University Review – Carnegie Mellon University

Known for being consistently ranked among the top 25 national universities of the USA, Carnegie Mellon University is a private institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Mellon provides a platform for students to challenge the norms and think in innovative new ways and that can change the world. Along with its US location in Pittsburgh, CMU also has campuses in Qatar, Australia, and Rwanda. CMU also has graduate level extension campus in Silicon Valley Doha, Qatar and offers Master’s degree programs in Software Engineering and Software Management. 

From a beautiful campus to exceptional academic opportunities, Carnegie Mellon has it all and its quite often a dream university for many young MS/Ph.D. aspirants.

Read on to get a full overview of admission eligibility, programs, deadlines and life as a CMU student.


Section 1: Admission Eligibility for CMU


Section 1: Admission Requirements for CMU

Ranked number 5 by USNEWS for Engineering, CMU has always been selective in its admissions. Placing high focus on research-centric profiles, CMU produces a fair share of STEM graduates in the US. With an acceptance rate of 22.5%,  the admission eligibility in terms of entrance tests is as under:

  • Admission Eligibility:cmu logo

    • Average GRE scores accepted: 319 (Q: 165; V: 154)
    • Average TOEFL scores accepted: 103
    • Average GPA required: 3.6 out of 4
    • Tuition Fees: $42,000



Section 2: Programs, Rankings & Fall '18 Deadlines


Section 2: Programs, Rankings & Fall ‘18 Deadlines

CMU takes great pride in being a research-oriented university. Annually, it receives about $1.739 billion as research endowment. 

Take a look at some of the top-ranked programs and their deadlines for Fall.


GREedge Admission Tip: To increase your admit chances at CMU, emphasize your research experience, paper publications or even your final year project in your SOP clearly. Talk about your responsibilities, your learning and how it was instrumental in shaping your future aspirations. Since CMU is highly selective, research-centric profiles have higher chances of receiving an admit, provided they fit the admission criteria.




Section 3: Applying to CMU - Document Checklist


Section 3: Applying to CMU – Document Checklist


  • Step 1: Zero in on the program of your choice

Ensure that the program you want to pursue is in line with your academic history and your future career aspirations. You must be qualified as well as passionate in order to achieve definite admit success at prestigious universities such as CMU.

  • Step 2: Visit the program/department website

There is no single portal for applying to CMU. Depending on the program of your choice, you must apply directly at the program website. Therefore, the application requirements for each of the departments are also varied. Draw up a personal checklist after going through the website thoroughly.

For example, the Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept requires you to mail the hard copy of your GRE & TOEFL scores whereas the Electrical & Computer Engineering Dept does not explicitly ask you to mail any hard copies unless you are asked to.

  • Step 3: Get down to the brass tacks

Irrespective of the program of your choice, some elements remain common to your application, though the number and specifics may vary. For example, the common mandatory requirements for any application include:

    1. Your GRE score report
    2. Your TOEFL/IELTS score report
    3. Statement of Purpose
    4. Letter of Recommendation
    5. CV/Resume

GREedge Admission Tip: Remember, these five documents form the backbone of any good application. So, be sure to give yourself enough time to collate the necessary documents and send them out at least 2 weeks before the deadline. Following this ideal timeline will prevent you from being frazzled during your application process and give you time to focus on important things like your finances, visa interview etc.




Section 4: Life at CMU


Section 4: Life at CMU

  • Diversity at CMU:

According to a report published by the Office of Admissions at CMU, out of the total international student, about 31.2% were Asians, which is the highest as compared other ethnic groups. In fact, CMU proudly celebrates Diversity Weekend

Apart from this, there is a deep culture of supporting international students. The Office of International Education handles queries from application procedures to housing, facilities, visa status etc. Since many students are leaving their home country for the very first time, an entire department called the Intercultural Communication Center (ICC) offers support for students to develop fluency and cultural understanding, including teaching assistants.

Speaking of assistantships, while most students who apply for Master’s program are self-funded, there is a board that handles fellowships for deserving Indian students. Called the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) Fellowship Program – India, it is managed by The Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs and Strategy.

  • Student Activities:

If you find time outside your coursework, as a CMU student, you have plenty of opportunities to participate in many of the student activities organized on campus. With over 280 student-run organizations, you can be sure that you will find where you belong in no time! For graduate students, all social activities throughout the year are managed by the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA).

Those who aspire for leadership positions within the student body can apply to one of the many committees within the GSA such as Campus Affairs, Finance, External Affairs, Social, Communications and External Committees.

There is also a long, rich tradition of fraternities and sororities at Carnegie Mellon, though it is usually populated by undergraduates. With as many as 23 active chapters, members are heavily involved in leadership and service activities.

Coming to sports, there are over 43 sports clubs, through which students can choose to compete on the field, in the pool and on the court.

  • On campus traditions

As a student of CMU, there are many traditions in the university that will make your college experience a lot more memorable and valuable.

There are many popular traditions at the university including Kiltie Band, The Fence, Buggy.

Spring carnival: Spring carnival is the oldest and most beloved campus tradition. Along with carnival rides, food and entertainment, the main components of the spring carnival are Booth and Buddy.

The fence: Another tradition at CMU is painting the fence. The Fence sits in the middle of campus and acts at a billboard for student groups. Strict tradition dictates that the Fence may only be painted between midnight and sunrise, in its entirety, using only paint brushes. To keep your message on the fence, you are expected to guard it around the clock. The guarding bit also turns out to be a fun experience as students camp out in tents all night and make new memories that will be cherished forever.

Kiltie Band:  By entertaining home football games with songs, chants, cheers and a quirky sense of humor, the kilt-clad student marching band has made a mark for themselves at CMU.

  • Campus Services

Tutoring: Whether you want additional teaching on some of your courses or you want to help out other students, you can choose to avail or volunteer at the many peer tutoring options available at CMU. From weekly review sessions to collaborative group studies, CMU gives you truly flexible options to help you succeed academically.

Community Service: As a CMU student, you have a chance to give back to the society. You can choose to volunteer across a range of activities from improving educational opportunities for children, implementing developmental activities for the National Science Foundation, making service trips etc. As part of the American Education System, community service is valued highly by universities as well as employees as a strong human value.

Graduate Professional Training: As a graduate student, CMU realizes that there is an immense need to prepare you for the work environment. Therefore, you will find that a number of workshops, seminars and conferences are conducted to encourage you to find research opportunities for the summer break, internships, and networking within your industry!


If you think that Carnegie Mellon is the right place for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our admission counselors! We’d be happy to guide you and help you get the best admits for your profile!

The next university we would reviewing is University at Buffalo, SUNY!

In the meantime, do you have admission queries that we can resolve?

You may also like...

17 Responses

  1. Ravi says:

    Hi Shruti,

    It’s a great review. But I’m targeting the Fall`18 deadlines. Ideally when should I start my application process & GRE preparations?

    • Shruti Ganesh says:

      Hi Ravi,

      Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

      Let me first congratulate you on having such a sharp focus. Since the Fall ’17 season is still on, the exact deadline for Fall ’18 is still not available. But an ideal timeline for you to follow would be :

      If you haven’t already given your GRE, then take your time to prepare thoroughly. A high GRE score can significantly improve the quality of your admits. Ideally, I would advise you to start your preparation in January and give your GRE in April. This will help you allocate sufficient time to then work on your applications as well as collecting funds for your VISA applications.

      You will see priority deadlines starting to creep up in October next year for Fall ’18, so if you have a strong profile i.e a good GRE score, a well-crafted SOP etc then you can also target scholarships as well.

      If you need any assistance regarding your GRE, do sign up for our daily online seminars. It’s absolutely free and you can get detailed information on GRE as well as admissions. You can sign up here:

      See you there!

  2. faisal says:

    I got a gre score of 320 could please tell me what are my chances of getting into into texas a&m aerospace program

    • Shruti Ganesh says:

      Hi Faisal,

      A 320 in GRE is quite a good score and let me first congratulate you on that! However, I would need more information about your profile to predict your chances of an admit because it hinges on many factors such as your overall UG CGPA, your research/work experience if any, internships you may have had. Generally speaking, since you have a high GRE score, your chances of admissions, particularly scholarships are also higher, provided you apply before the deadline.

      You can read a full review about TAMU here:

      However, the priority deadline for admission into Aerospace Engineering at TAMU is Jan 1st. So, do hurry with your applications!

      If you need any assistance regarding admissions, just give us a call on +919884453276 and we’d love to help you out!

      Good Luck Faisal! 😀

  3. Kranthi says:

    My btech Cgp 7.96.tenth 82% inter 89%. And gre score is little bit low id 151and verbel 134.ielts also 6 .i have any chances in Australia One year and One year in pitsburg campus m.s programs get seat any chances in cargnie Mellon university.are give any suggestion.

  4. Srikanth laddhiperla says:

    I am intersted to apply for phd in neurorehabilitaion. Please help in getting details for the same

    • Shruti Ganesh says:

      Hi Srikanth,

      I would love to suggest universities for you, but I would require a few more details about your profile. For example, can you tell me what your GRE score, GPA, TOEFL/IELTS score is along with any number of research projects that you have taken up? You can reply back here and I will look at what universities will be most suitable for you.

      To further interact with our experts and even other PhD aspirants, you can join our Facebook group called MS dreams – 🙂

      Good Luck, Srikanth!

  5. Suraj says:

    Fanatastic Review! Answered most of our queries. Is it possible to review University of Maryland, College Park?

    • Shruti Ganesh says:

      Hi Suraj,

      We’re glad it helped you! We’ll definitely add that to our list! Stay tuned to the GREedge Blog and find out which university comes next! 😀

  6. Abhishek Haksar says:

    Hi Shruti,
    thanks for writing this article its quite precise and all the important points are noted here. I have questions regarding my profile my gre score is 323 Q 167 V 156 and i have my toefl exam in a couple of days my cgpa is 8.08 and i am looking to pursue Ms in Cs what are my chances at CMU also am i eligible for any scholarships ?

  7. Akash Goyal says:

    How to start the preparation for GRE? The strategy of the preparation according to the exam date? Can you provide help on this?

  8. Aneesh says:

    I am from ECE background. I wish to pursue Machine Learning and Data Science at CMU. how good should one’s profile be in order to get into CMU. my GPA would be hovering around little less than 8. pls suggest something…..

  9. Kimuos says:

    Ug in CSE, GRE-318 Q-168 V-150, toefl-109, no publication, cgpa-9.41, 3-month summer internship at ISI, Kolkata,3-month summer internship at Samsung research institute. Would it be possible to get into CMU computer science?

  10. Anirudh says:

    Currently I am in my 5th year of integrated IMtech program in IT at International Institute Of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB). I got a gre score of 312(164Q, 148V, 3AWA). CGPA of 3.17/4.0 and major GPA in CS : 3.26/4.0. Have done 2 DS projects. have done a summer software developer intern at a startup. Currently, doing 1 year thesis on text classification. No publications. I am interested in Masters in Intelligent Information Systems (MIIS) program. I have good LORs from Dean, faculty in charge, CEO of startup and thesis advisor. Assuming a strong SOP, Can I get an admit?

  11. Varun says:

    I am confused between two programs:
    1) MS Chemical Engineering
    2) Dual Degree in Masters of Chemical Engineering (MCHE) + Engineering & Technology Innovation Management (ETIM)

    I like the second option better than the first but I want to know the admission trends for this program. I want to apply to the latter but if my profile isn’t up to the mark, I would rather apply to MS Chemical because CMU is too precious a college to miss an admit.

    GRE – 322 (168Q + 154V)
    CGPA – 9.12
    Internships – 4
    Work Ex – 0
    Projects – 4
    TOEFL – 110
    Lots of Extra-curriculars, leadership and community involvement activities.

    Please suggest if it is worth taking the risk

  12. Sonali says:

    HI ! thanks for the article.
    I could I know what are my chances of an admit at CMU for ECE?
    I am currently in my 4th year. with a percentage of 82.92 , also hold the second rank in class
    GRE : 320 ( 165 quants and 155 verbal )
    TOEFL 115
    Internship at Airtel
    Internship at an NGO : PopulationFirst

  13. HarithaTalvaipati says:

    I want to know which universities in USA will accept IELTS score without GRE.will you please help.Because i am literally poor in i am requesting you help me in telling the universities that accept IELTS score.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *