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Undergraduate Admission

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Academic Requirements & Credit for College-Level Work

Each college/school within Carnegie Mellon has its own high school course requirements.

If you’re applying to our academic programs, your high school performance will be one of the main factors in our admission decision. We pay close attention to your curriculum rigor, the grades you’ve earned and the work you’ve accomplished.

If you’re applying to one of our fine arts programs, your artistic performance will be the main factor or a significant factor in our admission decision.

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High School Course Requirements

The following are Carnegie Mellon’s specific academic requirements by school or college. Please review this information carefully and plan your high school curriculum accordingly.

College of Engineering

  • 4 years English
  • 4 years Mathematics*
  • 1 year Chemistry
  • 1 year Physics
  • 1 year Biology
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 3 Electives

*Four years of mathematics should include at least algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions (pre-calculus) and preferably calculus. Advanced mathematics courses are encouraged, especially a course in calculus.

College of Fine Arts

School of Architecture

  • 4 years Mathematics*
    *Four years of mathematics for Architecture should include at least algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions as well as pre-calculus. Advanced mathematics courses are encouraged.
  • 1 year Physics
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 5 Electives

School of Design

  • 4 years English
  • 2 years Mathematics
  • 2 years Science
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 6 Electives

School of Drama

  • 4 years English
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 10 Electives

School of Music

  • 4 years English
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 10 Electives

School of Art

  • 4 years English
  • 10 Electives

Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • 4 years English
  • 3 years Mathematics*
  • 1 year Science (2 years or more preferred)
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 6 Electives

*Three years of mathematics should include at least algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions as well as pre-calculus. Advanced mathematics courses are encouraged.

Information Systems

  • 4 years English
  • 4 years Mathematics*
  • 1 year Science (2 years or more preferred)
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 6 Electives

*Four years of mathematics should include at least algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions (pre-calculus) and preferably calculus. Advanced mathematics courses are encouraged, especially a course in calculus.

Mellon College of Science

  • 4 years English
  • 4 years Mathematics*
  • 1 year Chemistry
  • 1 year Physics
  • 1 year Biology
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 3 Electives

*Four years of mathematics should include at least algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions (pre-calculus) and preferably calculus. Advanced mathematics courses are encouraged, especially a course in calculus.

School of Computer Science

  • 4 years English
  • 4 years Mathematics*
  • 1 year Physics
  • 2 years of Chemistry, Biology or Computer Science
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 3 Electives

*Four years of mathematics should include at least algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions (pre-calculus) and preferably calculus. Advanced mathematics courses are encouraged, especially a course in calculus.

Tepper School of Business

  • 4 years English
  • 4 years Mathematics*
  • 1 year Chemistry
  • 1 year Physics
  • 1 year Biology
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 3 Electives

*Four years of mathematics should include at least algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions (pre-calculus) and preferably calculus. Advanced mathematics courses are encouraged, especially a course in calculus.

BXA Programs

Students interested in either the Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA) or Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) need to apply and be admitted to a school within the College of Fine Arts and be admissible to the corresponding academic college (Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, or School of Computer Science).

Please reference the college requirements for these individual programs.

Placement/Credit for College-Level Work

Carnegie Mellon may grant advanced placement and credit for college-level coursework you’ve taken during high school. Each college or school within Carnegie Mellon creates their own curriculum and thus decides how AP or IB exams contribute toward your degree.

Learn more about the guidelines for receiving credit.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Carnegie Mellon may grant advanced placement and credit for scores of four and five on exams taken in the Advanced Placement program. Send your AP scores to the Office of Admission in early summer; the appropriate academic dean will evaluate your scores and let you know if credit was awarded.

View the AP and IB exams with the corresponding scores and credit usually awarded.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Carnegie Mellon also recognizes the International Baccalaureate examinations and may grant advanced standing and/or credit in various fields for scores of six or seven on the higher level exams. Send the results of the IB exams to the Office of Admission in early summer; the appropriate academic dean will evaluate your scores and let you know if credit was awarded.

View the AP and IB exams with the corresponding scores and credit usually awarded.

College courses in high school

We may grant placement or credit for college-level work you’ve completed in high school. Have your college transcript(s) sent to the Office of Admission for transfer credit and placement evaluation. Please also send course descriptions for each course that needs to be evaluated. Credit can only be given for college-level courses that were not used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

For engineering and science students who are awarded calculus credit, if you feel uncomfortable with the material, you can choose to take a lower level course in the sequence. Your credit will be adjusted accordingly.

Cambridge General Certificate of Education

Carnegie Mellon recognizes the Cambridge GCE A-Level (advanced level) examinations in various higher-level subjects and may grant advanced placement and/or credit for exemplary grades. View the Cambridge exams with the corresponding scores and credit usually awarded.

Please note that we do not accept GCE "O" level examinations for placement.