Carnegie Mellon University

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March 15, 2018

Applicants to Carnegie Mellon Surge to Record High, Building in Quality and Diversity

University sees increases across all undergraduate schools and colleges

Abby Simmons
  • Marketing & Communications
  • 412-268-4290

Carnegie Mellon University attracted a record-breaking 24,351 applicants for admission to the Class of 2022, a 19 percent increase over last year's pool. It is the largest year-to-year increase and the most applicants in the university's history.

The surge in undergraduate applications, one of the largest in the nation this year, follows close on the heels of several other admission milestones for Carnegie Mellon. In 2016, the university enrolled record numbers of women in computer science and engineering, at 2-3 times national averages. In 2017, the university enrolled more women undergraduates than men for the first time in its history, the same year the university saw an uncommon leap in the number of admitted students who chose CMU, from 30 to 37 percent.

It all falls at a time of extraordinary momentum for CMU, which announced last week that Farnam Jahanian — nationally recognized computer scientist, successful entrepreneur, senior public servant and respected leader in higher education — has been appointed the president of the university.

"Carnegie Mellon offers a distinctive education with a focus on problem-solving and fearless creativity at the edges and intersections of traditional boundaries," Jahanian said. "This rapid growth in interest from potential undergraduates reflects a growing recognition among students and their families that CMU is the destination of choice for those seeking to make an impact on the world."

The growth in applicants spanned all six of Carnegie Mellon's undergraduate colleges. The School of Computer Science saw a 30 percent increase in applicants from last year, followed by the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences (up 29 percent), the Tepper School of Business (up 26 percent) and the Mellon College of Science (up 20 percent). The College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts also posted double-digit increases.

Applicant Numbers Surge

Graphic showing rise in application numbersIn 2008, Carnegie Mellon University attracted 13,527 applicants. In 2018, that number rose to 24,351. 

"The growth in the number of our applicants is a result of the university's commitment to attracting diverse and outstanding students who want an education that will give them the skills, creativity, and confidence to tackle important human challenges," said Laurie Weingart, interim provost. "That commitment starts at the leadership level and includes the dedicated efforts of our deans and other academic leaders, along with our admission professionals."

The diversity of the applicant pool also grew at record pace, including increases in applications from Asian-Americans (up 30 percent), African-Americans (up 26 percent), and Hispanic-Latinos (up 20 percent). International student applicants increased by 7 percent. The pool of female applicants also continued to grow dramatically, up 22 percent from last year.

"When you think about what makes a university great, it's really not a homogenous community, it's a diverse community that makes us so significantly stronger," said Dean of Admission Michael Steidel. "And by quantitative and qualitative metrics, the accomplishment and potential of our incoming students continues to grow."

Carnegie Mellon will notify applicants of their admission decision by March 31. Admitted students will have until the national reply date of May 1 to accept or decline the offer.