Carnegie Mellon University Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Yeah we're pretty nerdy


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Yeah, people are geeky and some are socially awkward, but if you are a social person, you will meet other social people. People are geeky in different ways. Some wear capes and play MTG, while others play video games. Some are strange and some are perfectly normal. And yeah, people are smart.



Chris anywhere, there are some nerdy kids, some cool kids, etc. Maybe the number of nerdy kids is disproportionate to real life, but overall its a good mix.


Yes. Don't come here if these don't interest you.


We do not have hot professors


Sadly, yes.




Well, yeah, kinda'.


So very true. Nearly all CMU students are nerds in their own special way, and most display it very prominently.


At CMU not everyone is a nerd. There are plenty of cool people, too.


Actually, we have a lot of fun! It is just that for some people, programming a new kernel is fun. For others, drinking a lot and dancing is fun. I think for the most part, everyone is at least a little nerdy.


Within reason. We do study alot, but we got out too. Things are not very active socially on weekdays, but there's pretty much always a party on the weekends if you look. There's also a lot more to do in Pittsburgh than people think. You just have to look a little bit. I wouldn't say there are a lot of ugly people on campus, there just aren't a lot of gorgeous people.


Sure, there are kids like that. But I've also met some of the most outgoing and interesting people with such a range of interests through both working in dorms and meeting people in classes.


Well we certainly don't have as many attractive or athletic students as some schools, but we certainly do have people with great athletic abilities and nice looks. It is true,a lot of our student population is in fact foreign, however,this is one of the best features of CMU. Our diverse student population means we get to truly learn about and interact with other cultures, and it certainly makes debating more interesting. I would also imagine that a lot of people here would admit to being geeky or nerdy but that doesn't mean many people walk around with their pocket protectors on(except of course computer science majors, they always have theirs in). People here just take a great interest in whatever their passion is so they tend to be geeky about whatever they love.


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Yes and no. There are certainly a few students who fit this profile but by and large I'd say that this is not the case.


Some... I think that for the most part, everyone here is extremely dedicated to what they do and extremely dedicated to learning... so in a way we are nerds of our specific majors... as for computers, no not everyone loves them but technology definitely has a strong presence on campus


Yes, these stereotypes do fit many people here, but there are also many people who do not fit these stereotypes. It is true that people work hard here, but I think thateveryone who complains about too much work really enjoys it in the long run.


Not entirely. Hygiene is not an issue and students work hard, but still find time for other things.




None of them is true. As always, college is what you make of it. CMU has a week-long orientation program that is AMAZING. It really helps people break out of their shell, and for those that are already outgoing, it gives them a chance to get to know the campus and establish themselves as college students. The boys: There are, off course people that ypou click with and those that you raise an eyebrow to. Plenty of guys are out there. You have the romantics, the jerks, the clowns, and the friend-zoned. That's not all, obviosuly, but there is a variety. You can almost guarantee that they will be successful later on. The books: We are not trapped. Some people get stressed out and their the ones who complain. If you overwhelm or underwhelm yourself in other activities, you will feel trapped by your lifestyle. Part of getting to college is finding your own balance. Since mom and dad aren't going to be there to remind you about deadlines and attending parent-teacher conferences, it is up to you to gauge your progress. The girls: This frustrates me to no end. We do have considerably fewer girls at CMU, but admissions has been working to balance that and there is definitely progress. I have met a lot of beautiful girls at CMU, and I don't mean on the inside. There are tons of pretty faces, hot bodies, great dancers, and excellent dressers. The shallowest man could probably get his fill here. At the same time, though, it's easy to find someone that is the whole package, too. Getting in here usually means that you are ambitious and/or intellectual. Whether they are single or not is a different matter-- too many guys wait too long. There is sex.


Happily, yes. For those of us who enjoy company of geeks, who get nervous in drunken crowds and who want to be as unique and smart as we are without fear of ostracization, CMU is a haven.


you'd better believe it


I don't even know anybody that plays WoW. Out of about 15 people with whom I'm close, I can only think of 2 that are incredibly serious about studying every night. The rest of us has GPAs in the 2.0-3.0 range.


Well, most of the CS students are single and stinky, but we have tons of cool Purnell school of Drama cats, some hella tight artists, and the mech e's throw great parties...not to mention the archies and design cats.


While the school has a huge Asian population compared to other schools, no race is dominated by numbers at all. In fact because of that, no one is really conscious of it. Some people have different hygiene opinions, but people really aren't that smelly, and so many people are nice. Thanks to the Greek population, there are plenty of parties to attend on the Greek Quad at the fraternities. This is where people socialize and unwind. Really, it's not this whole anti-social field... there are probably just as many people studying on a Saturday night as any other school... we're not shut down or anything because of studying.


For the most part all of the stereotypes are false. Just like any school, CMU is going to be what you make out of it. There are many ways to be involved socially while still keeping that high GPA that all of us strive for. It is a difficult school no matter what major you are and there are students who fit the CMU stereotype, but there is always time to make friends and enjoy college life as well.


Only of Computer Science students, and only of some of them. Most of the rest of folks are just nerdy but otherwise normal and awesome. Not all Korean students smoke, and students who are not Korean smoke.


No. There are really cool people at CMU and of course there are those few people who are a bit antisocial, but most of the students are friendly and interesting. There are also tons of parties and other things to do on the weekends and even during the week!


CMU isn't very competitive from what I've seen. The stereotypes about working all day are somewhat true. Based on your major, you may be working constantly and many of the art/design/architecture majors pull all nighters in studio often. My major of psychology is very different so even though I may be stressed at times I still find time to relax. There aren't very many parties going on around campus, but people do join fraternities and sororities and use that as an outlet to be social and get relax from the stress of school. Drama majors are loud and CS majors mostly are quiet, but some CS majors are really really cool (they're very eclectic so not all of them are reclusive)


Not entirely..


These stereotypes are rather accurate, but don't let that dissuade you. Most of us know that we're nerds, smart, geeks, etc -- and it's not somethign to ashamed of at CMU...we're extremely proud to be considered among the most elite in all of academia. And yes, there is quite a workload -- "My heart is in the work" is a famous quote by Andrew Carnegie that resonnates true throughout CMU -- but at the end of the day, the amount of work is (somehow) managable


CMU is, in fact, very academically challenging but the truth of the matter is that if you were admitted into the university on your own merit, then you are capable of succeeding academically. As far as the students are concerned, there is a huge variety of people at CMU. While academics are a top priority for nearly all students at CMU, there are plenty of people with a life outside of the classroom.


yes, for the most part, we are all nerds somewhere




In some cases, yes, and the stereotypes tend to be more true for certain majors than others. But there are a lot of people who don't fit this stereotype, regardless of major, and you tend to find one another.


Yeah pretty much.


For the most part they are, but you have to find cool people and you will


They don't apply to everyone


there are some nerds and socially awkward people, plenty of them, but there are also plenty of awesome people that are a lot of fun to hang out with. the greek system gets looked down upon, as is the usual case, but we aren't as bad as most other school's systems, and we bring alot to the campus.


These are accurate for about 25{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the student body. However, most of the students are much more than that.


As a student body we are very smart, but we do seem to have more than your average number of ugly people among us. I believe that this is the result of two things. First, as a school renowned for engineering and computer science, we attract a certain breed of people: the geeks and the nerds of the world. They are called such not because of their intelligence, but because of social oddities. There are a LOT of weird people here, we're a collection of crazies, and some of those crazies just don't try to look good, and just don't care. The second reason, we are known for being such an ugly group of young people is because we work really really hard. Every professor assigns work as though theirs is the only class you are taking that semester. Because of this we don't sleep as much as we would like and we look tired, (not in a recipe for attractiveness) and we stop trying to look good. It just isn't the most important thing here, and I save a lot of money on make up. We also have a sense of humor about it. For a while T-shirts that read: SEX KILLS on the front and COME TO CMU AND LIVE FOREVER on the back were sold out side of the bookstore. (


We are definitely dorky, but not in a bad way. Everyone here is a dork about something: drama, computer science, politics, art, psychology, engineering, science, anime, music, whatever. You will never find people as passionate about their interests as they are here at CMU (and that's what makes us "dorks"). We are far from boring. This community is very diverse and there are always the most random things going on that will peak your interest. There are some ugly kids... I won't lie. But it is definitely exaggerated. A psychological study done on our campus showed that people were likely their opinion of attractiveness of a person based on whether they were told the student went to CMU (instead of Pitt). You can't be a dork about all these different things without knowing a lot about them. Students here know so much about some of the most tangential things that they put Ken Jennings to shame.


To a degree, the stereotypes are true becuase everyone has to be a hard-worker and at least a nerd to get into CMU and do well in their subjects, but as far as no social life, the people really are fabulous, and one has the ability to make quality, "once-in-a-lifetime" friends.




Yes in some regards, however, there are definitely people who break this mold. In a sense we pride ourselves in our "nerdyness", and have fun with it.




Most CMU students study a lot, but they do not study 24/7, and people do go out and have fun in their own way, shape or form. Partying isn't extremely popular here (if you want to go to a party, you can find one, but if you don't like parties you won't be pressed to go to any). CMU does have a very good engineering program, but there are other great programs on campus too, such as the drama and computer science departments. There are other programs with great reputations as well.