Guides: Carnegie Mellon University

Andy Wang
Andy Wang

Our collaborative team of content writers and researchers stay up-to-date on the latest news to help you ace your applications. We hope you enjoy the blog.

Known universally for its renowned computer science program, Carnegie Mellon University has long been a school on any STEM student’s radar. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CMU has a variety of programs that make it a STEM powerhouse. In fact, CMU often competes with likes of Stanford, MIT, and UC Berkeley.

Strong programs

In addition, CMU has other programs that further increases its prestige within the college community. Tepper, CMU’s School of Business, has recently ranked among the top 10 of undergraduate programs. Its ranking has continued to rise with each consecutive year, tying for 7th in 2017.


These highly desired programs make Carnegie Mellon University a very popular choice to add to most applicant’s college lists. However, that does not mean that CMU does not give its applicants opportunities to explore their options before they apply. In fact, Carnegie Mellon’s application process allows for applicants to take their picks of which specific colleges within CMU. Then, they can apply to several. This open option reduces applicant stress significantly.


For example, a STEM student has a interest in both engineering and computer science, but also wants to explore business. He or she can apply to the College of Engineering, School of Computer Science, and Tepper School of Business, without having to prioritize one of the other. Once he or she has submitted the app, Carnegie Mellon can then choose to accept the applicant to any or all of the three schools within CMU.

Interdisciplinary options

If an applicant were to theoretically be accepted into all the schools/college he or she applied within CMU, he or she would then be in the position to pick which one to study in or create an interdisciplinary curriculum involving more than one of them. 

In addition, being strictly in one college/school with Carnegie Mellon does not limit what a student may study within CMU. In fact, the Tepper School of Business requires that all of students take a minor in something outside of the business school. Not only is this great for the students at Carnegie Mellon, but it’s also good for prospective students applying to CMU who want to do more than one program.

Applying to Carnegie Mellon University

CMU is a Common App school. This means applicants can use the the CMU supplement to talk about CMU’s school and colleges that aren’t in their main Common App essay. For CMU applicants applying to more than two schools, this gives them the opportunity to explain why they’re a good fit for all the programs they’re applying to and how they intend to take advantage of all the resources CMU has to offer them.


Despite being a prestigious STEM school with a variety of high ranking programs, Carnegie Mellon’s application process allows for choice. An applicant to theoretically apply and receive acceptance into all of them. Many of the top STEM programs in the nation often only let their applicants apply to one program; or make them prioritize one over the other. Carnegie Mellon does not do that, and applicants should take advantage of this unique application system.

Questions? Let us know!