Carnegie Mellon University

Dietrich College First-Year Experience

First-year students can look forward to not only acquiring new knowledge, but to the exciting challenge of developing new learning skills that go beyond what was commonly emphasized in high school. These include developing the ability to identify alternative ways of interpreting evidence and making arguments to comparing and assessing those arguments and producing your own well-reasoned analyses.

As you move through your coursework, you will bee to work out how to combine what you’re learning in the classroom with a broad understanding of the world around you. This kind of intellectual breadth is crucial to equipping you to grow in your chosen profession and to engage thoughtfully and ethically with complex variation in the constantly changing world.

The Dietrich College General Education Program is the framework which this will begin to happen. Advisors in the Academic Advisory Center and your eventual home department will serve as crucial resources for you.

Typical First-Year Course Schedule

Among the courses that Dietrich College students complete in their first year is known as the “Freshman Five:”

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)

A normal course load is five classes per semester.

Read more about general education requirements.

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.

Examples of how the college achieves this includes:

  • Summer virtual advising and acclimation using web-based and social media technology
  • Orientation dinner at the Carnegie Music Hall
  • First-year student involvement in the college advisory board (Dietrich College Connect)
  • Dietrich College Freshman Seminar Program
  • Student success workshop series
  • Academic support program
  • Spring Academic Advising “Major Info Expo”
  • One-on-one academic advising
  • Starting a “skills and competencies portfolio” with the Career and Professional Development Center
  • Research training courses and other opportunities for undergraduate research
  • Advising and planning for study abroad
  • Advising and planning for fellowship, scholarship and leadership development opportunities
Additional resources can be found on the Dietrich College General Education website.