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5 College Sophomore

Academics: The academics are challenging yet doable.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The professors are all great and very qualified. Registration process can be a bit stressful because you're randomly assigned a time to register and waitlists suck, but people forget to use their academic advisers and they are incredibly helpful. Workload gets very heavy so time management is crucial. The first few weeks of classes are light then midterm season hits and it doesn't really end until finals. Most people study in Hunt or Wean library, and the school just put up some new study spaces in the university extension. Other students study in empty classrooms, which I like. I prefer to have more private rooms (because classrooms are taken during the day), but the school doesn't have many of those.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: I get overwhelmed sometimes but it's fun

5 College Freshman

Academics: You will learn so much by coming to CMU. You will leave knowing that your time here was worth it, no matter what your GPA is, and no matter what opportunities you are offered after.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: There are many aspects of CMU, but so far the Engineering program is awesome, and my dealings with professors so far is great. Its nice that CMU offers intro to Engineering courses, so you can really decide what field you want to major in. There are many areas you can go to study, you are not just limited to your dorm. The registration process was not that difficult, and there were all kinds of things to do and be introduced to.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • 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 111 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • 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.
  • 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 often do you:    Based on 44 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 44 responses

  • 27% This was my dream school.
  • 68% This was one of my top choices.
  • 5% This was a school I settled for (safety school).



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