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.