Carnegie Mellon University

English language proficiency requirements

For MS in Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics, MS in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering, and MS in Computational Biology. NOTE: requirements for other programs may differ. MS in Computational Biology uses these numbers because the primary academic home is Mellon College of Science: Department of Biological Sciences, but other programs that use the same School of Computer Science Admission system may have different thresholds. Other Mellon College of Science programs (including Department of Biological Sciences PhD program) use their own criteria and you should check with those programs.

English proficiency test scores are required for all non-native English-speaking applicants unless the applicant has completed a university-level degree in the U.S. or another majority-native English-speaking country in the last four years, such as: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada (excluding Quebec), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom.

We accept TOEFL, IELTS, and DuoLingo scores.

University codes for all three:

  • TOEFL code: CMU 2074 and Biology 35
  • IELTS code: Select “Carnegie Mellon University, Mellon College of Science”
  • Duolingo English code: Select “Carnegie Mellon University – Mellon College of Science”

Photocopies of English proficiency test scores will be accepted for admission only, and scores must be no more than two years old.

Recommended composite/overall score thresholds:

  • TOEFL overall recommended score is 100.
  • IELTS overall recommended score is 7.5.
  • DuoLingo English (DET) recommended score is 120.

If your English Proficiency scores are lower than above, your application may not be competitive for our program.

We do admit students who have scores below the recommended scores listed above if they show outstanding achievement in relevant academic areas. However, the lowest scores we accept follow CMU guidelines for minimum scores, outlined here: