Application Process

Our admissions committee will consider your application once all materials have been received.

The MSCF program is highly quantitative, and applicants should be aware that most entering students have taken engineering level math courses beyond calculus. Likewise, we require that applicants be fluent in a programming language.

Admissions Requirements

Successful candidates to the MSCF program must meet the following admissions requirements. Applicants who lack some of these skills may still be considered, provided that they take the steps to acquire the necessary skills before entering the program, and satisfy the admissions committee requirements.

  • Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in a technical discipline such as mathematics, computer science, engineering or economics.
  • Successful applicants will have taken at least two full semesters of study in differential and integral calculus, the caliber of which is required of engineering, math or science majors as well as ordinary differential equations, linear algebra, and a calculus based probability course.
  • Applicants should have strong academic performance in mathematics and probability coursework.
  • Applicants must be fluent in a general purpose programming language such as C. Familiarity with C++ will be of considerable benefit.
  • Relevant professional experience is preferred but not required.
  • International applicants must understand rapid, idiomatic English, read English with ease and be able to express themselves orally and in writing as demonstrated by success on the TOEFL or IELTS examination.

Please also see the Fall 2015 MSCF Application Instructions, which includes deadlines in a printable format.

  • Full-time, Part-time, Online & Certificate Online Applicants

    We use a self-managed application procedure. That is, applicants are fully responsible for completing and submitting their applications on time and in accordance with the following admissions guidelines.

    • You do not need to complete the application at one time.  You may log in or out at any time to make changes and updates to your application prior to submission.
    • Update your contact information using the online application system should it change during the application process, but before you make an enrollment deposit. After a deposit is made, contact the Admissions Office directly to ensure that we have your most up-to-date contact information.
    • Once submitted, you cannot make any other changes to your application (other than your contact information), so be sure to review your application materials prior to submission.
    • We cannot guarantee an admission decision will be made until we receive all required materials listed in your application.

    Please note that a non-refundable application fee of $125 is required of all applicants. This fee can be paid online using a credit card at the time of submission.

  • Dual Degree Applicants

    Dual degree applicants must meet the admissions requirements for both programs that are associated with the specific dual degree.  Applicants are required to submit both programs applications separately. We encourage applicants to review specific admissions requirements for this academic option.
  • International Applicants

    Visa Regulations

    Visa regulations can be quite complex, and it is your responsibility to be aware of the regulations. Carnegie Mellon University provides a Foreign Student Advisor to assist applicants in visa matters, and we strongly recommend international applicants to use this service. Should you need to contact the Foreign Student Advisor, the address and phone number are listed below:

    Jennifer McNabb - Foreign Student & Scholar Advisor
    Office of International Education   
    Carnegie Melllon University
    Warner Hall-3rd Floor
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    (412) 268-5231

    The United States' visa granting authority in the country of origin, ordinarily the United States Embassy, requires proof that sufficient funds are available to a student to cover both years of study before he/she is granted either the student visa (F-1) or an exchange visa (J-1).

    Certification of Financial Resources

    Financial resources should equal the total costs of living expenses and tuition for two years. As an applicant from a foreign country, you must submit three forms certifying their resources, indicating the source(s) of funds to be used during study at Carnegie Mellon. These are forms entitled:

    • Financial Statement
    • Affidavit of Support
    • Graduate Student Information Form

    You are required to complete these forms if you are offered admission; however you may select to submit them with your application if you would prefer.

    Please note that you must also submit the appropriate documentation described on the Affidavit of Support to verify:

    • the resources listed on the forms
    • your and/or your sponsor's ability to provide the stated financial support.
    If you are NOT company sponsored, an official certified bank statement must be submitted DETAILING your and/or your sponsor's financial resources. If you are admitted, these forms will be used to verify the source(s) of funds. Proper documentation is necessary for the school to issue the I-20 form needed to obtain a student visa.

    Proficiency in English

    Non-native English speakers must be skilled and confident when speaking, listening, reading and writing in English to ensure that they can participate fully in our learning environment.

    Candidates must:

    • have a fluent command of rapid, idiomatic English
    • be able to express their thoughts clearly in speech
    • be able to express their thoughts clearly in writing
    Applicants who are not citizens of English speaking countries, or who did not receive a degree from an institution where the language of instruction was English, must prove their proficiency in English by submitting one of the following tests with their application:

    • TOEFL: All scores must also be forwarded to Carnegie Mellon by ETS. Use institutional code 2074 and departmental code 02. Any questions about the TOEFL should be directed to ETS.
    IELTS:  Select Carnegie Mellon and the Tepper School of Business to have your IELTS scores sent to us.
  • Current Resume

    Your resume should be 1-2 pages highlighting the achievements you have made in your professional career.

    • Use a standard (i.e. Times New Roman or Arial), 12-pt. font.
    • Your resume must be submitted with your online application.
    • It is imperative that the month and year for the start and end dates of each position you have held be represented on your resume.

      For example, this is correct:

      January 1994 - August 2010         Company X

      September 2010 - March 2013     Company Y

      This is not correct:

      1994 - 2010     Company X

      2010 - 2013     Company Y

  • Essays

    There are two required essays for candidates applying to any of the full- time or part-time programs (Essays A & B). There is only onoe essay required of candidates applying to the Mathematics Certificate program (Essay C).

    • Required essays should be two-pages in length, double-spaced, using a standard (i.e. Times New Roman or Arial), 12-pt. font.
    • You may also submit an optional essay to add information that you do not feel is adequately covered elsewhere in the application.  If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you should not feel obligated to complete the optional essay.
    • Your essays must be submitted with your online application.

    Essays A & B are only required of Full-time and Part-time Applicants.  Essay C is reserved for applicants to the Mathematics Certificate Program.

    The maximum length per essay is 2 double-spaced pages in 12-pt. font.

    Essay A (Required for Full- and Part-Time Applicants)

    What are your short-term and long-term goals? How will your previous academic and professional experience contribute to help you achieve those goals, and also help you to succeed in the MSCF Program at Carnegie Mellon University?

    Essay B (Required for Full- and Part-Time Applicants)

    Describe your background and preparation in the four concentration areas of the MSCF program – finance, computer science, math and statistics. In particular, please detail your background in calculus-based probability. If your only exposure to probability was as part of a course that combined probability and statistics, please list the probability topics covered by this course.

    Essay C (Certificate Program applicants only)

    Please submit a statement of career and academic goals (This is for Certificate Program applicants only. If you are applying to a Certificate Program, please answer this essay, and do not answer Essays A or B).

    ESSAY D (Optional)

    Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application?

    If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you should not feel obligated to answer this question. This essay is intended to provide a place for you to add information that you think is important but is not covered elsewhere in the application. This could include clarification of your employment or academic record, choice of recommenders or helpful context for the admissions committee in reviewing your application

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Three Letters of Recommendation are required. Choose recommenders who are able to provide specific and relevant information about your potential for success.

    • If you are currently a full-time student or a recent graduate (within the past year), you may submit one recommendation from an academic source.
    • The admissions committee prefers at least one recommendation from a professional relationship.
    • Recommendations from friends, family members or acquaintances are not accepted.
    • Recommendations may submit the online recommendation form at any time after you save your recommender’s contact information in the online application system.
    • Ensure that your recommendations are submitted within one week of the applications deadline date. Your application will not be forwarded for review until both recommendations are received.
  • Transcripts of Academic Work

    Successful applicants will hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. or an equivalent degree from a foreign country. Candidates are also required to upload legible scanned/digitized copies of their transcripts and degree certificates indicating name, degree earned, and the date the degree was completed (if applicable) for each institution attended.


    If the transcript is in a language other than English, an official translation must be included. All international transcripts must be submitted with all components listed in the World Education Service (WES) Required Documents standards.

    • Scan an official copy of your transcripts. Internet printouts will NOT be accepted. Transcripts should clearly state your name and the name of the institution.
    • While copying, be sure to black out any reference to your social security, student ID number, and/or date of birth.
    • Scan the photocopy (experiment with different settings until you find the one that results in the smallest file size, yet is clearly legible).
    • Upload all pages of your transcript, but only one example of the back page to provide us with your university transcript key.
    • Check the file size before uploading. It cannot exceed 1000kb.
    • The format of the uploaded document must be in .doc, .pdf, rtf., or .txt. For Macintosh users, note that the filename must include the appropriate 3-letter extension.
    • Note: Should you be admitted, you are required to submit official transcripts at a later date.
  • GRE or GMAT Scores

    The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)  is required of all applicants. A candidate who has taken the GMAT or GRE more than once will self-report the highest score when completing the online application.

    Test scores must be forwarded directly to Carnegie Mellon by Pearson VUE (GMAT) or ETS (GRE). When you take the exam, select the appropriate code as follows:

    • GRE Program Code
      • 4883 (Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business)
    • GMAT Program Codes
      • Select Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business

        Schedule your GRE/GMAT as early as possible to ensure that the official score reaches the MSCF Admissions Office prior to the application deadline for which you are applying. Scores are valid for five years and should be taken before submitting your application. Scores must be valid at the time you submit your application.
  • TOEFL and IELTS Scores

    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of applicants whose native language is not English.

    • The only exception is for applicants who have earned a degree at a university where the language of instruction is English.
    • TOEFL: All scores must also be forwarded to Carnegie Mellon by ETS. Use institutional code 2074 and departmental code 02. Any questions about the TOEFL should be directed to ETS. Further information on the TOEFL can be found at
    • IELTS:  Select Carnegie Mellon and the Tepper School of Business to have your IELTS scores sent to us. For questions and additional information, please visit
    • We will expect to receive each test listed in your application. Your application will remain incomplete and will not be reviewed until we receive all official test scores reported in your application.
  • Reapplying to the MSCF Program

    If you have submitted an application for the MSCF program within the last year, you need to follow a specific process to submit a new application. Please email to notify us that you wish to reapply to the MSCF program. Please include "MSCF Reapplication” in the subject line of your email. Once your request has been processed, you will receive instructions to log into the MSCF application system to begin your application.

    Please note you will need to submit a new application and updated letters of recommendation; however, you will not need to submit an application fee when reactivating an application submitted within the past year.

    Interviews will be granted only at the invitation of the admissions committee based on our review of your submitted MSCF application.

    Please note that interview invitations may be extended at any time after you submit your reapplication, up until the date that your admission decision is released.

    Should you have any questions about the re-application process, please contact