Carnegie Mellon University

Guidelines for Transfer/Dual Degree in Computational Biology

For Students Transferring from Another Major within the School of Computer Science at CMU

Students in other School of Computer Science (SCS) majors who wish to transfer to computational biology or complete a dual degree in computational biology should request an initial consultation with the program director, Phillip Compeau. There are no grade restrictions for SCS students who wish to transfer into computational biology. However, transfer decisions will be based on the student’s interest and overall academic progress.

For Students Transferring from Another College at CMU

Students inter To be eligible for transfer, students at CMU who are in a college other than SCS must have completed at least one full year of coursework, maintained a 3.0 QPA, and completed all of the courses below with at least a 3.6 cumulative QPA.

      • 15-122
      • 15-2101 or 15-351
      • 15-251
      • 21-127 or 15-151
      • 03-121
      • 02-250 or 02-251

1 Students who take 15-210 will need to also take 15-150; this course is not required for the B.S. in Computational Biology but can count as an elective.

Students interested in transferring to computational biology or completing a dual degree in computational biology should first make an appointment for an initial consultation with the undergraduate program director, Phillip Compeau. Students should then apply for transfer using SCS's online transfer form by the mid-semester break in the semester when the last of the six required courses will be completed. In the case of courses in progress, mid-semester grades will be used in the QPA calculation. The decision to allow transfer will be made by a committee with the advice of the associate dean for undergraduate programs based on the student’s academic performance (in the specified courses and in their courses overall if necessary), additional involvement in SCS and other computing-related activities, and availability of space in the student’s class level. Students should consult the SCS Undergraduate office for up-to-date information concerning minimum requirements, instructions and deadlines.

Transfer to the Computational Biology program is not guaranteed, and students should continue to make progress in their current major and discuss their plans with their academic advisor carefully in the event that a transfer is not possible.

Because of the extremely high academic bar for students outside SCS, students may instead wish to consider the additional major in computational biology, which allows students to complete a major in their home college. The additional major has lower QPA restrictions and does not require transfer into the School of Computer Science (SCS).

What is the Difference Between an Additional Major and a Dual Degree?

An additional major is a second major of study that a student completes while completing their primary major. A student who completes an additional major receives a single degree from their home college, which indicates the additional major completed.

A dual degree confers a second diploma to the student, who has essentially completed two undergraduate degrees. For this reason, students outside SCS who are interested in a dual degree must complete the same requirements as transfer students.

Dual degrees are rare, and they require the student to complete significantly more coursework as an undergraduate.

Transfer Deadlines

Fall semester: Mid-semester break (last Friday of first half of the semester)
Spring semester: Mid-semester break (last Friday of first half of the semester)
Summer semester: Last Friday of the "Summer All" session

For Students Transferring from Outside CMU

A student should first apply through the undergraduate admission office. If the Office of Admission believes the applicant is acceptable, the student’s record is sent to SCS for evaluation. Admission is based on seat availability, overall academic performance from the student’s current institution, and the application material. It is important to note that extremely few external transfers are admitted to the School of Computer Science.