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Undergraduate Admission

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Your Application Checklist

Students outdoor on CMU's campus studying and walking

Before you can rush to the edge of what’s known, you’ve got some paperwork to do.

Take a look at what’s required and make note of important deadlines for applying. For detailed guidance, download the 2021 Carnegie Mellon Application Instructions Booklet (PDF)(opens in new window).

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Required Application Materials

  • Common Application
  • $75 application fee*
  • Official high school transcript (please review our Academic Requirements)**
  • All required standardized testing official score reports (if English is not your native language, this includes the TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Secondary school counselor evaluation
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Common Application essay
  • Carnegie Mellon Common Application Writing Supplement, which includes three short-answer questions

Additional requirements:

  • If you’re a fine arts applicant for the School of Drama or the School of Music, you must arrange a required pre-screen, audition or portfolio review.
  • If you’re a fine arts applicant for the Schools of Architecture, the School of Art or the School of Design, you must submit the required portfolio and creative materials.
  • If you’re a home-schooled applicant, you should submit an academic portfolio or transcript that’s consistent with your state’s guidelines and a list of all textbooks used.
  • For all applicants: You must provide proof of meeting all requirements for an official high school diploma by the end of May of the year of graduation. You must also submit an official final transcript, GED or certificate of completion from your local school district or state board of education by the end of July of the year of matriculation.

*Carnegie Mellon accepts fee waivers from students who meet one of the indicators of economic need as outlined on the Common Application.

**Transcript and graduation requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission to Carnegie Mellon (for applicants who are 17 and over). Applicants should submit official transcripts from all secondary schools attended, and enrolling students are required to submit an official final transcript as well. Applicants who have received a high school equivalency diploma are required to have their official High School Equivalency Examination (GED) scores sent to the Office of Admission in addition to official transcripts from all high schools attended.

Supporting Documents and Supplemental Information

Carnegie Mellon doesn’t accept supplemental submissions, such as resumes, artwork, portfolios, recording or websites. We encourage you to use the Common Application, along with the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays, to highlight experiences or activities that have enhanced or defined your personal growth during high school. Carnegie Mellon won’t accept applicant updates after January 15.

Please note that mid-semester grades or transcript updates should be reported by your high school counselor throughout the admission process. For applicants to the College of Fine Arts, please refer to our information for Fine Arts applicants.

Instructions for DACA, Home-Schooled, Cyber and Non-Traditional Applicants

Applying as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Student

Carnegie Mellon welcomes applications from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. Follow the instructions for either first-year or transfer applicants and review the admission requirements noted at the top of this page. We accept College Board and NACAC fee waivers for the nonrefundable application fee. If you need an application fee waiver, you should contact the Office of Admission.

Please also be aware of this additional information:

  • When completing the Common Application, you should apply for either first-year or transfer admission as an international student. You’ll do so by selecting “Other (non-US)” as your citizenship status.
  • You may be eligible for institutional financial aid and must apply for financial aid in order to be considered.
  • To apply for institutional financial aid, you must complete the CSS Profile and provide either federal tax returns or documentation of household income to College Board IDOC. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) isn’t required for DACA students. If you need a CSS Profile fee waiver, you should contact the Office of Admission.
  • At the time of admission, Carnegie Mellon may request DACA documentation to confirm your status in order to process your financial aid accordingly.

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, please contact the Office of Admission.

Applying as a Home-Schooled or Cyber Student

Carnegie Mellon welcomes applications from students who have been schooled at home or online. In addition to the information below, please be sure to follow the instructions for first-year applicants and review the admission requirements noted at the top of this page.

To apply to the university, you must:

  • Submit a completed Common Application.
  • Submit a syllabus or course descriptions of the work you’ve completed prior to applying. This should include a list of all textbooks used for your coursework.
  • Submit a transcript of grades and/or evaluation of your work that’s consistent with state guidelines.
  • Submit a recommendation from a counselor, a representative of your state board of education, your home school association or other person of authority.
  • Follow the instructions for required testing based on the college and program you’re applying to.
  • Provide proof that you'll have met, by the end of May of the year of graduation, all requirements for an official high school diploma.

If admitted, you will also need to submit an official final transcript, GED or certificate of completion from your local school district or state board of education by the end of July of the year of matriculation.

Applying as a Non-Traditional Student

Carnegie Mellon welcomes applications from students with non-traditional academic backgrounds, including prospective students who are seeking a second bachelor’s degree, and those who are interested in a first bachelor’s degree several years after graduating from high school.

To apply for a second bachelor’s degree if your first degree is from Carnegie Mellon:

  • Complete the Common Application.
  • Arrange to have a copy of your Carnegie Mellon transcript sent to the Office of Admission by February 15, if you’re applying as a transfer, or by January 1, if you’re applying as a first-year student.

To apply for a second bachelor’s degree if your first degree is from another college or university:

To apply for a first bachelor’s degree if you’re from a nontraditional background:

  • Complete the Common Application.
  • Submit an essay explaining what you have been doing since graduating from high school.
  • Submit a recommendation from a counselor, teacher, colleague or advisor who can speak of your potential for success at Carnegie Mellon.
  • Follow the instructions for transfer applicants.
  • Note that campus housing is only available for traditional-age college students.

Applicants from the Veterans & Military Community and ROTC Applicants

Carnegie Mellon provides services to veterans and their dependents who are eligible for Veterans Education Benefits under the Montgomery G.I. Bill, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. Visit the Veterans and Military Community website for more information.

For questions and additional information regarding military and veteran applicants, please contact Mike Danko, ROTC Veterans Affairs Coordinator, at @email or 412.268.8747.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship information:

More Information about Applying to CMU