How to Apply

How to Apply...

Please make applications through the School of Computer Science (SCS) unified online applicationprocess. (Make sure you choose "Societal Computing" on your application!) Please observe all deadlines mentioned in the online application process. All deadlines are final.

The application deadline and fees are the same as for other SCS PhD Programs. All application deadlines will appear on the application website.

Admissions are made once a year in February.

In addition, please read CMU's consumer information page to learn more about being a smart consumer of educational services.

Required Application Items 

Statement of Purpose

Please provide a typed, one- or two-page statement in the following format:

Part I. Briefly state your primary interest of study within Societal Computing. Be as specific as possible in describing your interests. If particular faculty members seem like a particularly good match for you, mentioning them in your statement will help to bring your application to their attention.

Part II. State your objective in pursuing a Ph.D. and why you are applying to Carnegie Mellon. Explain how your objective is a better match for Societal Computing than other Ph.D. programs.

Part III. Describe your background as it relates to your objective. List any relevant industrial, organizational, governmental or commercial experience, and describe how these past experiences prepare you for the Ph.D. program in Societal Computing.

Part IV. Include any additional information you wish to supply to the admissions committee.

Current Resume

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.

Letters of Recommendation

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.

Test Scores

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and have scores. These scores no longer need to be sent via mail at the time of application. If you are accepted, we will give you instructions on where to send the 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). 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. These scores no longer need to be sent via mail at the time of application. If you are accepted, we will give you instructions on where to send the scores. 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.

Please upload your GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) to your application no later than December 15. Again, do not send any hard, official scores at time of application.

We understand ETS may have already sent your score, this is fine. Please do not ask us to check if the test score has been received. We will not look at any physically mailed GRE or TOEFL scores until you are admitted. Mailing your scores will in no way help your chances of acceptance. We will not file or mail back your test scores if they are sent.


Please note, we have made a big change for Fall 2016 Admissions! We no longer require mailed, hard versions of transcripts or test scores at the time of application. Do not mail anything to the admissions office. If you are accepted to a program, you will be given instructions to then mail your materials.

All electronic transcripts should be uploaded by the time you submit your application. Since fall grades are not required, please upload your electronic transcripts as early as possible. Please note that electronic transcripts and test scores are not marked as received until you submit and pay your application. 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. Do not send anything via mail 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.