Carnegie Mellon University

How to Apply

Our program welcomes applications from students with widely varying backgrounds.

Past MADS students have undergraduate majors in fields such as, but not limited to, mathematics, statistics, engineering, the sciences, and economics.

Students who are an ideal fit for the MADS program desire a career in a fast-paced, high-growth industry in the United States immediately following graduation. MADS graduates have successfully gained positions as data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers in diverse industries such as banking, sports, health care, government, and tech.

Application Materials

The application cycle for the MADS program is from Tuesday, October 1, 2024, until Wednesday, January 15, 2025 at 11:59 pm EST. The online application will be open during that time.

For a completed application submission, applicants must provide each of the following, uploaded to our online system. Please note that we do not accept mailed applications or mailed supplemental materials. All materials must be uploaded before the application deadline.

  • Application fee
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts of all institutions where you have attended and/or graduated
  • A statement of purpose
  • A resume
  • Three recommendation letters uploaded by recommenders (two of which should be faculty recommendations)
  • GRE test scores. Our GRE codes are 2074 (Institution) and 0705 (Department).
  • If applicable, TOEFL, IELTS test, or Duolingo scores. Our TOEFL codes are 2074 (Institution) and 59 (Department)

Application Fees

If you apply by November 3, 2024, the application fee is $50.00. From November 4, 2024 to January 15, 2025, the program application fee is $75.00.

Prerequisite Coursework

At the time of applying to the MADS program, successful applicants are highly encouraged to have:

  • Two semesters of calculus-based probability and mathematical statistics (CMU prerequisite classes are 36-225 and 36-226).

    Topics should include: random variables, distribution functions, joint and conditional distributions, functions of random variables & their probability distributions; maximum likelihood estimation, properties of estimators, hypothesis testing, interval estimation.

    Typical Textbook: Mathematical Statistics with Applications - Wackerly, et al. or equivalent
    CMU classes are: 36-225 and 36-226
  • One course in linear regression analysis (a CMU prerequisite course is 36-401)

    Topics should include: exploratory data analysis, linear regression models, validation and interpretation of models

    Typical Textbook: Applied Linear Regression Models - Kutner, et al. or equivalent. A good Econometrics course is an acceptable substitute.
  • Familiarity/exposure with matrix algebra and/or linear algebra

Test Scores: TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo

If your native language (language spoken from birth) is not English, we require a current English proficiency score report. The English proficiency requirement cannot be waived for any reason. For all applicants whose native language is not English, we strongly encourage TOEFL or IELTS scores. If you need to retake your TOEFL or IELTS for this application, we highly recommend you take the exam well before the deadline. Reportable scores can take two weeks to process and we may not be able to review any scores that arrive after our deadline. Our TOEFL codes are 2074 (Institution) and 59 (Department). We do not accept expired scores.

However, we understand that in some cases it may not be possible for an applicant to test for TOEFL or IELTS.  If you are not a native English speaker, and despite your best efforts are unable to test for TOEFL or IELTS, we will accept the Duolingo English proficiency test.

Note: Previous studies at a U.S. high school, college, or university are NOT grounds for a language-test waiver.  Additionally, previous studies at a non-U.S. English language instruction high school, college, or university are also NOT grounds for a language-test waiver. 

All scores must be uploaded and received before the deadline in order to assure an equitable review of your application.

Financial Aid

The tuition for the MADS program for the 2023-2024 academic year is $56,630 plus mandatory student fees of approximately $960.

As part of the admissions offer, yet subject to eligibility and qualifications, MADS students will receive a stipend as an educational assistant or teaching assistant in the Department of Statistics & Data Science. Outside of the teaching assistant role, the MADS program does not offer any additional funding opportunities.

Students applying for federal financial aid programs must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Visit to complete the FAFSA form. We recommend that admitted students discuss financial aid options with the university’s central HUB student service center. The HUB website provides the most comprehensive knowledge on the graduate financial process.

Funding Opportunities and Resources

The CMU Rales Fellows Program is a distinctive and transformative program dedicated to developing a diverse community of exceptionally talented national STEM leaders from underrepresented or underresourced backgrounds by eliminating cost as a barrier to graduate education. 

The National GEM Consortium - GEM recruits high quality underrepresented students looking to pursue master’s and doctorate degrees in applied science and engineering, and matches their specific skills to the specific technical needs of GEM employer members.

Loan Options for U.S. Citizens

For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, there may be eligibility for federal Direct student loans, which can include Unsubsidized and Grad Plus Loans.  The Graduate Financial Aid Process can direct you to understand the financial aid process and the financial aid timelines.

Through FASTChoice, a free loan comparison service,  you can learn more about private (non-federal) education loans and supplemental federal loans.

Loan Options for Non-U.S. Citizens

Private loan options are available to non-U.S. citizens. Generally, private education loans may require non-U.S. citizens to have a U.S. cosigner, yet loan options may be available to qualified non-U.S. citizens without a cosigner.

FASTChoice can provide you with a list of lenders who have issued and disbursed loans to Carnegie Mellon students in the past 5 years.