Carnegie Mellon University

For Families

You play an important role in your student’s education, and no doubt want to help them make the best decision about where to attend college.

Below are frequently asked questions and answers and popular topics regarding the undergraduate economics program.

The Office of Undergraduate Admission is responsible for all aspects of the admissions process, including the decision as to which students are accepted into Carnegie Mellon. We work closely with the admissions staff to ensure that accurate information about our program is easily available.

Our goal is to provide information that will help high school students make an informed choice about which university to attend. If you wish to meet with us while on campus, click here to schedule an appointment.

One benefit of being part of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences entering class is that there is room for students to be exposed to the more than 40 Dietrich College majors. During this first year, students will learn that their high school history courses may have little to do with how history is studied in college; the same goes for economics and most all other disciplines.

Typically, just under 45 percent of recent incoming Dietrich College students indicate an interest in majoring in economics. Of these 140 or so students, roughly 30-40 students will go on to earn one of our degrees; the others will find majors within Dietrich College and across the university. Each year, about 20-30 students transfer into the undergraduate economics program from all over campus; these students typically entered Carnegie Mellon intending to major in architecture, business administration, another Dietrich College major (including undecided students), engineering, music and the sciences.

What can be done with an economics major?

Roughly one-third of each class attends graduate school in economics, business administration, computer science, engineering, languages, finance, informatics, law, medicine, mathematics and applied statistics. Graduates also are employed all over the world in consulting, finance, management, marketing, operations and research. For more detailed information about careers for Carnegie Mellon economics majors, please visit the careers page.

Undergraduate economics courses are taught exclusively by faculty. Core courses have weekly recitations which are led by graduate and undergraduate students under the guidance of faculty and the undergraduate economics program staff.

One of the most significant changes a parent or guardian experiences in sending a student to college is the difference in privacy standards for educational records. Carnegie Mellon values the student's right to privacy. The university adheres to a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also called FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) that sets privacy standards for student educational records and requires institutions to publish a compliance statement, including a statement of related institutional policies.

In particular, parents and guardians are no longer given automatic access to their student's grade reports, transcripts and disciplinary files. In addition to FERPA, state laws and professional ethical codes preclude the university from routinely sharing student medical information and counseling records with third parties, including parents, without the student's consent.

For more detailed information, download the university's FERPA and Privacy brochure (pdf).

The undergraduate economics program is part of a larger institution, namely Carnegie Mellon. Our campus is comprised of academic, research and administrative departments. The administrative departments fall under the leadership of the Division of Student Affairs. Prospective students should consult the Office of Undergraduate Admission for information about the admissions process, financial aid, visiting the campus and campus life. These pages provide a global perspective to the university.

Below is a list of most commonly used campus services by current students. The information provided on these pages focuses on opportunities, processes and detailed information.

Academic Calendar

Academic Support and Services

Career Services

Enrollment Services

Course and Exam Schedules

Dining and Housing Services

Physical Health and Well-being

Student Affairs

University Stores


Commencement Weekend

Commencement Weekend is held each May and is a joyful time for students, friends, and families. Please check back in the spring for Commencement Weekend 2019 updates and information.