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Fall 2024 Admission FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

You and your family may have questions about applying to Carnegie Mellon for Fall 2024. We have answers! We hope the information below will clarify some of our recent policy updates and provide a better understanding of our Admission process. We're here to help, so if you still have questions after browsing, you can reach our office via LiveChat, email or phone during normal business hours.

We've joined over 300 other colleges and universities to sign this collective statement from Harvard’s Making Caring Common project.

Will first-year applicants be expected to submit SAT or ACT scores?

Carnegie Mellon University is extending our test-optional policy through Fall 2024, removing the SAT/ACT standardized testing requirement for all first-year applicants.

Pursuant to this policy, students who are unable to take either the SAT or ACT or choose not to submit their standardized test scores will be considered equally for admission along with those who submit scores. 

We'll continue to review and evaluate our process to make a determination regarding future standardized testing requirements for admission to Carnegie Mellon. 

Carnegie Mellon is committed to a holistic approach to admission. No single grade, factor, score or activity guarantees or disqualifies any candidate admission to Carnegie Mellon. We treat every applicant as an individual, taking great care to make our admission decisions fairly, thoroughly and in context. We’re interested in students who can be successful at Carnegie Mellon while taking full advantage of all the university has to offer and enriching our campus community.

UPDATE for Fall 2025 Applicants: Carnegie Mellon University will be test optional for Fall 2025 undergraduate admission applications. However, students applying to the School of Computer Science are strongly encouraged to submit either an SAT or ACT score, including the math subscore, to bolster their application's strength and to aid in determining their ability to succeed academically at Carnegie Mellon.

Which English proficiency tests do you accept?

If English is not a first language for you, you must submit official results from the TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge English Assessment or Duolingo English Test exams.

While we only accept the IELTS Academic exam, we accept three versions of the TOEFL: the iBT, the iBT Home Edition and the Essentials exam.

To ensure we can consider your scores, all results must still be valid when you submit them.

Are SAT Subject Tests required or recommended?

The College Board no longer offers SAT Subject Tests. These test results are neither required nor recommended, and prior scores won’t be considered in our admission review process.

Which application plans are available for Fall 2024 applicants?

Like previous years, there are four different ways to apply: Early Decision, Regular Decision, Early Admission and Transfer Admission. However, students interested in our Early Decision plan now can choose from two options:

Early Decision 1: This is for students who know Carnegie Mellon is their first choice and will enroll if admitted. Applications are due November 1 and students are notified by December 15.

Early Decision 2: If Carnegie Mellon becomes your first choice after November 1, you can either select this plan on your Common Application or switch your application from Regular Decision to Early Decision 2. Applications are due January 3 and students are notified in early February.

Here are our three other plans:

Regular Decision: Most students choose this plan, as they have until January 3 to submit an application. Music and Drama applicants must submit theirs by December 1 to leave time to schedule auditions.

Early Admission: This is for high school juniors graduating early and follows the same deadlines as Regular Decision. This isn't the same as Early Action, which we don't offer.

Transfer Admission: If you've completed a semester of college in a degree-granting program, you can submit your transfer application until February 15. A very limited number of spots may be open for Spring 2024 as well.

Please visit our Application Deadlines page for more information.

Can I switch my application from Regular to Early Decision?

Yes! You can switch your application plan from Regular Decision to Early Decision 2 until the January 3 application deadline. If you decide to participate in Early Decision 2, we'll send you a decision in early February.

My course grades were switched to pass/fail during the pandemic. How will this impact the review of my transcript?

We understand and support the move to pass/fail grading options which many schools and colleges have adopted as a valid COVID-19 accommodation. As such, we will be accepting pass/fail results in the normal review of transcripts during this time.

Am I allowed to use ChatGPT or other AI tools to structure my supplemental essay and improve language?

Carnegie Mellon has always been a first mover in the AI space and remains deeply engaged in shaping the future of these technologies and their uses. As we continue to learn about these tools and lean into their opportunities, we also want to address their challenges. While AI may be a helpful tool in the college admission process, it’s crucial to approach it with caution. 

Carnegie Mellon wants to know applicants as individuals, and submitting genuine, authentic application materials can make a significant difference. AI should never replace your unique voice, experiences and personal expression and, if used at all, should only serve as a supplementary tool to enhance your writing (i.e., grammar and spelling checks, suggested structural or vocabulary improvements). 

Additionally, if the generated content closely resembles published work, there may be a risk of unintentional plagiarism. Carefully consider any and all risks when using generative AI for any part of your application.

Will you accept the special administration results of the Advanced Placement tests? What about calculated IB results?

Yes, we’ll accept official test results from AP special testing administrations offered during the COVID-19 crisis and taken at home. We’ll also accept calculated official IB results if your school postponed or withdrew from formal IB testing during the pandemic.

I wasn’t able to take my IB/AP exam. How will this impact my application?

If the pandemic prevented you from taking your Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam(s), this won't affect your admission decision. AP/IB examinations aren't required for applicants but can be used for credit.

At Carnegie Mellon, each college or school has its own curriculum and thus decides how AP or IB exams contribute toward your degree. Carnegie Mellon may grant advanced placement and credit for 4s and 5s on AP exams taken in the College Board Advanced Placement program or for 6s and 7s on IB exams. Visit The Hub's credit awarding page for more information on the guidelines for receiving credit.

Are there any additional requirements for application to the College of Fine Arts?

All College of Fine Arts applicants must submit additional materials beyond our general admission requirements. Each School is handling auditions, interviews and portfolio reviews slightly differently:

Please review our College of Fine Arts Applicants page for more information.