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Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University is a highly esteemed university that is world-famous for nurturing some of the world's top talents. The university excels across a wide range of fields that encompass the entirety of the arts and sciences. Its founder, Andrew Carnegie, endowed the school not only with finances, but with his entrepreneurial spirit that lives on and informs a thriving academic culture. CMU students are thus steeped in a demanding incubator of research, creativity, and innovation.

Overview of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

In fact, CMU supports over 100 centers and institutes that are breaking ground in fields such as architecture and building, arts, botany, cybersecurity, business and policy, and teaching, to name a few. For instance, their Remaking Cities Institute is discovering and sharing ways for cities to remake themselves in a post-industrial society. Other centers are dedicated to robotics, self-healing devices, studying problems in social media, and more.

On campus, students are hard at work becoming tomorrow's leaders. However, there is always time for athletic, recreational, or purely social activities. CMU hosts a wide variety of clubs where students can find space to unwind and explore new interests.

In an effort to carry its founder's banner of philanthropy and civic engagement, CMU offers a number of service opportunities to help students find opportunities to engage with the wider community. In fact, students will find a service opportunity every Saturday.

General Information

School Type Private not-for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 10:1
Graduation Rate 89%
Year Founded 1900

Student Enrollment

Total Students14,029


Undergraduate Student

Male 3,360
Female 3,229

Graduate Student

Male 3,794
Female 3,646

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CMU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 14,921
Female 9,430


Male 1,940
Female 2,263

Acceptance Rate17%

Male 13%
Female 24%

Enrollment 1,573

Male 645
Female 551
Application Fee $75
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations Required
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline January 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

CMU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Since Carnegie Mellon University is a private, not-for-profit institution, it’s not expensive. However, student loans, grants, and scholarships can help offset the initial cost to make attendance affordable and stress free. In the 2018-19 school year, CMU tuition was just over $57,000. When books, supplies, fees, and living expenses were all tallied, the total sticker price at CMU averaged nearly $75,000.

However, 59% of CMU students received some form of financial aid, including student loans. Federal loan borrowing was around $4,000. Meanwhile, students received grants or scholarships in amounts up to $39,000. The result of these financial measures resulted in lower income students seeing a net price of between $11,000 and $13,600.

While CMU is not cheap, their academic standards and long-term personal and financial outcomes result in a terrific value for all their graduates.

Average net price 2017-2018
Net Price $30,847
Average Total Aid $39,213
Students Receiving Financial Aid 59%
Room & Board $14,972

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $57,119
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $57,119
  • Books and Supplies - $1,000
  • Room & Board - $14,972
  • Other - $1,400

Academics and Popular Majors at CMU

The Carnegie Mellon name is synonymous with excellence, including the field of academics. Students that are considering Carnegie Mellon University are sure to find a top-shelf education and a student body that is as stable as it is excellent. Carnegie Mellon's retention rate, graduation rate, and admission standards speak of an institution that delivers high value in return for its tuition.

When students enter for their first year, they tend to be impressed with their faculty and the curriculum. This is held up by the numbers, as 97% of Carnegie Mellon first-year students return for a second year. The vast majority make CMU home and complete their degrees on the Pittsburgh campus. A full 75% complete degrees in four years and 89% cross the stage in six years.

Some studies correlate high retention and graduation rates with low admission numbers. Carnegie Mellon has a low admission rate of 17%. Of the 24,351 total applicants, only 4,140 are admitted, and those students submit SAT scores in the 1,450-1,550 range. With such competitive numbers, applicants might need to add other factors to their applications, such as extra-curricular activities or outstanding awards and other achievements.

Student Population Total

Student Population 14,029

Evening Classes : No
Distance Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 435 Total Graduates / 29%
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 190 Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 152 Graduates
Chemical Engineering 64 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 27 Graduates
All Computer Information Science Majors 177 Total Graduates / 12%
Computer Science 170 Graduates
Computer and Information Sciences, Other 6 Graduates
Information Technology Project Management 1 Graduates
Mathematics and Statistics 160 Total Graduates / 11%
Statistics, General 77 Graduates
Mathematics and Statistics, Other 27 Graduates
Mathematics, General 26 Graduates
Computational Mathematics 16 Graduates
Financial Mathematics 8 Graduates
Visual and Performing Arts 144 Total Graduates / 10%
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 54 Graduates
Design and Visual Communications, General 31 Graduates
Art/Art Studies, General 29 Graduates
Music Performance, General 12 Graduates
Voice and Opera 10 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 128 Total Graduates / 8%
Systems Science and Theory 93 Graduates
Cognitive Science 20 Graduates
Biopsychology 9 Graduates
International/Global Studies 4 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 31%

Outcome & Salary

Student outcomes are as much about personal growth and learning as they are financial rewards. Given CMU's stellar academic numbers, it's certain that their graduates become well-rounded, educated adults capable of integrating new learning for a lifetime. Their financial numbers are also quite optimistic.

In fact, after 10 years, Carnegie Mellon's alumni will have earned an average of nearly a million dollars. That figure more than doubles after 20 years. Considering that these figures are based on salary alone, it's likely that their bonuses and other compensation add up to quite a bit more. This level of ROI means that a CMU education is more than worthwhile and will pay dividends for a lifetime.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $75,900
College Grads Average Salary $98,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $136,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $980,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $2,341,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $123,388
10 Year Projected ROI $856,612
20 Year Projected ROI $2,217,612
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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