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Spotlight on Carnegie Mellon University Engineering

Prodigy Finance - February 20, 2019

Ready to learn everything you need to know about engineering and STEM masters degrees at Carnegie Mellon University? You're in the right place!

Prodigy Finance CMU Engineering Pittsburgh spotlight

Although it's not an Ivy League university, Carnegie Mellon is one of the best known and most respected universities in the US.

STEM students will be keen to note that the world’s first university robotics dept was founded at CMU in 1979 and the Java programming language was developed here in 1983. 

CMU fast facts

Private university

University enrollment: 14,528

Countries represented: 109

Living alumni: 205,225+

Masters students: 5637

International grad students: 67%

Engineering grad students: 4050

Where is CMU?

  • City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PA)
  • City population: 305,704, with a metropolitan population of 2,353,045
  • Region: While parts of the state clearly fall in the Eastern region, Pittsburgh more closely identifies with the Midwest
  • Climate: Humid continental: winters are cold (Jan avg: -2°C/28.4°F) with moderate snow; summers are warm and humid (Jul avg: 22.6°C/72.6°F)
  • Nearest airport: Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Time zone: EST from November-March (GMT -4); EDT from March to November (GMT-5)

What can you study at CMU College of Engineering?

You'll find an array of highly-ranked programmes within the College of Engineering, but if you're looking for an MS degree in one of the computer sciences field, you'll want to check out the School of Computer Sciences below. 




Unlike the majority of CMU MS grads, the majority of MSBE students remain on the US east coast.


MS in Biomedical Engineering (MSBE) research and practicum options

Dual MS in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (MSBE + E&TIM)

Dual MS in Biomedical Engineering and Technology Ventures (MSBE + MSTV)

The average salary for masters grads in this department is $84,000.


MS in Chemical Engineering (MSCE)

Masters of Chemical Engineering (MChE) 1 year

MS in Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces (MSCPS) 1year

This department has the highest percentage of grads accepting international employment - it's 18%.

10 Civil   8 Enviro 

MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering (MSCEE) with 3 concentrations

Dual MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (MSCEE + MSE&TIM)

Dual MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Masters of Business Administration (MSCEE + MBA)

The highest reported 2017 salary from the College of Engineering falls in the ECE department - it's $170,000.

8 Elect    4 Comp

MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering (MSECE)

Dual MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (MSECE + MSE&TIM)

Dual MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Technology Ventures (MSECE + MSTV)

Engineering & Public Policy

no rank available

MS in Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (MSE&TIM)

Integrated Innovation Institute

no rank available

MS in Software Management (MSSM)

MS in Technology Ventures (MSTV)

Master of Integrated Innovation for Products & Services (MIIPS)


MS in Materials Science & Engineering (MSMSE) 1 year

MS in Materials Science (MSMS)


MS in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Average salary for CMU MSME grads: $90,000.

What can you study at CMU School of Computer Science?

The School of Computer Science is separate from the College of Engineering, even though curriculum and resources often overlap. These are the masters degrees available at the School of Computer Science




Institute for Software Research

Did you know? CMU MS grads in the software fields go on to work for companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Samsung with an average salary of $113,617.


MS Information Technology Embedded Software Engineering (MSIT-ESE) requires work experience

Master of Information Technology Strategy (MITS)

Master of Software Engineering (MSE) requires work experience

MS Information Technology-Privacy Engineering (MSIT-PE)

MS Information Technology Software Engineering (MSIT-SEM)

Robotics Institute

The salary range for MSCV grads is $108,000 to $145,000.


MS in Computer Vision (MSCV)

MS in Robotics (MSR)

Masters in Robotic Systems Development (MRSD)

Machine Learning Department


MS in Machine Learning (MSML)

45% of grads remain on the East Coast, 55% move to the US West Coast for work.


MS in Computer Science (MSCS)

The median salary for MSCS grads is $120,000.

Language Technologies Institute

Did you know the average salary for CMU MSBIC grads is $116,393?


Master of Computational Data Science (MCDS)

MS in  in Biotechnology Innovation and Computation (MSBIC)

MS in Intelligent Information Systems (MIIS)

MS in in Language Technologies (MSLT)

Human-Computer Interaction Institute

The salary range for CMU MHCI grads is $76,000 to $125,000.


Master of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS) 

Master of Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI)

MS in in Product Management (MSPM) jointly offered through Tepper School of Business

Computational Biology Department


MS in Biotechnology Innovation and Computation (MSBIC)

MS in Computational Biology (MSCB)

Carnegie Mellon job placement

The Technical Opportunities Conference (TOC) is hosted annually by the CMU Society of Women Engineers. 

For more than 40 years, it's been the largest career fair at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Students attending Engineering, SCS, MCS, Dietrich, Tepper, Heinz, and CFA are welcome to attend this recruitment fair.

There's also an Energy Industry Career Fair in the spring with over 20 employers attending. 

The CMU Career and Development Center assists students in their career search, both during and after studies.

And, the College of Engineering and School of Computer Sciences has attracted a number of related companies to area, including Google, Uber, Intel, and GE.

228 companies recruited at the 2017 TOC. 

1535 students graduated with a masters degree; 75% of them were international students.

The majority of engineering and computer science grads accept US job offers for post-grad work.

Median salaries range between $67,000 and $127,500.

Prodigy finance blue
Highest reported salary, College of Engineering
Prodigy finance blue
West coast
Largest work destination for grads
Prodigy finance blue
Highest reported salary, School of Computer Sciences
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Grads that remain in US for employment

What's remarkable about recruiting at Carnegie Mellon is that employers from across the country hire CMU masters grads. International students interested in accepting a US-based position should include additional travel expenses for cross-country recruitment and internships when budgeting for their degree. 

What's it like to live at CMU?

There's a lot to do on and around campus as any international student at Carnegie Mellon University can tell you. The Bridge is where you should start when you're interested in organisations, clubs, and events happening all year long. 

The university offers a range of housing options, including university-owned off-campus apartments that are available to international grad students. In addition, there is a campus bus service to help you get around. 

There's also a range of flexible meal plans available for masters students, whether they live on or off-campus. 

Want to know what an international Prodigy Finance-funded thinks about CMU? Just take a look at this video - or read more of his (and other student) impressions here.

Sampath CMU Student Video

How to get into Carnegie Mellon Engineering

Carnegie Mellon Engineering is looking for hard-working and passionate students that have a keen interest in research and, simultaneously, are willing to contribute to the CMU experience as a whole. In other words, your priority should be your studies, but they want students who will do more than research. 

Be sure to demonstrate why CMU is the right school for you - and how you realistically hope to make a difference in the world. 

NOTE: Applications are completed online and the Electrical & Computer Engineering portal is separate from the remaining graduate engineering departments. Likewise, applications for the School of Computer Science should be made through that school online. 

While no minimum GPA, GRE, or TOEFL scores are specified, you should note the following averages when preparing your statement of purpose (SOP) essay and preparing for the standardised tests:

  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.60
  • Average GRE scores: 165 verbal, 167 quantitative, 3.7 analytical writing 
  • Average TOEFL score: 104 iBT

CMU Engineeing admissions details

Spring admission deadline: Oct 1

Fall admission deadline: varies

Application fee: $75

Resume: required 

SOP essay: required

Recommendations: 3, completed online (paper copies not accepted)

GRE test: required, no min score

GPA: no min specified

Language test: required for all non-native English speakers; no waivers given, even if undergrad was completed in English; TOEFL is preferred,  IELTS is accepted; min scores may vary by department

Min TOEFL score: 84 

CMU engineering cost of attendance (for 2017/18 academic year)

Tuition: $46,000

Student activities fee*: $214

Room: $8914

Board: $5350

Books and supplies: $2212

Health insurance*: $2039

Personal and misc: $2496

Travel allowance: $1070

Transportation fee*: $210

Technology fee*: $410

Total CoA for 1 year: $68,915

* These mandatory fees collected by the university don't cover the full cost of for activities, health care, transportation, or technology use.

TIP: Check out this statement of purpose (SOP) guide specifically written for CMU graduate applicants. 

Does Carnegie Mellon offer scholarships to international students?

Carnegie Mellon University admits domestic students on a need-blind basis, but do not claim to meet the financial needs of even these students. Instead, students at the masters-level are expected to meet their cost of attendance on their own

International students should check with their engineering or computer science department for scholarship opportunities. In addition, CMU provides a list of external financing sources specifically for international students

Prodigy Finance international student loans for CMU

Prodigy Finance offers loans for international masters students at both the College of Engineering and School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Students from supported countries pursuing masters programmes that can be completed in less than 2 years across US-based CMU campuses are eligible to apply.

  • Maximum loan amount: up to 100% of the school-provided cost of attendance (tuition plus living expenses)
  • Minimum loan amount: $35,000
  • Typical interest rates: 7 - 8% (fixed) over the 3-month US Libor base rate (variable)
  • All loans disbursed directly to the university according to due dates

Prodigy Finance also supports loans for Carnegie Mellon students pursuing masters degrees in these schools:

Calculate the 20 year returns from studying a Master’s degree.

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Completely set on a masters degree from Carnegie Mellon?

Prodigy Finance provides loans to international masters students pursuing their masters degrees at the College of Engineering and the School of Computer Science.

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