Questions about Admissions and Application Information
When are the application deadlines?
MS Software Engineering: December 15
MS Electrical and Computer Engineering: October 1, December 15
Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering: October 1, December 15
MS Information Technology: February 1
MS Software Management Part-Time programs: January 15; March 15; June 1
MS Software Management Full-Time programs: December 1; February 1; May 15
*International students must submit a complete application by April 15.
What is the enrollment date for each deadline?
The MS and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering programs are for Spring enrollment (October deadline) or Fall enrollment (December deadline).
All three MS SM application rounds are for the same Fall enrollment date, regardless of the round in which you apply.
MS Software Engineering and MS Information Technology are for Fall enrollment only.
In which round should I apply?
Is work experience in software development required for admission to the program?
Work experience is not required for applying to full time programs in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Software Engineering or Information Technology. Some entrepreneurial experience is preferred for the MS Software Management program.
Part-time Programs: For the part-time MS Software Management program, the admissions committee expects applicants to have at least 5 years of work experience in the software industry. Specific software development experience is ideal, but we will also consider applicants with closely related experience. Please contact us if you have any questions about the relevance of your work experience.
What criteria are used to evaluate my application?
- Prior academic record (transcripts required)
- GRE score (The GRE general test is required. Your scores should be sent to Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley.)
- Letters of recommendation: References enable the admissions committee to learn more about your technical and/or academic performance. The title of the recommender is not nearly as important as the ability of the recommender to comment on the quality of your work. If possible, one recommendation should be from an instructor and another from a supervisor in an internship program or technical job. We encourage you to consider your choices carefully and select those people who you believe are most qualified to comment on your performance and your potential to achieve your goals at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Work and life experience (resume)
- Personal essays
- Interview: The interview gives you an opportunity to learn more about the masters program and also enables the admissions committee to learn more about you beyond the written materials you have provided in your application. Interviews are required for all applicants and can be done in person or by telephone.
I don’t have an undergraduate degree in computer science. May I still apply?
Yes, you may still apply. A bachelor's degree in computer science is not required for admission to our program. We do, however, expect you to have completed an undergraduate degree, along with a combination of previous coursework and software development experience that has prepared you adequately to succeed in the program. Although most students admitted to the Master's in Software Engineering program hold undergraduate degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics, cognitive science 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. Please contact us if you have any questions about the adequacy of your preparation.
May I apply to both the full-time and part-time SM program, or may I transfer from one to the other?
The MS Software Management program offers a full-time and a part-time program; you must make an initial decision regarding which program is of interest to you. Transferring from the full-time program to the part-time program is discouraged; however, if special circumstances exist, they can be discussed with the Associate Dean of Education on a case-by-case basis.
Other degree programs at the Silicon Valley campus are offered only on a full-time basis.
When will I be notified of the admissions decision?
Where do I send my supplemental materials?
Please send all materials to:
Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley
NASA Research Park
Building 23 (MS 23-11)
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000
Do you accept transfer credits from other universities?
May I defer admission to another year?
We are unable to offer deferrals of admission. Each applicant is evaluated based on his or her individual qualifications as well as on his or her qualifications relative to the rest of the applicant pool. Because each year’s applicant pool changes, we cannot guarantee admission from one year to the next. Admitted applicants who do not enroll for the term in which they were accepted must re-submit an application should they decide to re-apply. However, the re-application process is relatively easy – you must update any new information, including your resume, work experience, etc.
Keep in mind that, in general, the quality of the applicant pools increases each year, so it will be to your advantage to update your application with your most recent accomplishments. If you choose to re-apply within two years of your initial application, we will still have your original transcripts, test scores, and other documents.
If I am not accepted, can I get feedback on my application?
What is the process if I am a re-applicant?
- An updated application
- One additional letter of recommendation
- Any new GRE or TOEFL test score reports
- Any new transcripts for classes or degrees you may have received
- An updated resume
The application fee is waived for re-applicants. Please keep in mind that, in general, the quality of applicant pools increases each year, so it will be to your advantage to update your application with your most recent accomplishments. If you previously applied and were denied admission to the program, we encourage you to schedule a feedback session, so we can work with you to strengthen your re-application.
May I call about the status of my application?
Is the GRE required?
Do I need to take the GRE before I apply?
Do you require the GRE General Test or a GRE Subject Test?
Can I petition to waive the GRE?
Is the TOEFL required?
All full-time applicants whose native language (mother tongue) is not English MUST provide TOEFL scores from tests taken within the last 1-3 years.
*Part-time applicants whose native language (mother tongue) is not English [who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents] or who have been working in the U.S. for a considerable period may request a waiver of this requirement. Waiver decisions are made by the admissions committee. Petitions for waiver may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the admissions committee. Under certain circumstances we may require demonstration of necessary English communication skills to succeed in the program.
What is the minimum TOEFL score considered for application?
How do I send my TOEFL scores to Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley?
What is required in order to apply to the program?
More detailed information on these listed components can be found on the admissions page.
- An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution
- A completed online application
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official academic transcripts
- Official GRE or GMAT score report
- TOEFL (all applicants whose native tongue is not English)
- Application Fee
Electrical & Computer Engineering / Software Engineering — more details
- A completed online application
- Statement of purpose
- Three recommendation letters
- GRE score report
- Application fee
- International applicants are also required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score report
Information Networking Institute — more details
- A completed online application form (all sections filled out)
- Application fee (pay by credit card or check)
- Three letters of recommendation (online submission only)
- Statement of Purpose (completed in the online application; uploading is not an option)
- Resume (all applicants should submit one)
- Official transcripts (from all post secondary institutions attended whether a degree was obtained or not)
- Official GRE General Test score report
- ETS Report codes: institution code #2074 (Carnegie Mellon U), department code #0404 (Information Sciences)
- Official TOEFL score report (required of all applicants for whom English is not their native language/mother tongue)
- ETS Report codes: institution code #8569 (CMU-Interdisciplinary Studies), department code #99 (department not listed)
Is there an age limit for applying to the program?
What international student resources do you provide?
If you are an international student and have questions about your visa status and eligibility, we will assist you in any way we can. Please direct your questions to the Office of International Education at the main campus in Pittsburgh, PA. The main office number is (412) 268-5231 and the liaison for the Silicon Valley campus is Jennifer McNabb. You may also contact her by e-mail email@example.com.
More information is available on the OIE website.
If you have questions about changing your H4 visa to F or J status, you should know that the process is similar to that for changing H1Bs to F or J. The process is documented at http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/oie/forstu/legal2.pdf. We advise you that it takes 2-3 months to change status – please start the process early.
Optional Practical Training is available to students on F1 visas. (For a detailed description of OPT, please see http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/oie/forstu/optpt.pdf.) Please contact Student Services for help filling out the initial paperwork. We will then work with the Office of International for approval and further documentation.