The School of Computer Science has a centralized online application process for graduate admissions. Applications for the MIIS program will open on September 7, 2021. All supporting documentation for fall admission must be received by December 13, 11:59 p.m. EST, midnight. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Applications are due by December 13, 11:59 p.m. EST, midnight.
- $125 for one program, $75 for each additional program.
The School of Computer Science requires the following for all applications:
- A GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- GRE scores: MIIS applicants must submit their GRE scores. These must be less than five years old. A GRE subject test in science, engineering, computer science, math, etc. is recommended but not required. Our Institution Code is 2074; Department Code is 0402.
- TOEFL scores: Required if English is not your native language. No exceptions. If you are currently working on or have received a bachelor's and/or a master's degree in the U.S. and your native language is not English, you may submit an expired test score up to five years old. TOEFL scores taken before August 20, 2016, will not be accepted. (While the TOEFL is preferred, the IELTS or Duolingo tests may also be submitted.) Successful applicants will have a minimum TOEFL score of 100. Our Institution Code is 4256; the Department Code is 78.
- Official transcripts from each university you have attended, regardless of whether you received your degree there.
- Current resume.
- Statement of Purpose.
- Three letters of recommendation.
Hard copies of transcripts, test scores, etc. are not required at the time of application. You will be asked to provide these if you are admitted to the program.
For more details on these requirements, please see the SCS Master's Admissions page.
In addition to the SCS guidelines, the MIIS requires:
- A short (1-3 minute) video of yourself. Tell us about you and why you want to come to CMU. This is not a required part of the application process, but it is strongly suggested.
No incomplete applications will be eligible for consideration.
For specific application/admissions questions, please contact Alexandra "Sasha" Balobeshkina.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I think that I may want a career in research, or that I may want to pursue a PhD later. Will the MIIS degree help me achieve those goals?
The MIIS degree is a practice-oriented professional degree designed for students who want to quickly obtain an MS degree prior to beginning or resuming a career in industry or government. If you know that you want a career in research, the LTI's MLT and PhD degree programs may be better choices.
However, if you select the MIIS degree now and later decide to pursue a career in research, you will find that the MIIS degree offers a very solid foundation from which to begin a research career. The classroom preparation is very similar.
- What are the admission criteria for this program?
Like many MS degree programs at CMU, the MIIS program is very selective. Our focus is on the quality of our students and the quality of educational experience. All of our students have strong backgrounds in mathematics and computer science, along with the preparation in probability and statistics that accompanies most computer science, computer engineering, or other related technical degrees. Many of our students also have significant professional experience, either in internships or in their current job. This is not required, but it is very helpful.
English language competency is strongly correlated to academic and professional success. Therefore, our degree program adheres to the SCS minimum standards for TOEFL and IELTS scores (TOEFL = minimum of 100; IELTS = minimum of 7.5). Ideally, no TOEFL sub-score will be under 22.
There is no minimum GRE score requirement. The definition of "good GRE score" depends on the region where the test was taken, so we compare applicant's GRE scores to other GRE scores from the region where you were educated, or where you took your test.
Undergraduate academic performance is the strongest predictor of success in this degree program. Typically, applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.33 (or its equivalent) or higher. GPA is evaluated in the context of the institution you attended, due to variations in how grades are awarded.
- Is a B.S. in Computer Science required for admission to the MIIS program?
No. While an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or another related technical or scientific discipline is preferred, it is not required. Applicants must demonstrate that they have strong computer science skills, good math skills, and a firm grasp of statistics. We look for evidence that you have these skills (project work, internships, coursework, significant professional experience, etc.). Simply saying that you have been a programmer for many years, or that you have been coding since you were young, is not sufficient.
- The application requires a personal essay. What makes a good essay?
A good essay conveys three different types of information about you.
First, we look for strong evidence that you can do well in the MIIS degree program. For example, a description of your academic experience; a description of a software project that you were involved in (including your role in its implementation and its impact); a description of an internship or other professional experience, etc. are all good pieces of evidence. The descriptions are stronger the more specific you can make them-- i.e., details about what you did, what you liked, and what you learned from these experiences.
Second, your essay is stronger if you explain why you want to be in the MIIS program specifically. We understand that you may be applying to more than one degree program, but you should tell us why you want to apply to this one in particular, how it relates to your career goals, and what you hope to get out of your experience here.
Third, a discussion of your career goals is useful-- what you enjoy, what you hope to accomplish after receiving your degree, why you think the MIIS program is the right choice for what you want to do. Just wanting to go to graduate school at CMU is too vague.
Please do not tell us that CMU is your "dream school."
The essay must be written by you. You may have others proofread your essay to help you improve your English quality, or the style, but it must be substantially your own words.
- The application requires letters of recommendation. What makes a strong letter?
The best letters come from people who are senior to you and who are very familiar with you and your work. Examples include advisors, professors from your courses, supervisors of internships, lab managers, or managers where you have been employed. A good letter helps us understand what you are good at, how you work, and what you are like as a student and as a professional colleague.
- I have worked in industry for several years/I did an internship when I was an undergrad. Will I be required to do an internship?
During your first semester, you may petition the MIIS Program Director to waive the internship requirement. Their decision will be based on length, location, and type of your previous employment.
- I am a CMU student in another degree program. Can I transfer into the MIIS program?
Transfer into the MIIS program is not permitted during a student's first semester at CMU. Students must begin their study at CMU in the program that admitted them. This is a universal rule in the School of Computer Science.
Students may transfer into the MIIS program between the end of the first semester and the add/drop deadline of the second semester. The MIIS program will conduct an expedited admissions process for the student during this period. The program will consider explicitly whether the coursework done during the student's first semester will allow the student to be more-or-less "on schedule" by the end of the second semester, so that the student may participate in a capstone project with the other MIIS students during the final semester.
- I have been admitted to the MIIS program. What should I do to prepare?
Mathematics and statistics are central to many CMU courses. Probably you had linear algebra, introduction to statistics, and/or introduction to probability courses as an undergraduate. However, your courses may not have been very deep, or your skills may be a little rusty now. You will be expected to have skills comparable to our 21-325 (Probability), 36-202 (Statistical Methods), and 21-341 (Linear Algebra) courses. You may wish to review CMU's free Open Learning Initiative courses for some of these skills.
You may also find it useful to know MATLAB. MATLAB is not a required skill, but it is convenient and widely-used at CMU.
- I applied, but was not admitted. Can you tell me why?
No. We do not provide individual explanations as to why a specific student was not admitted. This FAQ is an attempt to explain the criteria by which we select applications. We hope it helps you to understand what happened. Requests for suggestions to improve your portfolio, or reasons why you were rejected, will go unacknowledged.