Carnegie Mellon University

Welcome to the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University

We are extremely pleased that you have decided to become a member of our Department; we think it is a very special collection of faculty and students. If you have any questions, please send email to Dorothy Holland-Minkley.

CMU Andrew Email Account
Your student record will be automatically created within a few days of paying your tuition deposit and completing your enrollment form in the Slate application system. A few days after that, your Andrew ID and associated email account will be created. Once you have access, you should make sure that you check that email regularly.

CMU Student ID Card
Instructions for submitting your ID card photo, which is due July 1.

Photograph for Website
While the photo for your ID card should be relatively formal, a more lively photograph is ideal for the Machine Learning Master's Students Page. The photograph should be of just yourself (not a group photo), but a picture with your hometown, favorite restaurant, or other interesting location as the backdrop would add personality. The photo should be 800x800 pixels.

The Health Services new student website lists the immunizations that are required for CMU students. Your immunization record, signed by a health care provider, is due by August 1.

If you are unable to obtain these vaccinations prior to arrival on campus, you can receive them from University Health Services prior to the first day of classes.  Failure to comply will result in administrative suspension and being barred from campus.

If you have questions, please call Student Health Services at 412-268-2157.

You must provide official transcript(s) confirming your graduation no later than July 1, 2024. If you will not have graduated by then, inform Dorothy of your anticipated graduation date.

If electronic transcripts are provided by your institution, they are preferred over paper ones. However, in order to preserve security features, they would need to be sent directly from the school (or its electronic transcript provider) to Dorothy, not scanned by the incoming student. If your school does not provide electronic transcripts, contact Dorothy to request a physical mailing address instead.

International Students: I-20 and F-1 Visa
If you are not a U.S. person and need a student visa, you will need an I-20 form, which will allow you to obtain the F-1 student visa. However, the I-20 CANNOT BE ISSUED until after you have provided the necessary information to CMU's Office of International Education (OIE).

OIE's goal is to process the I-20 within 6 weeks of receiving your information, so you should submit your materials ASAP (ideally in April).

Please note that you are required to provide proof of financial support for the first year in the MS program. Information is on the OIE webpage.

Classes at Carnegie Mellon begin on August 26, 2024. The full academic calendar can be found on The HUB website.

The following 2 courses must be taken in the first semester:

  • 10-701 Introduction to Machine Learning or 10-715 Advanced Introduction to Machine Learning
  • 36-700 Probability & Mathematical Statistics or 36-705 Intermediate Statistics

Master's students usually take 10-701 Introduction to Machine Learning and 36-700 Probability & Mathematical Statistics, while PhD students are required to take 10-715 Adanced Introduction to Machine Learning and 36-705 Intermediate Statistics.

Enrollment in 36-705 Intermediate Statistics is controlled by the Department of Statistics & Data Science and is generally tight. If you are considering pursuing the PhD in Machine Learning and want to take both 10-715 and 36-705 (the courses required for the PhD), email Dorothy with your request.

You should also register yourself for a 3rd course, which should be from the Core or Elective lists. If you already have ML experience, Core courses are a great pick. Otherwise, an Elective can be a better way to start:

For complete information on how to register for courses, please see:

For full schedule of classes go to:

To register for courses go to:

After course registration begins, it will remain open through the start of classes. Since Electives may fill up quickly, registering early is strongly recommended.

You must be registered for at least 36 units to be considered full-time by the university. 1 unit is defined as requiring an average student to spend about 1 hour/week to earn an average grade in that course, implying that a 36-unit courseload should take about 36 hours/week of work. However, Machine Learning MS students must earn at least a B- for a course to count towards their degree, and most students aim to earn As, meaning that 36 hours/week is a low estimate. Because of this, and because it can take students time to acclimate to a new learning environment, Machine Learning MS students may only take 36 units in their first semester. (Small exceptions can be made for a student looking to add on a 3-unit Physical Education class or similar, but it should not be a class that requires additional academic work.)

Most courses are 12 units. Some courses are mini courses; they are usually 6 units. Two 6-unit courses can be paired together to count as one full elective. Note that if a 6-unit course lasts for an entire semester, then it requires about 6 hours/week of work; however, if a 6-unit course lasts for half a semester, it requires about 12 hours/week of work for that half. This means that if you want to take two half-semester mini courses, you should take them in different halves of the semester. In the course catalog, Section A1 (or B1, C1, etc.) is for a first-half mini, and Section A2 (or B2, C2, etc.) is for a second-half mini. Section A (or B, C, etc.), without any numbers, is used for a full-semester course.

Students wishing to engage in research must find a research advisor before registering for research units. It is generally hard to find a research advisor before attending the Machine Learning Orientation, so students are encouraged to register for a full-time schedule of courses now and then drop one later if they choose to replace those units with research.

Classes fill up quickly but there are also often seats held in reserve for departmental discretion, so please be patient for a couple weeks as departments work through registration. Departments often prioritize students in their own department (e.g., the Machine Learning Department would prioritize ML MS and PhD students) followed by students in their own school (e.g., the School of Computer Science), so your stated position on the waitlist is not necessarily indicative of your odds of getting enrolled.

The Graduate Student Orientation for all incoming Graduate Students at Carnegie Mellon will be August 12-14.

The Machine Learning Department Graduate Orientation will be in the week before Fall classes begin, on August 22-23. This is your best opportunity to learn about the department and meet our faculty and other students.

The International Graduate Student Orientation welcome session will be during the CMU-wide Graduate Student Orientation (which is August 12-14). There is also a mandatory online check-in with OIE after you arrive in the country. OIE will provide specific information about the mandatory welcome and check-in sessions in late summer.

Your Andrew UserID is automatically assigned when you are entered into the Student Information System. It is determined by an algorithm; you can't select your own UserID. The university Andrew network is needed to view your student account, register for courses, sign up for health insurance, etc.

Set your Andrew ID password here. For problems with your Andrew Account, consult Computing Services.

All full-time students are required to carry health insurance and will be assessed a charge for the individual basic mandatory plan offered through the university student health insurance program. The charge will appear on the invoice of the first semester of attendance in the academic year.

Each student is required to take one of the following three actions:

  1. Enroll in the basic plan as charged,
  2. Upgrade the benefit plan by enrolling in the enhanced student health insurance options during the open enrollment period, or
  3. Apply for a waiver from the mandatory plan.

Students, especially those not covered by their parents' American health insurance plans, are strongly encouraged to enroll in the university's health insurance plan. The coverage is much better than most Americans have access to and the price is much less than most Americans pay. In addition, it is easy to use at the student health clinic on campus. International students should be particularly cautious of scams targeting those who are not very knowledgable about the American medical system, since seemingly good deals can result in massive charges for those who do not fully understand the American system of deductibles, copayments, pre-approval, in-network and out-network services, yearly and lifetime payment caps, etc.

You must enroll during the open enrollment period (usually July-August — precise dates forthcoming).

Payment for university health insurance is due by August 15 along with your Fall tuition. There is also a monthly payment plan option for health insurance.

Please refer to the University Health Service's website for complete information

Immunization requirements for new students can be found here, and student health insurance requirements can be found here.

Questions about health services can be directed to:

CMU does not have on-campus housing for graduate students, but it does have resources to help new students find off-campus housing including general information and links to some available apartments. For detailed information on housing and related issues, you may want to visit the CMU Housing Office website. They can provide computerized listings of spaces available to match your specific needs.

CMU's Graduate Student Association has created a Graduate Student Housing Handbook [.pdf] with useful information about neighborhoods, common prices reported by actual CMU students, and questions to keep in mind. They also answer some Frequently Asked Questions about housing on their website.

There is an unofficial Facebook group that may be useful as well. (Note that this is NOT an official CMU resource and participants aren't necessarily from CMU.)

Finally, if you are interested in sharing an apartment with another Machine Learning graduate student, the MLD Slack group is a great way to connect with current students who have an empty room or with other new students who would like to share a place. (If you have your Andrew ID and haven't already been invited to join this Slack group, email Dorothy for an invite.)

If you will be looking for an apartment before you arrive, the best times are either early May or mid-July. Most leases are for one year, ending in May or August. You can sign a lease any time if the space is available - but people don't always let the landlords know whether they'll be renewing until 30 - 45 days before the end of the lease. There is usually a little overlap in August -- old leases may not be over until the end of August, but you need a place by mid-August -- but it's often possible to "bunk in" with older students for a few days until your place becomes available. You can also look for short-term off-campus housing.

April 16

Course registration begins

July 1 Deadline to submit your photo for your Student ID Card
July 1 Send transcript to Dorothy Holland-Minkley, or provide a time estimate for when it will be available
Approx. July-August Enrollment/waiver for student health, dental, and vision insurance (Student Health Plan) for incoming students.  Eligible participants have a specific enrollment period once each academic year (called "open enrollment") for their medical enrollment or waiver decisions
August 1 Submit signed immunization form to Health Services via HealthConnect.
August 15

Fall 2024 tuition is due

August 12-14

University-wide Graduate Student Orientation - In-person; optional but recommended for all students new to CMU

Approx. Aug. 12-14

International Orientation Welcome Session - In-person; recommended for international students

Aug. 22-23

Machine Learning Department Orientation - In-person; optional but strongly recommended
(Program requirement discussion, Faculty research talks)
August 26 Fall Classes Begin
August 26

Mandatory International Student Orientation and Check-In

September 2 Labor Day Holiday - no classes
September 9 Last day to add a course to your schedule or to submit the form to audit a course; students new to CMU should be enrolled in (only) 3 courses
October 7 Last day to drop a course without it appearing on your transcript
October 14 - 18 Fall Break - no classes
November 5 Democracy Day - no classes
November 19 Spring Course Registration
November 27-29 Thanksgiving Holiday - no classes
December 6 Last Day of Fall Classes
December 9-16 Fall Final Exams
January 13 Spring Classes Begin
March 3-7 Spring Break - no classes
April 3-5 Spring Carnival - no classes
April 25 Last Day of Spring Classes
April 28 - May 6 Spring Final Exams
2024/2025 Academic Calendar [.pdf]

Career Fairs begin in the first week of September.

All Machine Learning graduate students are required to complete a summer practicum (either an internship or research related to machine learning). Most MS students choose to complete this in the form of a paid internship, and the September career fairs are an excellent way to arrange these internships.

Information about which employers will be in attendance will be posted on the Career and Professional Development Center website later in the summer, along with opportunities to attend free workshops on how to prepare for the career fairs, how to make a good first impression, and what to expect in an interview. Tess Elford is the dedicated Career Consultant for the School of Computer Science Master's programs.

Formal business attire is always required at career fairs, and we recommend students plan ahead and bring a suit or similar interview clothing with them. Similarly, it reduces stress to revise your resume in advance, although printing it on resume-quality paper can be done on campus at Tartan Ink.

The Career and Professional Development Center has created an online Summer workbook for students to work through to prepare their resume, cover letter, etc. Completion of this workbook is recommended for all students, and mandatory for students in the MS in Machine Learning  Applied Study variant.

International students completing an internship in the United States will need to work with the Office for International Education to arrange for Curricular Practical Training authorization. (CPT authorization is not required for on-campus research.) While these documents aren't required until March, students should be aware that federal law requires that international students' internships fit entirely within the summer semester (May 12 August 22, 2025).

International Students

If you are not a U.S. Citizen you will receive the I-20 Form, which will allow you to obtain the F-1 student visa. However, the I-20 CANNOT BE ISSUED until you have an Andrew account and have sent the necessary information to the Office of International Education. Please note that you are required to provide proof of financial support for the first year in the MS program. If you have dependents, you will be required to show that you have additional funds available to support the dependents. 

Note that all students applying for the F-1 visa are required to pay a SEVIS fee in addition to any other required filing fees. You will also have to pay to have the documents shipped to you.

If you are already in the U.S., you will request a transfer through your Foreign Student Advisor rather than receiving a new I-20 form. However, you will still need to complete all of the standard international student information for CMU. For additional information regarding visas you may want to visit the Office of International Education website.

If you are already a CMU student, you should instead use the Changing Your Program form from OIE. It must be submitted at least 30 days before your current I-20 expires or before the change of program occurs, whichever is first.

International students will also receive information with the I-20 Form regarding the International Student Orientation program sponsored by the Office of International Education. Checking in with OIE after arriving in the US is mandatory.

Visa Denials:
During the past few years, some international students' initial visa requests were denied. However, when re-submitted, the vast majority of MSML students were approved and the students were able to arrive on time (excepting the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic). Visa delays seem particularly common for students from China, but their visas have ultimately been approved.

With continuing effects from the COVID-19 pandemic and political instabilities around the world, we encourage students to apply for visas as soon as is safe and practical, and to keep in contact with both us and OIE about the process.

Administrative Delays:
It is common for students studying computer science to experience administrative processing delays when getting a visa. Please be aware that the major code on your I-20 will show "artificial intelligence" instead of "machine learning" because there are only a limited number of major codes provided by the US government. This is not a cause of concern; we cannot change this and all areas of computer science are considered sensitive technologies. If there is anything you need to do, you will be contacted with information.

Advice for Non-Native Speakers:
The Student Academic Success Center provides language support for non-native English speakersThe workshops and online resources provided are valuable resources for nonnative English speakers.

Office of International Education:
OIE provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Machine Learning Department Orientation

The Machine Learning Department Orientation is held the week before classes begin.

The Machine Learning Department Orientation is intended primarily to introduce you to the Machine Learning Department and the School of Computer Science. Faculty will give presentations about the projects they are working on. The research presentations will give you an idea of the kind of research that goes on here in Machine Learning and throughout SCS.

Your ID Card is your official Carnegie Mellon photo identification. It is your access to campus buildings, athletic facilities, and the Port Authority Transit system. You must have an ID Card as a graduate student.

To obtain your card:

  • Submit your photograph via the ID Photo Submission Application before July 1. 
  • You will pick your ID card up from the HUB at the start of the Fall semester.
  • Current CMU students (e.g., 5th-Year MSML students) whose ID cards are expiring should take their old ID card to the HUB for replacement.


Graduate Fees:


Payment Options:

Your student account information can be found at: