Envisioning the Next Generation Graduate Application System

SCS ApplyGrad x Super Cool Scholars

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How might we
reduce cognitive burden for reviewers,
for them to process hundreds of applications
efficiently, effectively, and fairly?

We present New ApplyGrad designed with...

Improved Workflow
Improved Workflow

The new ApplyGrad system reduces the constant switching between different tools, including notepads and external spreadsheets, that reviewers encounter every day in their review work.

progress tracking
Progress & Completion Tracking

With the new auto-saving and completion checking features, reviewers can be more confident in the system to track their progress and completion status.

external tools
No Reliance on External Tools

Application materials, notes, and review forms, all in one place. No more need for external tools such as notebooks or spreadsheets for reviewers.

Problem Space

The Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science (SCS) has designed, developed and deployed “ApplyGrad”, a system for managing applications to 47 masters and doctoral graduate programs across 6 SCS departments.

As the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to grow, so does the popularity of Computer Science graduate programs. Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science is no exception. But with this popularity comes an increasing number of applicants. While this is an exciting opportunity for the department, how can the graduate application process be improved to help address the growing workload for admissions reviewers as well as envision the next generation of graduate applications systems?

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Our Vision

Team Super Cool Scholars is excited to team up with CMU’s School of Computer Science to propose both short- and long-term innovations to the graduate application system, ApplyGrad, in order to address the volving needs of the graduate admissions process.


The Team

Meet the Super Cool Scholars!

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Emily - Product Manager

Hi everyone! I’m a 2020 college grad from UVA who majored in Computer Science and technology. I have some experience working in startups and from directing a hackathon before. I’m pumped to work with a great team to make the admissions process, which we have all been through, better than it has ever been.

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Anna Yuan - Design Lead

Hello! I am a 2020 CMU grad and a current MHCI student. I have an interdisciplinary background in software engineering & UX design and am passionate about learning & exploring how to leverage advanced technologies to create better user experiences. In my free time, I do arts & baking for fun and love playing board games.

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Lia Slaton - Research Lead

I majored in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology with minors in English and computer science at Washington University in St. Louis. For the past two years, I served as a college adviser to help low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented high school students navigate the college-going process.

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Ugochi Osita-Ogbonnaya - Documentation Lead

Hello! I recently graduated from UCR and have a background in biological sciences and cognitive science research. I am interested in contributing to inclusive and accessible user experiences that address people’s needs. In my free time, I like to read, write stories, and watch dramas.

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Yuwen Lu - Tech Lead

Hey, I’m Yuwen! I recently graduated with a bachelor's in Software Engineering. I’m interested in understanding user intentions and creating value for users and societies through the design of technical solutions.