Carnegie Mellon University

How to Apply

Step One: Application overview

Applications are live on September 7 and the deadline to apply is December 9 (11:59 a.m. EST). See FAQ page for more information about the deadline and application fees.  You may simultaneously apply to other programs in the School of Computer Science, including related Ph.D. program in Computational Biology and M.S. Program in Automated Science.

Full details on applications to both of the above programs are here.

You may also wish to apply separately to our MS program in Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Engineering and/or MS program in Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics.

Please note that applications are managed by the School of Computer Science in order to allow simultaneous application to other programs listed above, but the academic home of the program is Mellon College of Science because it is a shared program so some functions (academics) are primarily under the Department of Biological Sciences.

Step Two: Transcripts

Transcripts – We require transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended, including any that you didn't get a degree from. For all applicants: the MS in Comp Bio program prefers unofficial copies of transcripts for application purposes, we will collect official transcripts from you if you are admitted and decide to come (required before you can start). Please note: If you are applying to multiple programs with the same application, other programs may require official transcripts in the application, please check with those program.

International applicants: The admissions committee will not review an application without transcripts in English. If your school will not provide English transcripts, then a WES evaluation will be required; however, if the transcripts from your school are available in English, third-party (e.g. WES) evaluations are NOT necessary for application.

Step Three: Test scores

Optional GRE - Neither the general GRE nor subject GREs are required. However, we assess applicants holistically and take into consideration many factors including computational background and skill. This computational skill can be demonstrated by optional submission of GRE scores or by advanced coursework in computer science, linear algebra, statistical inference, or related areas. GRE subject tests are not accepted.

Non-native English speakers - Official TOEFL scores are required for all non-native English speaking applicants, unless the applicant has completed a university-level degree in the U.S. or in another majority native English-speaking country in the last 4 years. (Please also note that many other graduate programs that are affiliated with the School of Computer Science do require TOEFL or other English proficiency tests, even for applicants who studied in the U.S. - check with each program to which you are applying and verify what is needed; our program accepts recent study in the US as proof of English proficiency because we are primarily housed in the Mellon College of Science's Department of Biological Science.)

In addition to TOEFL and IELTS, we will now accept the online Duolingo English Test for applicants for whom English was not their first language. These tests include a proficiency composite score, section subscores, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with CMU M.S. in Computational Biology Program when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session. Minimum and recommended score follows our TOEFL and IELTS minimums using percentile equivalencies and are indicated in the chart below. For more information, please visit the websites for the Duolingo English Test.

Upload your GRE (if you choose to) and TOEFL (if required) to your application no later than is December 9 (11:59 a.m. EST).

Please send your scores to the following codes:

  • GRE Institution Code: 2074; Department Code: 0402
  • TOEFL Institution Code: 4256; Department Code: 78

Step Four: Statement of purpose

Your statement of purpose should be a well-written 1-2 page essay describing:

  • your motivation to enter the field of Computational Biology
  • any previous research experience you have (including your role in those projects), and, if applicable, any publications
  • your primary areas of interest within Computational Biology
  • your reasons for considering the MSCB program for graduate work

Step Five: Letters of recommendation

The three letters of recommendation should be written by professional or academic references. Letters will be requested and submitted electronically within the online application system. Recommenders should know you relatively well and be able to evaluate the quality of your previous work. At least two should be from faculty or recent employers.

Letters of recommendation are due by December 9 (11:59 a.m. EST).

Step Six: Application submission and questions

We began accepting applications on September 7 and the deadline to apply is December 9 (11:59 a.m. EST). Application checklist:

  • Create an account here
  • When selecting programs, be sure to click “Add” next to M.S. in Computational Biology. NOTE: you may apply to multiple masters programs, but there is an additional fee for every program
  • Read and follow all instructions here to help you complete the application correctly
  • Contact us with any questions

Please note: Your application is not complete until you receive confirmation that the online form is filled out AND have mailed in all the required forms.

Questions about applying or our program? Please ask us.