Carnegie Mellon University

Pre-College is more than the classroom experience. It’s a student experience.

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). Together, they are 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 is open to any student, but specifically designed for students who are LGBTQ+, trans/nonbinary, and those exploring gender identity.  Residents who indicate they prefer gender-inclusive housing when completing their housing preferences in the student portal will be assigned together on a floor within the designated floor community. Generally, the gender-inclusive housing will be located in a building with semi-suite style rooms/bathrooms. In semi-suite style bathrooms, students share their bathroom with their roommate and two other students in an adjacent room.
Students who indicate they prefer gender-inclusive housing will be assigned a roommate who also preferenced gender-inclusive housing based on their compatibility as determined by their housing preference responses in the student portal.

The Pre-College single-gender housing utilizes both traditional-style housing with shared bathrooms and semi-suite style housing with semi-suite 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. Note: Thursday, July 4 will be brunch and dinner at Resnik Café.

The main dining hall is located in Resnik House in the Resnik Café. Students will use their weekend (Saturday and Sunday) meal blocks (brunch and dinner) at Resnik Café. The weekday (Monday through Friday) meal blocks (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) can be used at Resnik or any other dining venue on campus. These weekday meal blocks are referred to as “traveling meals." In addition, residential students are provided with $14 DineExtra funds per week that can be used at all dining venues on campus, including Entropy (the campus convenience store) and Scotty's Market (the campus grocery store). These funds expire at the end of each week. (The week runs Sunday through Saturday.) 

The Commuter student meal plan provides $14 DineExtra funds per day Monday through Friday, 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 of these include:
  • Day trips to local attractions such as a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. (Tickets will be available for purchase and bus transportation is provided.)
  • A variety of Pre-College clubs based upon student interests. Past offerings have included: an introduction to collegiate a cappella, art clubs, fitness clubs, sports clubs, and gaming clubs.
  • Visits to local museums and art galleries (free of charge with the Arts Pass access on students' CMU ID card). 
  • An on-campus fireworks display on the night of the 4th of July.
In addition to the formal Pre-College activities, our residential staff will also be responsible for engaging their floor/building community through a variety of programs and 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, a wide variety of campus resources are available 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 in the Welcome E-Folder.

Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College participants must abide by the Student Handbook and 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 Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College Programs. The Student Handbook and Code of Conduct can be found in the student portal accessible to admitted students.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Applicant 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 can change their mailing address, provide a name pronunciation guide and/or pronouns, pay their bills, etc.
  • *Student 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 students are air-conditioned.
  • Roommates are assigned randomly. We first match students by housing option selection (single-gender or gender-inclusive) and academic program, then by lifestyle preferences submitted during the enrollment process.
  • Students may request to room with a particular individual, however, both students must make the request by May 5 for the arrangement to be considered. Please email However, we cannot guarantee this accommodation request. 
  • Refrigerator/microwaves (combined) are available for rental at a flat rate. Students will be required to place their rental orders prior to their arrival on campus. A deadline for these orders will be provided to enrolled students. 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 CMU 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). We strongly recommend students carry their ID cards with them at all times to avoid locking themselves out of their rooms. It can take a long time for help to arrive in such situations. 
  • In the event a student loses a CMU 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, June 22, 2024. This is considered Opening Day. Staff members will guide participants to their dorms, assist with the move-in process, and distribute CMU ID cards. The day will also include academic meetings to meet their professors as well as residential meetings to introduce students to their housing staff and community. 
  • The next day, Sunday, June 23, 2024, is considered Orientation Day. Students will use this time to get to know the campus; some academic programs will have mandatory meetings.
*Please Note: International students are required to arrive on Thursday, June 20, 2024. Domestic students who cannot arrive by 12:00 pm on Opening Day (Saturday, June 22, 2024) will need to request approval to arrive on Friday, June 21, 2024.
  • Students will not have classes for the observance of the July 4th holiday (Thursday). There are activities and a spectacular fireworks display planned for Pre-College students. 
  • 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 dorm 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, but must make an appointment. No walk-ins are accepted. 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. Not meeting the health requirements can affect students' enrollment in Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College Programs. Due to FERPA, CMU cannot release Pre-College students’ medical/health information to individuals who are not listed on the student’s FERPA Waiver Form. For further information, please visit the UHS website and/or review the Welcome E-Folder sent to students prior to their arrival on campus.
  • 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.
  • The Pre-College residential staff works with the University Police to educate all students on safety procedures and emergency contacts during their time in the program.