Carnegie Mellon University

The Senior Year Experience

Coordinated through SLICE in partnership with the Alumni Association and the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC), the Senior Year Experience program helps to shape the final academic year before a student’s graduation. The program is designed to ensure the successful completion of required academic coursework, to prepare students for their careers and life outside of the university, and to celebrate the achievement of becoming a senior and a CMU graduate. Additional opportunities encourage active reflection and engagement within the Pittsburgh and alumni communities. The goals of the program are to:

  • Celebrate the triumph of reaching senior year
  • Build social networks among seniors
  • Instill a sense of unity and community among the senior class
  • Encourage a strong institutional affinity
  • Prepare seniors for life outside of the university
  • Develop skills to enhance professional and personal success
  • Urge active engagement in the 100K+ alumni network
  • Expand students’ experiences within the city of Pittsburgh

Retiring "The Thistle" Yearbook & Senior Portraits

In consideration of trends around the country related to the physical printing of yearbooks and the continued evolution of technology as a more sustainable form of communication and archive, CMU student leaders made the difficult decision to sunset The Thistle physical yearbook. CMU will continue to celebrate its graduating classes in a myriad of other ways by CMU departments, colleges, and university communications, as well as seek out new and innovative ways to commemorate CMU’s classes.

Graduating students leave long lasting impressions and impacts on campus, and CMU is grateful and better for their investment in the university community. Celebrating their work and cataloging it for historical purposes is an important responsibility. The Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement (SLICE) will continue to highlight and celebrate graduating students through long-standing and important traditions including:

Additionally, moving forward, SLICE will offer the opportunity for undergraduate seniors to have their professional portraits taken and be included in a photobook, which will be available for purchase through Lauren Studios.

Once campus life returns to a more typical year, The Tartan student newspaper hopes to return to printing a dedicated Commencement issue, featuring highlights of the graduating class throughout the four years leading up to that year’s ceremony.

For questions about this transition or the photobook, please email If you have ideas about how to celebrate our graduating students, please send them to

Senior Resources

Whether you're looking for academic support, career advice, an alumni community, or ways to socialize with your peers, the University has many different valuable resources that can be helpful. 

Start off with some tips on making the most out of your senior year and goals to finish strong from your Tepper Academic Advisors!