Frequently Asked Questions: MIIS Students

Admissions

Yes. You may edit your application portfolio at any time before the application deadline. Once the deadline has passed, no amendments may be made, either by you or by admissions staff.

No, GRE Subject tests are not required.

Yes, there is a large winter break between the fall and spring semesters, but financially-supported students typically remain on campus for half the time. Winter break begins in early December and ends in January. For exact dates, please see the current Academic Calendar.

Some unfunded students may receive research appointments or TAships with various professors. However, this is in no way guaranteed and is highly dependent on the student’s research area, the project in question, and whether the faculty member has funding. Although students in Professional Masters programs are eligible to be research assistants and teaching assistants, typically professors choose research-oriented students for research assistants, and Professional Masters students do not have time to be teaching assistants.

Yes, but space is extremely limited. Graduate students are mostly responsible for finding their own accommodations. See the Housing website for more information.

Please see the HUB’s tuition and fees website for this information.

We do not provide individual explanations; it is impossible to provide feedback on individual students' portfolios due to the volume of applications we receive. Requess for information on how to improve your portfolio or about why you were not accepted will not be acknowledged. This FAQ is an attempt to explain the criteria by which we select applications. We hope it helps you to understand what happened.

During your first semester you may petition the MIIS Program Director to waive the internship requirement. Our decision is based on the length, location, and type of work that you did in your previous internship or employment.

For questions regarding immigration, visas, the ISI form, required financial documents, or other forms, please contact the OIE directly, either by e-mail, phone (412-268-5231), or see their FAQ page.

Mathematics and statistics are a central part of many CMU courses. Probably you had linear algebra, introduction to statistics, and/or introduction to probability courses as an undergraduate, however your courses may not have been very deep or your skills may be a little rusty now. You will be expected to have skills comparable to our 21-325 (Probability), 36-202 (Statistical Methods), and 21-341 (Linear Algebra) courses. You may wish to review CMU's free Open Learning Initiative courses for some of these skills. You may also find it helpful to know MATLAB. MATLAB is not a required skill, but it is convenient and widely used at CMU.

The MIIS degree is a practice-oriented professional degree designed for students who want to quickly obtain an M.S. degree prior to beginning or resuming leadership careers in industry and government. If you know that you want a career in research, the LTI's MLT and Ph.D. degree programs may be better choices. However, if you select the MIIS degree now and later decide to pursue a career in research, you will find that the MIIS degree is very solid foundation from which to begin a research career. The classroom preparation is very similar.

You may not. Each program has its own admission requirements. If you wish to transfer to another program, you will have to apply for it the following year.

An undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a related scientific or technical discipline is preferred, but not required. Applicants must demonstrate that they have strong Computer Science skills, good math skills, and skills in statistics. We look for evidence that you have these skills. Course grades are the most typical form of evidence, but we also accept significant professional experience and other forms of evidence. Simply saying that you have been programming for many years is not sufficient.

Although the MIIS program is new, it is run by an academic department (the LTI) and a college (the School of Computer Science) that have deep expertise in creating and operating successful degree programs. Typically we start a new degree program with a small number of carefully-selected students, monitor their progress very carefully, tune the program based on their experiences, and grow the program over time as it demonstrates its success. Typically the faculty pay close attention to a new degree program during its first few years. So, no, you shouldn't worry. We want this program to be successful just as much as you do.

A good essay conveys three types of information about you.

First, we look for strong evidence that you can do well in the MIIS degree program. For example, a description of your academic experience is good evidence. A description of a software project, your involvement in the project, and the impact of the project is good evidence. A description of an internship or professional experience is good evidence. These descriptions are stronger if they provide details about what you did, what you liked, and what you learned from the experience.

Second, your essay is stronger if it explains why you want to be in the MIIS program. We understand that you may be applying to more than one degree program. Tell us why are you applying to this one, and what you hope to get out of your experience here.

Third, a brief discussion of your career goals - what you enjoy, what you hope to do after you complete the MIIS degree - helps us to understand how the MIIS degree may contribute to your long-term professional goals.

The essay must be written by you. You may have others proofread your essay to help you improve the style or English quality, but the essay must be substantially your own words.

The strongest letters come from people who are senior to you and who are very familiar with you and your work. Examples include professors of your courses, academic advisors, supervisors of internships, or managers where you have been employed. A good letter helps us understand what you are good at, how you work, and what you are like as a student or professional colleague.

Like many master degree programs at CMU, the MIIS program is very selective. Our focus is on the quality of our students and the quality of the educational experience. All of our students have strong backgrounds in Computer Science, and the preparation in mathematics, probability, and statistics that accompanies most good Computer Science B.S. degrees. Some of our students have significant professional experience, too, which is very helpful but not required.

English language competency is strongly correlated to academic and professional success. Thus the degree program has a minimum English competency score requirement. A successful applicant will normally have a total TOEFL score of at least 100 (with no sub-score less than 23) or an IELTS score of at least 7.5.

There is no minimum GRE score requirement. The definition of "good GRE score" varies depending on the region where the test was taken, so we compare your GRE scores to other GRE scores from the region where you were educated or took your test.

Undergraduate academic performance is the strongest predictor of success in the degree program. Typically applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.33 or higher. GPA is evaluated in the context of the college or university that you attended, due to variations in how grades are awarded at different institutions.

Most admissions decisions will be made, and the admitted students notified, by mid-February.

We advise international students to arrive in late July in order to find housing, familiarize themselves with public transportation and the surrounding area, and to be in Pittsburgh for the OIE’s orientation and immigration check-in, which is usually about the second week of August. U.S. students should arrive no later than the first day of LTI orientation (usually the week before the semester begins).

You will receive your Andrew ID in late spring, when the fall information e-mail is sent out. This is usually around the first week of May.

The OIE will not respond to requests for updates on the status of a student’s I-20. These documents may take up to six weeks to get to you AFTER the OIE receives all your required materials. We recommend that you send your materials via insured mail so you know when your documents have been signed for and have a better idea of the timeframe you are facing.

If there is an issue with any of your materials, the OIE will contact you directly. If you do not hear from them, please assume that everything is progressing the way it should.

You may list either Kate Schaich or Stacey Young as your visa contact.

Students whose native language is not English and who have spent fewer than five years studying or working in the United States are required to submit their TOEFL scores.

No, you must have all parts of your application submitted in order for the admissions committee to consider it.

Financial

Yes, students are responsible for paying for health insurance, unless they are covered under another valid insurance policy. Students will be automatically charged for Standard Individual medical coverage and must enroll or waive each year. Details may be found here.

General

Yes, there are two LTI b-boards: cmu.cs.lti.general and cmu.cs.lti.students.

To post to any b-board, type: post+bulletinboardname@andrew.cmu.edu

Visit Andrew Computing Services for more detail.

Step-by-step instructions about how to create a student webpage on SCS webservers can be found here. Any questions should be directed to the SCS Help Desk

The LTI moderates a student d-list used for official announcements: lti-students@cs.cmu.edu. All current LTI students are included in the email distribution list. If you are posting to the student d-list, be considerate and do not spam.

The LTI also posts talks and events on homepage of the website.

Complete the LTI Student Departure form.
At the bottom of the form, there is a list of items you should complete before you leave.

Notify your graduate program coordinator of your departure.

Return your key(s) to Mary Jo Bensasi.

Carnegie Mellon University
Language Technologies Institute, GHC 5404
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

You will receive an email directly from the SCS Help Desk at the contact email that was provided on your SCS account application form with instructions about how to activate your account.

There are three common printers at LTI:

  • ghc5404bw, located in GHC 5404
  • ghc5404color, located in GHC 5404
  • ghc6604bw, located in GHC 6604

To add a network printer, select "The printer that I want isn't listed" then "Select a shared printer by name." You can then search using the printer names listed above.

Please note that only users with CS accounts will be able to use SCS network printers.

A black & white printer is located in GHC 5404. The copier code for students is 3111.

The color printer in GHC 5404 also serves as a fax machine. Select 'Fax' on the screen and enter the recipient fax number. For domestic transmittals, dial 9, then 1, then the area code and phone number. For international transmittals, dial 9, then 011, then the country code and phone number. Place your documents in the document feeder face-up and press start to send.

The LTI fax number is (412) 268-6298. Incoming faxes are printed on the color printer in GHC 5404. If the fax has been sitting on the machine for a while, it may either be placed in your student mailbox or on the countertop with other printouts.

Contact the SCS Help Desk:

Yes, there are shared student mailboxes in GHC 5404, sorted by the first letter of your last name. Packages are stored underneath the mailboxes. Be sure to check for mail often, as important department correspondence is delivered periodically.

Fulltime students in LTI's Professional Masters programs will have access to shared student lounges and study areas to create a sense of community and provide space for working when on campus. 4615 Forbes Avenue is undergoing renovations for shared student lounges and study areas. You will receive email notification when your key is ready.

Academic

Login to Student Information Online (SIO) at http://www.cmu.edu/hub/
Click the Registration button on the homepage or from the Course Schedule tab, choose REGISTRATION.

See the HUB's 4 Easy Steps for Registration.

For MIIS students, it varies by semester. Typical number of units by semester are as follows:

  • First academic semester - 48 units
  • Second academic semester - 54 units
  • Internship - 3 units for international students, 1 unit for U.S. students
  • Third academic semester - 48 units

You have until the 10th day of classes to register. After the 10th day of classes, you are academically withdrawn. When this happens, your status is unable to be changed automatically; your graduate program coordinator will need to contact Enrollment Services to request to reinstate your status. This is an arduous process, so please remember to register before the deadline.

*International students - It is imperative that you register prior to the deadline. Not only will you academically withdrawn, the OIE is required by government regulations to report your status to immigration.

 

You may register for courses as soon as you receive your Andrew ID and set up your Andrew account. However, we recommend that you consult with your Program Director (by email, if necessary) to make sure that you have selected an appropriate set of courses.

Course information can be found in two places:
On the HUB website: https://enr-apps.as.cmu.edu/open/SOC/SOCServlet
On the LTI website: http://lti.cs.cmu.edu/content/lti-course-listings