Apply to the Master's of Science in Product Management Program
The Spring 2023 MSPM application is closed. The Spring 2024 MSPM application will open in early 2023.
We give equal consideration to every aspect of your application — goals, background, accomplishments — in order to determine if the Master's of Science in Product Management (MSPM) program is a good fit for you.
Your MSPM application will contain a variety of components that provide the admissions committee information to assess your candidacy for our program. Through our review process, we do not assign specific weights to the various parts of the application.
Note to All MSPM Applicants
To safeguard the integrity of the admissions process, Carnegie Mellon University routinely uses a third-party company, Re Vera, to conduct verification procedures of all candidates who accept our offer of admission.
How to Prepare for the MSPM Admission Process
The standard admissions expectations for Tepper master’s programs will apply, such as transcripts, recommendations, essays, and exams with optional waivers. For MSPM, additionally, we encourage applicants to approach the application process with a focused product perspective.
As you apply, think like a product manager! Make sure that you understand what product management is all about. Check out PM interview prep books and blogs, and become active in product communities. Review your own accomplishments, resume, and portfolio from a product perspective. Consider your incoming strengths and those skills you most want to practice and improve. Be ready to discuss why you’re motivated to advance as a product manager. Show confidence in your skills, accomplishments, and future, while maintaining the humility of an apprentice who is eager to learn.
If you have doubts about whether to take the GMAT or GRE, then it is best to do so. If your past academic and professional accomplishments speak for themselves, then you may find that requesting a waiver is the better path.
If you are unfamiliar with coding or it has been a long time since you practiced, then an introductory or refresher course would be an excellent way to prepare.
MSPM Application Instructions
Start by reviewing the application components below. We ask you to provide a bit of personal, professional, and educational information to get to know you better.
We suggest that you create your essay and goals and then sit down to complete the online form. We provide a time estimate at the top of each page in the online application.
You'll only need about 30 minutes to complete the entire online application form.
Upload a copy of your resume. The purpose of this document is to provide a snapshot of your education and professional achievements in your career. Use a standard (i.e. Times New Roman or Arial), 12-pt. font for your 1-2 page resume.
Pro Tip: It is important to include month and year for starting and ending dates for each position held. If this key information is not included, we will ask for an updated resume, which may delay your application.
Education Requirement and Transcripts
Students are required to hold a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution and be competent in these areas:
- General mathematics including calculus and linear algebra
- Basic statistical concepts and methods
- Basic programming in any modern language
Though our standards are high and our admissions process is competitive, it is also holistic. We consider all aspects of an applicant’s background and experience.
You will upload transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs you have attended or are attending. These may be copies of transcripts that you already have in your possession. However, these cannot be web transcripts. A web transcript is anything obtained from an online student portal, downloaded from your student record, or retrieved online.
Transcripts uploaded during the application process are considered “unofficial.” What makes a transcript "unofficial" is that you have it in your possession instead of us receiving it in a sealed, stamped envelope directly from your university.
All candidates are required to upload legible, scanned/digitized copies of their unofficial transcripts and degree certificates which include the following:
- University Transcripts: All transcripts are copies of actual university transcripts (not web transcripts), usually on watermarked paper with a seal, etc.
- Degree Name: If you earned a degree, the name is on the transcript (i.e. Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, etc.).
- Degree Conferral Date: If you earned a degree, the date the degree was awarded is on the transcript.
- Degree Certificate: If you earned a degree and the degree name/conferral date are not on the transcript, you must upload a copy of your degree certificate which includes this information. This cannot be a provisional certificate; it must be final. Still unsure what to submit? See sample degree certificates.
- Grading Scale: Include for every university so we know what the grades mean. Often on the back of the transcript; otherwise, contact the university to obtain. Still unsure what to submit? See sample grading scales.
- Official Translation: If the transcript is not in English, upload both the transcript in the original language and the official translated copy so that we can read it.
Pro Tip: If your uploaded transcript doesn’t include all the required information, we will need to contact you to send the missing items, and your application may be delayed.
Pro Tip: Official transcripts (those sent directly by the degree-granting institution) are not required during the application process. Should you be admitted, you will be required to submit official transcripts later.
Official Test Scores (GMAT and GRE)
Please ask your GMAT or GRE testing agency to send us your official score, so we can verify what you provide on your application.
A couple of important points:
- GMAT and GRE scores are valid for five years. Yours must still be valid when you submit your application.
- If you’ve taken the GMAT or GRE more than once, only report your highest score on your application.
- Request that the official score be sent to us using the following codes:
- Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) Program Code 69H-XH-84
- Graduate Record Examination Tests (GRE) Program Code 4883
Official Test Scores Waiver Application
Submit a letter to the admissions committee (via an upload in your application) that addresses the following:
- Please discuss your undergraduate GPA scores and any other degree GPA. For a waiver to be granted we are only seeking those with exceptionally high GPA achievement.
- Please also share any remarkable academic achievements we should be aware of.
- Please share with us if you have an advanced master’s degree. Is it in a STEM-related area? Are there particular courses that demonstrate your capability in succeeding in the MSPM curriculum?
- Please share if you have recognized certification in product management, e.g. ISPMA, Pragmatic Institute, AIPMM, Certified Scrum Product Owner, Certified Product Manager (280 Group), Certified Innovation Leader Credential, ProductSchool, Black Bolt Product Management, etc.
- Please highlight if you have 10 or more years of professional working experience. Please be specific about your roles and job content relative to a role in product management.
- Please share if you had held the role of product manager and for how many years. Please describe the job and role beyond what is on your resume/CV and be specific about your accomplishments in this role that are relevant to the MSPM degree.
Test waiver applicants may need to complete the following coursework and show proof of completion:
- CS50: Introduction to Computer Science
- Introduction to Python: Fundamentals
- Become a Product Manager
- Introduction to Finance, Accounting, Modeling and Valuation
NOTE: If you are rejected for a waiver, we will keep your application, and if you are accepted, you must provide a test score to enroll or consider you when you do provide a test score.
English Language Proficiency Exam (TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo DET)
Candidates are required to demonstrate a level of competence in English to meet the admissions requirements of the university. You are required to take a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo exam unless:
- You attended an undergraduate institution, earning a bachelor’s degree, where the sole language of instruction was English.
- You earned a graduate degree where the sole language of instruction was English. (Although not required, we do recommend that you take the English Language Proficiency exam.)
You must request that the official score be sent from the testing agency to our program for us to verify the score entered into the application. Request that the official score be sent to us using the following codes:
TOEFL Program Code: Institutional Code = 2074; Departmental Code = 02
- The recommended TOEFL score is 25 on each section of the Internet-based test.
- The minimum TOEFL scores required to apply for admission are: Reading: 20, Listening: 20, Speaking: 20, Writing: 20
- The recommended IELTS score is 7 overall and 7 in each band.
- The minimum IELTS scores required to apply for admission are: Listening: 7, Reading: 7, Writing: 7, Speaking: 7, Overall Band: 7
- The recommended Duolingo English Test (DET) score is 120 overall.
TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years and must be valid at the time you submit your application.
Pro Tip: If you earned a degree from a non-U.S. institution, your academic documents should state that the sole language of instruction for the entire university was English in order to be eligible for a TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo waiver. If your academic documents don’t include this, you should upload an official letter from the University Registrar indicating English as the mode of instruction for the entirety of the degree.
Essays and Goals
As part of your application, answer the following essay questions:
- In 150 words or less, tell us about your professional goal immediately following your graduation from Carnegie Mellon University.
- In 400 words or less, let us know what skills you believe are important to ensure a successful product management career. Which of these do you consider to be strengths and why? Which do you view as opportunities for growth as a member of the MSPM community?
- In 400 words or less, describe your leadership style, with at least one example. This can be in any context: professional, social, school, volunteer, sports, etc.
- In 400 words or less, tell us about your programming experience, including specific languages and platforms used and the number of years of experience working with each of them.
Video essay: Be prepared to answer a specific prompt related to product management. Specific instructions will be given in the MSPM application.
Optional essay: Use this essay to convey any important information you may have otherwise not been able to communicate. This may include unexplained resume gaps, your reason for selecting the recommender you chose, or if you are applying again, how your candidacy has improved since your last application.
Please select two people familiar with your work and/or leadership skill. We prefer that you select supervisors, but you can also include professors, coaches, mentors, or coworkers. Please give us their email contact information on your application, and we’ll reach out to them with a request to submit their letters online.
We use the GMAC Common Letter of Recommendation (LOR). The Common LOR is intended to save you and your recommender valuable time by providing a single set of recommendation questions for each participating school. This allows your recommender to use the same answers for multiple letter submissions, alleviating the workload of having to answer different questions for each school multiple times. You benefit because it makes the ask for several different letters to be written on your behalf much easier.
A $125 application fee is required of all applicants. This fee can be paid online using a credit card at the time of submission.
Once you have completed your online application, if you have any supporting documents, they should be uploaded directly to your application via your application status page in the application portal.
If you have submitted all the application components, it isn’t necessary to send anything else to us at this point. Upon admission, you’ll need to send your official transcripts/academic documents. These details will be included in the admission letter, so no need to worry about it now.
Admissions interviews are granted at the discretion of the admissions committee after an initial review of your application. You will receive additional information about the interview process at the time of the invitation.
We welcome applicants from around the globe and encourage non-U.S. citizens to apply to our MSPM program.
Review our information for international applicants to learn more about certification of financial resources and visa regulations.