Pittsburgh, PA
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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Study is very rigorous. Workload is pretty heavy and you really have to manage your time properly to get everything done. Professors range from not caring at all to being pretty invested in your learning. TA's are a wild card--some don't care at all, and some are very willing to help.

College Sophomore

Academics: I haven't really gotten that far into my major yet, but so far it's been fine.

4 College Junior

Academics: The academics are very rigorous and the teachers are almost always very supportive and open to giving one-on-one attention and help. Many of them act like your friends and you can tell they really do care about your success and work and that is uplifting.

4 College Junior

Academics: Eurhythmics is a very unique class that all music majors are required to take for 4 semesters. You cannot find that at any other school, It is really an awesome thing that the school does. The program is great and the teachers are really phenomenal, once you find the one that works best for you.

5 College Junior

Academics: TOP of the top, especially the Computer Science program. All the classes will push you hard, veeeeery hard, but you will learn a lot. Help is always available too. For my CS class, the average response time to a question posted on Piazza is 2 minutes, and we have 400+ students in this class (like 40-50 CAs).


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 2nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 3rd
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 19th
    Smartest Professors
  • 120th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 141st
    Best Academic Advisers

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Raina Bradford-Jennings
Brookfield, CT
Professional Writing
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Students have a love/hate relationship with academics at Carnegie Mellon. On one hand, the prestige that comes with a degree from CMU is rewarding in and of itself. Even though CMU isn't Ivy League, there is still a reputation of excellence because of the professors and the work that students put in. But therein lies the "hate" side of the relationship. On the other hand, no matter which major you choose, there is a lot of work involved. Admittedly, some majors are more labor-intensive than others—for example engineering, computer science, and architecture. However, even students outside of these majors are known to pull all-nighters during midterms and finals. 

For all of the commitments that students make to their work, they are gifted with the guidance of some of the best professors in their fields. Many professors are constantly engaged in research, but instead of distancing themselves, CMU students are often given the opportunity to assist in research as a supplement to their studies. There is one thing to remember when contemplating academics at CMU: Students need to do the work in order to succeed. Success is possible, and there are some who get 4.0's in electrical and computer engineering and computer science, but they don't achieve this without constant hard work.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 69%
  • 20 to 49 students: 20%
  • 50 or more students: 11%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology
  • College of Fine Arts
  • Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Mellon College of Science
  • School of Computer Science
  • Tepper School of Business
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 4%
  • Computer Science: 2%
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering: 4%
  • Information Technology: 5%
Graduation Requirements
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Cooperative education program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Student-designed major
Online Courses
Online courses are offered through the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) for both open and free courses to take independently, or as part of the curriculum for a University course. The open and free courses are offered in biological science, media programming, statistics, French, psychology, and more. These are self-guided, whereas the academic courses have access to an instructor and graded tests. However, online courses as part of degree-seeking programs do not replace human professors at Carnegie Mellon.
Best Places to Study
  • Baker-Porter Hall
  • Cathedral of Learning (UPitt Campus)
  • Gates-Hillman Center
  • Hunt Library
  • University Center
Tips to Succeed
  • Actually go to class.
  • Always dispute bad grades.
  • Ask the TAs tons of questions.
  • Check your email at least 10 times a day.
  • Don't get caught bringing alcohol into the dorms.
  • If you have an ID, never show it to a police officer.
  • Know what you want to study before coming here.
  • Learn time management-and fast.
  • Pick classes you actually like.
  • Research your professors before choosing your classes.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 76 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 79 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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