Frequently Asked Questions
You and your family may have questions about applying to Carnegie Mellon for Fall 2023. We have answers! We hope the information below will clarify some of our policy updates since the start of the pandemic. 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.
Am I able to visit campus?
We’re currently offering a limited number of guided tours and a self-guided Outdoor Campus Walking Route in addition to on-campus Information Sessions for prospective students to see campus. Registration is required. We encourage you to check back regularly for changes and updates.
In the meantime, we encourage you to check out our online visit opportunities to engage directly with our current students and staff. You can also sign up for our Admission Mailing List to receive news about future in-person events as they become available.
Will classes be on campus for the 2022-2023 academic year?
The university has returned to primarily on-campus, in-person operations, although there are still a select few hybrid or remote courses through the next year.
For the most up-to-date information on our operational status, please visit the university's COVID-19 website.
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. While we encourage those who have been able to take the SAT or ACT to submit their test results, we also recognize that candidates who do submit scores may not have been able to take the SAT or ACT more than once as planned.
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.
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 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 2023 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 no later than February 1.
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 2023 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 by February 1.
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.
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 has 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.
Has the admission process changed this year for the College of Fine Arts?
All College of Fine Arts applicants still must submit additional materials beyond our general admission requirements. Each School is handling auditions, interviews and portfolio reviews slightly differently:
- The School of Architecture is offering online portfolio reviews for applicants.
- The School of Art is offering optional online interviews for applicants.
- The School of Design isn't offering portfolio reviews or interviews.
- The School of Drama will be doing all auditions virtually.
- The School of Music will be offering a hybrid schedule for auditions.
Please review our College of Fine Arts Applicants page for more information.
If my family received a payment from the COVID-19 stimulus (CARES Act), will that impact my financial aid eligibility?
The Department of Education has indicated that any aid received by victims of an emergency by either a federal or state entity for purposes of providing financial relief will not be counted as income for the calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or estimated financial assistance (EFA). This would apply to any funds a student received from a stimulus check and/or funds a student received from the CARES Act Economic Stabilization Fund — the fund to provide emergency grant aid dollars to institutions and students.
Will my admission decision be negatively impacted should I choose to participate in protests and am arrested?
Carnegie Mellon students are passionate, fearless and ready to confront systemic injustice wherever it exists. If you choose to peacefully protest in response to injustice, we support you and your right to be heard. Your admission decision won't be negatively impacted if you're arrested during peaceful protest or assembly, as we don't collect or review criminal history information as part of the admission process.