Pittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Mellon University


114 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Sujung
What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

It will be tough! But find friends and form study groups quickly to ensure you will have a strong support group.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

It will be tough! But find friends and form study groups quickly to ensure you will have a strong support group.

What's unique about your campus?

Everyone is very passionate about what they do and extremely hard-working and driven.

Maya
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

No matter how many college tours you go on or how prepared you may be, you will not be able to replace the rollercoaster expe...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

No matter how many college tours you go on or how prepared you may be, you will not be able to replace the rollercoaster experience college is going to hand you. Nothing to do but suit up and embrace the ride. It's going to be busy and scary and confusing. Everything's new, from the way you live to the way you learn. This isn't meant to intimidate you, it's meant to help you understand: college is an adventure, a rollercoaster. Those ups and downs are coming, ready or not. So embrace them. Ride the ride. Understand that things don't always go according to the plan, and that's okay! Instead of panicking, accept the falls, brush yourself off, and work with it. You're going to be a changed person when you come back, I can tell you that much. Keep in mind that even when things change, you are the ultimate decider of how you, as a person, change. If someone or something is important to you, make an effort to keep it in your life. You'll be thankful you did. Good luck! Be safe, have fun, and embrace that rollercoaster.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

Carnegie Mellon embraces diversity and freedom of choice. You want to major in Physics and Musical Performance? Sure, go ahead. If you can create a reasonable schedule, we're on board. There's also an amazing diverse group of people that attend CMU. You have everything from vocal performance to electrical and computer engineering to dramaturgy. I didn't even know dramaturgy was a major! All these people bring different personalities, different backgrounds, and different perspectives on everything that defines college. It's really something I wasn't expecting, and a positive impact that I'm embracing.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

Grades don't really matter. Now this sounds extreme, but I have to be honest. Grades will not define your college experience. When I was deciding between staying home to study for an exam and going to a weekend water polo tournament, one question came to mind: "When I leave CMU, what will I remember? That I did a few points better on that one exam or that I had an exciting, new, and enjoyable experience doing something I love to do with some amazing people?" It's a pretty loaded question, huh? It's definitely something to think about.

Kristine
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Carnegie Mellon is interesting in that you either love it the whole time or you just stick around because you know you'll get...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Carnegie Mellon is interesting in that you either love it the whole time or you just stick around because you know you'll get a job when you graduate.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Apply to more scholarships while in high school. It's much more difficult as you age.

Sarah
Describe the students at your school.

Carnegie Mellon students are motivated and highly intelligent with interdisciplinary interests, ambitious goals and a commitm...

Describe the students at your school.

Carnegie Mellon students are motivated and highly intelligent with interdisciplinary interests, ambitious goals and a commitment and passion for their work.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

What I remember most vividly from being a high school senior was this bizarre notion that there was only one "right" path for me, and that it would be indicated by what college I got into. I was terrified of being the one who came back home from a failure, unhappy with where I was. I love my college but what I've discovered is that even the things that perhaps were unexpected and not "perfect" have influenced me in anything but a negative way. If I had the opportunity to reconnect with my former self, I would simply try to communicate the message that whereever you end up, you are still you and always have the capacity and opportunity to make the most of it.

What kind of person should attend this school?

This school is the best fit for anyone who is passionate about what they are studying, and willing and eager to put in hard work and long hours to learn the most.

Anonymous
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I'd say the best thing about this school is the self-directed way it's run. If you want to do well or just fail everything, ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I'd say the best thing about this school is the self-directed way it's run. If you want to do well or just fail everything, no one is going to stop you. If you want to sit in your room glued to a book on Saturday nights or go get drunk at a frat, there's no real pressure either way. If I could change anything it would be the absence of school pride. Crowds at sporting events are pretty small, and most of them are there just to see the band play since it's basically a comedy group. The school is a bit small, but not suffocating. Pittsburgh is a pretty cool place, but the bulk of people never leave campus which is a shame. The biggest controversy recently was a girl who wore a pope hat and paraded naked with a cross shaved...well, I'll let you figure out where. Since this school is overwhelmingly liberal, most people supported her. Big complaints include the meal plan and lack of a social scene. The food isn't too bad, but it gets old and eventually you just want to break away from it. Eventually you'll settle in and find your favorite place(s) to eat. However, I have to agree that the social scene here is severely lacking. If you want to party and have a solid social life, you pretty much need to join Greek life or play on a varsity team. The only real stereotypical "bro" frat just got kicked off campus, so most of the groups just function as a group of guys who like to have a good time. Each group has a unique personality (big drinkers, nerds, stoners, normal guys, try-hards, and more) so go to plenty of rush events and see where you fit in the best. There's even one or two dry frats (whether they actually are is questionable). Sorority recruitment is a bit more formal and they pretty much decide for you where you'll join. It's possible to be an independent and have a fun time here, it just takes a lot of work.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Popular organizations include athletic teams/clubs, fraternities/sororities and a huge assortment of clubs. Personally most of the clubs didn't do it for me, but many people get very involved. RAs freshman year will tell you to leave your doors open, but most people don't. Sporting events are pretty sparsely attended. Dating...oh boy. There's a saying here that you develop "CMU Goggles" due to the unattractive population, and I have to admit that attractive girls are pretty few and far between. I hear it's the same for guys. Whether you want a relationship or hookup is up to you, and many people who were unlucky dating-wise before (such as myself) will have better odds here. Traditions include the Fence, which groups will take over at night and paint as well as Carnival, which has Buggy races, building booths and about as much partying as the rest of the year combined. As I said previously, socially CMU is lacking. Plenty of people here have no interest in a social life. There's really no parties during the week even at Pitt, but that's just sensible as you should be doing schoolwork then. Fridays are pretty light with some house parties every now and then, and usually 2 frat parties on a Saturday. Although it seems like the school is trying to get rid of Greek life (about 10 frats have been kicked off in the last decade), most of the groups are solid and the vast majority of partying goes on there. There's plenty of stuff to do non-drinking (go to a restaurant, museum, anything in Pittsburgh) but most of the social students drink moderately.

Describe the students at your school.

CMU prides itself on being diverse, which it is to an extent. Many students come from Asia or India. However, that's about it. Almost everyone here is asian, white or Indian with a normal sized black population and virtually nonexistent hispanic, islander or Native American population. Most people are from NJ, PA or CA. Ethnic groups are notoriously cliquey, which many will see as a negative but you get used to it. Most people here are at least middle class given the tuition. No one really pays attention to any dress code, you can pretty much wear whatever you want and no one cares. While most people here are very liberal, rarely do people discuss politics. For some this may be a plus but I love a good debate, so I was disappointed to say the least. I didn't even vote for Obama, but I'd liked to have seem some rallying just for the sake of an argument.

Melissa
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I were able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would probably be much further in my educatio...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I were able to go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would probably be much further in my education than I currently am. There are many pieces of advice I would give myself, but they all boil down to one main point-- be prepared. Be prepared by mapping out which classes you need to take and meeting with your school counselor early enough to make sure you know what you need to take, when you need to take it by, and make sure the classes you're taking are transferrable. Be prepared for a whole new world full of unfamiliar faces and customs you may not be used to. Be prepared for the endless nights of studying, writing, and taking notes on reading assignments. If you don't remember any of this a year from now when you're off to college, just remember one thing for me-- it's okay to make mistakes. College is a time to find yourself; a time to completely mess up. Just make sure that when you make a mistake, learn from it. This way, the more mistakes you make, the wiser you'll be.

Nicole
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Carnegie Mellon University is renowned for their genuine earnestness in the pursuit of greatness through the combined efforts...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Carnegie Mellon University is renowned for their genuine earnestness in the pursuit of greatness through the combined efforts of hungry students and faithful scholars.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Known for their exceptional talents in the fields of the arts and sciences, Carnegie Mellon continues to uphold this fame with ingenuity and a bottomless curiousity.

Joel
What is your overall opinion of this school?

This school is definitely a weird place to be. But the key thing to remember is that everyone here knows the stereotypes of t...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

This school is definitely a weird place to be. But the key thing to remember is that everyone here knows the stereotypes of this school, which makes CMU an easy place to fit in. The school is pretty small, so you'll always see at least two friends on the way to class and back. But one unique thing about this school is the social-awkwardness that is definitely present across many students, including myself sometimes. CMU sort of makes you self-conscious of introversion, and pushes you to become more outgoing. It also teaches you to be proud of your quirks, since it's easy to find one or two other people that are into the same hobby or weird thing you're into.

Max
What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Seemingly fraternities and sororities are seen most often on campus selling things or whatnot. I am not really sure what othe...

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Seemingly fraternities and sororities are seen most often on campus selling things or whatnot. I am not really sure what other groups there are. I see students playing cricket sometimes or ultimate frisbee. There are a lot of student athletes as well. Also, students are fairly active in student government, i.e. it's a big deal here.

Describe the students at your school.

I covered most of this already. They are relatively boring, myopic, apolitical and capitalistic; brainwashed by corporations, yet blissfully unaware. There is a love of gadgets bordering on obsessive. The students are remarkably unfriendly and hard to engage or interact with outside of one's own field or department.

What are the academics like at your school?

Generally the academics are excellent for what they are; as I said, in many fields they are fairly corporatized. Business and finance are full of vile, shallow men and women tripping over each other to become corporate drones. The humanities, arts and the hard sciences are really the most interesting department. Especially in undergrad, students are geared towards attaining jobs high in the corporate ladder. Grad students are far more into learning for learning's sake.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

That they are foreign, that they are asian or Indian, that they pay a lot to go here, that they are into tech, that they are spoiled. All of these are true.

Alexandra
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

SMU is often referred to as "Southern Millionaire University," a stereotype that stems from many students' affluence. While t...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

SMU is often referred to as "Southern Millionaire University," a stereotype that stems from many students' affluence. While the conception is half-true in that many students' parents are wealthier than the average American, it's also misleading. People who don't know the kids at SMU assume they're elitist brats because of their parents' financial status; however, my experience has proved the opposite! Most of the student body that I know is disinterested by money and more excited about having a great college experience.

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  • Enrollment
  • 6,283
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $52,310
  • Acceptance rate
  • 22%

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