Carnegie Mellon University

Please carefully read these Frequently Asked Questions for important information regarding our application instructions and procedures.

Where can I find the application?

Please use our online application

What should be in my application?

You must submit the completed application form, official transcripts of all college or university attended, an official copy of your GRE scores sent to us from ETS, 3-5 letters of recommendation, and an official copy of your TOEFL scores sent to us from ETS if English is not your native language
 
Transcripts:  you will upload an unofficial copy of your transcripts.  Also you are required to send us official transcripts through the postal mail.  Transcripts must arrive in the original, sealed university envelopes with the registrar's signature/stamp across the seal of the envelope.  If transcripts are sent open or in unsealed envelopes, they will not be considered official.
 
Please note that transcripts or test scores are not updated as received until you submit your application and pay the application fee.

Where should I send my official supporting documents?

Erin Donahoe
Graduate Admissions Office
Department of Psychology
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

What are you looking for in the application materials?

We take into account your academic training, research experiences, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, GPA, personal statement, and other available information in our admission decisions.

Am I qualified to apply to your Ph.D. program?

Our program is extremely competitive however; we do not have "cut-offs" for QPA or GRE scores. Students entering our program generally receive GRE scores in the 80th percentile on both the math and verbal components, writing GRE scores of 4+, and a GPA of 3.5+. Students have successfully been admitted to the program with scores below this level. The reason we do not have "cut-offs" is because we know that there are many other factors involved including your academic background (e.g., the school you attended, the classes you have taken), and whether or not you have research experience and/or publications. The extent to which your research interests match those of faculty members is also a very significant part of the admissions decision. With this in mind, you may wish to contact faculty members directly to determine whether they are accepting graduate students in the following year and whether your research interests overlap with theirs.  If you have any further question, please contact Dr. David Rakison at rakison@andrew.cmu.edu.

I do not see my college/university listed in the drop-down box in the Education section of the application.  What should I do?

Please email us at Donahoe@andrew.cmu.edu to let us know your college/university is not in the drop-down box.  We will need to know the full name and address of the school.  Please also include the country if it is an international school.  We will add the name of your school to the drop-down box so that you may choose it for your application.  Please allow a few days for us to get it in the drop-down list.

Can I make changes to my online application after it has been submitted?

You may return and make changes to your submitted application until the December 1st deadline.

I have requested my transcripts and test scores be sent, but my application has not been updated? 

You must first submit your application and pay the application fee before receipt of test scores or transcripts will be updated. 

When is the final application deadline?

All application materials must be received in our office by the December 1st deadline.  All application materials include the following: submitting the application, $70 application fee, transcripts, 3-5 letters of recommendations, GRE Scores, and TOEFL Scores.

When are the transcripts due? 

All transcripts are due December 1st, regardless of when you submit your application Because fall grades are not required, please send your transcripts as early as possible.  They will be held until you submit your application.  Please note that transcripts or test scores are not updated as received until you submit your application.

When are the letters of recommendation due? 

All letters of recommendation must be submitted by December 1st.

When are the GRE and TOEFL scores due? 

All official GRE and TOEFL score reports are due December 1st.  It is strongly suggested that you plan to take all required tests by the end of October.  Scores from tests taken in November may not arrive in time for the review process.  Scores from tests taken in November or later will not be considered. 

Do you have QPA/GRE Cut Offs?

We do not have "cut-offs" for QPA or GRE scores. Students entering our program generally receive GRE scores in the 80th percentile on both the math and verbal components, writing GRE scores of 4+, and a GPA of 3.5+. Students have successfully been admitted to the program with scores below this level. The reason we do not have "cut-offs" is because we know that there are many other factors involved including your academic background (e.g., the school you attended, the classes you have taken), and whether or not you have research experience and/or publications. The extent to which your research interests match those of faculty members is also a very significant part of the admissions decision. With this in mind, you may wish to contact faculty members directly to determine whether they are accepting graduate students in the following year and whether your research interests overlap with theirs.

What are the institution and department codes for the GRE?

Our GRE institution code is 2074.
Our GRE department code is 2016

What are the institution and department codes for the TOEFL?

Our TOEFL institution code is 2074.

Our TOEFL department code is 08

When do GRE and TOEFL scores expire?

ETS keeps GRE scores for 5 years and TOEFL scores for 2 years.  We require that ETS send us your scores.  If ETS no longer has your scores, you will need to retake the test(s).

I used the wrong codes. What should I do? 

It is your responsibility to submit the score reports with the correct codes. Please have them sent again with the correct codes as stated above.  

What is the recommended TOEFL score?

A successful applicant will normally have a total iBT score of at least 100 and must have a minimum speaking score of 23.

Am I required to submit a TOEFL score? 

If your native language is not English, then you MUST submit a TOEFL.  If you are currently working on or have received a bachelors and/or a masters degree in the US and your native language is not English, the TOEFL is still required.

Do you accept the IELTS?  

NO. We only accept TOEFL scores.

Do you accept the MCAT Scores?  

Yes.  If applying to the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), our admissions will accept MCAT scores. Also, please send your MCAT scores directly to the address listed below.


Erin Donahoe
Graduate Admissions Office
Department of Psychology
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

My recommenders have not received the email requests or the reminder emails that were sent.  What should I do?

First, make sure that you typed the correct email address, and then ask them to check their spam filters. If the email can not be found, please ask them to send their letters in pdf format to donahoe@andrew.cmu.edu. They must put Upload recommendation letter for (your name) in the subject line. Uploads will not be completed here until early December. Remember that our offices are closed over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. We appreciate your patience.

If I submit an online application, can my recommenders use the paper recommendation form?

No. Recommenders must submit their letters online. We no longer accept any paper recommendation forms.

What should I do if the deadline is approaching or has passed and one or more of my recommenders has not submitted their recommendation?

You may send reminder email to a recommender from your submitted application. It is your responsibility to make certain that the letters are submitted by the deadline of December 1st Any letters not received by the deadline may not be considered.

What if I want to submit more than three letters of recommendation?

Three letters of recommendation are required; however, space is provided for you to submit up to five. At least two should be from faculty or recent employers. Recommenders should know you relatively well and be able to evaluate the quality of your previous work.

Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?

The admissions committee wants to know about your ability to do independent research. You should select letter writers who can best speak to that point. Professors who interacted with you extensively in smaller classes are also a good choice. Employers are sometimes appropriate, but letters that are simply character references will not provide good support for your application.

My recommenders have not submitted their letters.  Can I submit my application before they submit?  

Yes.  Do not wait for the letters before submitting your application. Recommenders have a longer period of time to submit their letters.

How and when will I be notified if I am admitted?

Our programs make their decisions at various times during December and January You will be notified directly by each program that you applied to, as to whether or not you have been admitted.  All applicants will receive notification of their status by March. We realize that waiting is very difficult. However, we request that you do not call our offices to inquire about the status of your application. 



How do I track check the status of my application?

Please do NOT send email to ask the status of your application. Use your User ID and password to access the submitted online application form. Receipt of the required documents (score reports, transcripts, and letters of recommendation) will be indicated in the corresponding section. Please allow two to three weeks past the deadline for all documents to be recorded. We receive a large volume of mail, and it does take time to process each application. Our offices are closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays (Dec. 22 - Jan. 2) which may further delay processing.

When will I find out whether or not I was accepted into the program?

Admissions Decisions will be made no later than April 15th. We will notify you of your admissions decision via email once our admission decisions have been completed.

Do you offer a living stipend and tuition coverage?

Yes.

Do you offer a Master’s Program?

No.

Do you offer a clinical program?

No.