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I love SMU. The school spirit could be a million times better but our athletic program is getting better and better each year...
I love SMU. The school spirit could be a million times better but our athletic program is getting better and better each year. SMU is excellent for people interested in business, for those wanting to go to med school I don't know if this school is for you. The networking capabilities at SMU are outrageous. The alumni love to meet with current students and help them out in anyway they can. While at SMU I have worked for the Redskins, helped throw Leigh Steinberg's annual Super Bowl party, and received multiple job offers. Living in Dallas is my favorite part of SMU. There is ALWAYS something to do. We are only 4 miles from downtown Dallas, and there is never a weekend without something to do.
Classes are tough, but this isn't Harvard. I study quite a bit and work hard to maintain a high GPA, but if I simply didn't try I could graduate with a 3.0 easily. It all depends on what your major is. Professors at SMU know you by name and have a relationship with you. I am not known by my student ID at SMU. I could ask any professor I have had to write my a letter of recommendation tomorrow and they would have it done. I have not had a single teacher that tries to fail you. Every professor wants you to make an A in every one of their classes.
The stereotype of an SMU student is being unimaginably wealthy and that everyone thinks they are better than others. This is not true at all. Personally, I am at SMU because of the Hunt Leadership Scholarship, and without it I could not afford to go to this great school. I am in a fraternity and had no trouble feeling right at home even though my parents aren't CEO's or lawyers. Everyone is very friendly and extremely humble.
Overall SMU provided a solid undergrad experience. There are many activities to get involved in; however, the student must as...
Overall SMU provided a solid undergrad experience. There are many activities to get involved in; however, the student must ask around to find out some of the great available opportunities. The school is about medium sized, though there is not much school pride. The football team is making a comeback so some of the school spirit is slowly changing. I wish there was more focus on multiculturalism- there are several cultural organizations, but none of them are mainstream. The campus itself is beautiful, has won many awards for it's beautification- definitely a great place to be
Academics are of medium difficulty. The classes are not impossible or entirely challenging. The student body is not as rigorously focused on academics, but the professors are all very accomplished and really strive to change the student mindset. I was a psychology major and found to love every class in my major- the professors were wonderful, lots of research opportunities, and my professors helped me with grad school as wel
Most people think students at SMU come from wealthy, conservative families in the south. Many think that SMU students spend most of their time on extra-curricular activities. While there is a lot of wealth that surrounds the school, it is a very warm and happy environment. The students are very friendly and the student body is not as homogenous as most people presume. There is an emphasis on greek life, but about half the student body still does not partake in greek activities
The most prominent stereotype here at SMU is that all of the students are rich, snobby sorority/fraternity kids. While some ...
The most prominent stereotype here at SMU is that all of the students are rich, snobby sorority/fraternity kids. While some of that is true, as SMU is an affluent college, it's not quite accurate. In actuality, a high percentage of students are more like me: studious, middle class, hard working with no Greek Life affilation. The SMU student body is very diverse, and offers a place for everyone.
My classmates are open, helpful, and very fun to work with!
My classmates are open, helpful, and very fun to work with!
The number one piece of advice I would give would be to learn how to sit down and study for longer periods of time. One of the biggest problems face is my inability to sit down for extended periods of time to study and finish assignments. I feel like it also has to do with learning and understanding time management. Time management is another thing I wish I could have perfected back in high school. During my first semester, I struggled with studying for different classes and completing homework assignments because it was so different from high school. The work load and what is expected of me on exams is far beyond most high school standards. So, time management and study habits would be two very important things I would tell my high school self to work on extensively before coming to college.
Carnegie Mellon University is a school of specialties - whether you're majoring in computer science, engineering, design, arc...
Carnegie Mellon University is a school of specialties - whether you're majoring in computer science, engineering, design, architecture, or any of the other majors in between, Carnegie Mellon is a place where each of the professors care about your success as a student and do their best to support you in your studies, where the students are willing to accept you, warts and all,, where the dining is dispersed into restaurants around campus instead of focused in one cafeteria, and, as icing on the cake, where the laundry is free.
The worst thing about my school would be the lack of sleep everyone gets, due to their workloads - but that's true at most prestigious colleges, no?
Coming to Carnegie Mellon was initially a bit of a gamble for me because of the unfamiliar location (I am from LA, California...
Coming to Carnegie Mellon was initially a bit of a gamble for me because of the unfamiliar location (I am from LA, California) and because it was the only university I applied to without my original intended major. However, I’m three semesters into college and am completely convinced that coming to Carnegie Mellon was the best decision I could have made. The best thing about Carnegie Mellon is that no matter what major you decide to pursue, each program is extremely well developed and guaranteed to improve and advance whatever skills sets you plan on using for your potential career path. Carnegie Mellon is well known not only for its cutting-edge programs in computer science and engineering, its known for its phenomenal fine arts programs in theater, architecture, and design. Other programs Carnegie Mellon excels in include business, psychology, and professional/creative writing. Basically no matter what you end up studying at this school, you’re bound to get an incredible education that will well prepare you for the future. Generally, when people hear that I attend Carnegie Mellon, they are either very impressed or unfamiliar with schools in Pittsburgh, PA. People that know about CMU usually know the school for particular programs we have that are amongst the top in the country. The more disappointed reaction may come from the fact that I went from LA to Pittsburgh; however, I love Pittsburgh as a college location because it has just enough “city” to it without being too distracting and overwhelming like if I had gone to school in NYC (which was a serious consideration for me while I was determining where I wanted to go). Another appeal of Carnegie Mellon for me is the size of the campus/number of students. CMU is a medium-sized school with roughly 5,800 undergraduate students and 3,200 graduate students. For me, this size was ideal because it’s small enough that I can have intimate-sized classes with active discussions yet big enough that I can still meet new people every day outside of class. The campus itself is about 145 acres, quite beautiful and has a lot of open grass space. One thing that I feel like CMU lacks in may be school spirit, most likely because we don’t have any dominant sports teams (though we do have some small club and intramural sports) to cheer for. Our football team is a pretty big joke and though I would eventually like to go to a game one day, there is not a whole lot of incentive to spend your time at a CMU football game instead of doing work or hanging out elsewhere. On the plus side, we have many active organizations on campus that keep our students lively and excited about other campus events.
The overall quality of the academics at Carnegie Mellon is quite prestigious and geared towards not only teaching the coursework but also expanding their students’ interests within their studies and well preparing them for future careers. The classroom style varies depending on the type and demand of the course, but in general even large lectures of 100+ students are broken down into smaller classroom-sized “recitations” of roughly 15-35 students (depending on the type of course) at least once a week so that students have to opportunities for group discussion and individual attention from a teacher or PHD student-teacher. The types of courses taught in large lectures are those in high demand such as general education requirements, computer/science/engineering courses, psychology courses, and more. Classroom/lecture size is made to suit the needs of the students to the best of the school’s ability. Access to teachers and counselors is fairly easy at Carnegie Mellon. All teachers, student teachers, and counselors have available office hours every week or can be contacted for an appointment via email. The faculty at CMU is very dedicated to the students’ welfare and education and is more than happy to provide help or advice for students that seek it. Teachers at CMU enjoy seeing their students approach them outside of the classroom whether it’s academic-related or just conversational. Courses at Carnegie Mellon are often very difficult so getting extra help is common and often advised if necessary. The benefits of the academics are shown to influence students outside of the classroom as well. CMU students often catch themselves talking about academics in regular conversation and beyond that even take their skills from class and apply them to extra curricular activities during their free time. However, expect to study often and have copious amounts of work if you plan on attending CMU. Possibly one of the biggest issues regarding academics on campus would be registering for classes for each semester. The severity of this issue depends very heavily on how popular/in demand your classes are. For example, it can be difficult to immediately get into some computer science courses because there are so many computer science students at CMU. Many students find themselves placed on waitlists at first until adjustments are made or people switch out of classes. If it is absolutely necessary for you to take that course immediately, contact your counselor and he/she will do the best they can to get you in. However, this difficulty is definitely not the case for all students. Higher priority goes to those who with seniority, have graduation requirements, and are declared for the major that the course applies to. As major within the English department, I’ve had very few difficulties getting into any of my courses and have been able to get into almost if not every class I’ve been waitlisted for both within and outside of the English department. Students are given times to register for classes for the upcoming semester several weeks before the current semester ends. Dates to register are based off of class seniority (Seniors first day, Juniors second day, Sophomores third day, Freshman last day), and times for students’ access to the registration page online are randomly selected and changed every semester to make it fair. There are several weeks in between when you register and when the new semester begins so that all issues can be resolved as best as they can.
A common CMU student stereotype is that we are nerdy, study-hard students that perpetually have homework piled high and deteriorating social lives. This is actually fairly accurate for certain reasons but is also a very one-dimensional viewpoint of Carnegie Mellon students. The majority of students at this school are probably some of the most dedicated and hardworking you will ever come across, spending endless hours computer programming, drawing, building, writing, acting, whatever it may be. However, CMU students are generally very involved outside of academics in active organizations such as Greek life, dance teams, a cappella groups, Buggy (a longstanding racing competition unique to CMU), and so much more. A CMU student's dedication to an organization/club is a fair equivalent to that of his or her academics that can be personified in the phrase coined by our founder, Andrew Carnegie, "my heart is in the work." Anyone who's looking to make friends and get involved outside of the classroom (and library) but is committed to making the most of the academic privilege of attending a quality university shouldn't have much difficulty finding a place at Carnegie Mellon.
Starting answering!Academic life varies a lot depending on your major. Drama students seem like almost their own fraternity: ...
Starting answering!Academic life varies a lot depending on your major. Drama students seem like almost their own fraternity: older students guide younger ones, and professors make the whole Drama school feel like a community. Architecture students also grow close, through infamous long hours in the studio. The humanities college has less of a unified or tight-knit feel, though Creative Writing, for instance, has its own lounge, which gives its students a bit of a hang-out place. It is true that Carnegie Mellon is known for engineering. It has a strong reputation for drama (Zachary Quinto among others!) and music, and just that you go here is usually enough to make someone think you’re smart. But nearly all the job fairs will be a waste of time for a humanities student (unless you also program software). Just wait for the annual Creative Arts Opportunities Conference. Your college’s reputation also affects what sort of interesting people are brought to campus: it’s going to be more tech and science people than writers and artists. One of the best parts of Carnegie Mellon is the energy of the students. While studying abroad, I missed the creative intellectualism of CMU. A lot of the students here like to talk, and will sit down with you for hours to discuss and joke around. Some of my best conversations have been with people I just met, which says something about the friendliness here. The student organizations are another true strength of the college. There is a wide variety, including improv, dance, Buggy, satire, juggling, philosophy . . . .Most importantly, many people get very involved in their clubs, and thanks to clubs there’s often a lot going on. The college makes an effort to provide activities as well; for instance, movie showings on a big screen are offered for $1 Thursday through Saturday. Dining is different at CMU than at most colleges. Instead of a dining hall, there are many separate vendors. This means you have more control over what food you get (you’re not stuck with typical dining hall buffet). Vendors range from hamburgers to vegetarian, from Indian to soups and salads. This means you can find places you like, but that there’s not a central eating place, and that you won’t meet people at meals. There’s a lot to do on campus and a lot to do in the city, though transport is a bit difficult, due to a slow bus system. Chances are you won’t spend much time in Downtown Pittsburgh, though if you do make it there, you’ll find plays, museums, and sports stadiums. In general, CMU supports you doing whatever you want, be that going abroad or organizing your own major. However, as a side effect, there’s a lot of opportunity to make your own plan and not as much structure. Advising is de-centralized, with an advisor for your major, another for your minor, another for study abroad, and another for your general college. Choosing specific teachers to talk to can help get you more detailed advice.
Starting answering!If you like designing and building the vehicles, driving them, or racing them up hills, you may become one of the many people captivated by Buggy. Drivers and mechanics get up as early as 4am on weekends to work on this unique sport, and its one of the most popular activities on campus. The fraternities create their own Buggy teams, and some of the independent Buggy clubs are so large and active they seem like fraternities themselves. Buggy is a great way to become part of a community, and groups tend to show a lot of team spirit. Improv is another popular activity with 2 clubs on campus. One of these clubs has gotten known by offering a weekly improv class to anyone interested in dropping by and free shows every other week. I made a lot of friends through this group, which tends to hang out and get dinner after meetings. Other numerous student productions include student music groups and the musicals by the student theater group. (Although rumor has it, it’s hard to get a part if you’re not already friends with members of the theater group). The Drama school also performs free student-run productions almost every week, in addition to its larger scale productions. Booth is another CMU tradition. Fraternities, sororities, and individual clubs compete by creating one or two level wooden buildings based on a theme given to them by the judges. Each building must contain a game for the public to play and be educational in some way. The booths are displayed in the end of the year Carnival and have lured many students into all nighters. In addition to on campus activities, it’s not uncommon for students to look off-campus, be it for jobs, volunteering with health care, or kung fu lessons. In general, it’s inconvenient to go downtown, but Shadyside and Bloomfield can offer interesting events like Slam Poetry and shows.
Starting answering!Racially, the majority of the student body is white or Asian. Students mostly dress casual, with jeans and t-shirts. Business students might be seen wearing suits, and some students rock pajamas all day. Occasionally you see interesting items like neon hoodies or Lord of the Rings cloaks. There is a socio-economic mix at this school: some students can pay the whole way without loans, others are here on full scholarships. Social class is not something particularly on anyone’s mind, and people of different backgrounds mix easily. Judaism and Christianity are the most noticeable religions at CMU, and there is a church and a temple only a few blocks from campus. At times a priest will set up a small stand on campus and talk with or take confessions from anyone who chooses to stop by. Jews have a strong presence in one fraternity and one sorority, and one or two dining halls make a point of stocking kosher meals to go. There is a GSA and the school is very welcoming to gay and lesbian students. However, I know some lesbians have had trouble meeting others, and the lesbian population is not as defined as at some other colleges. There are more guys than girls, though the percentages have been evening out. It is the only place I’ve been dancing where guys have to wait on partners, but if you want to meet women, just take a modern languages class. Drinking is available but not a strong part of the culture. There is no bar on campus, and while you can find alcohol if you look for it, it’s not a requirement for socializing. In general, different majors mix, though due to taking so many courses only with each other, Drama has become its own world. A great way to meet people is through clubs and by living on the same floor.
Starting answering!In drama and writing, participation is critical at every class. Class sizes are kept small, at about 10 people (the smallest class I’ve been in has been a 5 person Theory of Translation class). Professors and students are often on first-name basis, and creative writing professor’s offices are right next to the lounge, so if you hang out there, you’ll see your teachers often and it’s easy to drop in on them. Usually professors are good about quickly responding to e-mail. I don’t often talk much with professors outside of class, but sometimes they make an effort to seek out students. One physics professor asked to talk to me because he felt I had a lot of potential in the field, for instance. Sciences will get more large lecture hall classes, and often have one smaller session a week with a teaching assistant. Occasionally, grad students teach beginning classes, but professors teach the majority. A few professors have been repetitive and distracted, or have given only surface comments on returned work, but in general they are helpful and they all seem to care. Students are able to teach courses, and these courses usually meet once a week for 2 hours. They give you a chance to dabble in topics like Scottish Highland Dance, Making Comics, or Wine Tasting. In my experience, if you want to get into a class, you can, but it may take effort. I’ve been able to take classes that are usually restricted to other majors, or to seniors, by showing an interest, writing to the professors, and visiting the first two days of class. If you care, professors want you. CMU does make humanities and social sciences majors take 5 general education courses as a freshman: world history, statistics, a seminar class, Interpretation and Argument (basic English), and computing. There are several other general education requirements, in the fields of Creating (arts, writing), Modeling (math, sciences, psych), Deciding (history, philosophy, psychology, statistics), Communication (Modern Languages, English), and Reflecting (English, arts, history, modern languages). On the one hand, this does make you aware of the variety of studies offered and makes you more well-rounded, on the other, it holds you back from diving straight into your major.
In general, students at CMU have a reputation for being nerdy and intelligent, and very passionate about what they do. “Cross-discipline” is another buzzword tagged to CMU: students are known for looking outside their majors and diving into other, often very different areas. The college puts an emphasis on this, and its no false advertising: I know engineers minoring in art, and computer science and creative writing double majors, and it seems that almost everyone has a major and a minor or multiple majors. This isn’t a school that puts strong emphasis on jocks or drinking. More people seem to come to the football games for the kilt-wearing pep band than for the team, and we’re not really known for our sports. As for drinking, you can find it and there are frat parties, but it’s not a notable part of the college culture or of socializing, and there’s no pressure to drink. When you meet someone, it’s not too risky to guess they’re an engineer, and if not that, a computer science major. While you can find many dedicated arts and humanities students, the college has a very techy image (which you’ll notice at the job fairs full of employers looking for programmers). There’s also a notable geeky/nerdy culture: last year home-made Lord of the Ring style cloaks popped up across campus, and if you pull out your deck, you will be surprised to realize just how many people play Magic. One of the best examples of what Carnegie Mellon students get excited about is Buggy. This “sport” is unique to CMU, and refers to an annual race in which a tiny, 5 foot tall girl, lies encapsulated in a specially made car (or “buggy”) , and is pushed relay-race-style by her teammates up a hill and then let steer the buggy down, often at speeds reaching 30mphs. Engineers, artists, runners, and anyone else crazy enough to get up before dawn on weekends join together to design, manufacture, test, decorate, and race the buggies.
The most often overlooked part of attending a school like Carnegie Mellon, after you wade through all the complaints of a lim...
The most often overlooked part of attending a school like Carnegie Mellon, after you wade through all the complaints of a limited party scene and back-breaking course load, is that it is located in the heart of one of the most culturally alive cities in America. It is a sports town filled with Steeler crazies and Crosby fanatics, as well a home to an immensely diverse interweaving of neighborhoods and colleges, which makes for an excellent mix of young college lifestyle and steel era family. The best part about saying you go to Carnegie Mellon is hearing the reactions of people who know about it's successes. My favorite was from a family member in the South who said, "isn't that the school that embarrasses UPitt in every way possible?" Maybe not in the way of legendary parties, but everything else that matters, yes.
Classes are personal, and are all taught by a professor whom you know is absolutely one of the best in his/her field. I am doubling as a Creative and Professional Writing major, a department that is rapidly emerging as one of the trademarks of CMU. As a writer, my favorite class has been Survey of Forms: Screenwriting, a course in which you are fully immersed for a semester in the craft of the screenplay. Participation in class is recommended, if not required, to receive the most out of your teacher's offerings as well as the course material. Students are extremely competitive, and exceptionally dedicated to their studies in and out of the class. As far as getting a job afterwards, I can speak from secondary experience as I had a brother recently graduate from CMU with a degree in Civil Engineering, and the opportunities he had in front of him were remarkable, as he was instantly successful in attaining a high-paying, progressive position for an expanding company in an increasingly popular industry.
There's a saying that is regularly associated with students at Carnegie Mellon, both in sarcasm and a general honesty, that goes: "They say sex kills, so come to Carnegie Mellon and live forever." Although this may be exaggerated, it's not entirely incorrect. Students at CMU take themselves, and their work, extremely seriously. Whether you are talking about an art major or the next robotics whizz kid, they are bound to be a nerd, and in most cases love being called so.
Carnegie Mellon students take great pride in declaring they attend one of the best universities in the nation, however they a...
Carnegie Mellon students take great pride in declaring they attend one of the best universities in the nation, however they are highly lacking in school spirit when it comes to the Friday night football game. Everyone is proud to inform employers that they will graduate with a Carnegie Mellon degree, but this pride does not translate into support for the athletic program. The student section at football games is filled predominantly by members of the CMU Kiltie Band and the girlfriends of the players. Sports like women's soccer are excited just to have five fans that are not blood relations to someone on the team. The most school spirit can be witnessed during the annual Buggy races during Carnival.
Students at Carnegie Mellon are hard-working, innovative, individual, creative, and ambitious. Obviously, the different collages have different personalities (the kids in the computer science program are different from those in the art program) but everyone on campus possesses those basic characteristics. Even those not in the College of Fine Arts (CFA) are still super creative and students in CFA are just as intelligent as those in engineering. The CMU student body is very diverse. There are students from all 50 states, as well as from 40 different countries. It's about 20% African American, Hispanic and Latin American; 20% Asian-American; and 14% international. Also, the male to female ratio is about 3:2.
Most of the Carnegie Mellon campus seem oblivious to the fact that there is an athletic department. The truth is, CMU has a very vibrant athletic community. CMU has 16 male and female intercollegiate sports, as well as various club sports and a host of intramurals. CMU is a D3 athletic program in the University Athletic Association. This means that the athletes are not on any scholarship, however, compete at a very high level. The other schools in the UAA conference are Emory, NYU, Brandeis, Univ. of Chicago, Case Western, and Rochester.
Every professor is different, but ALL of my professors have been very open and helpful. They have all agreed to meet with me one-on-one when I have questions, emailed me back in a timely and helpful manner, and shown me respect. The faculty at Carnegie Mellon is very knowledgeable and are quick to share their expertise with their students.
It is no secret that Carnegie Mellon is a very competitive and work intensive. And, yet students still feel a need to always inform their friends how sleep deprived they are. It's a completely justified complaint and you will hear it over, and over, again.
If you don't know what Carnival is, then you don't know Carnegie Mellon University. Every April, CMU students literally construct a carnival from the ground up for a four day holiday. Complete with carnival rides, student-made booths, Buggy races, frat socials, free music concerts, etc., Carnival is the weekend that CMU students live for. Carnival stretches from Thursday until Sunday with back-to-back-to-back activities. It is the time that students get to show their true colors and sport their neon hats and rainbow sunglasses while they chill in the sun with friends.
Carnegie Mellon University is known for its rigorous and demanding work load. On campus, the main university library, Hunt Library, is fondly referred to as "Club Hunt". Open 24 hours Monday through Thursday and open until midnight Friday and Saturday, Club Hunt is often the most poppin' place on campus. Late night at Hunt Library is a great place to run into friends and classmates as everyone desperately crams to get their work done. Good news: Club Hunt is open 24/7 during finals week with a cafe on the first floor so students never have to leave!
Students at Carnegie Mellon University are known to be intellectual, ambitious, and overall pretty geeky. Because of our very successful engineering and computer science programs, many of the students at CMU can be considered "nerds." It is not completely true that CMU is where "fun comes to die," but students do seem to spend more time in the computer clusters than most other places. It has also been said that CMU has a lot of "fruits and nuts." Also, with the women to men ratio being overwhelmingly male dominated, ladies should be warned that "the odds are good, but the goods are odd." Overall, Carnegie Mellon is a place for individuals who are intellectual and driven. It is a place for engaged youths with an inner nerd. It is a place where brains outweigh brawn.
Carnegie Mellon offers a wide variety of activities and organizations for students. Trust me, when you walk into the Activiti...
Carnegie Mellon offers a wide variety of activities and organizations for students. Trust me, when you walk into the Activities Fair at the beginning of each semester, you will know there is something for everyone. Academic groups and activities are very popular; these range from The Tartan (our newspaper) to organizations that support probably every engineering and mathematics program. Artistic groups are probably the most popular, and CMU offers a wide assortment of these fun and interactive clubs and groups. Scotch n' Soda (non-major theatre group), Dancer's Symposium, Lunar Gala (fashion show), and various vocal groups are all fantastic student activities, some of them even achieving national recognition. Last, but definitely not least, are social groups and sports groups. Around 20% of the student population participates in Greek life, and a large majority of the population participates in sports (for non-athletic people like myself, fun intramural sports are offered). Cross-country, rowing, tennis, and swimming are some of the most popular on campus. Outside of clubs and organizations, CMU hosts many fantastic events and guest speakers. Just this year, Mark Zuckerburg (CEO of Facebook) chose Carnegie Mellon as one of only three campus to speak to. Outside of school, the social life is also at a great high. The city offers great venues for eating, music, film, and shopping for some fun on the weekend. And if you're looking for the 'classic college experience', there is almost always a party somewhere near campus that all are 'free' to attend (sometimes there is an entrance fee, especially for guys). No matter what your particular interests are, the school offers great opportunities to meet new people and develop great friendships.
The common stereotype for CMU is that all of its students are ridiculously smart; therefore all of its students are either nerds or hipsters. And to some extent, this is true. Carnegie Mellon offers highly-competitive and intensive programs in engineering, computer science, and the arts, so the majority of the students who get in are very intelligent and hardworking individuals. So, of course, there are going to be computer science nerds and hipster film students, but don't forget that Carnegie Mellon is a school! These types of students are going to exist at all schools, from Harvard to your local community college. An unique aspect about CMU, however, is that the university accepts, embraces, and even celebrates these characteristics in people. If you're a nerd at heart- be a nerd! That being said, Carnegie Mellon, perhaps better than most colleges, opens you to a world of new, unique individuals who are all different an can by no means be shoved into a stereotype. At school I've met a wide variety of students, all of them with different cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. At CMU, over 20% of the campus participates in Greek life, 14% of students are international, and we have students from almost all 50 of the United States. So in reality, a stereotype is just a stereotype, and no matter what type of student you are, I'm sure there will be a groups of students you will fit in with.
In a blanket statement: Carnegie Mellon University provides an outstanding but challenging academic environment to all of its students. On average, the class sizes range from 25-35 people, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1. That being said, I've been in classes of close to 100 students (Intro. to Psychology, Biology), and I'm currently enrolled in a class of 6 students (Modern Poetry). It all really depends on the type of class (lecture classes vs. seminar classes). In my total experience, the professors are always invested in the students and--if you simply muster the courage to talk to them, they don't bite--they will do everything they can and even go out of their way to work with you and ensure your success. That being said, the academic programs here are Carnegie Mellon are extremely rigorous. It is not unusual for students to have to spend hours studying or doing homework. All of the professors here carry high expectations and hold their students to high standards. This, of course, is because CMU students work hard and have a drive to excel; and it wouldn't be entirely false to categorize a large section of the student population as competitive. However, this love of learning facilitates a challenging and innovative academic environment that is awesome to participate in. And most importantly, the hard work pays off. Carnegie Mellon has some of the highest job-placement rates in the nation. As far as my own beloved English department- both the students and the faculty create a challenging and intimate environment. I know and speak to many of my professors outside of class and on a personal level, and they are all very invested in my education and leading me to a successful career, as well as personal success and happiness. With other students in my department,there is frequently intellectual conversation, but also a lot of friendship-building and fun. And It is awesome, especially as a writer, to have the support of your peers.
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