Carnegie Mellon Acceptance Rate: 14%

February 10, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Carnegie Mellon Acceptance Rate: 14%

Shortcuts to sections offered for Carnegie Mellon prospective students:

Successful Applicant Profile

  • Demographics
  • Majors
  • SAT/ACT Scores

Entry Requirements

  • Tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Checklist of Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines

What Should You Expect?

  • Student life
  • Academics offered
  • Athletics offered
  • Notable alumni

Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and founded in the year 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University is a prestigious and highly competitive private research university. In all the university itself has seven unique colleges and the acceptance rate for each college differs.

However, the overall Carnegie Mellon acceptance rate is 14% per cent. While that makes it easier to get into compared to the most competitive schools in the country, there is still quite a lot of competition when it comes to getting accepted to this top-tier university.

The truth is that if getting into Carnegie Mellon is your dream, you are going to make sure that you do far more than simply scoring top grades throughout high school and earning top scores in your ACT or SAT test. Without a doubt, the school is looking for well-rounded students who are able to make clear why they belong at Carnegie Mellon and what they will bring to their years on campus.

That’s where AdmissionSight comes in. Our admissions consultants have the resources and tools necessary to help excellent high school students get into the nation’s top colleges and universities. Getting the right kind of guidance is paramount to success, and that’s exactly what we offer!

For starters, the average high school GPA for students who are accepted to Carnegie Mellon is 3.84. When it comes to standardized test scores, students who get into Carnegie Mellon earn an average score on the SAT of 1510 out of the perfect 1600 and an average score on the ACT of 34 out of the perfect 36.

These numbers alone should give you a very good idea of just how competitive this school is and just how brilliant all of the students who end up attending are. You can be a part of that group and unlock the incredible benefits of attending Carnegie Mellon!

So, with those raw numbers out of the way, let’s dive deeper into how you can improve your chances of getting in Carnegie Mellon, as well as some important information about the school itself!

Successful Applicant Profile

As you likely already know, Carnegie Mellon is one of the top private universities in the United States. In fact, it ranked as the 27th best school in the world this year! Even better, some of its programs – such as computer science, statistics, public affairs, and many more rank within the top 20 or even higher! But we’ll break that down further a little late. What matters now is how you can develop your ideal applicant profile.

Back in 2018, a record-breaking 24,351 total applicants and that number are projected to only go up as the years continue. Without a doubt, getting into top schools in the United States is already highly competitive and will likely only continue to become more so.

Considering the Carnegie Mellon acceptance rate of 17 per cent, and it is fully clear just how hard students have to work to stand out from the thousands of applications.

Spaces are clearly quite limited and acceptance is highly competitive. However, there is no doubt that those who end up graduating from Carnegie Mellon not only get one of the best educations offered in America, they also get the chance to unlock all of the benefits of a strong and proud alumnus.

If you are already picturing yourself walking the halls of Carnegie Mellon’s campus, here are the kinds of students that you will be studying and spending time with during those four exciting school years.

Demographics: What does Carnegie Mellon’s study body look like?

When it comes to the demographics of Carnegie Mellon undergraduate student body, 53.9 percent identify as male while 46.1 percent identify as female. Surely, the school is looking to improve gender diversity at their school, but when it comes to ethnic diversity, Carnegie Mellon ranks amongst the best elite schools in the country.

Here is a basic diversity breakdown at Carnegie Mellon:

  • White: 29.7 percent
  • Asian: 29.6 per cent
  • Non-Resident Alien: 18.5 percent
  • Hispanic/Latino: 8.9 percent
  • Black or African American: 4.3 percent

Given this breakdown, it should not come as much of a shock that Carnegie Mellon is considered one of the most diverse top schools and is well above average in ethnic, geographic, gender, and overall diversity. It actually ranks as the 15th most diverse school out of 2,475 according to CollegeFactual.

Speaking of geographic diversity, Carnegie Mellon has grown substantially in this area over the last half-decade. In 2013, 4,450 international students walked the halls at Carnegie Mellon, last school year, there were over 5,700 international students!

In fact, Carnegie Mellon has made hosting international students such a primary focus that it currently ranks 4th out of 1,240 total schools that were evaluated when it comes to international quality. Here are some of the countries that Carnegie Mellon students come from:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Norway

Carnegie Mellon proudly states on an enrollment breakdown that #YouAreWelcomeHere and proudly boast that they seek out first-generation students, promote the race and ethnically focused programs, LGBTQ+ programs, Transgender and Non-binary student programs, and women’s programs.

Without a doubt, no matter what you look like, who you are from, what you believe, and who you love, you will be welcomed with open arms at Carnegie Mellon.

What are the SAT/ACT scores and GPA of students at Carnegie Mellon?

For years, the SAT and ACT have been ways for top universities and colleges to judge the proficiency of students. While there is certainly a debate to be had about whether or not it is the best way to do so, the fact remains that earning high scores is crucial to getting into Carnegie Mellon and many of the other top schools in the United States.

For the SAT, The 25th percentile score of SAT is 1560 and the 75th percentile score is 1560. In other words, 1460 on the new SAT is below average for students who are accepted to Carnegie Mellon, while 1560 (yes, that’s 40 points off of the perfect 1600) is above average.

When it comes to the ACT, the 25th percentile score for students who are accepted to Carnegie Mellon is 33 and the 75th percentile score is 35 (yup, that 1 point off of the perfect 36).

These scores are considered fully elite and are an indication that Carnegie Mellon puts quite a lot of weight on the scores of standardized tests that students earn.

On the other hand, the fact that the average unweighted GPA for students who get into Carnegie Mellon is 3.84 means that they are a bit more forgiving when it comes to not scoring perfect A’s. To be sure, a 3.84 is still above an A- average, but it is a little more realistic than a straight 4.0.

If you are concerned about how your GPA may compare to other applicants to Carnegie Mellon, consider enrolling in courses that offer weighted grades such as AP courses and honours courses as a great way to bump up your current (or projected) GPA.

It is also important to remember that the 7 unique colleges at Carnegie Mellon have different criteria. Here is a table of those criteria below:

Student Admissions rate

As previously mentioned, the Carnegie Mellon acceptance rate is 17 percent. That means that for every 100 students who apply, just 15 get in. From that number alone, you should have a pretty good idea for just how hard this school is to get in to.

Perhaps that is part of the reason why students are so proud to attend!

While getting great scores and grades is the first step, the next score is to fill out a fantastic application and submit it to the school on time. Here is all you have to know about the requirements to get into Carnegie Mellon.

Entry Requirements

Nothing that is worth having is easy, and that simple fact can absolutely be applied to applying to and getting into the best undergraduate programs in the United States.

But getting into Carnegie Mellon is not the only thing potential students need to worry about. As a responsible young person, you will have to make sure that you are able to afford high admissions prices. Luckily, there are a lot of financial aid options to students who are accepted to Carnegie Mellon.

Here is what you need to know about that as well as the application requirements when it comes to what you have to send and when you have to send it!

How much will it cost to attend and what are the financial aid options at Carnegie Mellon?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of decades, chances are good that you know that the cost of admission to the top universities in the United States is incredibly high.

While there is no doubt that a college application is a near necessity for all young people who want to enjoy a fruitful and successful professional career, there is no need to saddle yourself with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of student loan debt.

While the total cost of Carnegie Mellon is similar to that of the most expensive and prestigious schools in the country, their financial aid packages are incredibly generous as well.

Here is a table of the total costs from the previous school year at Carnegie Mellon:

Financial cost of Carnegio Mellon

Here is a table of the financial aid statistics from last year’s student body:

Financial Aid Statistics

What are the application requirements for Carnegie Mellon?

For each and every school in the United States, there is a specific list of requirements that each and every student must fulfill in order to complete a full application.

While these requirements are typically quite similar from school to school, it is important to know that there are some factors that are specific to certain schools.

For Carnegie Mellon, here is a breakdown of what is required for the application.

  • Common Application
  • $75 application fee or a fee waiver
  • Official high school transcript
  • All required standardized testing official score reports, this improves TOEFL or IELTS if English is not a student’s first language
  • Secondary school counsellor evaluation
  • Teach recommendation
  • Common Application essay
  • Carnegie Mellon Common Application Writing Supplement, which includes three short answer questions
  • All fine arts applicants to the Schools of Drama and Music are required to arrange required pre-screen, audition, or portfolio review.
  • Homeschooled applicants should submit an academic portfolio/transcript consistent with their state guidelines and a list of all textbooks used.
  • Applicants must provide proof of meeting all requirements for an official high school diploma, by the end of May of the year of graduation, and submit an official final transcript, GED, or certificate of completion from your local school district or state board of education by the end of July of the year of matriculation.

What are the important dates for the Carnegie Mellon application timeline?

Just like many schools, Carnegie Mellon offers students a few different options when it comes to how and when they apply to depend on how serious a student is about getting into the school. Overall, there are different deadlines for regular decision and early decision students. Those are as follows:

Regular Decision applicants

  • All Admissions forms due: January 1
  • Examination scores and transcripts due: January 1
  • Teacher recommendations due: January 1
  • School of Design materials (digital portfolio, video, essay) uploaded to SlideRoomby: January 15
  • Financial aid in place: February 15
  • Registration for optional School of Design Experience (on-campus): Mid-October
  • School of Design Experience Day: Sunday, November 3, 2019, and Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Early Decision applicants

  • All Admissions forms: November 1
  • Exam scores and transcripts: November 1
  • Teacher recommendations due: November 1
  • School of Design materials (digital portfolio, video, essay) uploaded to SlideRoomby: November 1
  • Financial aid in place: November 1
  • School of Design Experience Day: Sunday, November 3, 2019, and Sunday, April 5, 2020.

What Students Can Expect

One of the best ways to get an idea of how much a school will fit your interests and passions is to see what current students at the school have to say about it. Thanks to a Niche, you can easily find hundreds of reviews for Carnegie Mellon or any other school in the United States. Here are some great quotes from current students at Carnegie Mellon.

Aerial view of Carnegie Mellon University campus.

“This school is amazing for academics and sets its students on track to succeed in their careers, however, that all comes at a price (both literally and metaphorically),” one wrote.  “This school is very expensive without scholarships or financial aid, which puts burdens on its students and their families, and also adds to the already stressful environment of the school itself.”

“So far I can safely say that I have had a good experience with Carnegie Mellon,” another wrote. “I had the opportunity to visit the school during their Celebration of Diversity weekend.

The school invited me to their campus for an overnight visit, and my airplane travel was paid for by the school itself. Overall it was a really good experience, and I learned that this school could benefit me if I were to attend.”

What academics are offered?

Within its unique colleges, Carnegie Mellon offers 80 majors and 90 minors in total! At the school, the student-faculty ratio is 13:1 and over 66 percent of the classes feature less than 20 students.

When it comes to the most popular courses at the school, those include Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Mathematics and Statistics; and Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies.

One great sign that students are incredibly happy at Carnegie Mellon is that the average freshman retention rate is 97 percent!

What athletics are offered at Carnegie Mellon?

The Carnegie Mellon Tartans compete in the NCAA Division III in a number of different varsity sports including football, basketball, track, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, volleyball, tennis, hockey, and rowing. On top of that, the school offers fantastic and fun club teams in ultimate frisbee, rowing, rugby, lacrosse, volleyball, water polo, and cycling.

Female students playing volleyball with three players on mid-air trying to spike the ball.

Who are some famous Carnegie Mellon alumni?

There are a number of highly impactful men and women who graduated from Carnegie Mellon. Some of the most famous include:

  • Andy Warhol, artist
  • Ted Danson, actor and activist
  • Albert Brooks, director, and actor
  • Ethan Hawke, actor
  • Steven Boncho, businessman and producer
  • Shari Belafonte, model
  • Robert Dennard, inventor
  • Earl Wild, pianist
  • Vinod Khosla, businessman

If Carnegie Mellon is your dream school and you plan on one day seeing your name including in that list, let us at AdmissionSight help you maximize your odds of getting in!

Carnegie Mellon is as competitive as it is prestigious, but that does not mean that you don’t have what it takes to get in.

Incredible letters of recommendation and a strong application essay can be the ticket and make all the difference. Let us at AdmissionSight show you how to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses so that the college admissions officers at Carnegie Mellon see you in the very best light possible.







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