Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we charge a $25.00 application fee.

GRE General or GRE Subject Test scores are recommended if available but not required.

A complete application package requires the original TOEFL or IELTS test score results. Unless you are able to demonstrate clearly in some other way that you are proficient in English, we cannot consider you for admission if your native language is not English and you do not submit the results of the TOEFL.

No, if you received your undergraduate or master's degree from an English-speaking institution, we will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.

We do not have a rigorous minimum requirement for TOEFL or IELTS scores. Rather, we use the following guidelines:

  • TOEFL PBT: minimum score of 600
  • TOEFL iBT: minimum total score of 84, with no one sub-score less than
    • Reading = 22
    • Listening = 22
    • Speaking = 18
    • Writing = 22
  • IELTS: overall band score of at least 7, with no individual band score lower than 6.5.

The Carnegie Mellon Physics Department sets no specific minimum GPA for admission. Decisions are based on the entire application record, including courses taken, GPA, letters of recommendation, research experience, and – for applicants whose native language is not English – the TOEFL score.

We do not, in general, offer admission to our Ph.D. program without also offering financial aid. This aid is in the form of assistantships, typically teaching assistantships, but occasionally also research assistantships and fellowships, that provide both a full tuition scholarship and a monthly stipend for living expenses.

We do not have a M.S.-only program in Physics, as ours is primarily a Ph.D. program. We do not offer financial aid to applicants who intend to study only for the M.S. degree. We will, in some cases, consider applicants who intend to obtain only a M.S. degree, but if we do, this will be exclusively for admission without financial aid.

We do not offer admission for study beginning in the Spring (second) semester of the academic year (typically in January). Our program of graduate courses and our offers of financial aid are based on the full academic year beginning with the Fall semester (typically at the end of August).

Yes, we have a number of graduate fellowships available. More information about fellowships is found here.