Carnegie Mellon University

Goals for the Individual Experience

As the university experience continues to change and evolve, Carnegie Mellon is more committed than ever to providing a world-class education for students in a productive, nurturing environment where all members of our community can thrive. The university’s primary educational goal remains the cultivation of deep expertise within each student’s chosen field. To excel in the 21st century, students must also have the ability to recognize, frame and address complex problems; the capacity to combine reflection with appropriate action; the ability to communicate effectively; the skill to work productively with diverse collaborators; the motivation to work within and contribute to professional and social networks; an understanding of the importance of physical and emotional wellness, including a balance between professional and personal activities; and the drive to learn continuously throughout their lives and careers as actively engaged alumni.

Learning Science

Innovating our approaches to teaching and learning — based on CMU’s world-leading research into learning science — has the potential to enrich learning for all students and to make university education more personalized, more interconnected and more efficient. Technology-enhanced learning's potential is opening up discussions across CMU about how to design a university experience that better leverages the expertise of our world-class faculty to interact with students in smaller groups on more complicated, real-world projects and in more interdisciplinary settings.

The CMU Experience

CMU has strongly prioritized enhancing the CMU Experience, a broad but equally vital priority with two dimensions: (1) the personal dimension that allows each of us to live healthy, rich lives, and (2) the community dimension in which all of our students, faculty and staff feel connected to one another by a common sense of purpose, pride and spirit. The focus on this important topic can be found in many of the plan’s recommendations, including those on health and wellness and fostering a collaborative culture and climate.

Evolving Roles of Faculty

Finally, the education and research roles of faculty members are also changing. The faculty is adapting to new approaches to instruction and advising that engage students more intentionally in active learning, including hands-on making. At the same time, faculty members are taking on urgent research challenges in an era when funding for research is constrained and competition for global talent has never been more intense. Carnegie Mellon has the opportunity to develop innovative ways to support individual faculty members, especially junior faculty, in their teaching and research roles.

Goal: Deep Disciplinary Knowledge


Provide students with what is demonstrably the best education in the world in their disciplines; inspire them to seek knowledge, not just while they are at CMU, but throughout their lifetimes.

Goal: Leadership, Communication and Interpersonal Skills


Give students the knowledge and skills that are increasingly important in today’s interconnected world, including interpersonal, professional and visual communication skills; collaboration and teamwork, especially with diverse others; empathy and concern for the welfare of others; and organizational and leadership skills.

Goal: Knowing How to Learn


Cultivate a learning environment in which students are challenged to know when they need to learn more, supported to find appropriate resources with which to learn more, and encouraged to explore how they learn most effectively as individuals throughout their lifetimes.

Goal: Personal Development, Including Physical and Emotional Health and Well-Being


Encourage individuals to pursue a high quality of life, to develop their talents and interests and to value physical, emotional and spiritual health throughout their lifetimes.