Apply to MSCF
Your application is an opportunity to show the admissions committee you have what it takes to be accepted into our top-ranked quantitative finance program.
We use a self-managed application procedure that requires you to prepare and submit a number of application components online. Make sure you submit your application on time and in accordance with the following admissions guidelines:
Online Application Form
This is the standard information we ask you to provide and includes personal, professional and educational information. Update your contact information using the online application system should it change during the application process, but before you make an enrollment deposit. After a deposit is made, contact our office directly to ensure that we have your most up-to-date contact information.
Once submitted, you cannot make any other changes to your application (other than your contact information). Be sure to review your application materials prior to submission.
Your resume should be one to two pages and highlight the achievements you have made in your professional career, using a standard (i.e. Times New Roman or Arial), 12-pt. font. It is REQUIRED that your resume includes the month and year for starting and ending dates for each position held.
To be considered for admission, you must hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an equivalent degree from a foreign country prior to the start of the program.
Applicants are required to upload legible scanned/digitized copies of official transcripts and degree certificates indicating name, degree earned and the date the degree was completed (if applicable) for ALL institutions attended, including exchange programs and transfer credits. Internet printouts or copies of unofficial transcripts will NOT be accepted. All transcripts should clearly state your name and the name of the institution. Upload all pages of your transcript, including the transcript key for your university (for U.S. institutions, this is often found on the back of the transcript).
Should you be admitted, you are required to submit official transcripts directly to our admissions office from your educational institution.
Didn’t attend college or university in the U.S.?
If the transcript is in a language other than English, an official translation must also be included. We follow the World Education Services (WES) Standards to determine what documents non-U.S. candidates need to submit. We DO NOT accept WES credential evaluations, but rather, use their standards as a guideline to ensure that all of the required transcript components are uploaded and submitted with your application.
Official Test Scores
We require an official, valid GRE or GMAT score. It is not necessary to take both tests. We encourage you to take the GMAT or GRE before submitting your application; however, we will accept scores that arrive within 2 weeks of the application deadline for which you have applied. We will not review your application without receipt of either a GRE or GMAT score.
Scores are valid for five years and must be valid at the time you submit your application. A candidate who has taken the GMAT or GRE more than once will self-report the highest score when completing the online application.
When you take the exam, select the appropriate code as follows:
- GMAT Program Code - MSCF Program (Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business): 69H-XH-17
- GRE Program Code - Carnegie Mellon University Masters in Computational Finance: 7383
There are two required short answer essays in addition to a 90-second video essay response.
You are first required to select your desired post-MSCF career path from a pre-defined choice group. You will then respond to the following two short answer essay topics:
Provide examples from your past professional or academic experience that highlight skills you have developed that will be directly applied in your above-selected functional area. (350 word max)
- How did you develop an interest in the field of quantitative finance? What skill(s) are you currently lacking and how will the MSCF program uniquely prepare you with the knowledge you need for career success? (350 words max)
For your 90-second video essay, we want to learn more about your background and your professional motivation. You are required to respond to the following prompt:
- Provide the specific steps you took and resources you utilized to secure a previous academic or professional opportunity. Explain how this experience will benefit you in your desired career path.
Applicants can also upload an optional essay (2-pages max) to convey any additional information that the admissions committee should know in considering your candidacy.
Letters of Recommendation
Three Letters of Recommendation are required. Choose individuals who know you well and are able to provide specific and relevant information about your potential for academic and career success. In particular, we seek recommendation letters that can speak to your abilities in mathematics, statistics, computer science and applied finance. Additionally, select recommenders who will be able to assess your communication skills, particularly in English, your motivation, work ethic and ability to work collaboratively on a team.
If you are currently a full-time student or a recent graduate (within the past three years), you should submit one recommendation from an academic source. The admissions committee prefers at least one recommendation from a professional relationship. Prior to submitting your application, you will input your recommender’s contact information in the online system.
While you will complete the recommendation section of the application prior to submitting, aim to have your recommender submit their recommendation within a week of the application deadline. This is important because your application will not be forwarded to the Admissions Committee until the recommendation is received.
English Language Proficiency Exam (Duolingo, TOEFL or IELTS)
Candidates are required to demonstrate a level of competence in English to meet the admissions requirements of the university. You are required to take either the Duolingo English Test, TOEFL or IELTS exam unless:
- You attended an undergraduate institution, for two or more years where you earned a bachelors degree (or will earn a bachelors degree by July 31, 2021 for the fall 2021 entering class) and the sole language of instruction was English. If you only completed two-years of your bachelors degree at an English-speaking institution, while not required, we do recommend that you take one of the English language proficiency exams.
If the institution is not located in the U.S. or in a country with English as an official language of instruction in higher education, a statement indicating that the primary language of instruction was English should be listed on the academic documents. If the academic document does not include this statement, an official letter from the University Registrar indicating English as the mode of instruction for the entirety of the degree will be required.
- You earned a graduate degree that was taught entirely in English. Although not required, we do recommend that you take an English language proficiency exam.
We recommend those candidates who are required to take an English language assessment exam do so prior to submitting their application. Scores are valid for two years and must be valid at the time you submit your application. Be sure to request the official scores be sent to the MSCF Program by the testing agency selecting the appropriate program as follows:
- Duolingo English Test: Select “Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business”
- TOEFL Program Code: B522 (Carnegie Mellon University – MSCF)
- IELTS Program Code: Select Carnegie Mellon University and Computational Finance
A $125 application fee is required of all applicants. This fee must be paid online using a credit card at the time of submission.
If you are invited to interview, you can select an on-campus or Skype interview with a member of the MSCF admissions committee. The primary goals of the interview are to:
- Clarify certain aspects of your quantitative or computational preparedness (courses taken, projects, technical papers, etc.) to ensure you can master the material in the MSCF program.
- Ensure you are the right fit for the program and test your knowledge, interest and familiarity with the career paths that will be available to you upon graduation in quantitative finance.
- Confirm your ability to communicate and handle yourself in a professional manner as well as your drive and personality to succeed in the industry.
After you submit your application, you may be invited for an interview at any point in time up until the date that your admission decision is released. Please note that interviews are invite only and are requested by the admissions committee based on individual applications. Requests for interviews will not be considered.
If you submitted an application to the MSCF program for 2020, you will be able to log into the Fall 2021 application system using the same email address and password used last year. You will find that some of your information from your prior application will carry over; however, you will need to review all sections to ensure information is accurate and complete. You will be required to submit all new essays, including an updated video essay as well as a reapplication essay detailing updates to your application since last year’s submission. Further, you will be required to submit one new letter of recommendation. We will waive your application fee.
If you applied to the MSCF program prior to 2018, you will be required to complete an entirely new application, including submission of three letters of recommendation and payment of the application fee.
We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our admissions process and the reputation of our educational programs. We also want to protect and enhance the value of the degrees that we confer on our students. To guard against any allegations the candidates may have misrepresented themselves in their admissions applications, we have made the decision to establish an independent verification of applicant credential of all of our masters’ students. We believe that this verification process will support our efforts to ensure integrity throughout the program. Candidates will be required to submit a fee and verification release form at the time of deposit. Details will be provided in the admission letter.