Carnegie Mellon University

Admissions

MS IRP Application Requirements

IPS welcomes applicants from diverse academic, professional, and personal backgrounds, and seeks those dedicated to making an impact in our ever-changing political world. Our admissions process is holistic in that we consider all aspects of the application equally to determine an overall fit with your background and goals to IPS’s culture, curriculum, and community.

To that end, applicants to the MS IRP program also should demonstrate academic and/or professional excellence and preparedness for the rigors of the program. Minimum qualification for admission to the MS IRP program includes previous coursework, demonstrated ability, or equivalent work experience in the following areas:

  • Analytical skills: An ideal applicant should demonstrate problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Introductory courses in statistics, economics, and data analysis (STATA/R) are recommended.
  • Team skills: An ideal applicant can work effectively with others in leadership, cooperative, and subordinate roles.
  • Other skills: An ideal applicant will demonstrate experience or interest in international relations and political science

Please note that three-year undergraduate degrees from outside the United States (i.e., United Kingdom, India, etc.) are generally not considered to be the equivalent to a US Bachelor's degree. A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution is the minimum requirement for admission to our Master's program.

  • Application Fee: $55
  • Statement of Purpose (500-1000 words): State your purpose in undertaking graduate study in political science and international relations. Include your academic objectives, research interests, potential thesis topics, and internship and career goals. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application, or résumé/curriculum vita.
  • Optional Essay: If there are any special circumstances you would like the admissions committee to consider, highlight them in the optional essay. Use this essay to include information that you feel is important, but that you are unable to include elsewhere on the application. There is no penalty for leaving this blank.
  • Résumé/Curriculum Vita: Required
  • Transcripts: Unofficial copy from each college/university attended (official required prior to enrolling)
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one should come from a professor who knows you well and can attest to your academic and professional abilities, as well as your potential for graduate study.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)Submitting your GRE score is optional, but not required, for Fall 2021 admission.
  • English Language Proficiency: TOEFL/IELTS is required if native language is not English or if undergraduate degree was not taught in English. Minimums are as follows:
    • An IELTS of score 7 or TOEFL score of 84 with a speaking subscore of at least 22. Only iBT TOEFL version is accepted.

     

    While a minimum score is recommended, we review each application in its entirety. Applicants who are non-native English speakers may only be considered for a waiver of a recent TOEFL/IELTS score if they attended and completed a four-year undergraduate program within the United States. Those applicants may submit an expired test score up to five years old, and expired scores must meet our admissions score requirements. An interview may be requested before final admission decisions can be made.

     

  • Interview: Virtual interviews will be requested by IPS for applicants in the final round of selection.

MS IRP-AMP Application Requirements

The accelerated version of the Master's program is only open to current Carnegie Mellon University students. 

  • Student Information Sheet: Complete fillable pdf and submit electronically (PDF format).
  • Statement of Purpose (500-1000 words): State your purpose in undertaking graduate study in political science and international relations. Include your academic objectives, research interests, potential thesis topics, and internship and career goals. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application, or résumé/curriculum vita.
  • Optional Essay: If there are any special circumstances you would like the admissions committee to consider, highlight them in the optional essay. Use this essay to include information that you feel is important, but that you are unable to include elsewhere on the application. There is no penalty for leaving this blank.
  • Résumé / Curriculum Vita: A current outline of your education, research experience, internship experience, publications, scholarships awarded, prizes and honors received, society memberships, and extracurricular activities (PDF format).
  • Transcripts: Unofficial Carnegie Mellon transcript, downloaded from SIO and submitted electronically to IPS (PDF format).
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters from Carnegie Mellon faculty who can attest to the quality of your academic abilities. Letters should be submitted by recommenders directly to the IPS Graduate Program Manager via email (PDF format).
  • Interview: Virtual or in-person interviews will be requested by IPS for applicants in the final round of selection.