must declare themselves in writing (email is acceptable) to the Graduate Admission Coordinator prior to beginning an application.
I want to apply to the AECM program. Should I apply through the School of Architecture or Civil & Environmental Engineering?
- Please apply through the School of Architecture. The School of Architecture manages applications to the AECM program. The Civil & Environmental Engineering faculty will also review your application.
Am I required to submit a Portfolio?
- A Portfolio is required for applicants to the Master of Urban Design (MUD) program.
- A Portfolio is encouraged for applicants to the Sustainable Design (MSSD) & Master of Architecture (MSA) programs.
- Students applying to other programs are welcome to submit a Portfolio if possible.
My portfolio is over 10MB. What should I do?
- Students cannot upload portfolio files over 10MB. Your entire application must be under 10MB. You must decrease the size of your portfolio. Or, you can create an online portfolio.
In what format should I submit my Portfolio?
- Due to the cost of printing & shipping we DO NOT REQUIRE OR ACCEPT hardcopies of Portfolios. If you send us a hardcopy of your Portfolio it will be discarded. Please save your money.
- We accept ONLY digital [pdf] or online [url] Portfolios.
- Please be sure to read through our How To Apply [pdf] page for details and instructions on Portfolio submission.
Can I apply for Spring admission?
- Due to curriculum structure, ALL of our Master-level programs begin in the Fall semester. We accept applications for the Fall semester from October through February 1st.
- Occasionally, we are able to admit PhD students in the Spring. If you would like to be considered for Spring admission, please contact our Graduate Admission Coordinator.
Can I apply to more than one program?
- Yes, but you must fill out an Application for each program. We consider applications to different programs separately, and in many cases the requirements are different.
- You are also required to pay an Application Fee for each application you submit, or it will not be reviewed.
Can you waive my application fee?
- No. If your application fee is not submitted (via credit card), then your application will not be considered for admission.
Where should my transcripts be sent?
Attn: Samantha Carter
School of Architecture
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, Rm 412G
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA
What is the status of my application?
- Due to the volume of mail and e-mail received daily from applicants it may not be possible to respond to individual requests for information. If you have submitted a completed application before the application deadline, then you can continue to login after the deadline has passed to check if your referees have submitted their reference letters and to check if we have received the required hardcopy documents.
When can I expect a decision?
- We begin reviewing completed applications shortly after the February 1 deadline. Often we find applications are incomplete and we must remind referees or request copies of test scores, and this is the most common source of delay in our admissions process.
- We typically announce admissions decisions as we make them.
- We usually finish reviewing by mid April.
I would like to defer my enrollment.
- It is our general policy to grant admitted students a one (1) year deferral should he or she need it. Most of our programs must be started in the Fall semester, so students who have deferred will be eligible to enroll the following Fall.
- If you would like to request a deferral, please contact our Graduate Admission Coordinator.