How to Get Into Carnegie Mellon

Pittsburgh, PA
September 1, 2022
Carnegie Mellon Admissions RequirementsHow to Write the Carnegie Mellon Essays Carnegie Mellon InterviewsCarnegie Mellon Acceptance Rate (Class of 2025) Tips for Applying to Carnegie Mellon University About Carnegie Mellon How to Get Into Carnegie Mellon: FAQs


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/22

Considering studying at Carnegie Mellon University? This is your guide on how to get into Carnegie Mellon.


Carnegie Mellon is a top research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The college attracts thousands of brilliant undergraduate students each year. Carnegie Mellon is known for its excellent STEM programs as well as programs in the arts.  

Carnegie Mellon University has seven schools and colleges ranging from science and technology to the arts. Students can further benefit from interdisciplinary studies in their education at Carnegie Mellon. The university encourages projects and collaboration with students and faculty from different programs, making it a first choice for many.  

Carnegie Mellon has a ranking of #25 in National Universities by US News and World 

Report. It was also recently ranked first as a top Technology Transfer University, beating out top Ivy League and STEM colleges. 

Heartland Forward, a nonprofit focusing on economic performance, gave them the ranking for their excellence in embedding new knowledge into their STEM programs.  

We’ll inform you of everything you need to know about how to get into Carnegie Mellon. We will also provide tips on how to write the Carnegie Mellon essays and acing your Carnegie Mellon interview. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!

Book a Free 30 min Call

Carnegie Mellon Admissions Requirements

Students must understand what is expected from them before they begin their application. This allows you to apply to Carnegie Mellon with an idea of how to present yourself. It is just as important to understand the documents you will be required to submit as much as you will need to prepare your essays. 

Application Requirements 

Carnegie Mellon has seven colleges and schools. Students must review these colleges and their programs to understand their expectations. However, all students must first fill out a common application, regardless of the college they wish to attend. 

Common Application Requirements

The common application gathers all required documents and will also be where you submit your essays. 

Depending on the college or school you are applying to, you may be required to submit additional materials. 

Standardized Testing Requirements 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Carnegie Mellon and most universities have set a test-optional policy for all standardized tests. This test-optional policy was extended. Students are therefore not required to submit SAT or ACT scores to be given serious consideration for admission. 

Students still have the option to submit these test scores if they can take these tests safely. The college claims to consider all applications equally, whether standardized test scores are submitted. 

SAT and ACT averages CM
Source: US News

According to US News, a quarter of admitted students scored above these ranges, and a quarter scored below. Of course, you will want to try to score as high as possible on your standardized tests, but it will not determine your acceptance. It is essential to look at your application as a whole.  

 Carnegie Mellon's admissions claim to have a holistic approach to admissions. They do not look at a single grade to determine a candidate's potential. An applicant is considered in context, not just for a single score. When considering how to get into Carnegie Mellon University, understand that your application will be considered as a whole. 

Carnegie Mellon Essays 

Carnegie Mellon has written three essay prompts to understand each applicant better. When applying to the college, you must write the Carnegie Mellon essays.  

Carnegie Mellon Essay Prompts 

Students may find it helpful to review the Carnegie Mellon writing supplement questions prior to applying. Consider your answers to these questions before you begin writing.  

These essay prompts are nothing to be afraid of. Any applicant is capable of writing unique and interesting answers to these questions. Keep reading for tips on how to write the Carnegie Mellon essays.

How to Write the Carnegie Mellon Essays 

Even if you have put together a great college application, you may still be struggling with how to answer the Carnegie Mellon Supplements. These questions have not been designed to work against you. The admissions committee is looking for a way to get to know you outside your transcripts and test scores.  

Reflect and Be Honest 

Remember, the admissions committee will review countless other applications, so it is essential to stand out. Don’t let this overwhelm you because standing out is not very difficult when you are being genuine. Take some time to think about your honest answers to the essay prompts.  

Taking the time to assess your actual goals will be the best way to get started on writing the Carnegie Mellon essays. Forget what you think the admissions committee will want to hear for a moment and be honest. 

Answer the Question 

Some students mistake working their test scores, GPA, or accomplishments into the writing supplements. This is not a good idea in most cases. The essay prompts are short, 300 words each.  

You have the rest of your application to demonstrate what a great candidate you are. Don’t waste the writing supplement section listing your accomplishments. That is not what this section is for. Make sure you are answering the questions asked.  

Avoid Clichés

You may see examples of past essays when trying to figure out how to answer Carnegie Mellon supplements. This may be helpful in a way, but avoid repeating what you see. Through thousands of essays, the admissions committee will have seen it all. Clichés and common responses may not hurt your application, but they won’t move the needle. 

Carnegie Mellon Interviews

For those students who are worried about their Carnegie Mellon interview, there’s no need to worry! Carnegie Mellon is no longer interviewing students for application consideration. Alumni’s attention is being directed towards students who are already accepted to the school.

You may still have a Carnegie Mellon interview in the future, but it will not affect your application; you will already have been accepted. In these cases, the interview is just to give incoming undergraduates a chance to ask questions and learn more about campus life in a personal format.

Carnegie Mellon Acceptance Rate (Class of 2025) 

Carnegie Mellon University attracts thousands of applicants annually, only accepting 15.4% of these students. The number of total undergraduates is 6,929. Students trying to get into Carnegie Mellon can benefit from understanding the acceptance rates.  

Carnegie Mellon claims to look at each applicant as a whole and does not solely consider a single score. However, it may be helpful to know that the average GPA is 3.69. Students can use this information to gauge where they may stand in the applicant pool.

Tips for Applying to Carnegie Mellon University  

Here are our top tips on how to get into Carnegie Mellon. Whether you’re just putting the finishing touches on your application or are yet to apply, this is what we think you should focus on to get into Carnegie Mellon.  

1. Extracurriculars 

Carnegie Mellon University is looking for students that will take “full advantage of all the university offers.” This means more than just a high GPA. They are looking for students who will drive the future forward.  

Extracurricular activities, whether sports, clubs, volunteer work, or even research projects, will all help show the admissions committee how proactive you are.  

2. Focus on Your Writing Supplements 

Don’t assume that your GPA or test scores are all that matters. Carnegie Mellon’s writing supplements are designed to get to know you as a person. Take the time to show yourself as an individual outside of your test scores.  

3. Select the Best Recommendations 

It is always better to submit a recommendation from a counselor or teacher who knows you best. If you can, take the time to consider who knows you well enough to give you a glowing recommendation

Remember, it does not need to be a teacher whose classroom you were in. A teacher who supervised a club or team you were on would be a great choice.  

4. Have a Goal 

Many students apply to university because they believe it is the natural next step after college. While this may be true for you, consider what you might hope to get out of the experience. Where do you hope it will take you? What do you see for the future?  

If you have a goal and you believe Carnegie Mellon University is the place that will help you get there, this will shine through in your writing supplements. 

About Carnegie Mellon 

Carnegie Mellon University is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The college is associated with over 20 Nobel Laureates. First-year students are required to live on campus, with over 20% of students involved in Greek life.  

Carnegie Mellon has students from every part of the world and has a global presence with campuses in Rwanda, Australia, and Qatar. Carnegie Mellon Colleges 

The university has seven schools and colleges that craft programs to help students get the most out of their time there: 

Within these seven schools and colleges, Carnegie Mellon offers additional interdisciplinary programs. These majors are made to encourage students to tailor their education more closely to their goals and interests while working with students and faculty outside of their school or college.  

Carnegie Mellon Mission Statement

Encouraging interdisciplinary study comes from the goals in the school's mission statement. Carnegie Mellon strives to:

“To cultivate a transformative university community committed to (a) attracting and retaining diverse, world-class talent; (b) creating a collaborative environment open to the free exchange of ideas, where research, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship can flourish; and (c) ensuring individuals can achieve their full potential.”

How to Get Into Carnegie Mellon: FAQs  

Still wondering how to get into Carnegie Mellon? Keep reading for more answers! 

1. How Hard is it to Get into Carnegie Mellon?  

Carnegie Mellon has an acceptance rate of 15.4%.  

2. What GPA Do You Need to Get into Carnegie Mellon 

The average GPA of admitted students at Carnegie Mellon is 3.69. Students can be accepted with a lower GPA than this; applicants will be looked at as a whole. Extracurricular activities, volunteer work, research projects, and more will be considered in addition to your GPA. 

3. What Does Carnegie Mellon Look For? 

The admissions committee looks at applications as a whole, including transcripts, essays, extracurricular activities, etc. The college is most known for its STEM programs. 

These majors may need to see good grades in required prerequisite courses. With seven colleges and schools, students should look into the college of their choice directly to determine their specific requirements. 

Final Thoughts  

Carnegie Mellon University is a high-ranking college that attracts brilliant students each year. The college has produced more than 20 Nobel Laureates and is recognized for its STEM programs. It is, of course, competitive but not impossible to be accepted. 

Applicants who take the time to submit a well-prepared application significantly increase their chances of standing out to the admissions committee. This article has answered your big question about getting into Carnegie Mellon. Follow our tips to increase your chance of getting into Carnegie Mellon!

Get A Free Consultation

Speak to a former college admissions officer about how we can help you get into your dream school
Schedule a Call

You May Also Like

Before you go, here are a few facts about us!
The Quad Factor: Working with us can increase your chances of admission by 7x!

The Best of the Best: Our team comprises of only 99th percentile tutors and admissions counselors from top-ranking universities, meaning you work with only the most experienced, talented experts.

The Free Consultation: Our experts would love to get to know you, your background, goals, and needs. From there, they match you with a best-fit consultant who will create a detailed project plan and application strategy focused on your success.
Exclusive Guide - Receive your FREE college admissions guide today to demystify the process and get accepted at your dream school!
Get the Free GuideClose