Carnegie Mellon University Top Questions

Describe the students at your school.

Jacob

Nerdy

Jacob

Nerdy

Sarah

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

Anonymous

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.

Max

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.

Charlton

My classmates are open, helpful, and very fun to work with!

Jule

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.

Anna

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.

Anna

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.

Rebecca

You can find any type of person at CMU - any race, any religion, any ethnicity, any political affiliation, any sexual orientation, any socio-economic status. With that being said, students with similar backgrounds and interests tend to cling together. For instance, Koreans mostly hang out with Koreans, and drama students mostly hang out with drama students, and football guys mostly hang out with football guys, etc. Your major may very well determine who your friends are because you'll be spending all your time with the same people in the same classes, labs, and studios. The majority of students here come from middle class/upper-middle class families (probably because tuition is so high). But regardless, whatever your interests are, you'll find other people with the same interests here. There is a club for almost everything, from anime-watching to ballroom dancing to death-metal-listening.

Paul

I started answering this earlier when I discussed the Carnegie Mellon stereotype. Students here are pretty quirky. We get passionate about things. If you come here, chances are you will find people who are eager to talk with you about what you love to do or study and will help you get better at it. In my experience, your skin color, sexual orientation, gender, fashion sense, family wealth don't really matter here. What matters is how willing you are to learn and what you will do with that knowledge. You'll probably meet LGBT students. You'll meet students who are left and right wing. You'll meet religious students and atheists. You'll see some people coming to class in high fashion, and more coming to class in their pajamas. But all of this is secondary. We tend to define ourselves by our studies. Your major means more to another student than your race, or your political stance. That is not to say that students here are oblivious. Some are, certainly, but most keep tabs on current events, and many people do that strong opinions on things like politics and religion. It just isn't what defines us. Finally, we're pretty nerdy. We like our video games, our tabletop RPG's, and our zombie debates. We like reducing philosophical discussions to quotes from Portal, and we like discussing physics in the context of the zombie apocalypse. We like quantum mechanics, relativity and chemistry jokes. We like our webcomics and we love our internet connections. We have Nerf wars, and we play Capture the Flag With Stuff (which is capture the flag, only with stuff). If you don't have a strong passion for something, or if you think you want a more relaxed environment, or a campus with great parties, CMU might not be for you. But if you've always felt a bit out of place at your high school because of your sense of humor or your interests then we welcome you. Oh yeah, and you might want to start reading xkcd if you don't already. A lot of us do here.

Tahirah

The majority of the student body is probably White, though sometimes it seems most students are Asian. The White population is considerable, but Koreans and Indians have a pronounced presence on campus. There’s a wealth of international students and numerous multicultural student organizations. Diversity is certainly something loved and enjoyed on this campus.

Caroline

As cliche as it might sound, Carnegie Mellon's student population is incredibly diverse. Every day, I walk through campus and hear French, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin, among others. There is a large percentage of international students, and many first-generation Americans as well. There is no large, cafeteria-style dining hall, so you won't see cliques form this way. Just head to Hunt Library, where most students spend a great deal of time, and you'll see folks stratified--or not. Most students make their closest friends in their first-year living communities and within their major. There's a student organization for literally everyone--astronomy club, cmuTV, co-ed water polo, Atheists, Humanists & Agnostics (AHA), and Bhangra in the 'Burgh, to name just a few out of the 250+. Many students come from middle-upper class backgrounds, as CMU's endowment is smaller than many top-tier schools and cannot afford to offer as competitive financial aid packages.

Daniel

The spirit of collaboration at CMU is one of its biggest draws, and the university lives up to it. School spirit isn't obvious in normal ways (sports aren't a big issue), but runs deep, even if it's for a particular program and not the entire school. Regardless, students' resect for each other's work is tremendous, which fosters a community of interested people. Students always find themselves taking classes outside their major or school simply because a friend inspired them to.

Cassie

Minority groups are smaller on campus. There is a fairly large Asian and foreign population, but mostly Caucasian kids. Most students dress casually but nicely - no sweatpants here. You'll see mostly middle class and upper-middle class backgrounds, lots of kids from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and a mix of most of the other states. Most students are very liberal and informed. They definitely talk about how much they'll earn one day. Or, more likely, how much they'll accomplish - everyone is very driven.

L

- talented - gorgeous - hardworking - probably leaning politically left - either very gay, or very gay-friendly. this is drama school people. - somewhat financially diverse - somewhat racially diverse - very diverse in terms of geography

Julia

Diverse. Interesting. Pretty cool.

David

Student Body Some suggested topics: What are your experiences with racial, religious, LGBT, socio-economic, and/or other groups on campus? · What kind of student would feel out of place at Carnegie? · What do most students wear to class? · Do different types of students interact? · There are four tables of students in the dining hall. Describe them. · Where are most Carnegie students from? · What financial backgrounds are most prevalent? · Are students politically aware / active? Are they predominantly left, right or center? · Do students talk about how much they'll earn one day?

Leonard

Classmates are serious about their work but always supportive. It's hard working environment where you learn to depend on your classmates and they in turn learn to depend on you as well.

Jesse

People are intense and dedicated and smart at cmu. You have jerks, like every other school, but people mostly leave others alone.

Nicholas

We work hard as hell.

Andy

The nerd stereotype is fairly accurate. Most people are genuinely excited about what they study, sometimes sacrificing a social life in the pursuit. If you want to party you definitely can, especially in the Greek system. There is a lot of diversity and people generally are very welcoming. The financial backgrounds are mostly middle and upper-middle class but there are low-income and high income students. People are from all over the spectrum. The commonality tends to be ambition.

Chris

Diverse. Race was theres a lot more asians than most places. Still majority of people are white. Very few black students. Lots of international students compared to most school. Not many interested in politics, but those who are a generally democrat, though quite a few conservative groups on campus. Some kids go to parties 5 times a week, some kids do homework everyday and party once every other week. It's really diverse, which is a good thing I think. Lots of different backgrounds, personality types, interests.

Jocelyn

Most students on campus are very caught up in their studies and frequently uninterested in helping others.

Ennun

My classmates are focused and intelligent.

Alexandra

Mostly the same major as me, stressed out about tests and homework sometimes, but generally friendly and willing to help others, work in groups etc.

Ariel

My classmates are competitive but they are simultaneously very friendly, helpful, and understanding- we have a true sence of community here on campus.

Cindy

Focused, driven, hardworking, campus and community leaders.

Jihea

Students are stressed and overworked but are often very involved in student organizations, great at networking, and have strong career goals.

Olivia

The most interesting and wierd people you will ever meet

Rachel

They are: friendly, helpful, enthusiastic, ambitious, etc.

Ryan

CMU is pretty apathetic, really. There are religious groups, political and LGBT groups on campus that are active, and you will find people that will support whatever interests you have, but in general most people are focused on their studies. The campus leans to the left, but it is far from "super liberal". Also, the student body is generally affluent, but there are many exceptions and it isn't assumed that everyone has strong financial resources in their parents. The only people who would feel out of place on campus are people who aren't passionate about life -- about their major, about the world, about their place in our future. I'm not going to lie -- disengaged, undirected people will not like it here.

Faye

Awesome.

Jesse

The elegance of a student's body at CMU is made up for by his or her academic brilliance. There are a few exceptions, NoSuchMethodException, NullPointer, etc (yes, we hate Java too but it is taught here). Fortunately, our Starcraft tournaments have better turnout than the football games (at least I think we have one). Acceptable clubs include the KGB, CIA, OGS, OMGIHATE251, etc ... Do not join frats, your grades will suffer. Do not join sororities, well, ok most of them are fine ... most.

Heather

There are all types of people at CMU because of the strong contrast (generally speaking) between CFA students and engineering/math and science students. The campus is overall extremely liberal, so people with more conservative values may feel out of place. Also, most people who attend CMU are city dwellers, and are used to cit life, so anyone from a more rural area may feel out of place at CMU as well. Most students wear pretty casual clothing to class; jeans, T-shirts, some even wear pajama pants. The most prevalent social background at CMU is wealthy or upper middle class. This is because CMU offers very few scholarship opportunities and the tuition is one of the most expensive in the country.

Tristan

CMU students are from many places around the world. Almost half of them are Asian. I do not think that there is a racial issue here.

Alex

There are loads of different cultures in the CMU student body. I think it is unfortunate that races are often segregated due to many clubs organized specifically for an individual race, but in multiracial settings the knowledge you can gain from people of different backgrounds is priceless. Being around someone from every part of the world really trains you to become a world leader.

Amanda

Carnegie Mellon has a really diverse student body. There is a large population of international students which has made my college experience all the more interesting.

Alonzo

There seems to be a lot of diversity on campus, I've run into all sorts of groups and they all convey their ideas in a polite way. They do not force anything on you. For example, I am an atheist and every day in the winter I go to the young Christians table and get free hot chocolate. Its a bond we share. So money... some kids have a lot of it and the other kids are on some kind of scholarship. There does not seem to be many people in between. Students are very aware of politics and current events. In general, the student body is a determined intelligent lot of people that enjoy working and discussing anything from the latest processor specs to the latest theater show.

Laura

It's like 40% girls 60% guys. There are a lot of Asians. Most people consider themseleves more spiritual than religious, but religious groups are present on campus and that kind of diversity is definitely accepted. People of different socio-economic backgrounds are present and I've never heard of any problems between people over that. People usually wear jeans and a t-shirt to class, but some people do choose to get dressed up, especially in the school of drama, and it's not a big deal, everyone kind of does their own thing.

Alex

I feel that in general, CMU is a very tolerant campus. We have students coming from small towns in Ohio, and simultaneously, a large population of foreign students. I have noticed over my three years here that people of similar ethnic backgrounds initially group together. During their time here, however, there are a lot of opportunities to branch out; it's up to the individuals to take advantage of them. People dress pretty casually to go to class--it gets pretty cold in the winter, so you'll see a lot of down jackets and ski hats. In general, it's a fairly casual place. Financially, it's hard to say what backgrounds are most prevalent. I have friends who are here on all financial aid and grew up below the poverty line, and then others whose fathers are oil tycoons. We're all over the place with that, but regardless, people do talk about how much they'll earn some day. Students aren't particularly politically active, I'm not sure if the general population is aware or not. I was involved with the PA primaries and getting students to vote, and did attend several rallies for politicians this year, but I feel that it's more of a personal interest than popular one. The opportunities are there if you want them.

Jake

CMU is diverse, that is the main thing that has to be taken into account when thinking about our campus. There are many different people from all sorts of backgrounds and from many different nations. This diversity does not inhibit friendships, infact it causes many different people to form friendships that are nurished in the fact that they can learn so much from the others.

Alex

still no

Ryan

Very diverse. Unfortunately lots of crazy annoying liberals.

Jason

CMU is an extremely diverse population, especially ethnically. Their are a lot of asians and plenty of people of other ethnicities. There are people from all over the country and all over the world. The financial backgrounds are diverse, though most are middle class or upper middle class. CMU isn't as liberal as many colleges, but the student body definitely leans left.

Cody

One of the first words you will here at CMU is DIVERSITY. It's a loaded word. We have several different majors, races, and religions represented, but that says nothing about diversity. I am impressed with theyw ay this campus promotes diversity. One of the orientation events is a community collage. It features performances and speeches by different groups and student leaders around campus. After orientation though, it's really dependent on you if you want to experience DIVERSITY. The school offers cultural shows, a gender issues conference, political rallies, dance shows, robot races, a womens leadership program, and interfaith council events. We are a pretty liberal campus. Unfortunately its the same batch of people that attend all of these and too many people leave CMU not going to any of them. Ok...down to the nitty gritty. People dress so well during the few warm summery days but by the second midterms come, several are in sweats. There are the few and mighty that refuse to sacrifice style for convenience and they look great no matter what. Greek life is highly visible on this campus. Different organizations are continuosuly having philanthropies, parties, or barbeques for people to attend and though it is not for everyone, it's definitely worth checking out.

Robin

Geeks rock. Allies, our LGBT support group, is very active and rocks--brought Dan Savage in for Gaypril.

alex

Diverse group of students but so many of each culture that if you only wanted to be with people of your race you can still have many friends.

Mark

There always seems to be somebody outside of Doherty (the primary Science building) getting you to buy something or asking you to support a cause. They can get kind of annoying at 9 in the morning, but you get over it. Just meeting people during orientation, I think half of the student body is Asian. My three best friends are Asian, and I joined Asian Students Organization because I knew a lot of the people in it. I'm white, just so you know, and I think I might be a minority here. There aren't many African Americans. There are a good amount of Indians (from India). I think the girl/guy split is about 50/50. People here seem to be mostly left-leaning at least, but I saw a bunch of Ron Paul signs first semester, before it was even cool to like him.

Andy

Student body is hella diverse. Many, many countries are represented--especially Asian ones. You can meet the coolest kids from totally across the world and they can fill you in on perspectives you would never have imagined. Plus everyone is smart in some way since it is CMU and therefore you can make friends with probably 85% of the people you meet if you so desire.

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