Carnegie Mellon University

Guidelines for Transfer to Major 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 Computer Science should apply for transfer using this online form. 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 essay (reflective statement) and overall academic progress. Before submitting a transfer request, students should first make an appointment with the program director, Phillip Compeau, for an initial evaluation.

For Students Transferring from Another College at CMU

Students may submit an internal transfer request no earlier than the end of the freshman year and once they have successfully completed all of the following courses:

      • 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 considering a transfer are expected to earn at least a 3.6 QPA in the set of required courses listed above and have an overall 3.0 QPA. Potential transfers will be evaluated based on their relevant course grades, overall QPA, and available space in the class (sophomore/junior/senior) for which they are applying.  Students may instead consider the Additional Major in Computational Biology as a second major, which has lower QPA restrictions and does not require transfer into the School of Computer Science (SCS).

Students may apply for transfer 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, the mid-semester grades will be used in the QPA calculation. The decision to allow transfer will be made by committee 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 complete 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. Before submitting a transfer request, students should first make an appointment with our Assistant Department Head for Education, Phillip Compeau, for an initial evaluation


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

Submit your application by filling out the SCS transfer form:

For Students Transferring from Outside CMU

A student should first apply through the Office of Admission. 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 at Carnegie Mellon University.