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Application Plans and Deadlines

At Carnegie Mellon, we have several application plans to choose from. Review each plan below to decide which is the best option for you.

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Application Plan and Deadlines

Early Decision

Early Decision is a binding application plan for students who view Carnegie Mellon as their first choice university. This means if you're admitted through Early Decision, you're committed to attending Carnegie Mellon and must withdraw any applications you may have submitted to other institutions.

There are two plans that you can choose from. Early Decision 1 is for those applying by November 1, while Early Decision 2 is for those who may decide Carnegie Mellon has become their first choice after November 1.

Early Decision 1
Deadline: November 1
Notified by: December 15
Enroll by: February 1

Early Decision 1 is not available for acting, directing, dramaturgy, music theater or the School of Music.

Early Decision 2
Deadline: January 3
Notified by: No later than February 1
Enroll by: February 15

Early Decision 2 is not available for the Schools of Drama, Music, Design or Art.

Early Decision Instructions and Information

  • If you’re admitted to Carnegie Mellon, you’re expected to enroll.
  • You should not apply for Early Decision 1 or 2 if you have a pending Early Decision application with another college or university.
  • You must agree to withdraw applications previously submitted to other institutions, in any country, when notified of Early Decision acceptance at Carnegie Mellon. To do this, please complete and submit our Early Decision Agreement (PDF)(opens in new window)  along with the rest of your application.
  • You can apply to only one college within the university.
  • Three decisions can be given: admit, deny or defer to Regular Decision.
  • You're not able to reapply under Early Decision 2 or Regular Decision if you're denied under Early Decision 1.
  • You're not able to compare formal financial aid offers between Carnegie Mellon and other universities you may have applied to. You can get an estimate of your Carnegie Mellon financial aid offer by utilizing our Net Price Calculator.

Note about November standardized tests for Early Decision applicants:
If you'd like us to consider test scores, it's strongly preferred that Early Decision 1 applicants complete all standardized testing by November 1. If there are circumstances that have led you to take a test after November 1 but still in the month of November, make sure you've indicated the future test you're taking on the Common Application. The Office of Admission will do our best to wait until these scores arrive before making an admission decision; however, this will cause a delay in the review of your application. December testing is too late for Early Decision 1 consideration.

Regular Decision

Regular Decision is the most common plan for students who apply to Carnegie Mellon. It’s common for students to apply Regular Decision to a number of institutions and then compare financial aid offers.

Regular Decision
Deadline: January 3
Notified by: No later than April 1
Enroll by: May 2

Regular Decision for Schools of Drama and Music
Deadline: December 1
Notified by: No later than April 1
Enroll by: May 2

If you're applying to the Schools of Architecture, Art, Design, Drama or Music, please view our fine arts admission requirements. For fine arts students, it’s advantageous to apply earlier in the process in order to secure auditions or portfolio review appointments.

Please keep in mind:

  • Regular Decision applicants who want to change to an Early Decision application plan may do so by completing this form no later than January 3. An admission decision could be available anytime between December 10 and February 1, depending on when an applicant moves to Early Decision.
  • Regular Decision applicants switching to Early Decision 1 or Early Decision 2 will be required to submit an Early Decision Agreement (PDF)(opens in new window).

Early Admission

Early Admission is for highly qualified juniors in high school who apply to Carnegie Mellon a year early. It’s ideal for mature, responsible juniors who’ve exhausted the course offerings at their high school and taken all required standardized testing.

Early Admission
Deadline: January 1
Notified by: No later than April 15
Enroll by: May 2

Please be aware that:

  • A high school diploma isn't required at the time of application, but we encourage you to make arrangements to receive either a diploma from your high school by the end of your freshman year at Carnegie Mellon, or a General Education Diploma (GED). Without a high school diploma or GED, students cannot receive federal financial aid.
  • Applicants who will be under the age of 17 on the first day of classes must contact the Dean of Student Affairs Office to discuss housing, services and resources available.
  • You must be at least 16 years old to live in university housing.

Transfer Admission

Each year, Carnegie Mellon admits a small number of transfer students as space permits. The policy for transferring varies from college to college within Carnegie Mellon, so please carefully review the deadlines below as well as the transfer application instructions.

Spring Transfer (All colleges/schools except College of Fine Arts)*
Deadline: October 15**
Notified by: December 15 or soon after
Enroll by: January 1

*Spring transfers must have completed a semester of college by the application deadline in order to apply for admission.
**All supporting documents must be received by November 1 for spring transfer.

Fall Transfer (All colleges/schools except College of Fine Arts)
Deadline: February 15*
Notified by: May 15
Enroll by: June 1

*All supporting documents must be received by March 15 for fall transfer.

Fall Transfer (College of Fine Arts)
Deadline: December 1 for drama and music, January 3 for architecture, art and design*
Notified by: April 1
Enroll by: May 1

* All supporting documents must be received by March 15 for fall transfer.