Carnegie Mellon University

Uni in the USA review

Founded by wealthy industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1900, modernistic CMU has risen to become one of the finest and most reputable universities in America. With a historical focus on science and technology, nowadays CMU has more top-ranked departments than Carnegie had railroad companies (and in fields as diverse as drama and computer science).

This means an incredible breadth and depth of study, combined with lots and lots of brilliant teachers dedicated to rousing their pupils with the same passion that they feel for their subjects. Collaboration with next-door University of Pittsburgh allows students to share classes, professors and facilities, a great boon to CMU’s academics.


Outside of the “rigorous and interesting” courses, most students find just enough time to enjoy the tradition-laced campus life and some even get their fingers into some of the delights of gritty-but-cool Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s second city (with great public transport).

The university is home to a whopping 250 student organisations, and is well known for it’s top-rate art galleries and theatre clubs. Students love the busy atmosphere and the small-but-not-too small size, which allows you to get intimate but not claustrophobic.


All undergrads are guaranteed housing on campus, which the majority make use of for all four years.

University Man/Woman

Students are “focused”, “quirky”, “well-rounded” and “nerdy”, though they can’t be pigeonholed. With a relatively large number of international students (20%+), diversity is strong.

Social Life

There are some frats in operation, but if you’re looking for the craziest parties, look on.
Events and societies are advertised by paintings on “The Fence”, an ancient monument in the centre of campus which is closely guarded 24/7 by students to prevent others painting over their work.

Other traditions include the huge and beloved Spring Carnival and both buggy and robot racing. There is a Scottish theme at CMU, supposedly due to Carnegie’s ancestry, and the university holds the intriguing distinction of being one of only two in the country to offer a degree in bagpipe music.

Getting In

AT A GLANCE – Application & Test Options:
– Early Decision, Regular Decision
– ACT/SAT required
– SAT Subject tests required for most programmes

Competition for places is tough – about 25% are admitted – with most applicants also jostling for places at all the other high-flyers in the north east.

Money Matters

The financial news is not good either – CMU is expensive and does not award needs-based aid to international students.

Famous Graduates

Andy Warhol – iconic pop artist

Judith Resnik – astronaut






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