StudentsReview :: Carnegie Mellon University - Comments and Student Experiences
Search for Schools by Region

or within distance of city

Similar Schools
Cornell University -- Ithaca, NY
Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Cambridge, MA
Harvard University -- Cambridge, MA

  Who's got the Best?

Perceptual Rankings:
You Make 'Em.
We Post 'Em.
You Vote 'Em Up.
You Vote 'Em Down.
Aww yeah.

Carnegie Mellon University

There are 109 Comments


Sort By: [Date] [Major] [Rating]

Select Comments:

Positive Negative Neutral Advice
I'm a biology major who took a LOTQuite BrightBiology
I'm a biology major who took a LOT of CS courses.
Academics: The academics are, quite frankly, awesome. CMU specializes in all sorts of fields which allows anyone who has an interest in another field to easily take top tier classes in them. CMU is known for the sciences, but it still has amazing schools in architecture, art and drama, business, etc. It was CMU that helped me discover my passion for CS. If you KNOW you are interested in the sciences but are maybe not sure about what you want to major in, then CMU is definitely a school to look at.

Professors: I rarely talked with professors but I've heard they're pretty friendly and accessible. This isn't some snotty school where all the professors are absorbed in their research to enhance the school's reputation.

Social Life: The social life may not be as great as people expect. It is true that the school is more heavily focused on academics, but I see no reason why people can't have the social life they desire. If you like to party, then there are plenty of frats that do so. You can even go to UPitt or the other 50 colleges in Pittsburgh to get your groove on. If you like to be a loner, that's always an option too and you won't be "alone" in that category as there are plenty of introverts here that prefer studying and quite environments. Most people are in between and I don't see how any part of CMU prevents those people from making friends and having a fun time.Advice: There is no doubt the school is academically challenging. You may feel overworked. You probably won't get the grades that you were thinking of getting. With this in mind, I think it's important to keep things in perspective. When you get a bad grade, don't beat yourself up thinking your a failure. Everyone knows this is a hard school. Everyone knows that grades aren't everything.

3rd Year Male -- Class 2013
Scholastic Success: A+, Useful Schoolwork: B-
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
AverageCivil Engineering
Yes the weather and u should be with yur friends
2nd Year Male -- Class 2013
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
Since I attended this school it has changedSuper BrilliantBiology
Since I attended this school it has changed quite a bit, especially physically, with the addition of the new theater building and student union, which are very, very beautiful, and the student body seems a little more calmed down, but that said, I would strongly reconsider this school unless you know exactly who you are and what you want out of life.

Students: Back then, a bevy of very wealthy, spoiled, strikingly untalented art and design students, hyper-smart workaholic engineers, pimply semi-smart gamer nerds, early balding business major white male athletes on tuition scholarships, wealthy Asian and Middle Eastern international students driving nice new cars, and a troop of drugged out, really insane drama students. A few semi-normal engineers, happy to be there, working hard, happy, not doing quite as well as everyone else, but looking forward to using their degrees to find good jobs.

Drugs: A friend of mine nearly died trying pot at an off campus party in '93. Some a-hole had laced it with PCP. If CMU is still has any of these freaks like this roaming the corridors, you may wish to consider another school. Also, plenty of Cocaine. Heroin. Pot. Alcohol. It?s all there and surprisingly easy to get. CMU is an expensive school full of rich kids, and rich kids gots problems folks, and money to drown out those problems with drugs. Beware. Choose your friends carefully. Drinking is heavy for self-medicating students finding the cold winters tough, and the city is known for as a drinking city, so beware of this as well. If you are smart and mature you will not have problems with drugs. If you are seeking out your identity, you may be swallowed whole in this scene before you realize it.

Looks: CMU isn't an institute for training the beautiful people, and Western PA isn't known for incubating fashion models, either, nor movie stars (exception: Sharon Stone), but if you look around to Pitt or Chatham college, you will find plenty of beautiful women with nice figures, and sturdy, handsome men in great shape.

Pittsburgh: Despite what you may have heard in some of the other posts, Pittsburgh is an AWESOME city. Yes, Pittsburgh is cold and dark, snowy in the winter, and yes, depressing, so plan ahead: Plan to go to a tanning booth at least once a month from November to May, and GET A SUN LAMP. I mean it. YOU WILL NEED IT. Still feeling the winter blues? Visit Phipps conservatory and look at green stuff with friends for a few hours a week.

I highly recommend you stay in the ?burgh for the summer, because you will find out it's a beautiful, lush, green city, full of awesome places to go. Three major sports teams in great arenas. Pittsburgh Filmmakers if you want to study film for the summer. Four or Five art-house movie theaters. Andy Warhol Museum. Frick Museum. Shadyside. Southside. Squirrel Hill. Downtown. If people hate on Pittsburgh that's cause they never got to know the city. There are great bars, art houses, and great schools all around. And, it's cheap, too. You can rent a three bedroom house with a basement for 600-800 per month. Pittsburgh is small enough to bicycle around just about anywhere. Buses are plenty and will get you everywhere else you need to go, and free for CMU students. Great music scene, great art. I loved Pittsburgh.

My story: Now all that said, my experience at CMU ended up being an awful, nearly life-destroying experience. At the beginning of my sophomore year I had some financial trouble, really through no fault of my own. The school dis-enrolled me, and professors could not enter my grades because I had been unregistered. The school's attitude was ?tough shit, you gotta pay us?. The professors, bless them, kept my scores anyway, and told me to keep working on it. I was just a kid, 19, and I knew very little about life, finances, and how to manage my affairs. The school did little to work with me. There was no life planning course. I was the first to go to college in my family, so my parents had no idea how to help. I got really, really depressed because of this situation and family tragedy. I contacted the school counselor, expecting to see him in a day or so, explaining that I was approaching a crisis. He casually said I could get an appointment with an outside counselor in two weeks, and that was the best he could do. I didn't make it. I withdrew around Thanksgiving, a wreck of my former happy, hard-working self. I contacted the school over winter break. They said I could get credit for my classes, and grades, B?s, as long as I paid my bill. I thought this was dishonest. I had been doing well, but I hadn't even taken my final exams. I guess they thought they were doing me favor. But it just stank of a lure for my money. Sad and shocking. I left CMU, very bitter, but not "hating" the school.

I ended up joining the military and can honestly say, if you poor, smart, have had a difficult upbringing, yet are hard-working and basically a decent person, I HIGHLY recommend joining the military FIRST before going to ANY school, especially schools like CMU, Harvard, Stanford, etc. These schools are set up for driven, well organized, single minded over-achievers who will keep scholarships and wealthy kids. If this ain't you, you may very get lost in the sauce.

The military paid me to learn foreign languages, gave me the skills to earn 80 plus per year, and gave me back the dignity CMU stole. I have seen the ?real world? for what it is, led men in battle, and more than ever I appreciate our country for what it is. I?m not making a career out of this. I?m too liberal and anti-war in my heart. But I am proud. I have a college degree now from a State school and have had a relatively successful first half of my life. Wish I could have finished at CMU, but that was not in the cards.

2nd Year Female -- Class 1996
University Resource Use/ spending: A+, Friendliness: F
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University
Compare CMUSave CMU

StudentsReview Advice!

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach

• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
Ah, college. Considered by many to be the time of a young person's lif... more→
• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
According to NPR, the cost of college... more→
• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
Just so you know, filling out these forms is a lot more than penciling... more→
• How to choose the right college?
My name is Esteban Correa. I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL ... more→
• Create The Right Career Habits Now
Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to b... more→

• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
It's the end of junior year and everyone is anticipating the arrival o... more→
• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
We are in an instant information age, where you can find almost anythi... more→
• Personality Type and College Choice
Personality type is something very important to consider when deciding... more→
• A Free Application is a Good Application
As a senior finishing her scholastic year, I feel that it is my duty ... more→

• College Academic Survival Guide
The leap from high school to college academics is not an insignificant... more→
• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
As a tour guide, the absolute, most frequently asked question I got wa... more→
• Choose a Path, Not a Major
Unless you're one of the fortunate souls who's already found their cal... more→
• The Scoop on State Schools
A recent college graduate, I vividly remember touring campuses as a p... more→

• The Purpose of a Higher Education
You are one of the millions of people this year applying for admission... more→
• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
One of the most important academic choices you'll make while in colleg... more→
• How to choose a college major
I was not sure what college major to choose. When you are in your late... more→
• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
Are your grades are not what you think they should be from high school... more→

• Nailing the College Application Process
College applications seem to always be put on top of students procrast... more→
• What to do for a Successful Interview
Interviews seem to become more commonplace in every facet of life as o... more→
• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
Preparing for college is a difficult time for every student and it?s o... more→
• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
An interview is something we all have to go through when we get a job... more→

• Starting College (General College Advice)
College is a huge milestone in your life. You?ve seen the castle like ... more→
• Boston Apartment lease: Watch out!

Are you a student and about to sign the very first lease in your li... more→