Carnegie Mellon University CMU-Africa Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program: Apply!

At CMU-Africa, education is not just about learning; it’s about transformation. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program has made this transformation possible for many talented young minds who might otherwise have been held back by financial constraints. In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, CMU-Africa offers a unique opportunity for students to pursue graduate degrees in Information Technology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, or Engineering Artificial Intelligence. This program is more than education; it’s about nurturing leaders who will drive positive change across the African continent.

Empowering African Leaders

CMU-Africa is part of a global network of 33 Scholars Program partners, all committed to nurturing Africa’s future leaders. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program was launched at CMU-Africa in 2016, and it has since been a catalyst for social and economic transformation. This program is not just about providing financial assistance; it’s about creating transformative leaders who actively engage in their communities.

Holistic Support

The program offers comprehensive support, including:

– Financial Support: Scholars receive assistance covering application preparation, orientation, tuition and fees, health insurance, travel, and basic living expenses. They also have access to resources that promote their well-being and academic success.

– Career Preparation: Scholars benefit from tailored activities that prepare them for the job market. Throughout their studies, they engage in professional development activities, such as internships, career fairs, and networking with industry leaders. One-on-one career coaching equips them to pursue their goals after graduation.

– Leadership Development: Leadership is a core component of the program. Scholars enhance their leadership skills through student clubs, community service, and various programs designed to mold them into change-makers. They undergo specialized leadership training sessions to ensure they have the cutting-edge skills needed to lead with distinction.

– Giving Back: Scholars embody the spirit of giving back. They lead and participate in community service activities, develop impactful projects, and collaborate with the CMU-Africa community to make a difference in the lives of others.

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Scholar Criteria

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program targets individuals who have faced social and economic barriers but exhibit exceptional qualities:

– Academic Talent: Scholars value learning and are driven to complete their education.

– Commitment to Giving Back: Scholars have demonstrated their dedication to improving their communities.

– Potential to Lead: Scholars are destined to be role models, mentors, and change-makers in their respective fields.

To be eligible for the Scholars Program, students must first gain admission to one of CMU-Africa’s degree programs.

Transforming Lives

The impact of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program extends beyond classrooms. It shapes futures, empowers leaders, and leaves an indelible mark on communities. By nurturing the talents of these scholars, CMU-Africa and the Mastercard Foundation are fostering a generation of change-makers who will lead Africa into a brighter future.


There are two steps to apply to CMU-Africa:

  1. Submit an online application
  2. Complete competency tests

Important requirement: In response to the current global COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be accepting GRE scores this admissions cycle.

Dates to remember

Important dates for applying to CMU-Africa and understanding the admissions decision process

October 1: All program applications open. Begin your application to the MSIT, MSECE, MSEAI programs

December 15: Early admission deadline. Submit your application by the early admission deadline of December 15 for CMU-Africa to cover your competency test fees. Learn more about test fees

January 15: Final application deadline. Any application received after the early admission deadline will only be considered if submitted with valid DET/IELTS/TOEFL.

January-April: Applications are reviewed. After the final application deadline, all components of applications are reviewed

April-May: Admissions decisions are shared with applicants. You will receive email communications from the admissions team on the status of your application at every stage. You can also view the status of your application through your application portal.

July-August: The New Student Foundation Program is held for admitted students. This program supports new students in a successful transition to CMU-Africa

September: The semester begins for admitted students. The Academic Calendar serves as Carnegie Mellon University’s information source and planning document for students, faculty, staff, and departments, as well as outside organizations. The calendar includes registration dates, class start dates, add/drop deadlines, exam dates, and more. View CMU-Africa’s academic calendar

The CMU-Africa Admissions team takes a holistic approach to admission decisions, based on all aspects of your application.

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