Carnegie Mellon University

Dietrich College First-Year Experience

Each year, orientation provides incoming first-year and transfer students with opportunities to become acquainted with Carnegie Mellon University’s campus, connect with their classmates, meet faculty and staff and explore Pittsburgh.

The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences provides a unique support system to help first-year students with their transition into CMU. This begins with the college’s Academic Advisory Center (AAC) because most new students begin their academic careers without a declared major. This allows students to explore different educational interests over multiple semesters.

Both in and outside of the classroom, there are many opportunities for Dietrich College students to engage with the academic community to strengthen their personal and professional development.

Typical First-Year Course Schedule

Dietrich College students are required to complete a series of courses known as the "Freshman Five" which are a core component of their General Education Requirements.

  1. Statistical Reasoning (Fall or Spring semester)
  2. Interpretation & Argument (Fall or Spring semester)
  3. Global Histories (Fall or Spring semester)
  4. Freshman Seminar (Fall or Spring semester)*
  5. Computing@Carnegie Mellon (Fall semester)

Students are encouraged to work with their assigned AAC Advisor to combine these Freshman Five requirements with other foundational courses in their major areas of interest.

*Students will be instructed by their AAC advisor to complete a Freshman Seminar Preference Survey during the summer and will be placed into one of the offered sections of the course.

Additional Resources and Activities

Additionally, the college seeks to facilitate and inspire the success of our undergraduate students during their first year of college. Dietrich College students receive tools and opportunities to set personal, academic and professional goals while also exploring the richness of the diverse Carnegie Mellon community in order to establish a connection and affinity with campus life.