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  • Thabiso Mnisi

Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Carnegie Mellon University offers two postgraduate degree programs in their Africa campus (CMU-Africa), based in Kigali, Rwanda. These programs are the same as those offered in the main campus in the USA, which is ranked #1 in Computer Science, and #5 in postgraduate engineering as ranked by the US News and World Report.

CMU-Africa graduates have on average over 900+ hours of hands on industry experience by the time they graduate. This is achieved by working directly with different companies such as IBM, Thomson Reuters and KCB through practicums and internships. Full and partial scholarships are available to all students who are admitted at CMU-Africa.

1. Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MSECE)

The 10-16 month MSECE program is for students who are interested in creating technology solutions not only for today, but for the future. Students are prepared to become engineering leaders through fundamental and hands-on courses in wireless networks, machine learning, data analytics, robotics, energy systems, internet of things, and software engineering.

Those pursuing a degree in MSECE from CMU-Africa must meet the following requirements:

● Complete 96 units of coursework

● Maintain a cumulative quality point average (CQPA) of 3.0

● Take no longer than 3 semesters to complete the program

CMU-Africa is a branch of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University which allows CMU-Africa students to take semesters at CMU’s Silicon Valley campus and/or Pittsburgh campus in the USA, in addition to the one required semester in Kigali, Rwanda.

Students in the Professional M.S. and IMB Programs may apply to the Ph.D. program. These students must be enrolled for two academic semesters in the Professional M.S. or IMB programs before they can matriculate into the Ph.D. Program.

2. Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)

The 16-20 month MSIT program strikes a fine balance between technology, business and innovation, preparing the next generation of ICT leaders in Africa. This program is for students interested in an interdisciplinary curriculum that covers key topics in data science, cyber security, software engineering and telecommunications among others. Students in the MSIT program also can choose two of six optional concentrations. The concentrations are meant to help students who are interested in a specific skill by giving them guidance when they select courses. The six concentrations are:

1. Cyber security: Become a security expert by learning to regulate and operate networks, storage systems, software and web-based systems.

2. Data Science: Learn how to collect and analyze data and develop statistics that can help businesses make informed decisions or be used for research.

3. Software Engineering: Study and apply engineering to designing, developing and maintaining software.

4. Information Technology (IT) Entrepreneurship: Learn the business aspects of information technology while also using information and communication technology to help underserved communities.

5. Telecommunications and Networking: Learn to design, maintain and operate telecommunication systems and networks.

6. Energy Systems: Learn to find effective solutions to today’s energy problems by gaining technical depth in energy and grid technology, and analytical skill in project development, energy analysis, and infrastructure planning.

Financial Aid

1. Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program - Eligible students must be a citizen of an African country, have an exceptional academic record, come from a disadvantaged background, have demonstrated leadership potential, have demonstrated commitment to give back to their community, and have demonstrated commitment to transforming Africa.

2. The Smart Africa Scholarship Fund - Eligible students must be a citizen of one of the Smart Africa member states, and have an exceptional academic record.

3. Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) - Eligible students must be a citizen of an African country and reside in any African country, have obtained at least 70% in each subject/course in the last two completed years of study, and demonstrated leadership potential.

4. Innovators Forward Fellowship Fund (IFFF) - Eligible students must be a citizen of any African country, have an exceptional academic record, and demonstrated leadership potential.


Visit the CMU-African website and apply on and send all application enquiries to

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