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Carnegie Mellon University

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If you are thinkingAverageFinance
If you are thinking about coming here dont. The people are totally spoiled brats and the social life is minimal at best. People always belittle others to try to feel intellectually superior, add that to the ridicuous amount of work you get and it makes for one crappy experience.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2006
Campus Aesthetics: A-, Social Life: F
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I switched majors asQuite BrightPublic Policy
I switched majors as a junior and was able to get into an accelerated masters. Wouldn't have been able to get that opportunity without the guidance and resources available at cmu.
5th Year Male -- Class 2009
Education Quality: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: C-
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Overall the school has a pretty strong academic reputatioQuite BrightPublic Policy
Overall the school has a pretty strong academic reputation. But that's mostly if you're from the surrounding area. If you are from the East or West Coast, then no one at home probably has ever heard of you're school. Also, a lot has to do with what your major is. The strongest programs here I'd say are computer science, Arts & Drama, Architecture, then Engineering and Business, and roughly in that order. I think the physics is pretty decent as well. However, if you are more of a liberal arts person looking for the full "college experience," I'd say go elsewhere. The humanities programs here are pretty weak, it's probably the weakest college in the university. Also if you were a jock in high school, plan on going to law school or on getting an MBA, you probably won't fit in that well unless you join a frat or play a sport. If you want to party, you pretty much have to join a frat. Pittsburgh itself shuts down around 9pm, so you can't really go into the city to hang out or do anything. Also, the girls here are pretty beat, except for some of the freshmen ones I've seen. Even the decent looking girls get big heads here because of all the attention they probably never got before but they get from guys now . Girls make up only 30 to 40 percent of the population. Plus there aren't really meany hot engineering or computer science chicks. So that leaves a very small population of attractive or at least above average-looking girls. And so it's understandable how they get big-headed so easily. But that doesn't help you at all. Plus all the good ones and most of the not so good ones have boyfriends already, seriously. There is also a social split amongst majors, but I'm assuming this is pretty common at most schools. If you are an archie, then your friends will all be archies. If you are in business, then just about all of your friends will be in business or the humanities or social sciences. If you are in the performing arts, all your friends will be in the performing arts. If you are in CS, then you will live mostly in the computer clusters with the rest of the CS kids, etc. Also there is a large population of non-native English speakers (mostly Indian and Asian kids, and both of these groups are very cliquish; this is what they mean by diversity). And I'm saying this as an Asian person. So that should tell you something. And like half the people here are from New Jersey. As for some of the positives, you will be surrounded by smart kids, which is probably different from what you experienced in high school. Some of them will even be geniuses, arrogant, but geniuses nonetheless. However, again that depends on what your major is. Most of these kids are in engineering or computer science, not in the business school or the humanities. I've seen some real morons in both of these schools. Basically if you were a "geek" in high school, you will love it here because you will fit in perfectly and there won't be any bullies to beat you up. If you consider yourself pretty "normal" and "well-rounded," it probably wouldn't be your first choice. But if it's your only choice, it's not such a bad thing. Yes, you will be in the minority because you don't know anything about Star Trek and you aren't OBSESSED with the Matrix, but it would probably be an experience unlike any you've ever had and it would give you the opportunity to interact with a broader range of people, which will benefit you in the real world.
2nd Year Male -- Class 2006
Faculty Accessibility: A-, Surrounding City: C-
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