carnegie mellon phd acceptance rate

Carnegie Mellon University, renowned for its cutting-edge research and academic excellence, offers a coveted program in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at the doctoral level. Prospective students often wonder about the program’s acceptance rate, GRE requirements, minimum GPA, and other relevant details. In this article, we’ll delve into these aspects to provide a comprehensive understanding of pursuing a PhD in HCI at Carnegie Mellon.

Carnegie Mellon HCI PhD Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate for Carnegie Mellon’s HCI PhD program can be highly competitive due to its reputation as one of the top programs in the field. While the exact acceptance rate may fluctuate from year to year, it typically hovers around 10% to 5%. This means that only a fraction of applicants are admitted, making it a selective program.

It’s crucial to note that the program’s selectivity is a reflection of both its prestige and the limited number of available spots for incoming PhD students. To improve your chances of acceptance, it’s essential to craft a strong application that highlights your academic achievements, research interests, and alignment with the program’s goals.

Does Carnegie Mellon Require GRE for HCI PhD?

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI PhD program had temporarily suspended the requirement for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s important to verify the most current admission requirements directly from the university’s official website or by contacting the admissions office. Admission policies can change, and the GRE requirement may have been reinstated.

Even if the GRE is not required, strong academic qualifications, research experience, and a well-crafted application remain vital for a competitive application.

Minimum GPA for Carnegie Mellon HCI PhD

Carnegie Mellon’s HCI PhD program, like many competitive doctoral programs, typically looks for applicants with a strong academic background. While there may not be a specific minimum GPA stated, successful applicants often have a GPA well above 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. However, it’s crucial to remember that GPA is just one component of the application, and other factors, such as research experience, letters of recommendation, and a compelling statement of purpose, play a significant role in the admission process.

It’s advisable to review the program’s official admission requirements and contact the admissions office for the most up-to-date information regarding GPA expectations.

Acceptance Rate to Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is known for its rigorous academic standards and is highly selective in its admissions. The overall acceptance rate for the university can be quite low, typically hovering around 15% to 20%. However, acceptance rates can vary significantly by program and level of study.

Carnegie Mellon’s strong reputation and competitive programs make it a sought-after institution for both undergraduate and graduate students. It’s important to recognize that selectivity can vary widely by department, with some programs being even more competitive than the university’s overall acceptance rate.

Carnegie Mellon Computer Science PhD Acceptance Rate

Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science department is renowned globally for its contributions to the field. The acceptance rate for the Computer Science PhD program can be exceptionally low due to the program’s prestige and the large number of applications it receives. While the exact rate may vary, it typically falls in the range of 5% to 10%, making it highly competitive.

Admission to the Computer Science PhD program at Carnegie Mellon is based on a holistic review of applicants, considering not only academic qualifications but also research experience, letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose. Given the program’s selectivity, a standout application is crucial to secure admission.

In conclusion, Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI PhD program, as well as its Computer Science PhD program, are known for their selectivity and academic rigor. While the specific acceptance rates may vary from year to year, they are generally low due to the high demand and limited spots available. As admission policies and requirements can change, it’s essential to refer to the official university website and contact the admissions office for the most current information when considering an application to these programs.

Do I have to have GRE scores?
No. Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores, and we will not use GRE scores in our admissions process.

Do I have to take the GRE subject test?
No. Applicants are not required to submit a GRE advanced subject exam score.

Do I have to take the TOEFL (or equivalent exam)?
The TOEFL (or equivalent, e.g., Duolingo exam) is required for ALL students whose native language is not English. This is true even if you have or are completing a degree from a university in the United States. We are generally able to accept “expired” TOEFL scores, so long as you have retained a copy of the official scoresheet.

What is the recommended TOEFL score?
A successful applicant will normally have a total iBT score of at least 100 with no subscore less than 25. Applicants may be admitted with slightly lower scores in exceptional circumstances.

I’m only applying to the HCII at Carnegie Mellon. Is that a good idea?
No. If you are serious about doing Ph.D.-level research in HCI you should apply to other good HCI programs. (See Our resources are limited and we are forced to turn away very good students each year.

What are my chances of getting in?
For the fall 2019 term, we admitted just over ten percent of applicants. Our historical admittance rates hover between five and 10 percent.

I don’t have a strong programming background. May I still apply? Will I have to take a lot of programming courses?
We expect and encourage applicants from a wide range of HCI-related backgrounds, including technical, social science and design fields. While it is important for HCI researchers to have some understanding of the technical aspects of their work, and at least one technical course will be needed in your program of study, we do not expect all  applicants to have strong programming or other technical skills.

Should I visit before I apply (and will that help my chances of being admitted)?
Typically, no. We normally do not encourage people to visit before they apply because it does not generally improve one’s chances of admission. We do, however, invite all admitted students to visit at our expense during our Open House in March. The Open House provides the opportunity to meet with faculty and current students, and to explore the university environment.

Can I apply for admission starting in the spring instead of the fall?
No. We only process admissions once a year. Applications are accepted until the December deadline for admission the following fall.

Can I work on my Ph.D. in HCI part time?
No. We expect all our students to work full time on their Ph.D. studies for the duration of their time with us.

Can I complete my Ph.D. in HCI online?
No. Our program is an in-person program.

Is financial aid available?
Yes. All students who remain in good standing receive full tuition and a stipend. Exact details of our financial aid package will be provided at the time of admission.

Do I need to fill out an application for financial aid?
No. All students admitted to our program are funded without applying.

Should I apply for externally funded fellowships (such as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship?)
Yes. All Ph.D. students are required to apply for at least one fellowship before they graduate. Students interested in the learning sciences should consider applying to the Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research.

I just finished my undergraduate work. Should I apply for the Masters of HCI program first as preparation for my Ph.D. work?
The MHCI program is not intended to serve as preparation for our Ph.D. program (or generally to prepare you to be a researcher). It is intended to teach the skills necessary for professional practice in various HCI-related careers. The Ph.D. program, on the other hand, is designed to prepare you to be an HCI researcher. Because of the different emphasis of each program, applying to the MHCI program with intention to later move to the Ph.D. program is normally not a good idea.

If I am not accepted for the HCII Ph.D. program, will I be automatically considered for admission to the Masters of HCI program instead?
No. Because each program has different educational goals, their admissions processes are separate and people are not moved from one to the other. As noted in the previous question, the two programs are designed to address different goals. Therefore, we normally don’t expect students to apply to both the MHCI and Ph.D. programs.

If you believe that you could use additional exposure to research before trying out a Ph.D. program, you might consider applying for research-oriented Masters programs in HCI at other universities (many staffed by our graduates!).

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