Carnegie Mellon University

Now offering part-time program and spring start opportunities! 

Admissions Criteria

The Information Networking Institute's four degree programs offer defining foundational experiences combined with the rare flexibility to build depth or breadth from coursework and research opportunities across twelve different departments spanning three different colleges. 

Successful applicants to the INI typically have a bachelor's degree, educational or academic exposure to their intended area of study, strong quantitative skills, the technical foundation needed to support advanced study in their chosen area, and the communication and soft skills needed for success at the INI and beyond.

For many areas of interest, evidence of strong programming skills is required. The same is true for other areas of interest and a strong background in mathematics.

The INI's admissions process does not favor certain declared major areas of study over others. Instead, the INI evaluates an applicant's specific coursework, and their success in that coursework, as part of the process of determining the applicant's aptitude for, and preparedness to achieve, success in their intended course of study.


  • GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4-point scale) 
  • GRE General Test no more than five years old (neither the GMAT nor the GRE Subject Test is accepted)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), no more than two years old, is required for applicants whose native language is not English


Components of Your Application

1. Online application.

You will create an account and have unlimited access to perfect your application until you are ready to submit. 

2. All unofficial transcripts.

As part of the online application, you will be asked to share details of your academic history, including listing all schools of attendance and uploading an unofficial transcript from all colleges and universities you have attended, regardless of whether you have obtained a degree.

Please do not mail your official transcripts; the INI will only request official (hard copy) records from admitted applicants who accept enrollment. 


3. Three letters of recommendation.

The letters should be from faculty and/or recent employers who know you well and can speak to your technical abilities and quality of work. Letters may be submitted by your recommender(s) following the submission of your online application.

4. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores.

The GRE is required; neither the GMAT or GRE Subject Test are accepted for review. Scores must be less than five years old. We recommend taking the test no later than October, to ensure the GRE scores reach the INI office before the application deadline.

Carnegie Mellon ETS Institute Code: #2074, Department (no department code is required, but you may use 99 "unspecified department")

5. Official TOEFL scores (if applicable).

If you are an applicant whose native language is not English, the TOEFL is required. If needed, the IELTS may be subsituted. Applicants who cannot submit either the TOEFL or IELTS should contact INI Admissions.

Carnegie Mellon ETS Institute Code: #2074, Department (no department code is required, but you may use 99 "unspecified department")

If submitting IELTS reports, please use the following address:

Carnegie Mellon University
College of Engineering
5000 Forbes Avenue
119 Porter Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

6. Area of interest and short essay questions.

This section is an important aspect of your application, as it helps the admissions committee to understand your desire to attend the INI and what sets you apart from other applicants. You will be asked to provide descriptions of your most significant programming projects, in addition to your relevant technical coursework and leadership experience. 

We encourage you to utilize this space to highlight your specific INI strengths and how your work, research, educational and other experiences have prepared you for graduate studies at the INI.


7. Employment History and Resume.

You will be asked to share any industry experience, relevant internships and/or research experience, in addition to uploading a recent resume of no more than 2 pages. 


8. Financial Support.

You will be asked if you wish to be considered for financial support. Answering "Yes" to this question will enable us to consider you for funding. 

The INI offers students a variety of awards and funding assistance to ensure financial need is not a barrier for students who are passionate about becoming a leader in information networking, information security or mobility. 

 It is important to note that your answer will have no impact on your admissions decision. 


9. Non-Refundable Application Fee.

Our preferred method of payment is by credit card as part of the online application.

  • Priority Application Deadline: $75 application fee
  • Final Application Deadline: $100 application fee


Application Deadlines

Spring 2020: MSIN and MSIS Programs (Pittsburgh Only)

September 15, 2019: Priority and International Student Deadline $75 application fee

September 29, 2019: Final Application Deadline $100 application fee

Fall 2020: MSIN, MSIS and Bicoastal Mobility and Information Security

January 1, 2020: Priority Application Deadline $75 application fee

January 15, 2020: Final Application Deadline $100 application fee

Integrated Master's Program for CMU Undergraduates

January 15, 2020

Integrated Program Application

Integrated Master's Program Learn more

Highly-qualified Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students are eligible to add a fifth year to a customized undergraduate curriculum to earn an INI's master's degree in information networking or information security. We recommend undergraduates approach the INI to discuss the opportunity no later than two semesters before they complete their undergraduate degree.

Students eligible for admission to the Integrated MSIN and Integrated MSIS would not be required to take the GRE.