Carnegie Mellon University

Which meal plan is best for you?

Your meal plan gives you access to diverse, delicious, and healthy options at over 35 dining locations on campus. Our dining plans are designed so that you can choose when, where, and what you want to eat in a way that best fits your schedule and dining needs. Your dining plan and DineXtra dollars, our declining balance program, are encoded on your Carnegie Mellon ID card, so you have easy access to your account wherever you go.  

First-Year Students

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.

I plan to eat most of my meals on campus and prefer to eat three full meals most days.

The Green Plan is perfect for you! This plan covers most of your meals with 18 meal blocks per week. This is a favorite plan for our athletes and active students.


I like to eat a quick breakfast in my room but plan to eat lunch and dinner on campus.

Try the Blue Plan. This plan averages about two meal blocks per day each week, with plenty of flexible dollars to fit in light meals or snacks.


I only eat meals once or twice each day, but I like to add small meals and snacks whenever I feel hungry.

Consider the Red Plan. This plan offers the most flexible dollars so that you can grab smaller bites or a coffee when you need it, but still enjoy a meal on campus with your friends.

What if I choose a plan and it isn’t enough?

You can always add DineXtra to your account through GET Funds. DineXtra is better than cash because you receive a bonus value of up to 1% for each $100 added to your account, up to 10% for $1000! Worried you’ve selected the wrong plan? Learn more about Dining Plan changes.

Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff

All undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff members have the option to choose either a Traditional Dining Plan or a Community Dining Plan. All of our dining plans are designed so that you can choose when, where, and what you want to eat in a way that best fits your schedule and dining needs. 

Which Dining Plans are available to me?

Traditional and Community Dining Plans are available to all members of the Carnegie Mellon community and can be used at any of our campus dining locations. You can also purchase DineXtra in addition to a dining plan or as DineXtra alone, which offers a 1% bonus per $100 deposit, up to 10%.

How do I know which plan offers me the best value?

Consider your eating habits. Do you like to eat meals that include an entrée, a side, and a drink? If so, choose a meal plan that includes meal blocks. If you plan to use your meal plan for smaller purchases like snacks and beverages, DineXtra dollars may offer the best value.

I like to eat meals on campus, but my eating habits vary from week-to-week.

Try a Community Dining Plan. Meal blocks can be used at any time during the semester, so you have the flexibility to use as many per week as you like. Community Plans come with varying combinations of meal blocks, as well as flexible dollars, which can be used to cover purchases at any campus dining location, including Entropy+ and vending machines.

I would like to receive a discount on the purchases like lattes, snacks, and pastries that I regularly make at campus dining locations.

DineXtra is perfect for you! Simply add money to your account through GET Funds. DineXtra is better than cash because you receive a bonus value of up to 1% for each $100 added to your account, up to 10% for $1000. DineXtra expires at the end of the academic year for students. Faculty and staff DineXtra never expires.

Terms to know as you select your dining plan:

meal block icon Blocks/Meals

Meal blocks consist of an entrée, drink, and side(s) all for one price. Meal blocks are offered at every location on campus and offer value as compared to purchasing each item a la carte. Only one meal block can be used during each meal period.

flexible dollars icon Flexible Dollars

Flexible dollars come as a part of the dining plan you purchase and can be used to upgrade your meal or purchase a la carte items at all campus dining locations. Flexible dollars expire on the last active day of the dining plan in the fall and spring semesters.

dinextra icon DineXtra

DineXtra can be purchased in addition to a dining plan or as DineXtra alone, and it offers a 1% bonus per $100 deposit, up to 10%. DineXtra purchased during the academic year is available through the last active date of the dining plan in the spring semester. Any unused funds expire at that time.

dinextra icon Guest Meals  

Two guest meals are included in the green, blue, and red Traditional Plans each semester. They are not included with the community plans. You can use your guest meals on visitors or as an additional meal during one block. Guest meals can be redeemed at any time during the semester.

Don't just take our word for it!
Check out our blog to hear what students have to say about our meal plans.