If you dream big, you may want to consider applying to world-renowned Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. This private research institution is known for its amazing fine arts programs as well as Nobel Prizes and groundbreaking advances in robotics, information technology and neurology. Students and faculty work together to create the future.

Graduates of Carnegie Mellon are highly sought after by industry leaders, entrepreneurial startups, theater companies and research firms. Admission standards are tough. To get into Carnegie Mellon, you will need near perfect grades, impressive test scores on college entrance exams and dazzling letters of recommendation.

College Facts and Stats about Carnegie Mellon University

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The typical student admitted to Carnegie Mellon has a high school GPA of 3.7 or higher. Admitted computer science and engineering students have a 3.9 high school GPA.

About Carnegie Mellon

Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie established the vision of Carnegie Mellon in 1900 as a school for innovators in art and science. Diversity is welcomed and embraced. Different perspectives and world views contribute to innovate thinking and fresh approaches to problem solving. Men and women are equally represented among the 6,400 enrolled students.

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Carnegie Mellon students are well-rounded and enjoy a lively social scene. NCAA Division III athletics, intramural sports, community service, stage performances, 280 student clubs and active Greek life chapters offer a full college experience outside the classroom and lab.

Carnegie Mellon GPA Requirements

Carnegie Mellon seeks creative, talented and tenacious students who persistently strive to do their best. Carnegie Mellon does not base admission decisions solely on computerized calculation of GPA, class rank and ACT or SAT scores. Instead of using a mathematical formula to whittle down applications, Carnegie Mellon takes a serious look at each student, most of whom are qualified.

The typical student admitted to Carnegie Mellon has a GPA around 3.8. The average GPA varies slightly among students in Carnegie Mellon’s six undergraduate colleges. The Carnegie Mellon University GPA of admitted students is highest for the typical computer science student, who achieved a 3.96.

Carnegie Mellon ACT Scores

Applicants are required to submit ACT or SAT scores. The Carnegie Mellon acceptance rate is heavily influenced by a student’s performance on standardized tests. GPA and class rank also matter, but the rigor of the curriculum, AP options and grading standards vary from one high school to the next.

Carnegie Mellon ACT scores provide evidence of the student’s ability to keep up with classmates. Average composite Carnegie Mellon ACT scores fall between 32 and 35.

Overall SAT scores were highest for computer science and lowest for fine arts students, but all scores were impressive. The middle 50 percent of students in the School of Fine Arts scored between 1330 and 1510. The middle 50 percent of students in the School of Computer Science scored between 1530 and 1570.

Carnegie Mellon Acceptance Rates

The Carnegie Mellon acceptance rate is slightly higher for some programs than others. The most difficult program to get into is the School of Computer Science, with an acceptance rate of 5 percent. The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences has an acceptance rate of 14 percent. Other programs have acceptance rates that fall in between.

Moreover, the Carnegie Mellon acceptance rate varies within programs of a given college. For instance, 27 percent of students applying to the College of Fine Arts for architecture are admitted compared to 4 percent of students seeking admission to the College of Fine Arts drama program.

Affording Carnegie Mellon

Financial aid is awarded in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study to those who qualify. Carnegie Mellon University reports that in 2016-2017, 46 percent of entering undergraduates received grants and scholarships that don’t need to be repaid. Other sources of possible scholarship aid include joining ROTC or applying for private scholarships found on free sites like Fastweb and BigFuture by the CollegeBoard.

About the Author

Dr. Mary Dowd is a dean of students whose job includes student conduct, leading the behavioral consultation team, crisis response, retention and the working with the veterans resource center. She enjoys helping parents and students solve problems through advising, teaching and writing online articles that appear on many sites. Dr. Dowd also contributes to scholarly books and journal articles.