Carnegie Mellon University: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

Carnegie Mellon University

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Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university with an acceptance rate of 17%. A mid-sized university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon is best known for its top-ranked science and engineering programs. The university also has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its impressive liberal arts and sciences program and is a member of the American Association of Universities because of its research strengths. Academics are supported by a 13-to-1 student/faculty ratio. On the athletic front, the CMU Tartans compete in the NCAA Division III University Athletic Association, a group of eight universities committed to both academic and athletic excellence.

Considering applying to this highly selective school? Here are the Carnegie Mellon admissions statistics you should know.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, Carnegie Mellon University had an acceptance rate of 17%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 17 were admitted, making Carnegie Mellon's admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 24,351
Percent Admitted 17%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 38%

SAT Scores and Requirements

Carnegie Mellon requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 72% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 700 750
Math 750 800
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Carnegie Mellon's admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Carnegie Mellon scored between 700 and 750, while 25% scored below 700 and 25% scored above 750. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 750 and 800, while 25% scored below 750 and 25% scored a perfect 800. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1550 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Carnegie Mellon.

Requirements

Carnegie Mellon does not require the SAT writing section. Note that CMU participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. At Carnegie Mellon, SAT Subject tests are recommended for certain programs, so make sure to review the guidelines for the program to which you're applying.

ACT Scores and Requirements

Carnegie Mellon requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 42% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 33 35
Math 32 35
Composite 33 35

This admissions data tells us that most of Carnegie Mellon's admitted students fall within the top 2% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Carnegie Mellon received a composite ACT score between 33 and 35, while 25% scored above 35 and 25% scored below 33.

Requirements

Note that Carnegie Mellon does not superscore ACT results; your highest composite ACT score will be considered. Carnegie Mellon does not require the ACT writing section. Regardless of whether you submit the ACT or SAT, SAT Subject tests may still be recommended (dependent on the program to which you apply).

GPA

In 2018, the average high school GPA of Carnegie Mellon's incoming freshman class was 3.84. These results suggest that most successful applicants to Carnegie Mellon University have primarily A and B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

Carnegie Mellon University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph.
Carnegie Mellon University Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to Carnegie Mellon University. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

Carnegie Mellon has a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. However, Carnegie Mellon has a holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their test scores are outside Carnegie Mellon's average range.

In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students, and you can see that most applicants who got into Carnegie Mellon had "A" averages, SAT scores (ERW+M) above 1300, and ACT composite scores of 28 or higher. However, many students with high GPAs and test scores still get rejected from Carnegie Mellon. If your academic record includes a few "B" grades and your standardized test scores aren't stellar, you should consider CMU a reach school.