Frequently Asked Questions-Dining Services - Carnegie Mellon University

Dining Services FAQ

Meal Plan Information

How do I sign up for the Dining Program?

Complete the online Dining Plan Agreement.

When I purchase a dining plan, is it just for one semester?

No, when you purchase a dining plan, you make a purchase for the entire school year. You may change your dining plan during the official dining plan change period. You are billed per semester, but the purchase is for the academic year.

Why are first year students required to have a dining plan?

The dining plan helps students make a successful and healthy transition from living at home to living on their own. It helps with the socialization process as well.

Is there any way I can be released from a dining plan?

Exceptions to the dining plan are made only for acute and severe health reasons or upon official withdrawal from the university.

How do I use the Dining Program?

Your Dining Program is encoded on your Carnegie Mellon ID card. Present this card when you make a purchase. Your meals, flexible dollars and/or DineXtra will be deducted as appropriate.

What if I lose my ID card?

Report a lost card immediately by calling the HUB at (412) 268-8186 or Campus Security at (412) 268-2323. To replace a lost card, go to the HUB in the basement of Warner Hall.

What happens to the meal plan during less than full weeks, such as Thanksgiving?

The meals available are pro-rated based on the number of service days available in the week. The number of meals and flexible dollars available to you during those weeks are reduced based on how much time is left during each week. This change is factored into the cost of each dining plan.

What if I have special dietary requirements?

If you have special dietary needs or concerns, please contact our Registered Dietitian, Paula Martin, who works in the University Health Services office. You can submit a special dining needs form or email her at To meet the special dietary needs of our students, many of our locations offer vegetarian and vegan menu items. Fresh Kosher meals are also available at The Pomegranate in the Jared L. Cohon University Center and strict Orthodox Kosher meals can be ordered for campus delivery from Murray Avenue Kosher. Please talk to any of our location managers who can help you select appropriate menu items.

Dining Locations

What are the hours of operation during holidays or other special events?

The hours will vary for each operation during special periods. Check the Hours of Operation section of this website for up to date information.

Why can't food be carried out of the Schatz Dining Room?

At specified times the Schatz Dining Room is an "all-you-care-to-eat" facility. You are welcome to consume all you wish during each visit, but due to the pricing structure, food cannot leave this area.

Who serves the food on campus?

Carnegie Mellon Dining's primary dining vendor CulinArt directly manages many of our on-campus dining locations. We also work with several other outside vendors who operate the other food locations on campus including Copper Pot Corp, La Prima Espresso and LuLu's Noodles. Please look at the profiles of each of the dining locations to see learn more about all of our vendors.

Where can I find nutritional values?

Nutritional Values [pdf] contains nutritional values for basic foods that can be found at many of our dining locations. Use it as a reference guide when making healthy food choices.

Who sets the pricing for the vendors?

Dining Services reviews and approves the pricing structures. Pricing must be competitive with similar operations and their restaurants. In some instances, prices are actually lower.

Who watches over vendor quality?

Our Dining Services management team regularly monitors vendor services and products. We welcome any comments or suggestions regarding vendor services.

How can I voice my suggestions and give feedback to Dining Services directly?

Contact us or attend the Student Dormitory Council Food Committee meetings. You can email the Student Dormitory Council Food Chair at