Carnegie Mellon University

We're so glad you're considering Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College Programs!

> Here, you will find yourself immersed in academic and extra-curricular opportunities that will prepare you for the college application and higher education experience.

> Here, you will find others like you who are ready to challenge themselves and move themselves forward.

> Here, you will find Game Changers, Risk Takers and Trailblazers


Important Application Dates:

Early Decision and International Applicationsorientation_twomales_walking_min

Application Deadline: February 1, 2023
Decision Notification: by February 22, 2023

Please note:
• International applicants attending high school within the U.S. may follow Regular Decision Application dates (below). 
• Scholarship applications are not considered under the Early Decision deadline. For Scholarships, please follow the Scholarship deadline below. 
• An Early Decision is not binding as it can be in the undergraduate process.
• Early Decision and International Applications are rolling admission, with all decisions sent by February 22. 

Regular Decision, Scholarship, AIS, CSS, and SAMS* Applicationsfemale_movein_min

Application Deadline: March 15, 2023
Decision Notification: by April 5, 2023

Please note: 
• Regular Decisions are rolling admission, with all decisions sent by April 5.
• AIS, CSS, SAMS, and Scholarship Applications have a fixed decision notification date of April 5.

*AI Scholars (AIS), Computer Science Scholars (CSS), Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS) 

*Admittance to Carnegie Mellon University Pre-College Programs has no influence on a student's undergraduate application to the university.

Pre-College 2023 Application

Within the online application, you will be asked to submit a combination of biographical, parent/guardian, and academic information. In addition, you will select up to three programs for application consideration in order of preference. Although second and third choice programs are not required, they are recommended.

Keep in mind that the order of your program preferences matter in our review process. Your first choice program preference should be labeled as such. All students will be initially considered for their first choice program preference. Applicants will only be admitted to one program.

Please note that as individual programs reach their enrollment and waitlist capacity, they will no longer be available as a program choice. Please apply as early as possible for your best chance at securing a spot in your first, second, or third choice programs.

Additionally, your application will not be considered complete until we receive your Letter(s) of Recommendation. We cannot review your application until these letters have been received by our office. Please plan ahead and request your recommendation letter(s) through our online application process in time for us to receive them by the application deadline.

Once your application is submitted, you will receive email correspondence on how to access your applicant portal. Please check your applicant portal regularly for updates or additional information requested.

Letter(s) of Recommendation

Your application will not be considered complete until we receive your Letter(s) of Recommendation. We cannot review your application until these letters have been received by our office.

To request your Letter(s) of Recommendation within our online application, you will be required to enter your recommender's email address. Once this is entered, an email will be automatically sent to the recommender. They will be directed to an online portal where they will complete the recommendation form and submit their letter of recommendation.

In general, recommendation letters should be submitted by a counselor or teacher who can speak to your readiness to attend a pre-college program that includes college-level work, independent living, and cooperation in group situations.

It is important that you plan ahead and request your recommendation letter(s) through our online application process in time for us to receive them by the application deadline.

Unofficial Transcript

Your most recent unofficial transcript must be submitted with your online application. Transcripts must include your name and all grades and courses you have completed. Official transcripts (submitted via sealed envelope or directly from the school) are NOT required for our application.

Standardized Test Scores (optional)

Standardized tests scores are NOT required for application. However, you are welcome to submit your test scores if you feel they will strengthen your application submission. Please note that these test scores will be only one part of our holistic review process.

If you choose to submit your standardized tests scores, please upload the test score report of your most recent PSAT, SAT, PreACT or ACT.

Essay Requirements

Essay requirements vary by program. Please reference the academic program pages for more information. Essay prompts will be listed.

Responses to the essay prompts should be uploaded through the online application in a PDF or Word format.

Supplemental Materials (if applicable)

Depending on your program(s) of interest, supplemental materials (such as a video audition or images of your unique work) may be required to complete your application. Please reference the academic program pages for more information.

We highly encourage students to participate in our residential program as it provides a more comprehensive college-life experience. However, you can still greatly benefit from our commuter programs.

To be eligible as a commuter student, the student and parent/guardian must have a permanent residence within approximately 30 miles of campus or within Allegheny County. Exceptions to this requirement will NOT be considered.

Please find complete information on application and enrollment processes for international students here.

English Proficiency Requirements

If your native language is not English, we require a TOEFL score of 102 or better on the iBT (internet-based test) or iBT Home Edition, a TOEFL Essentials overall band score of at least 11, an IELTS score of 7.5 or above, or a Duolingo English Test (DET) overall score of 125 or above. Please arrange to have these scores uploaded with your application materials. Your official TOEFL, IELTS, or DET scores reports are required. Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Programs' TOEFL code is C534.

If you are an international student who has attended a high school within the United States for a minimum of one year and plan to return to that high school after participation in our Pre-College Programs, you are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS/DET requirement. Your unofficial transcripts must clearly show your attendance at a high school in the United States for the one-year minimum.

Application Fee

A $50 application fee (non-refundable) is required to submit your application. This application fee is waived for applicants requesting scholarship consideration or if they are applying to AI Scholars, Computer Science Scholars, and/or Summer Academy for Math and Science. When applying for scholarship consideration or any of these three programs, demonstration of financial need is required. 

Examples of financial need are:

  • Students who have received or are eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver.
  • Students who are enrolled in or eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced-Price Lunch program (FRPL).
  • Students whose family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • Students who are enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • Students whose family receives public assistance.
  • Students who live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home, or are homeless.
  • Students who are a ward of the state or an orphan.
  • Students who can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader.

Through the application process, you will need to submit the household’s most recent Tax Form 1040(s) or a signed NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver form to serve as verification of the financial situation of the household. This documentation is required in order to complete your application.

Further information on program costs and financial aid is provided here. Please contact Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Programs at with any questions.

Enrollment Deposit and Enrollment Reply Form (if admitted)

Admitted students* will have 7 days to submit the $800 non-refundable enrollment deposit and the Enrollment Reply Form to secure their spot in the program.

Admitted students receiving scholarships* will have 7 days to submit the $100 enrollment deposit and the Enrollment Reply Form to secure their spot in the program. These funds will be available for student use on campus through their Student ID Card during the duration of the program.

Students admitted to AI Scholars, Computer Science Scholars, or Summer Academy for Math and Science are not required to pay an enrollment deposit. To secure their spot in the program, their Enrollment Reply Form must be received within 7 days of admittance. 

*Music Commuter Part-time students are exempt from paying any enrollment deposit. 

Further information on program costs and financial aid is provided here.

Students participating in Carnegie Mellon University’s Pre-College programs will be expected to abide by the University’s COVID-19 mitigation protocol in place at the time of programming. This is to safeguard the students, staff, faculty, and community.

Vaccine and testing documentation is not required for application submission, however, participating students will need to complete immunization records and forms during the enrollment process. As part of this process, the only acceptable documentation is the Carnegie Mellon Pre-College immunization/waiver forms (not the undergraduate forms). Related to COVID-19: Base-level vaccination is required (i.e. 2 shots Moderna/Pfizer or 1 shot J&J). Booster shots are only required if a sufficient amount of time has passed since the student’s underlying vaccination (eligibility to receive a booster shot is according to CDC guidelines). All documentation will be reviewed and verified.

CMU accepts all World Health Organization (WHO)-authorized vaccines, in addition to the FDA-authorized vaccines in the U.S.