Carnegie Mellon University

Application Requirements

Applications for graduate programs are accepted online. You will create a User ID and password allowing you to access your application as often as you need to complete the process.  The site includes detailed instructions for entering data and uploading documents. Along with basic information entered directly into the system, you will need the following:

Statement of Interest

Up to 1000 words that describe your reasons for pursuing graduate studies, your educational and professional objectives, and any other information that you believe will aid our admission decision. (Upload in PDF format)

For those applying to the LCS Program:

  • Please identify your proposed field(s) of study and any subfield(s) that would enhance your study.  For example, the statement could address your interests in Early Modern British literature and culture, with subfields in gender and sexuality studies.

  • Please narrate your preparation for your proposed field(s) and subfield(s) of study.  This narrative might include coursework, seminar papers, theses, conference experiences, etc.

  • Describe how you see the program supporting your course of study; what strengths speak to your interests?  What faculty do you see yourself working with?

Resume or Curriculum Vita

A current outline of your education, research experience, work experience, publications, scholarships awarded, prizes and honors received, society memberships, and extracurricular activities. (Upload in PDF format)

Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters, at least two of which should be from faculty or recent employers who can attest to the quality of your academic and professional abilities. Letters are requested by you from within the online system; recommenders receive an email with detailed instructions for uploading a letter directly to the system.


Unofficial transcripts from any undergraduate or graduate institution you have attended should be uploaded with your application. If the department recommends that you be admitted, you will then be asked to submit official transcripts. Only upon receipt of official transcripts will your admission be official.

Mail official transcripts to:
Carnegie Mellon University
Dept. of English, Graduate Programs
5000 Forbes Ave, Baker Hall 259
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Official electronic transcripts can be emailed to:

Writing Samples

  • Ph.D. and M.A. in LCS: 1 sample, no page limit, and double spaced
  • Ph.D. and M.A. in Rhetoric: 1 sample, 10 pages or less, and double spaced

  • M.A. in Global Communication & Applied Translation: 2 academic writing samples, 2-3 pages in length, one in English and one in your other language of highest proficiency from which or into which you intend to translate.

  • M.A. in Professional Writing: 3-4 writing samples.

  • Upload in PDF or MSWord format

GRE Standardized Test Requirements

GRE: All applicants must take the basic GRE test within five years of the date of application.  We do not require any GRE subject area tests. We do not set requirements for minimum scores—GREs are evaluated in the context of the entire application.  You will be asked to enter test dates and unofficial scores on your application, but you need to also request direct mailing of official scores to Carnegie Mellon: Institution Code 2074, Department 2501

IELTS/ TOEFL Standardized Test Requirements

IELTS: We require a minimum score of 7.5 on each of the 4 subtests.

TOEFL: We require a minimum score of 27 on each of the 4 subtests, for an overall minimum score of 108, within two years of the date of application. You will be asked to enter test dates and unofficial scores on your application, but you need to also request direct mailing of official scores to Carnegie Mellon: Institution Code 2074. 

If you were educated in any country other than the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, or New Zealand, you must submit current TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores.  

In addition, any Ph.D. applicant who is a Nonnative English speaker must submit current TOEFL IBT or IELTS scores, where Nonnative English speakers are international or domestic students whose native language (first language/mother tongue) is not English. This can include:

  • Newly arrived international students

  • Students who attended all or part of high school or college in the U.S.

  • Students who attended an English speaking high school in another country

  • Students who are speakers of another variety of English (e.g. from India, Singapore, Hong Kong)

For students applying to the M.A. in Global Communication & Applied Translation Program:

Students must have advanced high level proficiency in the target language/s they wish to translate into their native language.  This proficiency level is determined in accordance with the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, here.

You will be required to submit TOEFL scores for nonnative speakers of English (minimum 25 on all subscores, for an overall minimum score of 100).

The Department of English does not waive TOEFL or IELTS scores for applicants who have previous academic work in the U.S. or at an English speaking institution.