Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question from the list or scroll to browse all of the questions and responses.

Can I apply to more than one INI program?

In the online application you will be given the option of choosing a first choice program and a second choice program. Applicants should only submit one application that indicates a first preference and an optional second preference. Duplicate applications will be deleted. During application reviews the admissions committee will consider your qualifications for the other INI program you've indicated. If you are not qualified for the program to which you've applied for your first choice, the INI will consider you for your second choice program.

Can you tell me my chances of being accepted into an INI program?

Competition is keen for admission to the INI. Applications to our program have consistently increased year after year. Admission is based on many factors including your academic record, GRE test scores, letters of recommendation, programming skills, and written and spoken English abilities. We also consider any work/internship experience, research experience, publications, your essay responses, and all other information you submit in your online application.

The INI does not use a "formula" to rank applicants for acceptance, and thus there is no magic number in terms of GRE scores, GPA, etc. that will guarantee admission. The list of minimum requirements provided on the Admissions pages of the Degree Programs section provides guidelines for the basic qualifications needed to be considered for admission to the programs. Any further evaluation must be undertaken by the admissions committee once a full application is available for review.

Do you offer admissions for the spring semester? What is the deadline for spring admissions?

No, the INI does not accept applications for spring semester admissions. All applicants must apply for fall admission.

Can I use the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department application or other department applications to apply to the INI?

Please note that with the Carnegie Institute of Technology's online application, you must submit a separate application to apply to different CIT programs. Applicants who wish to apply to the INI and ECE for instance, must complete a separate application for each and pay a separate application fee as well.

I have a question about ECE Graduate Programs, can you help me?

The Information Networking Institute only administers the MSIN, MSIS and MSIT programs. For information on ECE graduate and doctoral programs, please contact ECE at apps@ece.cmu.edu.

How can I submit my application?

You may apply online.  We do not accept paper applications. Please see the Quick Guide to Applying for more detailed instructions.

What happens if I can’t complete my application by the January 15 deadline?

Due to the vast number of supporting documents we receive right before the January 15 deadline, it is strongly recommended that applicants complete submission of ALL required documents at least two weeks in advance of the deadline to ensure your application can be processed in time for the first round review. It is to your benefit to complete your application and send all required application documents in as early as possible. Second round reviews are conducted on a space-available basis.

Can I pay my application fee online?

If you are applying online, you must pay your application fee online with a credit card.

Can I submit my recommendations in hard copy?

No. All applicants are required to submit their recommendations via the online application. There will be no exceptions for any reason and no paper recommendations will be accepted.

I sent my GRE scores through ETS to the wrong department; do I need to resend my scores to the INI?

GRE scores may be retrieved from the Carnegie Mellon central database. However, if we are unable to retrieve your scores, you will be contacted and may need to send them again. If you haven’t already sent in your application, please include a copy of your GRE scores for initial review.

If you send your ETS scores to another department this may cause a delay in completing your application, so you are encouraged to use the GRE and TOEFL codes provided on the INI website under Degree Programs in the Application Details.

What is the department and institution code I should use to send my GREs through ETS?

Department: 0404
Institution: 2074

Do I have to take the TOEFL if my undergraduate language was English?

The TOEFL is required as a standard objective test accepted by Carnegie Mellon to demonstrate skill levels in written and spoken English for applicants whose native language is not English. The INI prefers the iBTTOEFL, but will also accept the IELTS test as a demonstration of ESL skill. Only non-native English-speaking applicants who have attended a four-year undergraduate program in a U.S. university may be able to have the TOEFL waived. Waivers will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

The codes for reporting the TOEFL test are institution code 2074, no department code is required, but if one is needed to complete the ETS order, you may use department code 99.

The IELTS should be sent with an official cover sheet as verification of authenticity.

Do I have to take the GRE General Test? Can I substitute another test for it?

Only the GRE General Test is accepted. Neither the GMAT nor GRE Subject Tests are accepted for admission evaluation.

What are the minimum required GRE scores for admission?

The INI has no published minimum score requirements. As stated previously admission is based on many factors so there is no magic number that will guarantee admission. As a rough guideline, the INI looks for scores in the Quantitative section that are 80th percentile or above, and in the Analytical Writing section a 4.5. Verbal scores range in the 70th percentile or above. There is no assurance that you will be admitted if you exceed all of these guidelines due to all of the factors we evaluate, including other aspects of your academic record, and the strength of the applicant pool in any given year. Additionally, scoring below these guidelines does not mean you will be rejected.

What are the minimum required TOEFL/IELTS scores for admission?

As with the GRE, the INI has no published minimum score requirements for the TOEFL or IELTS. However, as a rough guideline, the INI looks for section scores of 25 and higher for the TOEFL and a total band score of 7.0 or higher for the IELTS. There is no assurance that you will be admitted if you exceed all of these scores due to all of the factors we evaluate, including other aspects of your academic record, and the strength of the applicant pool in any given year. Additionally just because you may have scores below these guidelines does not mean you will be rejected.

Does the INI offer internship positions?

The INI does not offer or manage any internship programs.

Does the INI offer TA or RA positions?

Students at the INI have the opportunity to get involved with the activities of other departments by assisting in courses as teaching assistants or working with faculty on research projects. These assignments typically offer compensation that is determined by the offering department. In addition, students with an interest in cybersecurity may have the opportunity to work on research projects through institutions, such as CyLab or CERT, that may also offer additional compensation. Please note that the INI itself does not typically assist students in finding campus opportunities and will, on rare occasion, offer an RA position. TA appointments are determined by individual faculty members teaching those classes. INI students are allowed to apply for RA and TA positions, or any other student job on campus, while they are students at the INI. Students usually learn of many opportunities upon their arrival to campus in the first fall semester.

I’m having trouble getting my original transcripts; do I need to include originals with my application or will you accept copies?

All applicants are required to upload legible copies of their unofficial transcripts and degree certificate if they’ve graduated at the time they are applying. Hard copy official transcripts will only be requested of applicants who are admitted and accept enrollment. The INI will not accept hard copies of transcripts as part of the application. Documents sent to the INI without a specific request by the department will not be retained.

Do I need to send in transcripts or mark sheets if my undergraduate degree is from a university in India?

Once accepted into an INI program, you must provide a properly sealed transcript from your university in India. They may provide mark sheets rather than transcripts, but only if the documents have been attested by the university registrar and properly sealed in the same manner required for transcripts.

I’m an international student; do I have to include financial statements with my application?


Financial statements should not be uploaded to your application. To be considered for funding the INI requires that you answer “Yes” to the questions “Do you wish to be considered for funding”, and that you provide information about what funding you expect to use, either your own funds or those of a sponsor (family member, friend, funding organization, etc…). Do not name the INI as your sponsor. You may provide the funding information by answering the questions presented. This information is for internal INI use and is not tied to the I-20, so financial documents should not be provided.

Does the INI offer tuition waivers?

The INI does not offer tuition waivers.

How much is tuition?

Tuition for INI programs is set in the spring. Please see the Carnegie Mellon Hub website for amounts.

How much financial assistance can I expect?

Most graduates entering the program receive some assistance in the form of a tuition scholarship. The amount of the assistance, if any, is determined by the admissions committee at the time of application review. In general, students admitted to the program are responsible for the bulk of their tuition. The majority of students find funding either through family, personal loans, government programs, or educational funding organizations. U.S. citizens admitted to our security programs have several unique full scholarship opportunities funded by the U.S. government under the Scholarship for Service program and the Information Assurance Scholarship Program.

Can I visit the INI?

Prospective students are welcome to visit the INI offices. Please contact the INI at www.ini.cmu.edu/prospective_students/tour/index.html to arrange a visit.

For additional questions concerning the MSIN, MSIS or MSIT programs, please feel free to contact the INI:
(412) 268-7195 (p)
(412) 268-7196 (f)
ini@cmu.edu