Carnegie Mellon University

First-year Students

First-year students at CMU are required to live on campus. As an admitted first-year student, you can begin the housing application once it becomes available on April 1, your admissions deposit has been processed by the University, and you have activated your Andrew account.

How to Apply

All first-year students must submit the online Housing Application and Housing License Agreement. First-year students who were admitted off of the admissions waitlist should submit the Housing Application and Housing License Agreement as soon as they have accepted their admission.

Before you start the application, make yourself familiar with our first-year housing options and set up your Andrew ID pages.

Residents who are under the age of 18 when completing the application will need to have a parent or guardian electronically sign the agreement on their behalf. Be sure to allow extra time before the application deadline to have your parent or guardian complete this form.

Housing applications are not complete until a signed Housing License Agreement is received by Housing Services and you have received a confirmation email. Once your application is complete, you will no longer be able to make changes to your application, so make sure that your requests and preferences are final before submitting your agreement.

Setting Up Your Andrew ID

In order to apply for housing, incoming students need to activate their Andrew ID. Visit the Computing Services website to get started. 

Once you have your Andrew ID, you can log into the housing application.

When you first log into the Housing portal to apply for housing, you will see your “Classification” listed in the left-hand menu. All first-year students — whether a traditional first year or a CFA transfer — should see the “New First-Year” classification. If you see a different classification listed, please email us.

First-Year Housing Assignments

Room assignments at Carnegie Mellon is a very personal and intentional process. The goal is to match roommates with the most potential for a successful roommate relationship. Housing assignments are also based on a number of other factors, including:

  • Your building and room type preferences
  • Your personal/lifestyle preferences
  • Your roommate requests
  • Space availability in your preferred buildings
  • When you completed your housing application
Housing applications are processed beginning June 1, in the order of your randomly generated lottery number. A lower lottery number means that it is more likely that you will be assigned to one of your top five building preferences.
We do our best to assign roommates who request each other as roommates, as long as all applicants accept one another’s request(s) and complete their applications before the May 31 deadline. If these requirements are met, we should be able to assign roommates together based on the earlier lottery number. Roommates cannot be assigned together if either applicant applies after May 31.
Space in the most popular buildings is limited. We make every effort to assign you to one of your preferred buildings, and the most popular buildings fill very quickly. All of our residential communities are great, so keep an open mind about your assignment!

First-Year Room Assignments

Once you are assigned to a room, you will be able to view your specific room assignment and roommate information via the Now That I'm Enrolled website or Student Information Online (under the My Info tab). Assignment information is usually released the first week of July. When your assignment information is available, you will receive an email with your building name, your room or apartment number, the room rate, and your roommate's name and Andrew email address.

Students who submit their housing application after the May 31 deadline may not receive a housing assignment during this first release and should contact Housing Services to find out the status of their housing application.

We do not accept/process room change requests for first-year students over the summer. The formal room change process will begin in mid-October or once all first-year students assigned to temporary housing have been assigned a permanent assignment. First-year students who wish to change rooms at that time can submit an application to get on the room change waitlist.

Due to the high demand for housing on Carnegie Mellon's campus, Open Housing Assignments and Temporary Housing allows us to accommodate all incoming first-year students and upper-class students.

Temporary Housing

Each year, a small number of incoming first-year students may be assigned to temporary housing spaces in Donner HouseMudge House, or lounge space in Morewood E-Tower.  (Morewood E-Tower lounge spaces are set up with as many as five residents, if needed, with a bed, desk, and dresser available for each resident. Closet space is shared.)

After all other spaces are filled, incoming students with the latest lottery numbers will be assigned to temporary housing. Within the first few weeks of the fall semester, a permanent assignment is identified and residents are notified of their assignment and asked to select a move date. Housing Services will coordinate with the student to help move his or her belongings to the new space.

While every effort is made to assign temporary housing residents to permanent spaces in first-year areas, that is not always possible. Temporary residents are not permitted to decline their permanent assignment but may sign up for the room change waitlist. All residents assigned to temporary housing will be required to move to a permanent assignment once one becomes available.

Once a permanent assignment is identified, the student account will then be adjusted to reflect the cost of the new room rate, prorated based on the date of the move. Students are responsible for the cost of their permanently assigned room.

Temporary housing residents should be aware that many university housing spaces have higher room rates than the "semi-suite double" rate. We are not able to guarantee a specific room rate for your permanent assignment, and residents and families should be prepared for the possibility of a higher room rate than the initial standard double charge.

Open Assignments

An Open Assignment means that you are guaranteed housing, but your specific assignment has not been made yet. Most residents who receive an Open Assignment will be notified of their permanent assignment before move-in day. When making your permanent assignment, we look at our available spaces and take your building and room type preferences into consideration. Some residents who receive an Open Assignment may be assigned a temporary housing assignment on move-in day.

In order to assist with financial aid budgeting, all residents who receive an Open Assignment will notice an initial room charge on their student account equal to our semi-suite double room rate. This rate will be prorated accordingly once a permanent space is identified. In some cases, students will be assigned to a permanent space that is less expensive than the prime double rate; in other cases, the permanent assignment may cost more. Residents will be notified of their new room as soon as the assignment is made.

All residents who receive an Open Assignment will be updated regularly throughout the summer as we identify permanent assignments. You will be notified of your move-in location and whether it will be a permanent assignment or a temporary space via an email the day prior to move-in.

For students who do not select their own roommate, housing's roommate matching program uses the responses from the lifestyle questions in the housing application to match roommates. When matching roommates, we consider a number of factors:

Your Lottery Number – We process room assignments in batches, starting with the students with the lowest randomly generated lottery numbers. If you have a low lottery number, it’s pretty likely that your roommate will, too.

Your Lifestyle Preferences — On your housing application, you are asked to answer a few questions about your lifestyle. When possible, we try to match you with a roommate who has similar lifestyle preferences as you.

Your Building Preferences — We know that your building preferences are important, so we try to assign you with a roommate who wants to be in the same buildings as you. Because some buildings are more popular than others, many buildings will fill up before we are able to process your assignment. If this happens, we consider your other preferred buildings. If all of your preferred buildings are filled, we make a decision based on other criteria such as your room type preferences and your roommate's building preferences.

Your Room Type Preferences — While the vast majority of first-year students will be assigned to a double room or apartment, there are a small number of triples and quads available. Due to the popularity of triples and quads, we usually fill these spaces exclusively with students who request them. Likewise, there are only a handful of singles available for first-year students and these usually fill up very quickly.

Your Special Academic Program (if applicable) — If you are part of a special academic group, such as the Science and Humanities Scholars program, you will be assigned with students from that same program. Outside of these special groups, we do not make any special efforts to match students with roommates from the same academic program. We believe that it is more important to live with someone who has similar lifestyle habits, and that living with someone from a different academic program can expand your horizons in terms of friends and campus connections.

Housing Services does not discriminate in any way in regards to roommate matching (race, religion, sexual preference, etc.).

Requesting a Specific Roommate

If there is a particular person that you would like to live with, make sure to do the following things:

  1. Trade Andrew IDs and confirm your roommate request. Roommates can request and confirm each other through the Housing Application. In order to request a roommate, both roommates must start a housing application and complete the Roommate Profile step. If your roommate didn't complete this step of the application yet, ask him or her to let you know once it's complete, so that you can go back into the application to request each other.
  2. Get your application in before the May 31 deadline. After May 31, it is unlikely that we will be able to assign you with your requested roommate, even if you both request each other.

We do not send individual notification emails when roommates leave a room or a new roommate is assigned, as students leave the university and room change frequently. Residents are encouraged to occasionally check their housing information in SIO to see if any changes occur.