Graduate Studies

How to Apply

Ready to apply? Begin your online application for the graduate program in history at Carnegie Mellon University by following the link below.

Apply Now ยป

Frequently Asked Questions

Biographical Information
Test Scores
CV and Statement
Application Fee
Check Application


When is the application deadline for fall admission?
January 8, 2018.

When are letters of recommendation due?
January 8, 2018.

All official GRE and TOEFL score reports are also due on January 8.

We strongly suggest that you plan to take all required tests before December. Scores from tests taken in December may not arrive in time for the review process. Scores from tests taken in January or later will not be considered.

Are there additional financial aid forms to complete?

I used my User ID and password, but I cannot access the online application. What is the problem?
If your browser accepts cookies, and your computer is not behind a firewall, then you should be able to login successfully. Also, please make sure you are using the same website to login that you used to register. If you continue to have problems, then click on Report a Technical Problem at the bottom of the Login page.

I have a question concerning the application process. Where do I go for help?
If you are unable to find an answer to your question in the FAQ, then send email to

What if all of my supporting documents do not arrive by the deadline?
They may not be considered in the review of your application. It is your responsibility to make certain that your application is complete and that the required materials reach us by the above stated deadlines. You may use your User ID and Password to check your submitted application to make certain that it is complete.

Can I make changes to my online application after it has been submitted?
You may return and make changes to your submitted application until the January 8 deadline. No changes will be allowed after this date.

Can I apply to a Ph.D. program with only an undergraduate degree?
Yes. You do not need a master's degree to apply to our Ph.D. program.

If I applied last year and was not admitted, can I reapply this year?
Yes. However, all application materials must be resubmitted online. This includes the resume, statement of purpose, test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the application fee. It is possible to request that official test score reports and transcripts from the previous year be used if no changes have been made to them.

Is there spring admission?
No, not generally.

How long does it take to complete a Ph.D. program?
About 6 years. No student may receive a tuition fellowship and stipend for more than 6 years.

Is it possible to work on a Ph.D. degree part time?
Yes, but we accept part-time students only rarely.

Is it possible to visit the campus and the Department of History?
We generally ask that you wait until you have been admitted to the program before you visit. If admitted, you will be invited to campus to visit with other accepted students, usually in late March or early April. We then make travel and housing arrangements and schedule appointments with faculty members and graduate students.

Should I contact faculty members directly?
You should feel free to contact members of the "Graduate Faculty" identified on the department website whose research interests are closest to yours to explore whether they would be appropriate advisors. A close fit between a faculty member's research interests and those of the applicant is one of the most important criteria we use for admitting students. Graduate faculty email addresses are available on the Department of History faculty list.

Will I be considered for financial support if I am admitted?
Yes. All students admitted to the Ph.D. program who are making satisfactory progress are guaranteed 4 years of support (tuition, fees, monthly stipend). Students often receive support beyond the fourth year. However, no student may receive financial aid beyond the sixth year of matriculation.



Where do I look for more detailed information on the Ph.D. programs?
Please see the Graduate section of our website.

If I am admitted to the Ph.D. program, can I defer admission?
We decide this on a case-by-case basis.


Biographical Information

How do I obtain an I-20 form?
Please refer to the Office of International Education page: This page contains a wealth of information for international students accepted to Carnegie Mellon University.

I do not currently have a visa, but will need to apply for one. What do I select under Visa Status?
Select the one that will most closely match your status when you arrive on campus. Most likely you will need an F1 visa; however, you should carefully review the information at the above link.

What should I give as my current address?
Use the address where you will be available to receive mail through April. You may enter a permanent address if it differs from your current address.

What do I do if my email address or current address changes before the end of the semester?
You may change your current address, email address and password in your submitted application until the January 8 deadline. If there is any change after this date, please send email to, and the coordinator will make the necessary updates. It is very important that you maintain a valid email address in your submitted application.


Test Scores

What are the GRE and TOEFL institution and department codes?
GRE: Institution code, 2074; Department code, 2704
TOEFL: Institution code, 2074; Department code, 2704

Please refer to the GRE testing schedule to determine test dates. No application will be considered complete until we have received these scores.

I used the wrong codes. What should I do?
It is your responsibility to submit the score reports with the correct codes. Please have them sent again with the correct codes as stated above.

Am I required to submit a TOEFL score?
If your native language is not English, then you MUST submit a 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, but you may submit a copy of a previous TOEFL report even if it is more than two years old.

I have requested my test scores and transcripts be sent, but my application has not been updated.
You must first SUBMIT your application before receipt of test scores or transcripts will be updated. They must be matched and updated manually, which may take several days once you submit your application.

Which scores should I enter if I have taken the GRE test more than once?
Please enter the scores from your most recent test. All scores will appear on the official score report for the committee to review.



I am in a five-year program and will be awarded a masters degree. Do I enter this in the Undergraduate or Graduate section of Colleges/Universities?
This information should be entered in both sections.

What format do I use to enter my GPA and College/University Point System?
Please enter your GPA exactly as given by your College/University, e.g. 3.5, 4.9, 9.6, etc. In the box to right indicate the Point System that your College/University uses, e.g. 4.0, 5.0, 10.0, etc.

How many transcripts should I send?
Please mail ONE official copy only of your transcript from each college or university attended, whether or not you received a degree. If you submit a transcript from a foreign country, you must include an English translation. Do NOT send copies of awards and certificates with the transcript. You may mail the transcript yourself, if it is in a signed and sealed envelope from the university, or you may have your university mail it directly. You are also required to upload a copy of your transcripts in the online application.

What if my fall semester grades are not on my transcript by the January 8, 2018 deadline?
We do not require that you send a copy of your fall semester grades. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send us a final transcript.

I have requested my transcripts and test scores be sent, but my application has not been updated.
You must first SUBMIT your application before receipt of test scores or transcripts will be updated. They must be matched and updated manually, which may take several days once you submit your application.

Where do I mail my transcripts?
Tim Ruff, Graduate Coordinator
Department of History
240 Baker Hall
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 USA


CV and Statement

I have already uploaded my CV and Statement of Purpose, but now I have made revisions and would like to submit the new version. What should I do?
You can simply upload the new Resume/Statement of Purpose, even if your application has been submitted. It will override the original one. However, you may not make any changes to your application after the January 8, 2017 deadline.



My recommenders have not received the email requests or the reminder emails that were sent. What should I do?
First, make sure that you typed the correct email address, and then ask them to check their spam filters. If the email cannot be found, please ask them to send their letters in PDF format to The email subject line must read: "Upload recommendation letter for (your name)". Uploads will not be completed here until early January. We appreciate your patience.

If I submit an online application, can my recommenders use the paper recommendation form?
No. Recommenders must submit their letters online. We no longer accept any paper recommendation forms.

What should I do if the deadline is approaching or has passed and one or more of my recommenders has not submitted their recommendation?

You may send reminder email to a recommender from your submitted application. It is your responsibility to make certain that the letters are submitted by the deadline of January 8. Any letters not received by the deadline may not be considered.

What if I want to submit more than three letters of recommendation?
Three letters of recommendation are required; however, space is provided for you to submit up to five. Recommenders should know you and your academic work well.

Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?
The admissions committee wants to know about your ability to do independent research. You should select letter writers who can best speak to that point. Professors who interacted with you extensively in smaller classes are also a good choice.

My recommenders have not submitted their letters. Can I submit my application before they submit?
Yes. Do not wait for the letters before submitting your application.


Application Fee

How much is the application fee?
The application fee is $35.

What if I cannot afford to pay the application fee?
We expect all applicants to submit the application fee. However, if you are living in the US and feel that you are financially unable to pay, then you should obtain a letter from your Financial Aid Office explaining your inability to pay and their support of a waiver. We will consider the possibility of issuing a waiver.

Can I pay the application fee by credit card?
You may pay the fee by credit card or by check. Instructions will be given when you submit your online application. If you do not want to pay by credit card with the online application, you may pay by check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to Carnegie Mellon University. Please include your User ID on the check or money order and mail to Tim Ruff, Graduate Coordinator, at the address given above. DO NOT SEND CASH.


Check Application

How and when will I be notified if I am admitted?
We make our admissions decisions during the months of January and February. All applicants will receive notification of their status by mid-March, 2018. We realize that waiting is very difficult. However, we request that you do not call our offices to inquire about the status of your application.

How do I track check the status of my application?
Please do NOT send email to ask the status of your application. Use your User ID and password to access the submitted online application form. Receipt of the required documents (score reports, transcripts, and letters of recommendation) will be indicated in the corresponding section. Please allow two to three weeks past the deadline for all documents to be recorded.