Carnegie Mellon GPA, SAT and ACT Data

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Carnegie Mellon GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

Carnegie Mellon University GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
Carnegie Mellon University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. Data courtesy of Cappex.


Carnegie Mellon is a highly selective university that accepted just 22% of all applicants in 2016. To see how you measure up, you can use this free tool from Cappex to calculate your chances of getting in

Discussion of Carnegie Mellon's Admissions Standards:

Prospective students are going to need nearly all "A" grades and standardized test scores that are well above average to be admitted. 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 (RW+M) above 1300, and ACT composite scores of 28 or higher. Also realize that there's a lot of red hidden beneath the blue and green in the upper right corner of the graph. Many students with high GPAs and test scores still get rejected from Carnegie Mellon.

The difference between an acceptance and a rejection will often come down to non-numerical measures. Carnegie Mellon has holistic admissions, and they are looking for students who bring to campus more than good grades and test scores. A winning application essay, strong letters of recommendation, a rigorous high school curriculum, and interesting extracurricular activities are all important parts of the application.

To learn more about Carnegie Mellon and what it takes to be admitted, be sure to check out the Carnegie Mellon Admissions Profile

If You Like Carnegie Mellon, You May Also Like These Schools:

Carnegie Mellon University is a comprehensive university with strengths in everything from fine art to engineering. That said, the university is perhaps best known for its science and engineering programs. Other strong comprehensive universities with similar strengths include Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Rice University (Houston, Texas) and the University of California Berkeley.

Other schools popular with CMU applicants include Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University, Boston University, Georgetown University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All are highly selective, so be sure to include a couple schools with a lower admissions bar to the list of schools to which you will apply.

Articles Featuring Carnegie Mellon:

Given Carnegie Mellon's many strengths, it should come as no surprise that the school made my list of top engineering schools, top Middle Atlantic colleges, and top Pennsylvania colleges. The university also was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences.

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Rejection and Waitlist Data for Carnegie Mellon University

Rejection and Waitlist Data for Carnegie Mellon University
Rejection and Waitlist Data for Carnegie Mellon University. Data courtesy of Cappex

Your chances of getting into Carnegie Mellon are obviously best if you have a solid "A" average and SAT or ACT scores that are up in the top 1% or 2% of test takers. Realize, however, that even high grades and test scores do not guarantee admission. 

When we strip away the green and blue acceptance data from the graph at the top of this article, we can see that there is a lot of red (rejected students) and yellow (waitlisted students) extending all the way to the upper right corner of the graph. For this reason, you should never consider Carnegie Mellon a safety school. At best, it will be a match school, even for extremely strong students. If your academic record includes a few "B" grades and your standardized test scores aren't stellar, you should consider CMU a reach school.

So why exactly might a 4.0 student get rejected from Carnegie Mellon? The reasons can be many: perhaps the student had high grades in easy courses rather than challenging AP, IB, and Honors courses; perhaps the letters of recommendation raised concerns; perhaps the applicant's Common Application essay failed to tell a compelling story; perhaps the student's extracurricular involvement failed to reveal leadership and depth. For fine arts applicants, the audition or portfolio may have failed to impress the admissions folks.


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Grove, Allen. "Carnegie Mellon GPA, SAT and ACT Data." ThoughtCo, Aug. 23, 2017, Grove, Allen. (2017, August 23). Carnegie Mellon GPA, SAT and ACT Data. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "Carnegie Mellon GPA, SAT and ACT Data." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 17, 2018).