Study at Carnegie Mellon University: Admission Requirements, Courses Offered Tuition Fee, Ranking
It’s of no argument, Carnegie Mellon University challenges the curious and passionate to imagine and deliver work that matters. A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon stands among the world’s most renowned educational institutions and sets its own course. Start the journey here. It also offers opportunities to students that want to Study at Carnegie Mellon University.
With cutting-edge brain science, path-breaking performances, innovative start-ups, driverless cars, big data, big ambitions, Nobel and Turing prizes, hands-on learning, and a whole lot of robots, CMU doesn’t imagine the future, we create it.
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private, global research university, and one of just 25 universities to be admitted to the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum.
Study at Carnegie Mellon University
Established in 1900 by the famous industrialist Andrew Carnegie, initially as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912. In 1967 it merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, resulting in its present incarnation.
The university lays claim to many examples of ground-breaking inventions and pioneering research into brain science, data, start-ups, and driverless cars, among others. It was the first institution (via professor Scott Fahlman in 1982) to create a ‘smile’ in an email.
CMU emphasizes close collaborations between faculty and students to address scientific, technological and societal challenges, as well as making things ‘from art to robots’.
Its cohort numbers well over 13,000 students from 114 countries, and a faculty of more than 1,400. With its strong focus on creating new things, CMS says that many of its students go on to join some of the world’s most successful companies.
The Association of University Technology Managers has ranked it first among US institutions for start-up companies created per research dollar spent, between 2008 and 2012.
Carnegie Mellon University Courses
- BXA Intercollege Degree Programs
- Biological Sciences
- Biomedical Engineering
- Business Administration
- CFA Interdisciplinary
- CIT Interdisciplinary
- Carnegie Mellon University-Wide Studies
- Center for the Arts in Society
- Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science and Arts
- Creative Enterprise: Sch of Pub Pol & Mgt
- Dietrich College Information Systems
- Dietrich College Interdisciplinary
- Electrical & Computer Engineering
- Engineering & Public Policy
- Entertainment Technology Pittsburgh
- General Dietrich College
- Heinz College-Wide Courses
- Humanities and Arts
- Information & Communication Technology
- Information Networking Institute
- Information Systems: Sch of IS & Mgt
- Institute for Politics and Strategy
- Institute for Software Research
- Integrated Innovation Institute
- MCS Interdisciplinary
- Materials Science & Engineering
- Mathematical Sciences
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Management: Sch of Pub Pol & Mgt
- Modern Languages
- Naval Science – ROTC
- Physical Education
- Public Management: Sch of Pub Pol & Mgt
- Public Policy & Mgt: Sch of Pub Pol & Mgt
- SCS Interdisciplinary
- SCS: Computational Biology
- SCS: Computer Science
- SCS: Human-Computer Interaction
- SCS: Institute for Software Research
- SCS: Language Technologies Institute
- SCS: Machine Learning
- SCS: Robotics
- Science and Arts
- Social & Decision Sciences
- Statistics and Data Science
- StuCo (Student Led Courses)
- Tepper School of Business
Carnegie Mellon University Ranking
Globally in 2017–2018, Carnegie Mellon University was ranked 77th by U.S. News & World Report, 80th by ARWU, 24th by Times Higher Education and 47th by QS World University Rankings.
Nationally, U.S. News & World Report ranks Carnegie Mellon tied for 25th among American research universities in 2018.
U.S. News also ranked Carnegie Mellon 1st for graduate studies in computer science, tied for 5th for graduate studies in engineering, 6th for graduate studies in fine arts, 14th for graduate studies in public affairs, 8th for graduate studies in statistics, 20th for graduate studies in economics, 19th for graduate studies in business, and 17th for graduate studies in psychology in 2016.
The undergraduate business program is ranked 2nd for management information systems, 2nd for production/operations and quantitative analysis, 8th for supply chain management, and tied for 6th as an undergraduate business program overall.
The undergraduate engineering program at colleges that offer students that want to Study at Carnegie Mellon University doctorate as the highest degree was ranked tied for 8th overall, 5th for computer engineering, 9th for environmental engineering, and 11th for mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering in 2017.
In 2010, the Wall Street Journal ranked Carnegie Mellon 1st in computer science, 4th in finance, 10th overall, and 21st in engineering according to job recruiters.
Carnegie Mellon University ranks thirteenth among “Best Colleges By Salary Potential (Bachelor’s Only)” in the United States according to PayScale’s 2016–17 study.
In 2016, the Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business placed 15th in an annual ranking of U.S. business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Still, in 2016, The Hollywood Reporter ranked the School of Drama number three in the world among undergraduate drama schools.
In 2015, the same publication ranked the MFA program at the School of Drama number five in the world. In 2015, Carnegie Mellon University has been ranked The Best Information Technology School in the United States.
Carnegie Mellon is one of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities and one of 25 members (one of 12 American members) of the World Economic Forum Global University Leaders Forum.
Carnegie Mellon University Acceptance Rate
Carnegie Mellon University Acceptance Rate is 24%
Carnegie Mellon Admissions
Carnegie Mellon University is a place to learn, create and innovate with the very best. Leave with the passion, connections, credentials and lifelong friends who will help you change the world.
Be in the company of world-renowned computer scientists, artists and authors, business leaders, inventors, and groundbreaking researchers. Leading companies like Google, Pixar, and Deloitte recruit CMU students. And it doesn’t stop there. Theatre companies, startups and research institutions all hire CMU grads.
For the Class of 2021, Carnegie Mellon had an overall admissions rate of 13.53%. The acceptance rates of the individual colleges vary, ranging from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences (22%) to the School of Computer Science (7%).
The average high school grade point average (GPA) of the enrolled freshmen was 3.76, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores were 660-750 for critical reading, 720-800 for math, and 670-760 for writing. The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 31-34.
For many prospective undergrads, visiting campus offers the best opportunity for you to find your fit. The Office of Undergraduate Admission provides both on- and off-campus events for high school students. Interested in applying? Review the application plans and deadlines.
Graduate admission is handled within individual academic departments. For more information, visit the Study at Carnegie Mellon University/graduate education site.
Undergraduate Admission Requirements
Review the content and links below for details on undergraduate admission requirements, application plans and deadlines, academic course and standardized test requirements and College of Fine Arts admission procedures.
Download the 2019 Carnegie Mellon Application Instructions Booklet here.
Carnegie Mellon welcomes applications from students with non-traditional academic backgrounds, including veterans and other prospective students who are seeking a first bachelor’s several years after graduating from high school or those who are seeking a second bachelor’s degree.
Carnegie Mellon Undergraduate Admission Requirements
- Common Application
- $75 application fee*
- Official high school transcript (please review our Academic Requirements)**
- All required standardized testing official score reports, which includes the TOEFL or IELTS if English is not your native language
- Secondary School Counselor Evaluation
- Teacher Recommendation
- Common Application essay and personal statement
- All fine arts applicants to the Schools of Drama and Music are required to arrange required pre-screen, audition or portfolio review.
- All fine art applications to the Schools of Architecture, Art, Design are required to submit the required portfolio and creative materials.
- Home-schooled applicants should submit an academic portfolio/transcript consistent with their state guidelines and a list of all textbooks used.
- Applicants must provide proof of meeting all requirements for an official high school diploma, by the end of May of the year of graduation, and submit an official final transcript, GED or certificate of completion from your local school district or state board of education by the end of July of the year of matriculation.
Carnegie Mellon accepts fee waivers from students who meet one of the indicators of economic need as outlined on the Common Application.
Transcript/graduation requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission to Carnegie Mellon (for applicants who are 17 and over). Applicants should submit official transcripts from all secondary schools attended and enrolling students are required to submit an official final transcript as well.
Applicants who have received a high school equivalency diploma are required to have official High School Equivalency Examination (GED) scores sent to the Office of Admission in addition to official transcripts from all high schools attended.
Supporting Documents & Supplemental Information
Carnegie Mellon doesn’t accept supplemental submissions, such as resumes, artwork, portfolios, recording or websites. We encourage applicants to utilize the Common Application along with the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays to highlight experiences or activities that have enhanced or defined their personal growth during high school.
Carnegie Mellon won’t accept applicant updates after January 15. Please note that mid-semester grades or transcript updates should be reported by your high school counselor throughout the admission process. For applicants to the College of Fine Arts, please reference the College of Fine Arts admission requirements..
Instructions for DACA, Home-Schooled/Cyber or Non-Traditional Applicants
Applying as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Student
Carnegie Mellon welcomes applications from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. Follow the instructions for either freshman or transfers applicants and review the admission requirements noted at the top of this page. We accept College Board or NACAC fee waivers for the non-refundable application fee. Students who need an application fee waiver should contact the Office of Admission. Also, be aware of this additional information:
- When completing the Common Application, DACA students should apply for either freshman or transfer admission as international students (by selecting “other (non-US)” as your citizenship status).
- DACA students may be eligible for institutional financial aid and must apply for financial aid in order to be considered.
- To apply for institutional financial aid, you must complete the CSS PROFILE and provide either federal tax returns or documentation of household income to College Board IDOCS. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) isn’t required for DACA students. Students who need a CSS PROFILE fee waiver should contact the Office of Admission.
- At the time of admission, Carnegie Mellon may request DACA documentation to confirm your status in order to process financial aid accordingly.
Applying as a Non-Traditional Student
Carnegie Mellon welcomes applications from students with non-traditional academic backgrounds, including prospective students who are seeking a second bachelor’s degree or those interested in a first bachelor’s degree several years after graduating from high school.
To apply for a second bachelor’s degree if your first degree is from Carnegie Mellon:
- Complete the Common Application.
- Arrange to have a copy of your Carnegie Mellon transcript sent to the Office of Admission by February 15, if applying as a transfer, or by January 1, if applying as a freshman.
To apply for a second bachelor’s degree if your first degree is from another college or university:
- Complete the Common Application.
- Follow the instructions for transfer applicants.
To apply for a first bachelor’s degree from a non-traditional background:
- Complete the Common Application.
- Submit an essay explaining what you have been doing since graduating from high school.
- Submit a recommendation from a counselor, teacher, colleague or advisor who can speak of your potential for success at Carnegie Mellon.
- Follow the instructions for transfer applicants.
- Campus housing is only available for traditional-age college students.
Applying as a Home-Schooled or Cyber Student
Carnegie Mellon welcomes applications from students who have been schooled at home or online. Follow the instructions for freshman applicants and review the admission requirements noted at the top of this page.
Home-schooled applicants should submit the Common Application and academic portfolio/ transcript consistent with state guidelines and a list of all textbooks used for your coursework.
You must also provide proof that you’ll have met, by the end of May of the year of graduation, all requirements for an official high school diploma and submit an official final transcript, a GED or a certificate of completion from your local school district or state board of education by the end of July of the year of matriculation.
To apply to the university, you must:
- Submit a completed Common Application.
- Submit a syllabus/course descriptions of the work you’ve completed prior to applying.
- Submit a transcript of grades and/or evaluation of your work.
- Submit a recommendation from a counselor, representative of the State Board of Education, your home school association or other people of authority.
- Follow instructions for required testing based on the college/program you’re applying to.
International Admission Requirement
Please review the undergraduate admission requirements mentioned above first. Then consider the following additional requirements or reminders for international students prior to applying:
Deadlines are the same for international students as those posted for Early Decision, Regular Decision, and transfer applicants.
- It’s important that the name used in your application, recommendations and test scores is identical to the name listed on your passport. This will eliminate any confusion in the processing of your application.
- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required if your native language is not English. Carnegie Mellon requires TOEFL scores of 102 or better on the internet-based TOEFL (as of Fall 2010) or an IELTS score of 7.5 and above. Carnegie Mellon carefully reviews the sub-scores of each of these exams and considers those candidates with reading, listening, speaking and writing sub-scores of 25 or more on TOEFL and 7.5 or more on IELTS to be candidates with high levels of English proficiency. Please arrange to have these scores sent no later than January 1st. Carnegie Mellon’s TOEFL code is 2074.
- InitialView interviews are recommended for non-native English speakers but aren’t required. Often these interviews can measure readiness for engagement in the classroom and also showcase a student’s personality, likes and dislikes as well as the area of intended major. InitialView interviews can show English language proficiency while also corroborating the application with more details about the student.
- If your secondary school transcript or any other admission document is written in a language other than English, it should be accompanied by an official translation and verified by a counselor or school official to be true copies of the original.
- If you are preparing for the International Baccalaureate or the General Certificate of Education (GCE) A-level examinations, please send your expected exam results.
Carnegie Mellon doesn’t offer financial aid to international students. International students are not eligible for fee waivers.
Carnegie Mellon University Notable Alumni
- John L. Hall (B.S. 1956, M.S. 1958, Ph.D. 1961), 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Lars Peter Hansen (faculty member, 1978–1981), 2013 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- Finn E. Kydland (Ph.D. 1973, faculty member), 2004 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- Robert Lucas, Jr. (faculty member, 1963–1974), 1995 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- Merton H. Miller (faculty member, 1953–1961), 1990 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- Franco Modigliani (faculty member, 1952–1962), 1985 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- Dale Thomas Mortensen (Ph.D. 1967), 2010 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- John Forbes Nash (B.S. 1948, M.S. 1948), 1994 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences, the subject of A Beautiful Mind
- Edward C. Prescott (Ph.D. 1967, faculty member 1971–1980), 2004 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- Clifford Shull (B.S. 1937), 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Oliver E. Williamson (Ph.D. 1963), 2009 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences
- Edward Feigenbaum (B.S. 1956, Ph.D. 1960), artificial intelligence, 1994
- Raj Reddy (faculty member), artificial intelligence, 1994
- Shafi Goldwasser (B.S. 1979), cryptography, 2012
- Allen Newell (Ph.D 1957, faculty member 1961–1992), artificial intelligence, 1975
- Alan Perlis (B.S. 1943, faculty member 1956–1971), compiler construction, 1966; first Turing Award winner
- Ivan Sutherland (B.S. 1959), computer graphics, 1988
- Raoul Bott (Ph.D. 1949), Wolf Prize in Mathematics, 2000
Carnegie Mellon Campus
Carnegie Mellon’s 140-acre (57 ha) main campus is three miles (5 km) from downtown Pittsburgh, between Schenley Park and the Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, and Oakland neighborhoods. Carnegie Mellon is bordered to the west by the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
Carnegie Mellon owns 81 buildings in the Oakland and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. For decades the center of student life on campus was “Skibo Hall”, the University’s student union.
Built in the 1950s, Skibo Hall’s design was typical of Mid-Century Modern architecture but was poorly equipped to deal with advances in computer and internet connectivity.
The original Skibo was razed in the summer of 1994 and replaced by a new student union that is fully wi-fi enabled. Known as University Center, the building was dedicated in 1996. In 2014, Carnegie Mellon re-dedicated the University Center as the Cohon University Center in recognition of the eighth president of the university, Jared Cohon.
A large grassy area is known as “the Cut” forms the backbone of the campus, with a separate grassy area known as “the Mall” running perpendicular. The Cut was formed by filling in a ravine (hence the name) with soil from a nearby hill that was leveled to build the College of Fine Arts building.
In 2006, Carnegie Mellon Trustee Jill Gansman Kraus donated the 80-foot (24 m)-tall sculpture Walking to the Sky, which was placed on the lawn facing Forbes Ave between the Cohon University Center and Warner Hall. The sculpture was controversial for its placement, the general lack of input that the campus community had, and its (lack of) aesthetic appeal.
In April 2015, Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with Jones Lang LaSalle, announced the planning of a second office space structure, alongside the Robert Mehrabian Collaborative Innovation Center, an upscale and full-service hotel, and retail and dining development along Forbes Avenue.
This complex will connect to the Tepper Quadrangle, the Heinz College, the Tata Consultancy Services Building, and the Gates-Hillman Center to create an innovation corridor on the university campus. The effort is intended to continue to attract major corporate partnerships to create opportunities for research, teaching, and employment with students and faculty.
Carnegie Mellon University Tuition
When considering the cost of higher education, you’ll want to consider the overall cost of attendance, not only the cost of tuition. The cost of attendance is comprehensive and gives families a more realistic cost including tuition, fees, room and board, books and a transportation estimate.
The other important factor to consider is the availability of financial aid when considering the cost of attending a particular institution.
Proposed Cost of 2019-20 Academic Year
|Room & Board*||$14,418||$2,874|
|Books & Misc.||$2,400 (estimate)||$2,400 (estimate)|
Fill out the Financial Aid Estimator Form to receive an estimate of your financial aid eligibility.
Carnegie Mellon only offers financial aid to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. If you’re an international student who plans to enroll at Carnegie Mellon, you and your family must assume the total cost of attendance. Review our International Student Cost & Payment web page for further information.
The university reserves the right to change its charges without notice.
*The cost for room and board is an estimate based on a standard double room in university housing, a dining plan contract and the residence hall activity fee. Some students may be housed in triples and quads at a lower rate, without a reduction in their eligibility for financial aid.
**A travel allowance for resident students depends on the distance from the students home to Carnegie Mellon. This allowance will range from $0 to $1,500.
+In addition, health insurance coverage is required at a cost of $2,340/year for all students unless a waiver is granted for students covered under their family’s health plan.
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Carnegie Mellon University Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Carnegie Mellon doesn’t offer financial aid to international students. If you’re an international student who plans to enroll at Carnegie Mellon, you and your family must assume the total cost of attendance. International students aren’t eligible for fee waivers or monthly tuition payment plans.
Proposed Cost of 2019-20 Academic Year
|Room & Board||$14,418|
International students enrolling at Carnegie Mellon must submit a completed Certification of Finances form and supporting documents that indicate his or her family or sponsor will have sufficient funds to cover tuition, room and board, and living expenses at Carnegie Mellon only after a student has been admitted to Carnegie Mellon and has chosen to matriculate.
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