Carnegie Mellon vs Dartmouth: Which University is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female student looking at the camera smiling

Carnegie Mellon vs Dartmouth: Which University is Right for You?

If you’re considering applying to universities, you might have stumbled upon Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth. These two universities are highly regarded institutions in the United States. But which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll compare and contrast Carnegie Mellon vs Dartmouth on key factors like location, academic programs, campus life, and more so that you can make an informed decision.

Location: Where Are Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth Located?

Carnegie Mellon University is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while Dartmouth College is in Hanover, New Hampshire. Both locations have their charms and drawbacks. Pittsburgh is a vibrant city with plenty to do and see, from museums and cultural events to local eateries and sports teams. Meanwhile, Hanover is a small town with a tight-knit community, surrounded by beautiful nature and hiking trails. Depending on your preference, one location might appeal to you more than the other.

It’s worth noting that the location of a university can also impact the opportunities available to students. For example, Carnegie Mellon’s location in Pittsburgh provides students with access to a thriving tech industry. This can lead to valuable internships and job opportunities for students interested in computer science or engineering. On the other hand, Dartmouth’s location in Hanover allows for easy access to outdoor activities like skiing and hiking, which can be a major draw for students who enjoy spending time in nature.

History: A Brief Overview of the History of Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth

Carnegie Mellon was founded in 1900 as the Carnegie TechnicaSchoolls and has since evolved into a prestigious research university with seven colleges and schools. Dartmouth College, on the other hand, was founded in 1769 and is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States. It’s primarily a liberal arts college, located in the Ivy League.

Despite their differences in age and academic focus, both Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth have made significant contributions to their respective fields. Carnegie Mellon is known for its strengths in computer science, engineering, and the arts, while Dartmouth has a strong reputation in the humanities and social sciences. Both institutions have produced numerous notable alumni, including Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and successful entrepreneurs.

Academic Programs: What Academic Programs Are Offered at Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth?

Both Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth offer a diverse range of academic programs. Carnegie Mellon is renowned for its programs in engineering, computer science, and the arts, while Dartmouth is primarily focused on undergraduate liberal arts education and graduate programs in business, engineering, and medicine. To determine which university is right for you, consider the majors and programs you’re interested in and the strength of each program at each university.

a student smiling while holding her phone

Additionally, both universities offer unique interdisciplinary programs that allow students to combine multiple fields of study. Carnegie Mellon’s Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts program, for example, combines computer science with fine arts, while Dartmouth’s Digital Musics program combines music, computer science, and engineering. These interdisciplinary programs provide students with a well-rounded education and prepare them for careers in emerging fields.

Faculty: An Overview of the Faculty at Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth

Both universities have accomplished faculty members with diverse research interests. Carnegie Mellon has over 1,400 full-time faculty members while Dartmouth has over 850. At both universities, you’ll have the opportunity to work with world-class faculty members who are experts in their fields.

Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to teaching and mentorship. Faculty members at Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth are dedicated to helping students succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. They provide individualized attention and support to help students achieve their academic and career goals. Whether you’re interested in pursuing research, internships, or other opportunities, the faculty at these universities are there to guide and support you every step of the way.

Campus Life: What Is Campus Life Like at Carnegie Mellon vs Dartmouth?

Both universities offer lively campus communities with plenty of opportunities to get involved. Carnegie Mellon has over 300 clubs and organizations ranging from service groups to political groups, while Dartmouth has over 200 student organizations. Both universities also have active arts and athletics scenes. To determine which university is a better fit for you, consider the size of the campus, the location, and the types of activities you’re interested in.

At Carnegie Mellon, students can participate in a variety of unique clubs such as the Robotics Club, which competes in national competitions, or the Scotch’n’Soda Theatre group, which produces several shows each year. Dartmouth, on the other hand, has a strong focus on outdoor activities with its location in the beautiful Upper Valley region of New Hampshire. Students can join the Dartmouth Outing Club, which offers hiking, skiing, and other outdoor adventures.

Both universities also have a strong sense of community and school spirit. Carnegie Mellon has its annual Spring Carnival, which features a parade, carnival games, and rides. Dartmouth has its traditional Winter Carnival, which includes ice sculptures, ski races, and a polar bear plunge. These events bring students, faculty, and staff together to celebrate their school and create lasting memories.

Student Body: Who Attends Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth?

Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth are known for their academically rigorous environments and highly motivated student bodies. Carnegie Mellon has over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world, while Dartmouth has just under 4,500 undergraduate students. Both universities have a diverse student body with students from various backgrounds and nationalities.

Student using a laptop while outside the school building.

At Carnegie Mellon, the student body is known for its strong focus on technology and innovation. Many students are pursuing degrees in computer science, engineering, and other STEM fields. However, the university also offers a wide range of programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, attracting students with diverse interests.

Dartmouth, on the other hand, is known for its strong sense of community and emphasis on undergraduate education. The small size of the undergraduate population allows for close relationships between students and faculty, and many students participate in research and other hands-on learning opportunities. Additionally, Dartmouth has a strong commitment to athletics, with a large percentage of students participating in varsity or club sports.

Admissions: What Are the Admissions Requirements for Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth?

Both Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth have highly selective admissions processes. At Carnegie Mellon, the acceptance rate for undergraduate students is around 17%, while at Dartmouth, it’s around 6%. To be considered for admission, you’ll need to have strong academic credentials, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. To find out the specific admissions requirements for each university, visit their websites.

Additionally, both universities also consider essays and standardized test scores as part of the admissions process. At Carnegie Mellon, the SAT or ACT is required, and the university also recommends submitting SAT subject test scores. Dartmouth, on the other hand, requires either the SAT or ACT, as well as two SAT subject tests in different areas of study.

It’s important to note that while meeting the minimum admissions requirements is necessary, it does not guarantee acceptance. Both universities also consider factors such as demonstrated interest, diversity and fit with the university’s values and mission. Therefore, it’s important to put effort into crafting a strong application that showcases your unique strengths and interests.

Cost of Attendance: How Much Does It Cost to Attend Carnegie Mellon or Dartmouth?

Attending a top-tier university like Carnegie Mellon or Dartmouth can be expensive. The cost of attendance for Carnegie Mellon is around $61,344 per year, while for Dartmouth, it’s around $62,430 per year. However, both universities offer generous financial aid packages to qualifying students, so the actual cost of attendance may be lower.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance includes not only tuition and fees, but also room and board, textbooks, and other expenses. Additionally, both Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth offer various scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of attendance. It’s recommended that students research and apply for these opportunities to help make attending these prestigious universities more affordable.

Financial Aid: What Financial Aid Options Are Available at Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth?

Both universities offer need-based financial aid to students who qualify, as well as merit-based scholarships. Carnegie Mellon offers its financial aid program while Dartmouth uses the Common Application and the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile to determine financial aid eligibility. To determine your eligibility for financial aid, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any other required financial aid forms.

In addition to need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships, both Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth offer work-study programs to eligible students. These programs provide part-time employment opportunities on campus, allowing students to earn money to help pay for their education while gaining valuable work experience.

It’s important to note that financial aid packages can vary greatly between students, even within the same university. Factors such as family income, assets, and number of dependents can all impact the amount of financial aid a student receives. It’s recommended that students and their families research and compare financial aid options at multiple universities to determine the best fit for their individual needs.

Career Services at Carnegie Mellon vs Dartmouth

Both universities have comprehensive career services departments to help students find internships and jobs after graduation. Carnegie Mellon’s Career and Professional Development Center offers career counseling, job search strategies, and networking opportunities, while Dartmouth’s Center for Professional Development provides similar resources as well as career fairs and employer information sessions.

However, there are some differences between the universities’ career services. Carnegie Mellon’s career services department has a strong focus on technology and innovation, with resources such as the Tech Consulting Club and the Innovation Scholars Program. On the other hand, Dartmouth’s career services department places a strong emphasis on experiential learning and global opportunities, with resources such as the Off-Campus Programs Office and the D-Plan.

Alumni Network at Carnegie Mellon vs Dartmouth: Which University Has a Stronger Alumni Network?

Both universities have strong alumni networks with connections all over the world. Carnegie Mellon has over 116,000 alumni in over 100 countries, while Dartmouth has over 80,000 alumni in 130 countries. Depending on your career goals and desired industry, one alumni network may be more advantageous than the other.

a male adult stacking wooden cubes

It’s important to note that the strength of an alumni network goes beyond just the number of alumni and the countries they are located in. The level of engagement and support from alumni also plays a significant role. Both universities have active alumni associations that offer various resources and opportunities for networking, mentorship, and career development. However, some industries may have a stronger presence of alumni from one university over the other. It’s recommended to research and connect with alumni from both universities to determine which network aligns best with your career aspirations.

Research Opportunities: What Research Opportunities Are Available at Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth?

Both universities offer ample opportunities for research and innovation. Carnegie Mellon is a research-intensive university with over $100 million in annual research expenditures, while Dartmouth is a leader in research in fields such as engineering, neuroscience, and sustainability. To explore research opportunities at each university, look into specific research centers and labs, and connect with faculty members who share your research interests.

Additionally, both universities offer undergraduate research programs that allow students to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. At Carnegie Mellon, the Undergraduate Research Office provides resources and funding for students to pursue research in a variety of fields, while Dartmouth’s Undergraduate Research Program offers opportunities for students to engage in research across all disciplines. These programs provide valuable hands-on experience and can help students develop important skills for their future careers.

Athletics: Athletics Programs at Carnegie Mellon vs Dartmouth

Carnegie Mellon has a strong athletics program with 19 NCAA Division III teams, while Dartmouth participates in NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the Ivy League. Both universities have a strong sense of school spirit and offer opportunities for students to participate in club and intramural sports as well.

sports equipment

One major difference between the athletics programs at Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth is the level of competition. While Carnegie Mellon competes at the Division III level, Dartmouth competes at the Division I level, which is generally considered to be more competitive. This means that Dartmouth’s athletes may face tougher opponents and have a more rigorous training schedule.

Another difference is the range of sports offered. While both universities offer a variety of sports, Dartmouth has a larger number of varsity teams, including some less common sports such as skiing and sailing. Carnegie Mellon, on the other hand, has a strong focus on certain sports such as soccer and tennis, and has a highly competitive robotics team.

Conclusion: Which University is Right for You?

As you can see, both Carnegie Mellon and Dartmouth are excellent universities with unique strengths and opportunities for students. To determine which university is right for you, consider your academic interests, location preferences, campus life, and career goals. Do your research, visit each campus if possible, and talk to current students and faculty members to get a better sense of each university’s culture and community.

Another important factor to consider is the cost of attendance. While both universities offer financial aid and scholarships, the overall cost of attending each school can vary significantly. Make sure to research the cost of tuition, room and board, and other expenses to determine which university is more affordable for you.

It’s also important to think about the size of the university and the student population. Carnegie Mellon is a larger university with over 14,000 students, while Dartmouth has a smaller student body of around 6,500. If you prefer a more intimate and close-knit community, Dartmouth may be the better choice for you. However, if you thrive in a larger and more diverse environment, Carnegie Mellon may be the way to go.


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