Carnegie Mellon University is a private, global research university primarily located in Pittsburgh, PA but with various locations around the world. Carnegie Mellon began as Carnegie Technical School in 1900, founded by and named after entrepreneur and millionaire Andrew Carnegie. As the school grew into the 20th century, it began offering baccalaureate and then graduate level degrees, with the first doctoral degree awarded in 1919, the same year that Carnegie passed away. In 1967, Carnegie Tech merged with the Mellon Institute and became Carnegie Mellon University, a move that fueled further growth into its current status as a premium global research university.
Carnegie Mellon University Accreditation Details
Carnegie Mellon University as a whole is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) through a voluntary, peer-review process. In addition, individual schools and programs within Carnegie Mellon are accredited by organizations that oversee specific subject matters, including the Institute of Technology, School of Architecture, and School of Business.
Carnegie Mellon University Application Requirements
Students seeking admission to Carnegie Mellon must submit an application, along with the $75 application fee as a first step. In addition, high school transcripts or official GED scores are required, as are specific standardized test results. Academic requirements vary by school or college within the university, with the School of Computer Science requiring high school transcripts that show completion of four years of English, four years of mathematics that include at a minimum Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, analytic geometry, elementary functions, and pre-calculus, one year of physics, two years of chemistry, biology, or computer science, two years of a foreign language, and three electives.
In addition, applicants to any program at Carnegie Mellon are required to submit test scores for either the SAT Reasoning Test, the new SAT test, or the ACT test. In addition, the School of Computer Science requires scores from two SAT subject tests, Math Level II and Physics, Chemistry, or Biology.
Students applying for a graduate degree program must also submit a standard application and fee to start the process. In addition, prospective graduate students are required to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) and submit scores for consideration, along with a PDF of the most recent college transcript for each college attended, whether or not a degree was awarded. Graduate admissions candidates also need to submit a resume in pdf form, a written statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation, two of which must come from faculty or a recent employer.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition at Carnegie Mellon takes into account more than just the cost of course credits, instead including extra fees for housing, technology fees, dining, orientation (first fall semester only for incoming freshman), and books, supplies, and miscellaneous. Incoming freshman are required to live on campus for the first year. Undergraduate tuition is listed as one lump sum of $52,732 for students beginning in the fall semester of 2017, and with a total after taking all other fees into account of $70,094. The basic rate per unit is $733, with most courses ranging from nine to 12 units.
Carnegie Mellon understands that paying the cost of education at a private institution is a significant investment and, as such, provides numerous options for financial aid, including both federal options and private scholarships and loans. Students seeking financial aid should begin by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and submitting it by the posted deadlines for whichever semester is required. Once the level of need is determined, the financial aid office at Carnegie Mellon will work with the student and his or her family to cover costs.
Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in Computer Science
The School of Computer Science within Carnegie Mellon offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science. The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science requires completion of 360 units in the areas of computer science, mathematics/probability, engineering and natural sciences, and humanities and arts. In addition, students are required to declare and complete a minor in a second subject. Core courses in the computer science area include Principles of Imperative Computation, Principles of Functional Programming, Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science, and Parallel and Sequential Data Structures and Algorithms. In addition, the Computer Science major requires five mathematics and probability courses, four engineering and natural science courses, and electives taken from a variety of related areas, including software systems, logic and languages, and applications.
Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science also offers a Master of Science degree in Computer Science, a Fifth Year Master’s program, and a PhD in Computer Science. The Master of Science in Computer Science degree builds on the analytical and technical skills in the Bachelor degree program, although students seeking this degree do not necessarily have to have an undergraduate degree in computer science. There is not a fixed curriculum for this advanced degree, but rather students construct their own course of study in consultation with an advisor. The Fifth Year Master’s program is designed specifically for students in the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree program at Carnegie Mellon and integrates research combined with advanced classwork that is generally completed within 12 months of gaining the undergraduate degree.
The Ph.D. in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon is a research degree, above all else. It is not a program designed to be entered after completion of either of the Masters programs listed above, as the Masters programs are distinct from the doctoral program, and one does not necessarily build on the other. Rather, students seeking the Ph.D. degree would declare their intention following achievement of the Bachelor degree. The Ph.D. program involves roughly five years, during which students will demonstrate ability to research, create, present and defend an original thesis. Students will also gain experience as a teaching assistant while honing speaking and writing skills and gaining a solid foundation in the methods of original research.
The world of technology is ever-changing and ever-growing, touching aspects of all other industries in one way or another. A degree in computer science, undergraduate or graduate level, provides students with the knowledge and skills to be an integral part of these changes and growth. Gaining a degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University is a sound investment into the future of any graduate receiving it.