Collaboration that starts with the heart.
What it feels like to go here
Carnegie Mellon’s INSTAGRAM
“People are always looking to work together to succeed in an academically rigorous environment, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun on the weekends too,” sophomore Adam Tucker said. The students here take pride in memorizing lines for plays in the College of Fine Arts and measuring elements in the chem lab like Stephanie Kwolek, a Carnegie Mellon grad who invented Kevlar. “People here aren’t inherently ‘nerdy,’ but they do nerd out about what they care and feel strongly about,” junior Nicole Nyman said. Whether pursuing science, the arts, engineering, business or a social cause, students at Carnegie Mellon has a club for it. “It’s a very demanding and challenging school, but the sense of community is amazing, and the students and faculty are all well-spoken, driven, goal-oriented, talented and passionate,” Nyman said. Everyone can find a home at CMU.
You might be familiar with some famous CMU alums like Matt Bomer, Andy Warhol and Gaius Charles (Smash Williams anybody?). That’s because these men don’t shy away from the spotlight or getting a good education. American musical composer Stephen Schwartz went on to write award-winning musicals including Godspell, Pippin and Wicked after graduating from Carnegie Mellon. But let’s not forget the badass ladies who earned degrees from CMU too. CMU alumna Judith Resnick was a biomedical engineer and the second female American astronaut in space. Holly Hunter received a degree from CMU in 1980 and became an Academy and two-time Emmy award-winning actress. You probably know her for her roles in The Incredibles and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Speaking of Batman, did you know that CMU is famously known for the prison break scene in Dark Knight Rises? Next time you’re on campus, take a close look at The Mellon Institute.
Where We Hang
Students at Carnegie Mellon don’t lock themselves in their dorms to listen to Tchaikovsky. Some of the most popular places to hit are the ones in Shadyside like Will Penn Tavern, Mario’s and Shady Grove. These bars are also near the University of Pittsburgh and Chatham University, so meeting other students off-campus is a plus. Not into the party scene? That’s okay because CMU also has amazing food trucks that travel around Shadyside. Whether you’re into farm-to-table, vegan friendly or ethnic foods, there’s a food truck ready to excite your taste buds. CMU even has their own food truck called The Tartan Express that makes Asian-inspired foods in Oakland not far from campus. Pick up a snack then get down and artsy at the Andy Warhol Museum right across the Rachel Carson Bridge. Bonus: with a valid student ID, CMU students get to visit for free.
1. How much are students partying?
“Slightly below average for college campuses…A lot of party life centers around Greek life or people in Greek life, but a majority of organizations will have their own parties and gatherings,” senior Jonathon Roppo added.
2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?
“CMU is very much about letting its students express themselves in almost any way”, senior Angelo Ragghianti said. However, there’s one thing that CMU has zero tolerance for. “You can be kicked out of the university for plagiarism and cheating. They don’t tolerate it at all,” said Ragghianti.
3. How much sex are students having?
“It varies widely on the experience people want from Carnegie Mellon. There isn’t one sort of hook up culture. People can go through CMU and never engage in it…but some do, and that’s their own decision,” sophomore Caleb Glickman said.
4. What advice would you give to freshmen?
“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and get involved with organizations. Try to meet as many people as you can and have no regrets,” sophomore Adam Tucker said.
5. What has been your greatest challenge at your school?
“The hardest thing was trying to figure out how to balance a challenging academic and extracurricular load while also maintaining a social life and taking care of myself. It requires a constant effort to maintain this balance, but once I found it being at CMU has been amazing,” junior Nicole Nyman said.
“The people are definitely the best part of the school. Very energetic, passionate and dedicated, unfortunately that may seem watered down at times because we’re so busy. But it’s there.”–Ragghianti, Vocal Performance major , Class of 2017
“My favorite thing about [Carnegie Mellon] is that you’re in the city of Pittsburgh, yet unlike most city schools, it has its own campus that’s entirely free of cars.”–Jonathon Roppo, Chemical Engineering major, Class of 2017
“CMU has opened my eyes up to the intricacies of math and computer science I really never could have imagined. CMU is full of so many incredibly smart and talented people, and it’s very special to be surrounded by so many people who are so talented about what they are working on.”–Zach Snow, Computer Science major, Class of 2019
“Generally, student life is in the mentality of ‘work hard play hard,’ as cliché as that sounds. People are really intense in the things that they do which contributes to a stressful environment, but it’s more camaraderie than competitive amongst students.”–Lily Marty, Decision Science, Class of 2019
“I see myself as very lucky to be in CMU because it is such an amazing school. CMU is very unique in its diversity and unique in how there is a shared culture of being yourself, no matter how weird or different you are.”–John Benassai, Business Administration major, Class of 2020
Top 3 Majors
2. Computer and Information Sciences
Top 3 Most Popular Student Organizations
1. As a totally student-run theater group on campus, Scotch ‘n Soda regularly draws large audiences to their musicals and shows throughout the school year. This past October, the group performed The Addams Family musical. “I am incredibly proud to put my name on The Addams Family production,” Glickman said. “[The show] proved that making people’s lives better through entertainment doesn’t necessarily need to be achieved in a Fine Arts building. It is always amazing to see students of all interests come together and create something special that doesn’t count for class credit,” he said. Steven Schwartz, the writer and composer of Pippin, was one of the first students in the group.
2. Think about all the times you laughed at Andy Bernard on The Office when his college group came in to sing. Well, on CMU’s campus, a cappella is everywhere. With almost 10 different a cappella groups on campus including Deewane A Capella, CMU’s all male, South Asian group and The Treblemakers, an award-winning co-ed group, anyone interested in singing won’t have to save their chords for shower time. “I’m the beatboxer of The Originals. It allows me to fulfill my creat[ive] outlet and I get to perform with some incredibly talented individuals,” sophomore psychology major JP Leigh said. “Being in The Originals has really shaped my experience here. Being a member has allowed me to do some pretty awesome things, and it has overall [made] my CMU experience a great one,” he said. The Originals placed second in the ICCA competition in 2016. Go Scots!
3. Greek life started at CMU in 1912 and has flourished from the start. They govern themselves under three councils including The Interfraternity Council (IFC), The Panhellenic Council (PHC) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). “Greek life at CMU aspires to make the community a better place through compassion and service. Each year, sororities and fraternities on campus come together for Greek Sing, the biggest philanthropy at CMU to raise money for charities,” Delta Tau Delta treasurer and president-elect said. “In 2015, $86,846 was raised for Our Clubhouse—a Western Pennsylvania non-profit that helps those affected by cancer,” he said. Individually and collectively, Greek life plays a huge role on campus at CMU as well as in the community. While all chapters are unique, they come together for opportunities in service, leadership and lifelong friendships.
Considering that Pittsburgh houses famous theaters, like the Benedum, and two performing arts high schools, it’s no wonder that Carnegie Mellon is on aspiring-artists’ radar. However, when it comes to getting in, students aren’t playing around. With an extremely selective acceptance rate of 21.7 percent, you may feel discouraged during the application process. But overall you’ll have a familiar application process—fill out the Common Application, prepare for interviews and keep on extra-curricular activities. “An important part of applying to CMU is to show the admissions staff what gets you excited and what you are passionate about,” Nyman said. Within that small percent of accepted students, about 15.4 percent of Carnegie Mellon’s undergraduate student body and 20 percent of first-year students are considered international students.
Location: Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA
Tuition & Fees: $67,642
Total Cost on Campus: $68,452
Undergrads Enrolled: 6,362
Grads Enrolled: 7,194
Total Enrolled: 13,556
Total applicants: 20,547
Percentage of Male Students: 54%
Percentage of Female Students: 46%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 84% of undergraduates; 99% of all freshman
Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 76%
Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 24%