Academics

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Academics

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4 College Freshman

Academics: (As an engineer) It's amazing. If you are interested in a topic, you can go all-in. There are numerous workshops for hands-on experience and you can really immerse yourself in the topic at hand

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: I give the academics 4 stars not because they aren't fantastic but because the workload is AWFUL. I can't describe how difficult it is here. Engineer, art student, whatever you are you will be up in the wee hours of the morning studying no matter what you do. Its rewarding but it comes at a very high cost. Most professors don't have thick accents, but many TA's are foreign and it's a struggle to understand their lectures. But they really are top of the line and if you can stick with it, you'll learn a lot. However you'll need to struggle through many 300-person lecture classes to get to the smaller ones first.

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4 College Freshman

Academics: Being a math major is tough, but the work really pays off especially if you want to double in another technical major, especially computer science. The overlap is pretty good and a double is easy to pick up, a minor even more so. There is a lot of work involved and sometimes the professors aren't that great but if you get a great TA, then you're in luck. If you have a great professor and a great TA, even better. How you use your professors and TAs varies from class to class but after the first week you'll have a feel for them and how you should use them. The internships are a little harder if you're strictly math, so a lot of math majors find that doing CS really helps them because a lot of software companies and technology companies really like the dual combination of math and CS.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: There's great variety and the professors actually care about teaching you the material, even if they can't do that that well. There's a lot of work involved as with every class but if you can balance out your time and not procrastinate you'll be okay. The registration process is a bit frustrating, especially for freshmen but that's because there is a lottery and juniors go first, sophomores next and so on.

3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: They are great never better anywhere else if we are being honest

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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
13:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
917
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
80
Total FT Faculty
1,281
Faculty with Terminal Degree
98%
Average Faculty Salary
$115,011
Full-Time Retention Rate
95%
Graduation Rate
87%
Programs/Majors Offered
167
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
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 80 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.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 13 responses

  • 27% Andy Warhol - famous artist
  • 16% Ming-Na Wen - actress, voice of Disney's Mulan
  • 14% Matt Bomer
  • 11% Joshua "Josh" Gad - Voice of Olaf ("Frozen")
  • 8% Vinod Khosla - former CEO of Sun Microsystems
  • 5% Rob Marshall - Oscar-winning director/choreographer
  • 5% Holly Hunter - star of movie "The Piano"
  • 5% Ted Danson - star of TV show "Cheers"
  • 5% Cote de Pablo
  • 3% Aron Ralston - The inspiration for '127 Hours'
  • 0% John Wells - TV show producer/creator

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 84 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.

How often do you:    Based on 14 responses

Never
Always
  • 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 14 responses

  • 29% This was my dream school.
  • 71% This was one of my top choices.
  • 0% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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