Carnegie Mellon University

How to Apply

All applications must be made through the School of Computer Science admissions process. The application deadline, mailing address, and fees are the same as for other SCS PhD Programs. All application deadlines will appear on the application website.

Legal Disclaimers: Statement of Assurance | Consumer Information (The HUB)

Required Application Items:

Tell us why you are interested in a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon.  If you have been involved in any kind of research, briefly describe the problem, approach, and results.  Describe a problem you are interested in solving as a researcher, and if you have preliminary ideas, how you would go about solving it.  Talk about your general interests in software engineering (beyond the problem above), and if you are interested in working with particular faculty, mention their names.

If you have software engineering experience from an internship, co-op, capstone course, or an industry position, we invite you to concisely summarize that background, how it prepares you for graduate-level academic work, and how it motivates your research interests.  Submit this information as a separate document in the Supplemental Information section under Experience (Research, Industry/Government).  Note that this is completely optional--we encourage applications from all students with strong interests in software engineering, regardless of prior experience.

Prof. Jonathan Aldrich has a more detailed page of "advice"for prospective students writing their statement of purpose.

Submit your current Resume. Outline your education, research experience, work experience, publications, scholarships awarded, prizes and honors received, society memberships, and any other extracurricular activities. Include copies of any publications (in English only) that you may have.
Submit three letters of recommendation. 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. With the online application, letters will be requested and submitted electronically. Paper recommendations will not be accepted. Letters of recommendation are due by the application deadline. All deadlines are final. Letters received after this date may not be considered in the review of your application.

All test scores must be uploaded (as a PDF) to your application.  If they are not uploaded by the application deadline, you will not have access to upload them and your application may not be considered.

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and have scores.  See individual program requirements for complete details. Please refer to the GRE testing schedule to determine test dates. No application will be considered complete until we have received these scores. GRE scores will not be accepted if more than five years old.

If your native language is not English, then you must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). All students will need to submit a TOEFL, no exceptions. **If you are currently working on or have received a bachelors and/or a masters degree in the US and your native language is not English, the TOEFL is still required. However, you may submit an expired test score up to 5 years old.  If you have not completed a Bachelor's degree in the US, you will need to submit a TOEFL no older than 2 years.  We will NOT accept an expired score in this case, no exceptions.**

Please upload your GRE and TOEFL scores  (if applicable) to your application by the application deadline.  Please send scores via mail at the time of application.

Please send your scores to the following codes:

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


A successful applicant will normally have a total iBT score of at least 100. We prefer that you take the TOEFL, but we will accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 7.0.  The same restrictins of expiration dates apply with an IELTS.

Please send test scores via mail at the time of application.

We do not require mailed, hard versions of transcrips at the time of application. Do not mail your transcripts to the admissons office.  If you are accepted to a program, you will be given instructions to mail them.

All electronic transcripts should be uploaded by the time you submit your application.  If they are not uploaded by the application deadline, you will not have access to upload them and your applicain may not be considered.  Since fall grades are not required, please upload your electronic transcrips as early as possible.  Please note that electronic transcrips and test scores are not marked as received until you submit and pay your application fee.  It may take several days or weeks to check the uploaded material, please allow time.

Submitting the Application

Submit the online application, pay the non-refundable application fee, upload all of your official transcripts and test scores to the application itself. Please send your GRE and TOEFL scores at the time of application.

It is your responsibility to make certain that your application, supporting documents, and letters of recommendation are uploaded to your application for the by the final deadline. You may check your submitted application to make certain that it is complete.

Dual Carnegie Mellon|Portugal Ph.D. Program in Software Engineering

To be admitted to the dual degree program, you need to be admitted to the Portuguese partner program and at Carnegie Mellon University. Please apply here and select: Ph.D. in Software Engineering/Dual Degree Portugal

In your statement of purpose, you need to mention the Portuguese partner institution you are simultaneously applying to. Currently, this can be one of the following: