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We’re All About the What Abouts

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We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about enrolling at Carnegie Mellon. Don’t see yours here? Contact the Office of Admission at or 412.268.2082.

COVID-19 Protocols for Fall 2022

How will COVID-19 impact the Fall 2022 semester?

With access to vaccines now widely available, there is much progress and hope on the horizon; we'll monitor virus prevalence, variants and vaccine adoption to help inform our decisions in the months ahead. 

For COVID-19 related protocols and updates at Carnegie Mellon, please review visit our COVID-19 Updates website.

Are Carnegie Mellon students required to be vaccinated by fall?

Consistent with scientific evidence on the importance of vaccine adoption to control spread of the virus, to the extent permissible by law, Carnegie Mellon University will require all enrolled students to be vaccinated for COVID-19. This policy will apply to all undergraduate and graduate students in U.S.-based programs. Learn more about Carnegie Mellon's vaccine requirements.


Am I required to live on campus?

First-year students are required to live on campus and have a meal plan unless granted an exception through the Dean of Student Affairs.

How are first-year housing assignments made and are all first-year students guaranteed housing?

All first-year students are guaranteed housing. Room assignments for first-year students are made in the order of each student’s randomly generated lottery number. Room assignments at Carnegie Mellon are a very personal and intentional process. The goal is to match roommates with the most potential for a successful roommate relationship. Housing assignments are also based on a number of other factors, including:

  • Your building and room type preferences
  • Your personal/lifestyle preferences
  • Your roommate requests
  • Space availability in your preferred buildings
  • When you completed your housing application

What housing options are available for first-year students?

How do I apply for housing?

The First-Year Housing Application will be available in spring 2022. An email will be sent out to all deposited students once the application is open. All first-year students must submit the online Housing Application and Housing License Agreement. Before you start the application, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our first-year housing options and make sure to have your Andrew ID set up.

When will I find out what my housing assignment is?

First-Year applications are due by May 31 and are processed beginning in early June. Assignment information is usually released the first week of July. Once you're assigned to a room, you'll be able to view your specific room assignment and roommate information via Student Information Online, under the My Info tab.

How is my room furnished?

Your room includes all the standard furniture listed on the Rates and Fees page.

What if I have more questions about housing?


Is a dining plan required for first-year students? Which dining plan is best for me?

All first-year students are required to select a Traditional Dining Plan. Our Traditional Dining Plans give students the flexibility to eat a different number of meals each day depending on their preferences. You can select the dining plan that comes with the allotted number of meal blocks and FLEX dollars to meet your individual eating patterns.

Where can I use my dining plan?

Your dining plan, which includes meal blocks and FLEX dollars, is encoded on your Carnegie Mellon ID card, along with any additional DineXtra funds purchased. Visit any of our 35+ dining locations to use your meal blocks, FLEX or DineXtra funds. Additionally, FLEX and DineXtra can be used at our off-campus partner locations, campus vending machines, or through our GET Food online and mobile food ordering platform from participating on-campus dining locations.

What if I realize that the dining plan I chose is not the best fit for me?

At the beginning of the fall semester, you have a window of time to change your dining plan to adjust the mix of meals and flexible dollars. If you're eating a greater number of meal blocks during a given week, then it would be better to switch to a plan that has more meals/blocks. If you prefer to eat more snack foods or à la carte items, then it would be best to switch to a dining plan with more flexible dollars.

I have a food allergy or intolerance. Where can I eat on campus?

Nourish, Carnegie Mellon's allergen-friendly kitchen, is a certified space by Kitchens with Confidence. Nourish features a menu prepared without gluten, wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts and most tree nuts (except coconut).

I am vegetarian/vegan. Where can I eat on campus?

All of our dining locations offer vegetarian options, and most offer vegan options and modifications. Favorite plant-based dining options include Beefsteak, the Tartan Express Food Truck featuring Tahini (also orthodox kosher), El Gallo de Oro, Taste of India and Nourish.

I have a special dining need due to a medical diagnosis and would like to request a change to my dining plan.

Students with special medical needs who would like to change or reduce their dining plan will need to have their dining needs evaluated by a University Health Services (UHS) professional staff member. To start this process, please turn in a Special Needs Dining Form to UHS. Once UHS completes their evaluation, they'll make a recommendation to Dining Services to support the student's special dining need.

What if I have more questions about dining?

Enrollment and Financial Aid

What is The HUB?

The HUB is a one-stop-shop delivering comprehensive enrollment services and counsel to students and families regarding financial aid, billing and payments, ID Cards, and registration and academic records. Financial aid inquiries for first-year students are handled through the Office of Admission until June; in June, students and families may contact The HUB for financial aid inquiries. For more information, visit The HUB website.

What is Student Information Online (SIO)?

Student Information Online (SIO) is a secure website and essential resource that enrolled students will frequently use throughout their academic career. An Andrew userID and password are needed in order to log in to SIO. Newly admitted first-year students will be able to access SIO in late May.

What is My Plaid Student (MPS)?

My Plaid Student (MPS) is a secure online portal for parents and family members. Students may invite individuals to use MPS to view student account information and make payments, view their most recent financial aid offer letter, request enrollment verifications, view mid-semester and final grades, view their QPA and view their semester schedule.

How can my family members stay informed about my student account and financial aid?

Until a student provides consent, Carnegie Mellon officials will not disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s records, including their student account and financial aid. If a student would like to give consent to a parent or other family member to access their records, the student can do the following:

Learn more about student privacy.

When will fall invoices be available?

Fall invoices are available through a student’s Student Information Online (SIO) — or My Plaid Student for authorized parents, guardians and other individuals — in early July. An email will be sent to the student’s Andrew email account when an invoice is ready for viewing.

Is there a way to make monthly payments toward my student account balance?

Yes, Carnegie Mellon provides a monthly payment plan option administered through Nelnet Campus Commerce. The plan allows students and families to pay amounts due to the university in manageable monthly installments and provides the convenience of enrolling and making payments online. There are deadlines associated with payment plan options, so we suggest that students and families plan accordingly to take advantage of this option.

How and when do I apply for federal student loans?

If your financial aid offer letter indicates that you are eligible for federal student loans and you wish to borrow those loans, you can apply after June 1 through A first-time loan borrower is also required to complete entrance counseling and sign an MPN. Information regarding interest rates and origination fees can be found on the Student Financial Services website. After June 1, the assistant directors in The HUB are available to assist with questions regarding student and parent loan borrowing.

Why aren’t my loans appearing on my invoice?

Invoices are updated once a month and show transactions for the previous month. Loans will not appear on an invoice until they have disbursed to the student account, and should be taken into consideration when making a payment. View loan disbursement dates.

Where can I find my missing financial aid documents?

To see what financial aid application materials we're requesting, log into your Where Am I in the Process? portal.

Will I be charged for university health insurance if I am covered under my parents’ health insurance?

A health insurance fee will appear on all fall student invoices because the health insurance waiver period does not begin until mid-July (and runs through early September). If you don't require a university health insurance plan, you may submit a waiver. Proof of insurance coverage must be provided and insurance must meet University Health Services' requirements in order to have the fee removed from the student account. Once a waiver is accepted, the health insurance fee will be removed. For more information about student health coverage and the waiver process, visit the University Health Services website.

First-Year Orientation

What do I need to do in the summer to prepare for First-Year Orientation?

There are several items that incoming students need to complete during the summer in order to be prepared for First-Year Orientation and the fall semester. Please see the First-Year Onboarding Checklist to review required and recommended items and their deadlines.

Where can I find the First-Year Orientation schedule?

First-Year Orientation is scheduled for August 20-28, 2022 and asynchronous content will be available through Canvas, our online course management system. A more detailed overview of the schedule will be available on the Orientation website in early summer. The full First-Year Orientation schedule will be available in mid-August on the Events at CMU App which you can download from the App Store or Google Play

Additional FAQs

What are my responsibilities as a Carnegie Mellon community member?

The Word: Student Handbook contains information and resources to help you create your Carnegie Mellon experience and embrace your role as a valued member of our university. Community membership affords many privileges and responsibilities as we all uphold the standards of our university. To ensure you're knowledgeable of the university’s expectations and the process that will be followed if standards are not met, The Word articulates the rights and responsibilities afforded to and expected of each member of our community.

Who is able to utilize University Health Services (UHS) and how?

UHS is available to all enrolled Carnegie Mellon students, regardless of their insurance coverage. Students can call UHS or use HealthConnect, our secure online portal, to schedule appointments, order prescription refills, complete health forms and more. Visit the University Health Services website for more information.

What are the health requirements for new students?

Immunizations: All new students must complete the online immunization forms.

Health Insurance: All full-time students must have health insurance that meets the university’s requirements.

Trainings: All new undergraduate students must complete three online education courses - Alcohol and Sexual Assault Prevention.

Visit the University Health Services website for more information on these topics.

When will I get access to the Career Center?

Students will receive a notice near the beginning of July inviting them to participate in a career orientation course called Career Launch, hosted on Carnegie Mellon's Canvas system. Career Launch will teach you about basic career topics such as resume writing, Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) services, and Handshake, Carnegie Mellon's online recruiting platform. At that time, you'll also gain access to all the Career and Professional Development Center services and resources.

How do I find a job on campus?

Students can find and apply for on-campus jobs via Handshake. You'll be notified of your access to Handshake around the beginning of July. The On-Campus Student Employment Guide found on the CPDC website contains information to help you with your campus job search.

How can I get involved in campus life outside of the classroom?

Students can make their mark, channel their passions and shape their involvement through student organizations, leadership opportunities, civic engagement, student jobs, Greek life, Carnegie Mellon's signature traditions and events, and in new ways that are just waiting to be created. Carnegie Mellon departments, faculty and staff are here to support, advise, mentor and connect you to resources along the way. Here’s a brief listing of some ways to get involved: