Frequently Asked Questions
If you do not find an answer to your specific question here, email Housing Services or call 412-268-2139, or email Residential Education or call 412-268-2142.
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 or the Director of Residential Education. While the majority of campus residents return to campus housing the following year, upper-class housing and meal plans are optional.
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.
What are my chances of living on campus in the future?
All current residents are guaranteed housing for up to four years if they participate in our Room Selection process each spring. Current seniors wishing to participate in Room Selection must request to participate before Room Selection begins. Students who do not participate in Room Selection or have left campus housing and wish to return will be considered for housing if space allows.
How can I obtain information about off-campus housing?
Does the Housing Contract cover housing during Thanksgiving, winter, fall, spring and summer breaks?
The Housing Contract covers fall and spring semesters only. During Winter Break, most of the residential halls will be closed. Housing residents are allowed to stay in designated residential buildings but an additional charge will apply. Residents who need Winter Break housing but do not live in an open Winter Break building are responsible for finding their own accommodations (i.e. a friend who lives in an open Winter Break building.) All residents - both those living in a Winter Break building and those staying in a friends' room - need to apply for winter break housing online and get pre-approval. Residents will receive Winter Break information in late October or early November.
During Thanksgiving and fall and spring breaks, residents can stay in their rooms without extra charges as all residential halls remain open.
Summer housing is available for students who are attending summer school or students affiliated with the university and require housing for a period equivalent to a summer school session. An on-campus residential hall is selected each spring for summer housing. The minimum amount of time a student can apply for housing is one summer school session. There is a charge for summer housing.
When is the earliest I can arrive on campus for the fall semester?
First-year students are permitted to move into their residential assignment on First-Year Move-In Day. Returning students can move into their residential assignment on the Thursday before the first day of the fall semester classes. Please refer to the University's Academic Calendar
for all the academic events.
Can I cancel my Housing Contract?
Only under very limited circumstances can Housing Contracts be canceled. Circumstances generally include a departure from the university, such as a leave of absence, withdrawal, academic suspension, study abroad, etc. Cancellations are not considered for students wishing to move off-campus. A student may request an exception to cancel the contract through the Director of Housing Services or the director’s designee.
How is my room furnished?
Your room includes all the standard furniture listed
on the Rates and Fees
Can I get extra furniture for my room?
Standard furniture arrangements vary slightly from building to building. Additional furnishings beyond those provided to each building cannot be supplied to residents unless special circumstances warrant necessary additions. Residents who feel that additions are necessary or if expected furniture is missing should contact the Facility Coordinator for your building.
How can I get a lofted bed for my room?
We are moving away from utilizing lofts and platform beds/desks in the residence halls and apartments, due to safety regulations and limited stock.
Can I paint my room?
Students are not permitted to paint their rooms, doors, or other residential areas. Housing Services maintains a rotation schedule that allows for all residential areas to be painted on a regular basis. Students who paint their room without authorization will be charged the cost of having the room professionally repainted.
Can I make repairs to my room or my building?
Students are not permitted to make repairs to university property. Please submit a maintenance request online if a repair is needed.
Where are the university's Oakland community apartments?
The Oakland Community Apartments are all within a 5–10 minute walking distance of campus. Carnegie Mellon's shuttle also services these buildings on a regular schedule.
What is the difference between a semi-suite and a traditional room?
A room is typically classified as semi-suite when it is attached to a bathroom that is shared by five or fewer students. A room is usually considered traditional when its common area bath is shared by more than five students. In most traditional accommodations, the bath is a large central bath for a floor.
To understand more about the various room types, visit the Room Types page.
What is the size of my mattress?
All university mattresses are twin extra long 39" x 80". Please refer to the Services section if you are interested in purchasing linens.
What can I do if supplies have run out on my floor and I need a few things?
Please see your resident assistant or submit a maintenance request if supplies run out on your floor. Your resident assistant will have a small supply of toilet paper, trash bags, and light bulbs.
Can I put university furniture in storage?
Most student room furniture cannot be stored during the academic year. To request a furniture move for a disability accommodation reason, submit a maintenance request to Housing Services to have designated furniture item(s) taken to storage. If the request is approved, leave the designated furniture item(s) in the room and Housing Services staff members will take the item(s) to storage. Do not leave furniture in the hallway corridors under any circumstances. Placing furniture in hallways is a violation of
fire safety code and carries a fine. Furniture that cannot be accounted for through the maintenance request system will be the responsibility of the residents of a room. Non-university furniture cannot be stored anywhere on campus.
Can I bring my own refrigerator or microwave to campus?
Residents may bring their own compact microwaves to campus as long as they are under 700 watts. They may also bring their own mini-refrigerators to campus as long as they are smaller than 4.5 cubic feet and operate on 110/120 VAC. Residents who do not remove personal microwaves and/or mini-refrigerators upon checking out will have their student accounts charged for removal and disposal of your personal appliances.
How can I rent a microfridge for my room?
A microfridge is a combined refrigerator and microwave appliance. Please refer to the Amenities section if you'd like to rent a unit.
Note: If you rent a microfrige through myMicroFridge, orders are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Orders placed by August 1, 2021, will be delivered prior to students' arrival. Any orders submitted after August 1, 2021 will be delivered at a later date in August.
Can I have campus cleaning services clean a private bath?
Custodial Services cleans community bathrooms daily. Cleaning of suite, semi suite or apartment bathrooms are the responsibilty of the residents.
What types of utilities and services are available?
Please refer to the Services section of our website for more information.
What should I do if I lock myself out of my room or my key is lost or stolen?
Please refer to the Housing Access
section of our website for more information.
Can I get an extra key for my visitors?
No, keys are issued to the residents of the room only. Visitors and guests are allowed in residence halls. This permits students to conveniently meet for academic, personal, and social reasons. However, we cannot provide an extra key for them.