Carnegie Mellon University

The college experience is more than the classroom experience. It’s a student experience.

At Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Programs, you will experience what life is like on a college campus. You will learn both inside and outside of the classroom. You will leave better prepared for your future.

Residential Experience

Students will be housed in residence halls that are typically used for Carnegie Mellon first-year undergraduate students.  Each building is staffed with a team of Resident Advisors (RAs) and a managing Community Advisor (CA) who is responsible for creating community and shaping the lived experience. These current Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students or recent CMU grads are selected through an intensive application and interview process. Prior to the arrival of the students, our residential staff receives robust training that gives them the tools needed to bolster a safe, inclusive, and supportive residential experience. Training includes (but is not limited to) conflict resolution, environment inclusivity, programming, supervision, and emergency response.


Students will have the opportunity to live in Carnegie Mellon's residential communities and experience an authentic college living experience. Most students will live in a double room with a roommate. The rooms are furnished with twin extra-long beds, chests of drawers, desks with chairs, closets, and wastebaskets. Linens (including pillows, sheets, comforters, towels, etc.) and fans are not supplied. 

Washers and dryers are available in each of the dorms at no charge. Detergent and any other laundry supplies are not supplied.

Housing Options

Students who are admitted to a Pre-College program will have the opportunity during the enrollment process to share their housing preferences related to their lifestyle including sleep habits, wake-up schedule, and organizational preferences. Students are typically assigned to a double room with another student from their academic program and with similar housing preferences.

Carnegie Mellon’s Pre-College Programs strive to provide a comfortable and safe housing environment for all students, including students who prefer gender-inclusive housing. Gender-inclusive housing has a limited capacity.

Students will be informed of their housing assignment and roommate contact information in mid-June. 

The Pre-College gender-inclusive housing utilizes suite-style rooms that share semi-private bathrooms. The gender-inclusive floors are mixed-gender, while the other housing option is single-gender floors (male or female).

The Pre-College single-gender housing utilizes traditional-style housing with shared bathrooms. Floors are single-gender (male or female), but buildings are mixed-gender.


Residential student meal plans are designed to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Monday through Friday. Brunch and dinner are provided on Saturday and Sunday.

The main dining hall is located in Resnik House in the Resnik Café. Students will eat breakfast (Monday through Friday) and brunch (Saturday and Sunday) at Resnik Café. All other meals can be eaten at Resnik OR any other dining venue on campus. We refer to meals outside of Resnik as “traveling meals”. Please Note: Students will have brunch and dinner on Tuesday, July 4th.

In addition, residential students are provided with $14 DineExtra funds per week (Sunday through Saturday – expires weekly) that can be used at all dining venues on campus including Entropy (the campus convenience store located on the first floor of the Cohon University Center (CUC)).

The Commuter student meal plan provides $14 DineExtra funds per day Monday through Friday which is equivalent to $70 per week. The full value of $70 is available for use each Monday and any remaining funds in the account will expire on a weekly basis (the following Saturday at midnight).  

Activities and Events

Students have the opportunity to participate in many evening and weekend activities both on- and off-campus. Some activities and events include:

  • Day trips* to local attractions such as Kennywood Amusement Park, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, and a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game.
  • More than 20 Pre-College club offerings each summer including an introduction to collegiate acapella, art clubs, fitness clubs, sports clubs, gaming clubs, and much more.
  • Visits to local attractions, museums, and art galleries (free of charge with the Arts Pass access on student’s CMU ID card). The CMU ID card also provides access to the Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) system of transportation within the city.
  • On-campus celebrations including a campus-wide 4th of July event with activities culminating in an on-campus fireworks display at night.
  • Educational seminars with campus partners such as the Career & Professional Development Center or alumni speaking about specific career entry points and life skills needed.
*Day trip tickets are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis. Bus transportation is provided. 

In addition to the Pre-College formal activities, our residential staff will also be responsible for engaging their floor/building community through a variety of building programs and floor activities.  

We also encourage Pre-College students to create their own programming with the aid of residential staff. These can include personal interest/hobby events (like a musical instrument jam or a book club), relaxation events (like yoga or meditation), or inter-cultural events (like Big Questions or society’s news discussions).

Student Support and Resources

To support our students, we offer a wide variety of campus resources for all aspects of the Pre-College experience.

We expect Pre-College students to arrive on campus ready to be independent, both socially and academically, as well as be prepared to manage their time and self-advocate for their immediate needs. We believe that participating in our Pre-College programs will help students to enhance these skills while still offering a large variety of support for them.

If you are interested in learning more about the services provided, please visit the links listed below and/or reach out to these departments directly*:

*For all University resources, summer hours and availability may differ from what is posted for the academic year. Summertime offerings will be given to students prior to arrival or in their welcome packet.

Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College participants must abide by the Code of Conduct. This collection of policies and procedures has been established to ensure the utmost safety and well-being of all who are involved with CMU Pre-College. The Code of Conduct can also be found in the enrollment portal accessible to admitted students.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Application Portal – This is where students will submit their admission application materials, essays, portfolios, and any applicable supplemental information. Students will learn of their admission decision here, via a link that will be emailed to them.
  • *SIO (Student Information Online) – This is a portal where students will change their pronouns and/or mailing address, pay their bills, etc.
  • *Enrollment Portal – This is where students will complete required enrollment forms and read program information as part of the enrollment process.

*Please Note: This is only applicable to those admitted to a Pre-College program.
  • Yes. The RAs and CAs live in the residence halls and are available to respond 24 hours a day, every day. The residential staff will be proactive in building community by hosting activities as well as ensuring safety measures by enforcing curfew and all other policies.
  • All residential staff are compliant under PA Act 153 which requires a PA Criminal History, PA Child Abuse, and FBI Background check.
  • All residence halls occupied by Pre-College Programs students are air-conditioned.
  • Roommates are assigned randomly. We first match students by gender and academic program, then by lifestyle preferences submitted during the enrollment process.
  • Refrigerator/microwaves (combined) are available for rental at a flat rate of $130. Students will be required to place their rental orders no later than Thursday, June 22, 2023. Since roommate assignments will be released in advance, we encourage students to contact their roommate to determine if they would like to share the cost of renting a unit.
  • The Carnegie Mellon ID Cards will act as the room keys. Students will tap their ID cards on the locking mechanism to unlock their rooms. If students lock themselves out of their rooms, they must follow the procedure to unlock their rooms via a smartphone app (instructions provided upon arrival) or they must contact Carnegie Mellon University Police (412) 268-2323 or the Pre-College 24/7 helpline (412) 212-8182.
  • In the event a student loses a Carnegie Mellon ID Card, it should be immediately reported via the SIO (Student Information Online) portal. There is a $50 charge for replacement of each lost ID card. To obtain a new one, students should visit The Hub located in the lower level of Warner Hall. Please visit The Hub website for summertime hours of operation. After hours, students should visit the summer housing office in Stever House (located on Morewood Avenue, next to Mudge House) for a temporary card.
  • Most students* will move in on Saturday, July 1, 2023. This is considered Opening Day. The day will be filled with staff members guiding participants to their dorms, distributing keys and welcome packets, residential staff meetings to introduce students to their dorm staff, academic meetings to meet their professors, etc.
*Please Note: International students are required to arrive on Thursday, June 30th. Domestic students who cannot arrive by 12:00pm on Opening Day will need to request to arrive on Friday, July 1st.
  • The next day, Sunday, July 2, 2023, is considered Orientation Day. This is a day filled with getting to know the campus. Students will take campus tours and find their class routes and dining locations. Some academic programs will have mandatory meetings (ex. Drama, National High School Game Academy).
  • Students will not have classes for the observance of the July 4th holiday (Tuesday). There is a robust on-campus experience planned with a day of activities and a spectacular show of fireworks. Students are encouraged to stay on campus and participate in this exciting experience with the entire CMU community.
  • If you wish to make a change to your residency status (resident to commuter), please contact the Office of Pre-College Programs at (412) 268-5914 or
  • While televisions are not provided in student rooms, Pre-College students will have access to the campus cable network. You will need to bring a cable-ready digital TV and a coaxial cable to connect.
  • Students who are bringing prescription medication are required to bring a lockbox in order to keep that medication secure in the residence hall. Lockboxes can be purchased at office supply stores and most superstores. All medication is expected to be responsibly self-administered by the student. Students are allowed to bring their own over-the-counter medicine. We would also like to remind students to bring their COVID vaccination cards and masks with them in case they need to show proof of vaccination and/or are asked to mask during trips.
  • UHS: Pre-College students can visit UHS when needed. There will be a $25 charge to the student’s account each time. We strongly encourage students to save the receipt and submit it to their medical insurance company for reimbursement. After initial evaluation, students might be referred to a local medical center for further testing and/or treatment if needed. It is important for students to submit the required and necessary medical/health records during their enrollment process. Due to FERPA, CMU cannot release Pre-College students’ medical/health information to people who are not listed on the student’s FERPA Waiver Form. Please feel free to visit the UHS website for further information.
  • CaPS: On-going therapy sessions will not be available for Pre-College students; however, triage services can be provided. If further treatment is needed, CaPS will refer Pre-College students to professionals in the local community.
  • The Pittsburgh region has, for a long time, had one of the lowest crime rates in the country and remains one of the nation's safest cities. Its crime rate is half of the national metropolitan average; in fact, it is among the lowest of the 24 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
  • Student safety is a top priority at Carnegie Mellon. The university employs a police department whose staff of police officers and security guards patrol the campus 24 hours a day on foot, by car, and by bicycle. Students attending Carnegie Mellon benefit from the cooperative relationship the University Police enjoys with federal, state, county, and city police agencies. The Campus Security Report, which documents crime statistics and security policies over the past 3 years, is available online for more information.
  • University Police has a Crime Prevention information table present on Opening Day to answer any questions students or their families may have. The Pre-College residential staff works to educate all students on safety procedures and emergency contacts during their time in the program. University Police and the Pre-College senior staff are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.