Carnegie Mellon University

Due to the range of our Pre-College offerings, eligibility and application requirements vary by program. However, in general, we are looking for students who are excited by their subject of interest and who strive for success both inside and outside of the classroom. Our admission consideration is holistic and considers both the academic and extracurricular experiences of every student. Students are admitted on a rolling basis until the application deadline.

For more information on the application requirements of your program of interest, please visit the Academic Program pages:

Architecture

Art

Computational Biology Design

 

Drama

National High School Game Academy

Music

Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS)

Summer Session

Writing & Culture 

Commuter Applicants:

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

Notification of Admission Decisions:

Students will be notified of their admission decision within 3 weeks of submitting their completed application - including the online application, letter of recommendation, unofficial transcript, application essay, standardized test score reports (if applicable), and all program-specific application requirements (audition, short answer questions, etc). Admitted students will have 10 days to submit the enrollment deposit, which will secure their spot in the program.

Application Overview

Online Application
  • Within the online application, you will be asked to submit a combination of biographical, school, parent, and academic information. In addition, you will select up to 3 programs to be considered for in order of preference.
    • Keep in mind that the order of your program preferences matter in our review process. Your first preference in the program should be labeled as such. All students will be initially considered for their first preference. Applicants will only be admitted to one program
  • Once your application is submitted, you will receive email correspondence on how to access your student portal.  All additional application requirements can be uploaded to your portal after the submission. 

Letters 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 where they will be able to complete our 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 independent work, living, and cooperation in group situations.

Unofficial Transcript

  • Your most recent Unofficial Transcript must be submitted. 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 (if required)

  • For many of our programs, standardized tests scores are NOT required. Please visit the Academic Program pages of your programs of interest to confirm the application requirements.
  • If Standardized Tests Scores are required as part of your application, please upload the score report of your most recent PSAT, SAT Test, PreACT or ACT. Please note that these test scores will be only one part of our holistic review process.
  • English Proficiency Requirements:
    • If you're an international student, U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and your native language is not English, we require a TOEFL score of 102 or better on the internet-based test or an IELTS score of 7.5 and above. Please arrange to have these scores sent with your application materials. Your official TOEFL or IELTS scores reports are required. 

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 to your student portal in PDF format.

Supplemental Materials (if applicable)

  • Depending on your programs of interest, supplemental materials (such as a video audition or additional short essays responses) may be required to complete your application. Please reference the Academic Program pages for more information.

Application Fee

  • A $50 application fee is required to complete your application. Students who meet at least one of the following requirements of economic need will qualify for an application fee waiver: 
    • 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 Eligiblity 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.

Enrollment Deposit

Admitted students will have 10 days to submit the $800 enrollment deposit, which will secure their spot in the program. Students admitted to the Summer Academy for Math and Science or to any other program with a full-cost, need-based scholarship will pay an enrollment deposit of $100. 

Withdrawal and Refunds

Students in the Pre-College programs who wish to withdraw prior to the start of the program, must complete an official withdrawal form. The withdrawal will then be authorized by the Pre-College Director, thereby initiating a refund, if applicable. 

Students who wish to withdraw after the start of the program, must first report to their academic program director before completing the remaining steps listed above. 

Our Refund Policy is as follows: 

Refund: 
Date of Request Received:
75% of Program Cost
May 1st – 11th
50% of Program Cost
May 12th – 21st
25% of Program Cost
May 22nd – May 31st
No refund given
On or after June 1st
Please note that students who are expelled will not receive a refund. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before enrolling in Carnegie Mellon Pre-College, students must commit themselves to attending the full program. Absences from class will not be permitted. (see Attendance Policy)

Students with unexcused absences are ineligible for the Summer Session transcript redaction policy (see Code of Conduct).