Carnegie Mellon University
Submitting an EST&P application FAQThe EST&P program uses an online system for graduate student applications through the College of Engineering. Please read the following information carefully before emailing or calling with inquires.

The application deadline for Fall Semester (August start) admission is January 15.

The application deadline for Spring Semester (January start) admission is September 26.

A completed application will include the following:

  • Online Application Form (demographics, education & employement history, GPA, etc.) 
  • Application fee - $75.00 USD*
  • Selection of Degree
  • Selection of Disciplinary Concentration
  • Uploaded unofficial transcript- official transcripts are required upon admission
  • Official GRE scores from ETS**
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers**
  • Uploaded Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation***
  • 2 required Essay Questions

Please note:
*The application fee is waived for CMU undergraduates/alumni, GEM, & Fulbright applicants
**Test scores are only considered official if they are received directly from the testing center. See FAQ#5 for score delivery instructions.
***Recommender contact information should be entered in your online application. Recommenders are provided with a link to answer questions and upload a letter to your online application.

-Students do NOT need to submit Letters of Financial Support OR International Funding at the time of applying.

The Graduate Admissions Staff (who answer e-mail messages and phone calls) do not determine admissions criteria and are not involved in admissions decisions. Your chances of being admitted cannot be determined prior to the Graduate Admissions Committee reviewing your completed application package. (For more information on the review process, please see the response below to "Have I been admitted?")

Note: Faculty likewise cannot comment on an applicant's chances. For this reason, we ask that you do not contact faculty directly regarding your admission status.

The admissions committee evaluates all aspects of a completed application and one aspect is not a determining factor in the admissions decision.  They do not set required minimum GRE test scores, and likewise do not set a hard cut-off for undergraduate grades although a 3.0 is preferred.  Decisions are made by the admissions committee based on looking at the application in its entirety and especially considering overall GPA, as well as, courses taken and grades in senior-level technical classes, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (100 is preferred), resume, three letters of recommendation (at least one from faculty), and your responses to 3-4 short essay questions.

No, there are only two terms of admission- Fall and Spring.  There is no priority given to applicants who submit their applications "early".  The admissions committee will only begin to review completed applications shortly after the deadline.

For more details on the review process, see FAQ "Have I been admitted?  (What is the staus of my application?)"

The correct school/department codes for EST&P are listed here. If these codes are not available in the ETS pull-down menu, please select the codes for the CMU Materials Science and Engineering department and notify the EST&P program office of this situation.

GRE code: 2074/1499

TOEFL code: 2074

IELTS scores can be sent electronically to:
Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering
5000 Forbes Avenue
119 Porter Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
---Email energy@andrew.cmu with your TRF No.
Do not have paper IELTS scores mailed

We ask applicants to answer 2-3 short answer essay questions which are located within the Essay page of the EST&P application. These questions revolve around your interest and passion for energy, goals here at CMU, and goals after graduation.

Official transcripts are not required for the admission process unless you are admitted to and enroll in the program. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the application review process and should be uploaded to your online application. Recommender information should be entered in your online application and recommenders should submit their recommendation letters through the online application system. Our address is:

Carnegie Mellon University- Energy Science, Technology and Policy (EST&P)
5000 Forbes Ave.
Scott Hall 5103
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890

Please refrain from mailing hard copies of supporting documents and other documents such as publications or certificates (besides test scores/transcript). These items will not be filed with your application and will not be held by the program.

Yes, it is acceptable for your letters of recommendation and official GRE and TOEFL score reports to arrive after the application deadline. Receipt of these reports a week or two after the deadline will not affect your chances of being admitted.

Letters of Recommendation do not need to be recieved prior to your application being submitted.

Yes, the admissions committee prefers that you use the free WES GPA calculator to convert your GPA to a 4.0 scale.  The alternative is to convert your GPA into a percentage of the maximum possible score used at your institution; then calculate the equivalent number out of the maximum possible 4.0 scale that represents this same percentage.  If you believe proportional conversion does not fairly represent your undergraduate GPA, you may offer an explanation in your application’s optional essay question.  The admissions committee is displeased when during transcript review they discover an applicant has entered an arbitrary and inflated number as their equivalent GPA out of 4.0

Free WES GPA calculator to obtain a U.S. GPA calculation:

An official letter of financial support is an original letter (or bank statement) indicating that you are receiving financial support from an outside agency (parents, company, fellowship, etc.). 

This official letter is needed for international students at the time of admission and I-20 processing, but is NOT required by the admissions committee at the time of application.

Your application will be processed more efficiently if you request the provider to submit the letter of recommendation online. Paper letters that are mailed in are acceptable but this may delay the processing of your application material. Letters must come directly from the recommender. EST&P does not provide a standardized recommendation form letter.
There is no admission "cut-off" score for the GRE examination; your GRE scores will be evaluated by the admissions committee in the context of your entire application package. Strong weight is also given to your undergraduate GPA, your performance in upper-level technical courses, letters of recommendation, and responses to the essay questions.

Non-Native English speakers must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Carnegie Mellon University recommends a minimum TOEFL score of 84 or an IELTS score of 6.5, and gives specific recommendations for individual sub-scores. EST&P prefers a total TOEFL score of 100.

Minimum sub-score recommendations for TOEFL: Reading = 22; Listening = 22; Speaking = 18; Writing = 22;  Total iBT score range = 84;  the EST&P admissions committee preferes a total score of 100
Note: CMU and EST&P do not accept computer-based TOEFL scores.

Minimum sub-score recommendations for IELTS: Reading = 6.5 ; Listening = 6.5 ; Speaking = 6; Writing = 6;  Band Score = 6.5      

In most cases, this means that we have not yet received your official GRE and/or TOEFL score report directly from ETS. If you have already requested ETS to send your official scores, you need not take any further action. TOEFL scores do not come directly to the department as GRE scores do since TOEFL scores are required for both undergraduate and graduate students. Instead, they come to the university's Enrollment Service office and then are sent out to the departments.

It is acceptable for your GRE and TOEFL score reports to arrive after the application deadline as long as it is during the committee review process. Having your reports arrive after the deadline will not affect your chances of being admitted.

You can track your application status online. This site is updated when material is received and decisions are made, so please feel free to check your status frequently during the peak admission season and after the deadline.

Yes, we will expedite admission for CMU undergraduates/alumni.  EST&P does not offer a BS degree so we cannot offer you a formal Integrated Master's/Bachelor's (IMB) degree option.  However, we waive the application fee and GRE requirement. We ask you to complete an abbreviated application, answer only one of the four essay questions and submit two letters of recommendation (with simplified process for CMU faculty recommendations). 

Interested CMU undergraduates are encouraged to make and appointment and meet with an EST&P advisor for more details on expediting the application process.

EST&P is a coursework based professional master's program and students are primarily self-funded through personal savings and educational loans, or externally funded through government or private fellowships or by their employer.  The Graduate Admissions Staff do not determine financial aid criteria and are not involved in financial aid decisions. Masters students are encouraged to apply for external funding.

All applicants to the EST&P program are considered for a service scholarship by the admissions committee at the time of admission, which is the only minimal financial support offered through the program (~20% reduction in tuition). Selected applicants will be notified of this decision shortly after offers of admission are made.

Students who are interested in applying for external fellowships should see their advisor or check the on-line information provided by the Office of Scholarships and Fellowships Web site. The Web site is an excellent resource for locating an abundance of information regarding available funding for students.

The deadline for local, state, and federal taxes is April 15.  Questions about your tax status should be addressed to the IRS or the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Although subject to federal taxes, student stipends are generally not assessed local or state taxes.

External Funding Opportunities Outside Carnegie Mellon
U.S. Department of Education Resources
U.S. citizens and permanent residents may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line at
Students may obtain information regarding their loans through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, including deferment forms and payment information at
Information about the federal student aid programs may be found at

Additional Loan Resources

Effective July 1, 2006 a graduate or professional student may be eligible to borrow a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. This loan allows you, not your parents, to borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid you receive.  It has a fixed interest rate of 8.5%, and no aggregate limits.  You must be a US citizen or permanent resident to qualify.  Credit checks are also required to determine eligibility, but the credit criteria are much less stringent than for most private alternative loans.  If you don’t meet the credit criteria you may still obtain the loan with an “endorser” who does meet the credit requirements. PLUS applicants cannot have adverse credit based on a review of at least one credit report from a national credit reporting agency.  Adverse credit is defined as:

  • No Federal Student Aid loans in default or delinquent status
  • No accounts that are 90 days or more past due
  • No evidence of default, foreclosure, tax lien, repossession, wage garnishment, or judgments in the last 5 years
  • No accounts in collection
  • No accounts that were “write-offs” or never able to collect upon A lack of credit history or insufficient credit history is not considered adverse credit. Credit-worthiness is not based on a FICO score, debt to income ratio, or annual salary. You must complete a FAFSA and have applied for your annual loan maximum eligibility under the Stafford program first.  You will also have to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Addendum for this loan.

The interest rate is fixed at 8.5%. The difference between lenders will be the “repayment incentives” they offer students to reduce the cost of the loan and possibly the interest rate during repayment as well. Because interest rates seem to be on the rise, and private alternative loans have variable rates with no upper limit, we are recommending Graduate PLUS for 2006-07 in lieu of alternative loans.  Attached please find a comparison chart.

If you decide to apply for the GRAD PLUS loan, here are the instructions: You will need to log into  You will need to follow the instructions for applying for the GRAD PLUS loan and be sure to complete your Master Promissory Note.  A drop down list of our preferred lenders will pop up for your convenience.  Preferred lenders have been chosen because of the benefits that they offer our students and in addition, will not charge the 1% default fee mentioned in the attached comparison chart. If you choose to go with an outside lender, please keep in mind that there is a possibility that you may be charged a 1% default fee.

Private Loans

Students may have the option to borrow funds through a private lender. These loans are credit based, so applicants may need a cosigner. International students may utilize private lenders if they have a US citizen or permanent resident as a cosigner.  While many banks offer private educational loans, you may apply for a Graduate Citiassist Loan through Citibank on line, please go to

If you are not interested in obtaining a loan through Citibank's Graduate Citiassist Loan Program you may wish to consider the following loan programs:

Other Resources for US Citizens 
The following websites are available for researching other sources of financial aid.  Please be sure to pay close attention to the stated application deadlines.  

Sources of Financial Aid for International Students
The following information is designed to help international students in the search for additional sources of financial aid. This list includes a Fellowship Program from the Institute of International Education, a number of Loan Programs, and relevant websites and online sources of information.

Private loan information:

I. Grants and scholarships:

1. Institute of International Education (IIE)
The IIE is a nonprofit organization that promotes international education. They provide information about the Fulbright Program on their website: Number and amount of grants differs from country to country.  They also publish several useful guides, including Funding for US Study: A guide for Foreign Nationals, English Language Orientation Programs (a guide to ESL programs in the US), and Academic Year Abroad. Books can be ordered through e-mail to

You may also write to:
Institute of International Education (IIE)
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017-3580

2.  Ford Foundation International Fellowship Program (IFP)
The Foundation sponsors three minority graduate fellowship programs - predoctoral, doctoral, and postdoctoral - through the National Research Council.  For information write or call the

National Research Council
2101 Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20418
tel: (202) 334-2872

The IFP provides support for up to three years of formal graduate-level study. Fellows will be selected from countries in Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Russia where the foundation maintains active overseas programs. U.S. nationals are not eligible, although fellows may study in the United States. IFP Fellows must be nationals of eligible countries.

Please refer to the following website for more detailed information concerning the application process, eligible candidates, and IFP requirements:

International students may find the information on the websites below helpful in researching funding sources:

International Options.pdf

Students applying for an I-20 for visa purposes will be required to submit an International Student Information form and a Financial Statement and Affidavit of Support from their sponsor guaranteeing financial support for the student for the duration of their degree program.

Emergency Loans
The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs offers short-term emergency loans for supplies, medication, food or other unexpected circumstances. The loans are interest-free and for short periods of time (not longer than a month).

Once your application package is complete, we catalog the contents and then forward it to the Graduate Admissions Committee. All applications are held for review until after the application deadline; thus, there are no early decisions. Please contact should you have an extenuating circumstance which requires an early decision.

The Graduate Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications shortly after the application deadline. Depending upon the number of applications received, this process can take a month or so. Once all of the applications have been reviewed, online tracking will be updated, and a letter will be made available to you electronically informing you of the decision. Therefore, it is important that you continue to check your online application status frequently.

You can track your application status online. This site is updated when material is received and decisions are made, so please feel free to check your status frequently during the peak admission season.

Your completed application may be reconsidered for the next concurrent semester after your original application semester. If you would like your application to be reconsidered, send an email to stating your intentions. You are encouraged to also send updated application information such as new GRE scores, updated work experience, updated (final) college transcripts, and/or additional letters of reference, etc.

No, there is not a paper application available for submission. The entire process is completed online except in some casses the submission of your official transcripts, GRE and TOEFL test scores mailed from ETS

Please refrain from mailing hard copies of supporting documents and other documents such as publications or certificates (besides test scores/transcript). These items will not be filed with your application and will not be held by the program.