4 Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essay Examples (2023)

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If you want to get into Carnegie Mellon in 2023, you'll need to write responses to CMU's writing supplement that help you stand out and get accepted.

In this article, I've gathered 4 of the best CMU essays that worked to hopefully get you inspired to write your own stand-out essays.

I've also included this year's supplemental prompts for CMU and some ideas for getting started.

Let's get started.

What is Carnegie Mellon's Acceptance Rate?

Getting into Carnegie Mellon is more difficult every year. Last year, 42,015 students applied to CMU and only 7,143 students were admitted.

Which means Carnegie Mellon University an overall acceptance rate of 17% , or in other words less than every 1 in 5 students get admitted each year.

And admissions into certain programs like Computer Science or the School of Drama is even more competitive, with acceptances rates of 7% and 4% each.

Carnegie Mellon Acceptance Scattergram

That's a comparable admit rate to the most selective Ivy League schools like Princeton University for example.

To have your best chances of getting into CMU, you'll need to write great essay responses. Below are 4 of the best examples of CMU essays to help improve your essays and get accepted.

What are the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Prompts for 2022-23?

This year Carnegie Mellon requires students to write three short essays of 300 words each.

Here are the Carnegie Mellon University writing supplement prompts for 2022. The questions on this page are being asked by Carnegie Mellon University:

Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study? (300 word maximum)

Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience? (300 word maximum)

Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please). (300 word maximum)

Carnegie Mellon has used these prompts in past years.

And below you'll find several examples of essays that responded to these prompts. I've also included some personal statement essays from admitted CMU students.

4 Carnegie Mellon University EssaysThatWorked

It's safe to say students who get into Carnegie Mellon write interesting and creative application essays. Or at least these ones did.

Here are 4 of the best Carnegie Mellon essays that have helped students get admitted.

Carnegie Mellon Essay Example #1

Carnegie mellon essay example #2, carnegie mellon essay example #3, carnegie mellon essay example #4.

Prompt: Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study? (300 words max)

When I was younger, I faced a lot of negative emotions including anxiety and low self-esteem. For a long time, I felt alone and as if no one understood how I felt. My self confidence was at an all-time low when I started taking psychology. All of a sudden the negative emotions I was feeling started making sense. I was suddenly able to understand how people were wired and why others treated me a certain way. I in fact was able to feel empathy for my aggressors after understanding that those who treated me negatively often faced struggles of their own. Most importantly, I felt as though something out there finally understood me. Because psychology offered insight into my own behavior and helped me to understand others, I was eventually able to overcome my insecurities.

In the future, I would like to help others do the same. No matter where I end up, understanding why people behave a certain way and being more considerate and empathetic for others will only help me thrive. Mental health is a growing issue in our society. The world we live in is a confusing place filled with pain, but psychology provides a way to determine the cause of this suffering and how to change it. I never want anyone to feel the isolation and sorrow I felt when I was younger. I want to help others become compassionate and unconditionally loving not just toward others, but to themselves. Even if I only make a small change in the world and affect just one person’s life, I would like to pursue that.

Prompt: Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please). (300 words max)

I recall entering the intimidating world of high school as an exorbitantly introverted, stereotypical Asian girl. My father urged me to assert myself and attempt new activities I wouldn’t have typically participated in. I didn’t want to be disappointed in twenty years by the things I didn’t attempt in high school, so I decided to pursue my long-time dream of becoming a cheerleader. I had always admired the optimism that cheerleaders had, and I was at a point in my life where I needed more positivity.

I faced obstacles trying to join the team. An Asian cheerleader? But Asians were supposed to be smart and cheerleaders were dumb! I broke racial stereotypes by becoming the first Asian cheerleader in my high school.

When I made the squad, I was exposed to individuals which whom I did not ordinarily traverse paths. I stepped outside of my bubble and met girls who were extremely extroverted and seemed to be in a constant state of elation. They taught me how to spread positivity throughout my daily interactions and taught me to use optimism as a strength in facing the hurdles of life. These were qualities I would have never learned from a textbook.

My parents had possessed strong reservations about me joining and feared I would meet girls who weren’t motivated in academics. This was false. Many of the girls were brilliant and creative in ways my regular friend group wasn’t. All avenues of life met there on that team.

Cheerleading was the rain and sun that helped a small seed like me bloom into a flower. It delights me knowing that I gained social skills and made friends I never thought I could gain. Cheerleading has changed my perspective on life and joining that family is one of my greatest treasures.

Prompt: “When we‘re connected to others, we become better people,” said Carnegie Mellon University‘s Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture .

At Carnegie Mellon you‘ll have the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse community of scholars, artists and innovators. Given the students, faculty, staff and resources that have been available to you as a student, how have you collaborated with others, in or out of the classroom?

Or, what lessons have you learned from working with others in the past, that might shape your experience in the future? (300 words max)

Because it took some time for me to pass my driving test, I was unable to get a traditional job at the same age as the rest of my peers. I had another friend who was also unable to drive. To fund our shopping addictions, we started our own business, "Velour Slimes," where we sold slimes of a diverse number of scents and textures. The experience gave us a taste of entrepreneurship and the elements of what it takes to run a successful business. One of those elements was collaboration.

Going into business with a friend can get ugly, even with a small scale operation like ours. One of our most grueling conflicts was deciding whether to spend our first profit paying off our debts or buying new materials to make more slime with. Neither of us were transparent with our goals, or on the same page. We let our conflict escalate to the point where we could not look at each other. Eventually we solved our issue by effectively communicating together. By being honest with each other about our ideas and concisely supporting our arguments with evidence, we were able to understand each other and find a balance. In the end, we compromised. We spent half of the money paying off our debts and the other half on more materials to create even more slimes.

This experience brought me closer to my friend. We were able to strengthen our relationship while becoming more understanding and considerate of each others’ feelings. I discovered empathy is deeply necessary in improving the negative aspects of modern day society. If we were all a bit more empathetic, the world would be a more pleasant place. For that reason, I try to continuously improve my own compassion.

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Prompt: Why Carnegie Mellon? (650 words max)

With a strong background in computer science and communications, I hope to incorporate both into a future career of building data systems, conducting research, and consulting for organizations that serve underrepresented citizens.

Why This Essay Works:

Specific details and anecdotes will almost always be more compelling than less specific ones. In this essay, the student does a great job of including specific, "nerdy" details, such as "an association test between melanoma associated variants and survival outcome." These details demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of an area and make your essay more engaging.

This essay does a fantastic job of addressing real-world problems and emphasizing the "bigger picture" impact of their studies. Rather than just explaining what they want to study, this student explains how their education will help them have an impact on the world. Make an argument for what problems you see in the world and how you could potentially help solve them.

For "Why Us?" college essays, one of the most important parts is to reference unique aspects to the school. Almost all colleges have strong academics, great faculty, etc. So instead of referencing those points, reference what makes the school unique and different. In this essay, the student talks about "CMU's Technology Consulting in the Global Community" program, which is both highly specific to CMU and relevant to their own interests.

What They Might Improve:

In general, you should avoid simply listing your achievements. This student has many remarkable activities and experiences, but it comes across less interesting because the first half of the essay is simply describing these accomplishments.

For "Why Us?" essays, it is also a good idea to reference the values the school represents. Each school has a different "culture" and type of student body, and admissions wants to know how you will fit in.

If you're trying to get into Carnegie Mellon, here are 4 of the best essays that worked. Read example answers to Carnegie Mellon's writing supplement for 2022 and see how other students got into CMU.

What did you think of these Carnegie Mellon essays?

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College Essays

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Carnegie Mellon is ranked among the top 25 universities in the nation , so you'll need to have an impressive application—with stand-out essays, of course!—in order to get admitted. Applicants must submit a total of four Carnegie Mellon essays, three of which comprise the Carnegie Mellon supplement.

Keep reading to learn what the current Carnegie Mellon essay prompts are, what topics you could write about, and what qualities make for a great Carnegie Mellon essay.

Feature Image: Mathieu Thouvenin /Flickr

What Are the Carnegie Mellon Essay Prompts?

In addition to the personal statement you must write for the Common App (for which you get to select one out of seven possible prompts), Carnegie Mellon requires all applicants to submit three supplemental essays; these essays make up the Carnegie Mellon Supplement.

Applicants are not allowed to submit other supplemental materials with their applications, such as websites, artwork, or resumes. (Note that the only exception to this is if you're applying to a school that requires additional materials , such as the School of Architecture.)

Each essay may be up to 300 words long, making them a little shorter than your typical personal statement for college, which is usually around 500-600 words.

So what are the Carnegie Mellon essay prompts? Let's take a look:

Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that's developed over time—what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study?

Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience?

Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee's consideration? Highlight something that's important to you or something you haven't had a chance to share. Tell us, don't show us (no websites please).

As you can see, each Carnegie Mellon essay you must write will focus on something different about yourself. Specifically, you must explain the following in your essays:

  • For Essay 1, what you plan to major in and why
  • For Essay 2, what you hope to get out of attending college
  • For Essay 3, something you want to emphasize about yourself

How should you write each Carnegie Mellon essay? We give you specific tips next.

All Carnegie Mellon Essay Prompts, Analyzed

In this section, we'll go over the three Carnegie Mellon essay prompts in detail, giving you key tips so you can ensure your essays stand out from the rest of the crowd.

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Carnegie Mellon Essay 1: Your Intended Major

Though it might look a little wordy, all this Carnegie Mellon essay prompt is really asking is, "Why this major?" More specifically, this prompt wants you to relate the intellectual path you've taken by explaining the experiences, people, and/or events that have led you to want to major in this particular field.

By far the most effective way to answer this prompt is to tell a compelling story about how you came to be interested in your intended major. Think about the most important moments from your life that showcase your love of what you want to study, and then write about those.

For example, say you plan to major in musical composition. You could start off by recounting the first time you tried to write a piece of music on your family's piano and how hard it was. However, you really enjoyed the process of creating something new. This prompted you to enroll in weekly piano lessons; you also continued to compose piano pieces in your spare time. As a sophomore, you decided to enter your school's talent show and ended up winning with a musical piece you'd composed.

While you don't need to stick to chronological order, using this organization ensures your essay is easy to follow and clearly illustrates how you progressed from someone who knew nothing about the field to someone now highly devoted to it.

In addition, be sure to focus on not only how you became interested in your major but also how this journey of discovering your passion has affected you and your goals. For example, perhaps you want to major in architecture because you hope to use your skills to encourage eco-friendly living and therefore combat the effects of climate change.

It's also a good idea to mention, explicitly or implicitly, how Carnegie Mellon will help you accomplish your goals in your intended field. You could talk briefly about a particular faculty member in your field whom you hope to work with, an expensive piece of equipment offered at Carnegie Mellon, or specific professional opportunities available to students.

Finally, be careful not to exaggerate. Don't say you suddenly developed an interest in literature after reading The Great Gatsby for English class if you actually loathed the book or had a passion for literature well before then.

It's OK if there wasn't one single moment in your life that made you realize this major was the right one for you. Instead of acting as though some particular incident was more significant than it actually was, just focus on the overall journey you took to get to the point you're at now—that is, the major you've chosen to pursue.

Carnegie Mellon Essay 2: Why You're Going to College

Going to college isn't just about getting your degree. That's part of it, of course—you'd feel pretty cheated if you got all the way through college only to find out that you weren't getting your degree—but learning new things and growing as a person are also really important.

In this essay, Carnegie Mellon wants to see you discuss how learning, not just having a degree, will represent your growth in college. That might feel a little intimidating since you haven't actually left for college yet, but you have two important things to draw on: experience in your prior education, and your hopes for the future.

When responding to this prompt, think less about the individual classes you'll take, what grades you'll get in them, or what essays you'll write. Think about the learning process, all the little things that go into your education beyond the grades and assignments. How do you learn? And beyond that, what did you learn?

Think about what having a "successful college experience" would look like for you. When you graduate, what knowledge and experience do you hope to have? What unique experiences will you have at Carnegie Mellon that will shape the person you ultimately want to become?

This is a time to be specific. Maybe you see yourself as belonging to a thriving intellectual community, and thought-provoking discussion is one of the ways that you learn best. You can look at what groups there are on campus, for example, and see which ones you'd like to join.

Joining re:verb might be a way that you connect with other people who love having thought-provoking discussions, or maybe you're drawn more toward MOSIAC to learn about concepts like intersectionality. You can identify groups that appeal to you in your specific niche, and mention them in your essay as places where you hope to find your intellectual community.

Of course, that's not the only way to go about it. The important thing you need to convey is that you have an interest not just in attaining your diploma, but in the experience of learning. How you do that is up to you—you can describe how you learn and how Carnegie Mellon will help enrich you as a person through their teaching methods, through being around other accomplished and intellectual individuals, or by naming specific clubs, groups, or classes you want to be part of.

Show Carnegie Mellon how you learn and how they'll contribute to your specific goals, and you'll be on the right track!

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Carnegie Mellon Essay 3: Something Important About You

This essay prompt is the most open-ended of the three and a great opportunity to really dig into any important attributes of yourself that you feel you didn't get to write enough about or at all in other parts of your application.

Did you write about something in another essay, such as the one you wrote for the Common App, that you wish to talk about more here? Do you want to write about something that's important to you and that you haven't had a chance to elaborate on yet?

Your topics are pretty endless here —just make sure whatever you write about for this essay is revealing something important that you think the admissions committee should know about you.

This could be a specific personality trait —maybe you want to emphasize your leadership skills by talking about your role as team leader at the local youth club—or something about your life that's had a major impact on how you see yourself and your future.

Here are some topics you could write about (but don't feel limited by these suggestions!):

  • A specific incident that holds importance for you, and what it taught you about your academic and/or professional interests, your goals, your personality, etc.
  • Someone you know who has impacted you in a significant way, and how that person has specifically influenced your interests and/or goals
  • An explanation for something that negatively impacted your grades or another part of your application —for example, perhaps you spent a lot of time taking care of a sick relative during your sophomore year of high school, which caused your grades to dip slightly
  • A particular interest, passion, hobby, or skill you have, and what you've gained, either intellectually or emotionally, from it

Once again, don't try to write about what you think the CMU admissions committee wants to read—be honest about what's important to you and why. If you volunteered somewhere a few times but didn't enjoy it or gain anything valuable from it, do not write about it here!

Similarly, don't be afraid to focus on something seemingly mundane. Just be sure you're using the topic you choose—even if it's pretty commonplace—to ultimately reveal something important about you. So, no, it's probably not a good idea to write about how you spend hours on Instagram every day, since this hobby isn't really revealing anything significant about you, your goals, or your personal growth.

2 Real Carnegie Mellon Essay Examples + Analysis

In order to write a great Carnegie Mellon essay, it helps to see what kinds of essays actually got applicants accepted to this prestigious university. Here, we give you two real Carnegie Mellon essay examples we found online and explain what makes them successful.

Carnegie Mellon Essay Example 1

This first of the two Carnegie Mellon essay examples comes from the college essays website Essays That Worked . The essay is quite long— more than 650 words! —and was written in response to the following (old) supplemental Carnegie Mellon essay prompt:

And now here's the essay:

When I was younger, I faced a lot of negative emotions including anxiety and low self-esteem. For a long time, I felt alone and as if no one understood how I felt. My self confidence was at an all-time low when I started taking psychology. All of a sudden the negative emotions I was feeling started making sense. I was suddenly able to understand how people were wired and why others treated me a certain way. I in fact was able to feel empathy for my aggressors after understanding that those who treated me negatively often faced struggles of their own.

Most importantly, I felt as though something out there finally understood me. Because psychology offered insight into my own behavior and helped me to understand others, I was eventually able to overcome my insecurities. In the future, I would like to help others do the same. No matter where I end up, understanding why people behave a certain way and being more considerate and empathetic for others will only help me thrive. Mental health is a growing issue in our society. The world we live in is a confusing place filled with pain, but psychology provides a way to determine the cause of this suffering and how to change it. I never want anyone to feel the isolation and sorrow I felt when I was younger.

I want to help others become compassionate and unconditionally loving not just toward others, but to themselves. Even if I only make a small change in the world and affect just one person’s life, I would like to pursue that.

Here's why this Carnegie Mellon essay works so well:

  • It has an honest, compelling narrative that flows well. This applicant begins by explaining how their feelings and experiences allowed them to form a connection to the field of psychology from a young age. This story is raw and honest, and it highlights the applicant's reasons for wanting to pursue psychology in an appropriate and relevant manner.
  • It's extremely specific. The applicant uses concrete details to explain their background and why the psychology major is a perfect fit for their goals and interests. In addition, the essay connects the applicant’s present interest in psychology to how they hope to help others in the future, giving us a clear indication of why the applicant is so interested in psychology.

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Carnegie Mellon Essay Example 2

This second Carnegie Mellon essay example also comes from the website Essays That Worked and, like the essay above, responds to a current Carnegie Mellon essay prompt .

It was written in response to Carnegie Mellon essay prompt number three:

Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please). (300 words max)

Here is the essay:

I recall entering the intimidating world of high school as an exorbitantly introverted, stereotypical Asian girl. My father urged me to assert myself and attempt new activities I wouldn’t have typically participated in. I didn’t want to be disappointed in twenty years by the things I didn’t attempt in high school, so I decided to pursue my long-time dream of becoming a cheerleader. I had always admired the optimism that cheerleaders had, and I was at a point in my life where I needed more positivity.

I faced obstacles trying to join the team. An Asian cheerleader? But Asians were supposed to be smart and cheerleaders were dumb! I broke racial stereotypes by becoming the first Asian cheerleader in my high school. When I made the squad, I was exposed to individuals which whom I did not ordinarily traverse paths. I stepped outside of my bubble and met girls who were extremely extroverted and seemed to be in a constant state of elation. They taught me how to spread positivity throughout my daily interactions and taught me to use optimism as a strength in facing the hurdles of life. These were qualities I would have never learned from a textbook.

My parents had possessed strong reservations about me joining and feared I would meet girls who weren’t motivated in academics. This was false. Many of the girls were brilliant and creative in ways my regular friend group wasn’t. All avenues of life met there on that team.

Cheerleading was the rain and sun that helped a small seed like me bloom into a flower. It delights me knowing that I gained social skills and made friends I never thought I could gain. Cheerleading has changed my perspective on life and joining that family is one of my greatest treasures.

  • It's tightly focused. This essay centers on a struggle the applicant overcame, a topic that is made clear quickly and acts as the focal point throughout the essay. We learn that the applicant made a decision in high school--to become a cheerleader--that defied racial stereotypes and helped her grow as a person. The role that cheerleading played in the applicant’s personal growth remains the focus through the end of the essay.
  • It goes into significant detail about a specific incident. In order to showcase the uniqueness of their experience and the impact it had on their identity, this applicant wrote a detailed description of what being a cheerleader was really like, beyond the stereotypes, and what they learned from that experience. This provides information about who the applicant is that can’t be conveyed through the other parts of their application.

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4 Tips for a Great Carnegie Mellon Essay

As you now know, you'll need to write three essays for the Carnegie Mellon supplement. Here are some general tips to keep in mind as you begin to work on each Carnegie Mellon essay.

#1: Use Highly Specific Details

Don't rely on catch-all phrases to get your points across in your essays. Instead, try to think of real, concrete examples you can use.

Specific details will make each Carnegie Mellon essay you write (and your application as a whole!) stand apart from others; it also proves to the admissions committee that you know what kinds of opportunities are available to you at Carnegie Mellon.

#2: Avoid Exaggeration—Be Yourself!

Many students think they need to write about topics that sound "impressive," but this isn't actually what admissions committees want. What they really want is to learn more about who you are, what you sound like naturally (on paper, of course), and what you value in life.

This is why it's so important for you to clearly channel your voice in your writing. For example, it's OK to tell a joke or focus on a lighthearted topic if you would describe yourself as a comedian.

Just make sure that, no matter what kind of topic you choose or how you write, you're ultimately making a bigger, important point about yourself —one that ideally emphasizes essential facets of your personality, your experiences, and/or your ambitions.

#3: Don't Repeat Anything You've Written for Your Common App Essay

Carnegie Mellon requires all applicants to submit the Common App essay in addition to the three essays described above, so you'll want to ensure there's not too much overlap between them. While it's OK to elaborate on a specific topic or point that you briefly mentioned in another essay, don't end up writing about the same experience more than once.

The point of these essays is to showcase various aspects of your personality and life, and you won't succeed if all you're doing is repeating yourself in each Carnegie Mellon essay!

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#4: Edit, Polish, and Proofread

Our final tip is to take a lot of time to edit, polish, and proofread each Carnegie Mellon essay you write. Look over each essay multiple times to catch typos and other technical errors, such as grammatical problems, and spelling mistakes.

You should also be on the lookout for the following problems:

  • Any inconsistencies in style, tone, voice, tense, etc.
  • Any areas that are unclear, vague, or awkwardly worded or placed
  • Any irrelevant details or descriptions that don't add anything important

Once you've edited and changed your essays a few times, give them to someone you trust, such as a teacher, mentor, or parent, and have that person offer feedback on how you could improve your writing.

Here are some key questions to ask this person to think about as they edit your essay:

  • Is the topic/theme effective and appropriate for a college essay?
  • Does the essay sound as though you wrote it (and not someone else)? Does the voice sound like your authentic voice?
  • Does the overall organization make sense? Is there a story, and does it flow well? Does the structure successfully get the main point across?
  • Are the details specific and relevant?

With all these tips in mind, you should definitely be able to write a great Carnegie Mellon essay!

What's Next?

You'll need to use the Common App if you're applying to Carnegie Mellon. Get tips on how to write a great Common App essay with our expert guide.

Thinking of applying to other great schools like Princeton , Brown , or Columbia ? Then be sure to check out our guides to learn how you can write amazing essays for these schools' supplements.

Learn more about Carnegie Mellon's admission requirements by visiting its school page in our extensive database.

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Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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Carnegie Mellon University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide 

Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 3

You Have: 

Carnegie Mellon University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 3 short essays of 300 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s):   Why ,  Short Answer

Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience?

So many factors go into shaping your educational experience: course selection, professors, classmates, campus culture, even the city where you’ll live. Think through how each of these will affect you and jot down some examples of what you’re looking for in each. Do you value a professor who is accessible via office hours? Do you focus well in a stadium-seating lecture hall? Are you excited to start a small study group for your Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances  literature course? Additionally, do some research on their website and show them that you value what they specifically have to offer. Give them a peek into how you learn and help them visualize you as a thriving student in their community.

Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study?

This prompt sounds simple enough: describe what you want to study and why you like it so much so that you’re willing to dedicate four years of your life to it (at the very least). While you might be tempted to get technical or poetic in your response, your reader will expect you to connect your intended major with some prior experience and/or passion. In other words, tell a story. Lucky for you, we would have advised you to start with an anecdote anyway. The most personal, memorable essays spring from concrete descriptions of your lived experience. What excites you and why? When was the last time you got drawn down a Reddit rabbit hole – and what was the topic? While you don’t need to drill to the origin of your interest in a given topic, try to zero in on some formative experience: the best TED Talk you ever watched, the first time you spoke to your new friend in ASL, that one time when you shadowed an EMT and saw what it’s like to help people in need! Your story should showcase your unique connection to your chosen course of study. And don’t forget: CMU asks what passion OR inspiration led you to choose this area of study. You can also talk about a particularly powerful book you read or a life-changing experience that set you on this path. Just make sure to use details to bring your story to life.

Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please).

This prompt is a kind of free for all opportunity. Much like Common App’s prompt #7 , CMU is giving you free reign to write about any topic under the sun. If you’re overwhelmed by all the potential possibilities, don’t fret. Instead take a breath and ask yourself: What doesn’t admissions know about me yet? What do I wish I’d had more space to write about on my resume or activity list? If you’ve written a supplemental essay for another school about a particularly rewarding activity, this is an excellent place to tweak and recycle that essay. Almost any essay that you have already written in response to supplemental essay prompts for other schools will be applicable here, as long as it doesn’t address what you want to study or how you work with others. If you haven’t already drafted any others supplemental essays that would fit here, feel free to seek inspiration in the prompts for other schools (ideally the ones on your list). Worst case scenario, revisit your personal statement brainstorming notes and think about the topics that you almost wrote about. Can you write about any of those memories or stories in 200 words?

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September 8, 2023

2023-2024 Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essay Prompts

This is an aerial view of Carnegie Mellon University.

Carnegie Mellon University has released its 2023-2024 admissions essay prompts for applicants to the Class of 2028 . CMU requires applicants to write three essays (in addition to The Common Application ’s Personal Statement). Each essay has a 300-word maximum. So, what are this year’s CMU essays? Let’s find out!

2023-2024 Carnegie Mellon University Essay Topics and Questions

1. Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study?

This essay prompt is a straight-up-the-middle Why Major question. CMU’s admissions committee wants to understand the origin of an applicant’s interest in their chosen area of study. It’s critical that students write their origin story in high school rather than as children. Admissions officers, after all, want to learn about how you think now — not as a middle-schooler or toddler.

Also, it would be ideal if the applicant’s activities reflect their interest in their chosen area of study so they present with a singular hook rather than well-roundedness.

2. Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience?

CMU’s admissions committee wants to see that an applicant is eager for a challenge. They want to see that while a student has firm conviction, they also are malleable to change. After all, the beauty of a liberal arts education is exposure to a variety of disciplines and ways of thinking. As such, an anecdote that showcases how a student has learned something that has changed their lives — ideally but not necessarily connected to their hook as presented in their activity section — can be a great approach to this prompt.

3. Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please).

Much like The Common Application’s Personal Statement, this essay prompt is a free-write. Students can write whatever it is they’d like. Applicants should just be sure not to be redundant — they shouldn’t repeat things they’ve written in previous essays. And they should be sure to highlight their intellectual curiosity. Too often, students write silly answers to vague essay prompts. That’s never the right approach.

This essay prompt is an opportunity to make it clear to admissions officers how a student thinks and how they hope to contribute to the world in their own small but meaningful way.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Carnegie Mellon Essays

If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission to CMU by submitting compelling essays that shine a strobe light on your hook, fill out Ivy Coach ’s free consultation form , and we’ll be in touch to outline our college admissions counseling services for seniors.

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Carnegie Mellon University | CMU’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Why this major short response.

Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study?

Process of Learning Short Response

Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience?

Additional Info Short Response

Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please).

Standardized Test Scores Short Response

When it comes to deciding whether to submit standardized test scores, occasionally applicants want us to better understand the individual context of their decision. If you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity, please share any information about your decision here. This is an optional question for those who may want to provide additional context for consideration.

Common App Personal Essay

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

What will first-time readers think of your college essay?

Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays 2023-24 – Prompts & Advice

September 8, 2023

carnegie mellon supplemental essays cmu

When applying to a school like Carnegie Mellon that only accepts 11% of applicants, it’s important to keep in mind that the other 89% of applicants will ultimately be denied admission. Many of these rejected individuals will have straight A’s in high school and/or SATs in the 1500s. Those applying to certain programs—computer science, for example—will face even more harrowing odds. We don’t bring up this harsh reality in an attempt to crush your dreams or deter you from applying. Rather, we want to impart to prospective CMU applicants the need to maximize every component of your application. The aim is to ultimately shine just a touch brighter than your well-qualified competition. This includes the Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into Carnegie Mellon University? Visit our blog entitled:  How to Get Into Carnegie Mellon: Admissions Data and Strategies  for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

The three 300-word essays required by Carnegie Mellon give applicants the chance they need to separate themselves from the throngs of other extremely talented and deserving CMU hopefuls. Below are CMU’s supplemental prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with tips about how to address each one.

Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays – #1

Required – (300 word limit)

Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study?

Here, CMU is asking you to share your story of how you became interested in your selected discipline. You can structure the narrative of this essay as a soup to nuts chronicling of your entire journey toward your discipline of interest. Contrarily, you could share one or two vignettes that illustrate your burgeoning passion for engineering, history, French, computer science, business, psychology, etc. As you begin the prewriting phase, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your first strong memory relating to your future area of study?
  • What fills you with wonder?
  • What books have you read on the subject?
  • Do you consume podcasts or documentaries related to your passions?
  • Have certain online or print publications helped to fuel your interests?
  • What subtopics of your prospective discipline most intrigue you?
  • Did a teacher excite you about this topic or was it a parent/relative or outside mentor?
  • How did you seek our subject-relevant opportunities outside of the high school classroom?

CMU Supplemental Essays – #2

Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. as you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience.

There’s a lot to unpack in this prompt before you even enter the brainstorming phase of the essay-writing process. First they want to know a bit about your goals in earning a CMU degree. These goals could be:

  • Degree-oriented
  • Career-focused
  • A combination of two or all three of the previous options.

Given that CMU requires you to apply to a particular college within the larger university, you likely already have a reasonably strong notion of what discipline you hope to study. You’ll definitely want to share everything you already know about the degree you aim to earn. Additionally, you’ll want to discuss how that fits into your larger life plans.

Next, you’ll want to take note of the fact that “learning” is mentioned twice in this prompt, a solid indicator that CMU is sincerely interested in how you will take advantage of the unique learning opportunities available to you at their instruction. While not required, you should consider discussing items such as:

  • CMU-specific academic programs , professors, or course offerings.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities .
  • Study abroad programs .
  • The classroom environment at Carnegie Mellon— class size , laboratory settings, etc.
  • Campus organizations that will help you continue your learning outside of the classroom.

In short, generic thoughts about how you envision engaging in the learning process throughout your collegiate experience are perfectly fine, but school-specific detail can take an essay from good to great.

CMU supplemental Essays – #3

Consider your application as a whole. what do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. tell us, don’t show us (no websites please)..

After completing your main Common App essay and the first two CMU essays, is there anything that you have yet to share that is absolutely elemental to who you are as a person/student? Without the benefit of an in-person interview, it may feel like you never fully had a chance to connect intimately with a Carnegie Mellon admissions officer. You have a burning sense that you have not communicated the full you, your true essence, your je ne sais quoi, your…you get the idea. If you feel something important about yourself has yet to be communicated elsewhere in the application, then CMU Prompt #3 is the answer to your prayers.

Consider that the admissions reader is already familiar with your academic history, activities, and awards. What don’t they know, or, what could they understand on a deeper level? This could be a particular skill or talent, or something about your character or personality. This one is intentionally open-ended, so use this space to share your most cherished accomplishments or most winning attributes. The university itself is inviting you to “brag” here. We recommend obliging, by presenting the equivalent to a “closing argument” at the end of this admissions trial.

One example of what not to do would be to say, “I work as a camp counselor in the summer” if that was already listed in the Activities section. Another no-no is deciding that the admonition regarding linking to websites doesn’t apply to you, because, well…they simply have to see your art exhibit or performance on stage in Oklahoma! last year. We promise that it is better to take CMU at their word that they prefer that you describe it. This remains true no matter what “it” is.

How important are the Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays?

CMU rates the essays as being an “important” factor in their evaluation process. The essays are listed alongside recommendations, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, first-generation status, and race/ethnicity. The only factors ranked above the essays as being “very important” are: GPA, the rigor of high school coursework, class rank, extracurricular activities, work experience, and volunteer work.

Want Personalized Essay Assistance?

Lastly, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays, we encourage you to get a quote  today.

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How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Carnegie Mellon Essay Prompts

carnegie mellon common app essay

Carnegie Mellon is one of the nation’s top universities. With a 14% acceptance rate , CMU surely gets top applicants each year. If you want to rise above the rest, the Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays are your chance.  Carnegie Mellon’s prompts touch on different aspects of your background, interests, and goals. They are a great way to show off more of your personality and enthusiasm for the school. Planning strong examples to weave throughout your essays is key to success.

We will walk you through each prompt and offer tips on how to craft stellar responses for each of the Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays!

Also see:  How to write an essay about yourself

“ Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study? (300 words) ”

Say you are interested in Computer Science. Well, you would not be alone, given it is Carnegie Mellon’s top major. Fortunately, this question invites you to back up your chosen area of study with a reason that is distinctly yours. For example, you could discuss your obsession with Guitar Hero as a kid and thus how video games are made. This inspiration for why you want to study programming makes this response personal and unique. 

Note that this prompt says a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time. Talk about the origin of your interest, then trace the ways you have further cultivated it. What started as a Guitar Hero fascination then led you to take a summer coding bootcamp. Now, you spend hours viewing YouTube videos on game development. Whatever your major is, try to get to the core of what intellectually excites you about it and what sparked that curiosity. This will ensure your sincerity and voice shines through. You can close with your long-term aspiration in this field or conclude more specifically with how you plan to pursue this interest at CM. 

Questions to consider: 

  • Is there a role model you look up to whose career you’d like to emulate? 
  • Have you taken a class that piqued your interest in this major?  
  • Are you drawn to a particular field of study because of the positive impact it can make in the world? 
“ Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience? (300 words) ”

This question can be tricky for some students because there are many directions to take your response. There is no one right answer for what you’d like to achieve in college and what constitutes a successful experience. After all, learning takes place both in and out of the classroom. Instead of being scared of this freedom, embrace it. Before writing, take a moment to really envision yourself in four years. How do you hope to grow personally and academically at Carnegie Mellon? If one goal does not dominate, make a list of all the things you want to achieve and find a way to summarize them into an overarching theme. 

One example could be how the prospect of meeting new people energizes you. You might discuss how you grew up in a small, southern town as an only child. Moving to Pittsburgh to live with peers of diverse backgrounds will be a big shift. Studying abroad could be another related wish for your time at CM. Talk about how these experiences will fulfill your ultimate goal of expanding your worldview. This avenue is a great way to discuss CM’s values and how you hope to align them with your own, as well.

Some students approach this question by discussing college as the key to unlock their dream profession. If you take this route, be sure you are not repeating information you discussed in prompt #1. You could go at it from a more abstract lens, like discovering how to engage both your creative and analytical sides. You could talk about an interesting major/minor combination, clubs you’d like to be involved in, or a research project you wish to explore. 

Questions to consider:  

  • What would you change about your high school mindset? For example, do you want to do a better job taking risks, or make community service a weekly priority?
  • In what ways will college enrich your character? 
  • What academic benchmarks do you hope to meet? 
“ Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please). (300 words) ”

Similar to prompt #2, this response is incredibly open. You can choose to write literally anything about yourself here. Of all the prompts, this is perhaps the best way to differentiate your essays.  It is helpful to look over your application as a whole. What have you already shared with admissions, and what have you left out?

Is there something meaningful to you that you could only briefly mention in your activities section? For instance, you may have been in the improvisation club in high school. You could describe how you used to be incredibly shy, but this form of theater let’s you discover a whole new witty side to yourself. It may have taught you humility and the value in stepping outside of your comfort zone. These are terrific qualities to take with you to CM. 

In a whole different vein, you could use this space to be vulnerable. Maybe remote learning was especially hard on you and resulted in a semester of lower grades. You could explain the obstacles you overcame and how it made you realize the importance of prioritizing mental health. This showcases your resiliency and informs admissions about an inconsistency on your transcript. 

The admissions team wants to know what makes you, you. They also are curious about your road to get to this point. So, anything is fair game. Trust your gut, and choose something that you feel is genuinely important to paint a whole picture of yourself and your experiences. 

  • What have you been involved in that has shaped who you are today?
  • Are there any red flags on your application that require explaining? 
  • Do you have any unique hobbies or stand-out personality traits?

Final thoughts

After these deep dives, we hope you feel inspired to tackle each of the Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays with ease. Use our tips to organize your responses, then get all your thoughts down. You can cut out the fluff and revise for grammar and writing quality later. Be genuine in sharing what matters to you, not what you think admissions want to hear. You are well on your way to crushing these essays!

Also see:  Top scholarships for high school seniors

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Carnegie Mellon University Essay Guide 2020-2021

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In this Carnegie Mellon University essay guide, we’ll be diving into some tips to help future applicants best represent themselves in the Carnegie Mellon University supplemental essays. For more guidance on personal essays and the college application process in general, sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.

Carnegie Mellon University, named for steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, is a private, co-educational institution with a highly-selective undergraduate experience. It is well-known for its “work hard, play hard” culture, cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, and ever-present Scottish pride. Located in Pittsburgh, PA, the college boasts top-tier programs in Computer Science, Drama, Fine Arts, Business, and Engineering as well as general excellence in other fields.

Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieve your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience?

At highly-selective research universities like Carnegie Mellon University, opportunities are abundant for those who seek them out. For this prompt, the admissions committee is asking how you’ll take advantage of the resources that’ll be available to you, but with a little twist: the unwritten question here is, “Why is Carnegie Mellon the best place for you to pursue these goals ?”

Your answer to this prompt should cover the following questions:

  • What do you hope to gain from your undergraduate experience and education?
  • How can Carnegie Mellon University help you achieve these goals?

Like all “why college” prompts, your response should be focused on one thing: detail, detail, detail! In fact, you should be so specific that you wouldn’t be able to use this essay to describe any college other than Carnegie Mellon. Examples of topics to touch on could be the great opportunities for interdisciplinary research, uniquely diverse student body (because of the home college system), or wacky traditions such as “Booth & Buggy” – but make sure to do your own research to determine how Carnegie Mellon, specifically, fits your academic goals .

When I applied to CMU, I was hoping to study Computer Science and Mathematics. In my essay, I wrote about how the unique connection between the Math and Computer Science departments at CMU – something that the school prides itself on greatly – would help me in my academic pursuits. Additionally, I wrote about the benefits of a theory-heavy curriculum and the genuine effervescence surrounding CS on campus. In terms of word-count distribution, I spent about 100 words defining my goals and about 200 words talking about how Carnegie Mellon was uniquely equipped to help me reach them . I’d generally recommend these word counts as a guideline, but you should strike whatever balance helps you answer and connect those questions to the best of your ability.

The most important thing to remember about this prompt is that highly-selective colleges like Carnegie Mellon want to admit students who will make the most of their college experience, not those who are just leveraging their degree into a high-paying job. In this essay, if you can show them that your goals are clear and that you’ll make great use of the resources available to achieve them, you’ll put yourself in a great position!

Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study?

One unique aspect of Carnegie Mellon University’s admission process is that instead of applying to the college as a whole, each applicant applies to a specific school, such as the Mellon College of Science – or in some cases, a specific major, like Information Systems. For this reason, genuine passion in the field to which you’re applying is incredibly important, and this essay is a great place to show it off to the admissions committee!

Think of this prompt similarly to how you would consider the “what fascinates you” or “what are you passionate about” questions, but with a storytelling twist that reveals your exploration of the field. For example, maybe you’ve had a telescope in your room since you were a kid, and that’s led to a passion for astrophysics with some stargazing on the side; or perhaps, you keep a journal and you’ve always loved singing on stage – hobbies that ultimately led to a passion for screenplay writing and directing.

Now, you may not have a straightforward path with your subject of choice, and that’s completely okay – just write about what sparked your interest in it, and why you’ve continued studying it. I, personally, didn’t start programming regularly until the 10th grade. So, in my application to the School of Computer Science, I wrote about my lifelong love of math, and how that translated to structuring code – a topic which quickly wrote itself!

The most important thing to remember about this prompt is that there are thousands of ways to write it, but the best responses scream “I love this subject!” If you’re lost, one exercise that you can try is to write a love-letter to the field for which you’re applying (i.e. how you met, why you love them, and what you hope the future holds). It’s corny, but it’s a great way to elicit words that show genuine passion – something that every admissions officer loves to see – as well as have some fun with this essay.

Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please).

It’s not too often that colleges invite you to share an essay on whatever topic you feel would best represent you, but in this prompt, they do exactly that. If there were ever an essay prompt that allowed you to speak directly to the admissions office, this is it, so don’t just give them a throwaway essay – share an essay that represents your most authentic expression of self.

Since you have no set topic, this essay should be the one that makes your application jump off of the page. Perhaps you’re trying to hammer home some overarching theme in your application, or share an essay that you wrote for another app that isn’t included on the Carnegie Mellon University app. Maybe you’re even trying to explain some extenuating circumstances that the Common Application’s Additional Information section just couldn’t cover — it doesn’t matter what you ultimately choose, as long as the reader learns something new about you in an engaging way.

In my application to Carnegie Mellon University, I chose to share a modified version of my favorite supplement, an essay about my siblings that spoke to the importance of community — an overarching theme from my application. Although it wasn’t a very conventional supplement (in fact, it was structured more like a second, much shorter common app essay), it worked, because I wore my heart on sleeve, provided some new insight into my application, and spoke on a subject that I was passionate about.

Frankly, the admissions officers are really only going to know what you tell them about you on the application. So show them a side of you that they haven’t yet seen. Not only will these essays show that you are multidimensional, but, hopefully, you’ll end up sharing a piece that really matters to you beyond the college application process.

This Carnegie Mellon University essay guide was written by Austin Bennett, Stanford ‘24. If you want to get help writing your Carnegie Mellon application essays from Austin or other CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Experts , register with CollegeAdvisor.com today.

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5 Carnegie Mellon Essay Examples

What’s covered:, essay example #1 – computer science, essay example #2 – healthy self-definition, essay example #3 – future business major, essay example #4 – future international relations major.

  • Essay Example # 5 – Politics
  • Where to Get Your Carnegie Mellon Essay Edited

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a school with both impressive technical programs and outstanding creative programs. Because of the university’s multifaceted academic success and the tremendous opportunities students have after graduation, CMU is highly renowned and boasts a low acceptance rate.

In this post, we will go over essays real students have submitted to Carnegie Mellon. We will also share what each essay did well and where they could be improved to inspire your writing.   Names and identifying information have been changed, but all other details are preserved.

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our Carnegie Mellon essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

Prompt: Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity, or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieving your ultimate goal. As you think ahead to the process of learning during your college years, how will you define a successful college experience? (300 words)

7:30 am… As I open my eyes, I look at the pinboard in front of my bed. Written in red block letters are two of the many goals of my life: “Make life better and more independent for the Visually impaired; Inspire kids to explore the field of STEM, making them the future problem solvers.”

9:00 am… Keeping these goals afresh in mind, I freshen up and get ready for the first class of the day, 16-385 Computer Vision, with Professor Ioannis Gkioulekas. As he explains the Applications of Neural Networks in Object identification, a light bulb sparks in my mind: I can modify the head contraption of SPECULUR to identify objects in peripheral vision and alert the wearer via an earpiece using Text to Speech (TTS). 

1:00 pm… After class, I find myself at the CI2CV Lab for Computer Vision, where I brainstorm ways to implement my idea successfully. Frustrated after repeatedly getting bugs in my algorithm, I am surrounded by problem-hungry tartans ready to collaborate with me in no time.

3:00 pm… After lunch, I head off to the Gates and Hillman complex to meet up with Gavin Deiss, an executive board member at Teknowledge, as we discuss ways to open teacher positions for high school students. I propose, “We can include students from AiGoLearning India and teach them a global coding curriculum.”

For me, a successful college learning experience at CMU comprises many things like exploring the unparalleled curriculum, innovative labs, and facilities. However, above all is the resource of people, including my fellow tartans and scholarly professors. The diverse experiences and unique backgrounds they bring cannot be found anywhere else; hence I want to assimilate all the insights I can gather from them, during my time at CMU.

What the Essay Did Well

If you are looking for a way to play with the structure of your essay, this is a great way to go! By describing their ideal day at CMU, we get to see this student’s interests, motivations, aspirations, and drive. Not only that, the essay flows nicely and effortlessly transitions to new ideas by jumping ahead in the schedule.

When students try to employ this schedule-style of an essay they often just discuss their class schedule and maybe an extracurricular activity. This is good, but this student goes above by starting the essay in their dorm and clearly showing us what motivates them with their sticky notes: “ Make life better and more independent for the Visually impaired; Inspire kids to explore the field of STEM, making them the future problem solvers.”  They also include them working at a lab outside of class, which is a nice bridge between their academic and extracurricular interests.

Although they only highlight three opportunities at CMU, the level of detail and elaboration for each one is infinitely more important than a long list of classes and clubs. When they discuss the class, the student incorporates key topics from the class and explains an original idea they develop as a result of being in class. Notice how that’s a bit different than simply name-dropping the course and professor? We also get told about them finding bugs in the algorithm (a common experience that humanizes the student) and we get snippets of a conversation they have at their meeting.

The structure this student chose serves this essay very well until the final paragraph. Breaking from the established pattern of following a daily schedule abruptly disturbs the flow of the essay and makes the ending more mundane than the preceding paragraphs. To fix this, the student should have kept the same style throughout their response.

They don’t need to tell us “ a successful college learning experience at CMU comprises many things like exploring the unparalleled curriculum, innovative labs, and facilities, ” because we saw that in each paragraph. The important aspect of their conclusion is the “ resource of people ,” as they say. This could have been highlighted in a paragraph like this:

“ 8:00pm… Squished between friends from my Biomedical Engineering class and my badminton club on the couch in the common room, I take in the diverse perspectives all coming together to settle the argument of East Coast versus West Coast once and for all. Where else but here would I be a part of such a colorful community?

11:30pm… I drift off to sleep, excited to do it all again tomorrow. “

Prompt: Consider your application as a whole. What do you personally want to emphasize about your application for the admission committee’s consideration? Highlight something that’s important to you or something you haven’t had a chance to share. Tell us, don’t show us (no websites please). (300 words)

I will never forget the feeling I had in Kindergarten when I received a failing grade because I couldn’t answer the question “where do you live?” It was a simple question, one that my classmates answered with ease. I was, however, struck by the recounting of my private home life. The 2009 recession left my family homeless and broke, living in the basement of a close friend. While we were fortunate to have somewhere to sleep, my family, especially me, internalized the negative sentiments from everyone we knew at the time. While my Kindergarten teacher didn’t mean any harm, the question reinforced my feeling of inferiority. No matter what I said, there were serious diminutions to my character: being honest about my homelessness or being dishonest about my own circumstances. I ultimately responded with the latter, saying “I don’t know.”

That day, I accepted the failing grade, and this moment became a stepping stone to a now valuable trait: healthy self-definition. Healthy self-definition relies on improving the objective truths of myself and fixing lacking characteristics into better ones. Lying to my Kindergarten teacher wasn’t healthy nor ethical to do, but the action of choosing who I wanted to be sparked the desire for healthy self-definition throughout high school. For example, I redefined myself from a dispassionate pianist to an authentic music producer. I used track and field to redefine my lack of athleticism growing up and eventually became a top-three sophomore 400-meter hurdler at my school. I had extreme social anxiety, so I used the Tech in Music Club to redefine my social ability and practice leadership and public speaking skills. In all weak aspects of my character and identity, I improved and continue to improve through these healthy redefinitions. Like Kindergarten me, I refuse to be defined by my circumstances.

This essay’s main strength is its content. At its core, this essay tells a beautiful story where a student transformed tragic circumstances into tremendous self-growth. That is exactly the kind of student that a university wants to admit!

The prompt here is very open-ended. From the point of view of admissions, it asks “what else do you want to tell us?” To a student, this can be read as “what additional information will help us get to know you and want you ?” This student identified their ability to see weaknesses as opportunities for improvement—which they label “healthy self-definition”—as something CMU would want, then used a specific anecdote to show that ability.

In addition to the content, this student followed a tried-and-true essay structure that allowed for an engaging, yet reflective essay. Opening with an anecdote, looking back on the experience, explaining the broader implications, and then tying the conclusion back to the anecdote is a simple, but effective, structure to use for your essay.

What Could Be Improved 

While the anecdote/reflection structure can facilitate an engaging essay, this student falls flat with their static writing. Essentially, the story is engaging, but the way the student writes it doesn’t do it justice. It’s repetitive, confusing, and a bit boring at times.

For example, in the first paragraph, the following phrases and sentences are all getting at the same idea and could be condensed into one concise sentence:

  • “I was, however, struck by the recounting of my private home life.”
  • “…my family, especially me, internalized the negative sentiments from everyone we knew at the time…”
  • “…the question reinforced my feeling of inferiority…”

With regards to the second paragraph, the student introduces a value that they call “ healthy self-definition. ” When describing “ healthy self-definition, ” the student is simultaneously repetitive and unclear. The current writing requires too much energy on the part of the reader to parse through what is being said. If the student provided a concise definition of “healthy self-definition” before giving the examples from their life, this paragraph would work better. 

With some simple reorganization and more dynamic writing, the paragraph could be as follows:

“That’s when I established a personal value that I now call “healthy self-definition”—of course, it took about a decade for five-year-old me to figure out the name for my value. Healthy self-definition, at its core, means that I take time to identify my weaknesses, then redefine them as strengths. I acknowledge who I am, then find opportunities for improvement. 

I’m a dispassionate pianist, turned authentic music producer. I’m a struggling athlete, turned “top-three Cedar High hurdler.” I used to nervously linger at the back of club meetings, but now I run the very same meetings. No one could dare call me weak when I’m constantly redefining my weaknesses as strengths. Just like Kindergarten me, I will not be defined by my circumstances.”

Prompt: Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that’s developed over time – what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study? (300 words)

In fifth grade, my mother arranged a business for me and some friends. We must support a local business and donate our profits towards a good cause. Three ten-year-old kids, with money borrowed from our parents, purchased handmade crafts and ornaments made by disabled workers to resell. I led the operation. Scheduled for several weekends at a public market square, the commerce commenced. Despite my excitement running my first ever business, as the night arrived and the market awoke from its peaceful slumber, surging stranger anxiety stumped me. With adults swamping the space, my body unconsciously cowered. Embarrassment overwhelmed me, and I stood only able to stare at passing customers with my lips sewn shut. After the first night, three kids on the verge of tears sold two knitted dolls. My mother, sensing a crumbling business as its workers became paralyzed by fear, advised me, “As a leader, your job is to accomplish your goals not by yourself, but with your team.” Though not the typical cheers, my mother’s words roused the leader from within me. Wiping away my tears, I reconvened the team and restrategized. We assigned responsibilities: attracting customers, advertising, and collecting payments. Writing out our sales pitches and practicing with each other, we reunited with the sight of profits. The second weekend started: to every corner of the streets, we asked every possible customer. Our efforts paid off. At the end of that night, we sold out. Next weekend, us businessmen along with our parents went shopping using our profits. Looking at the Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, and model cars neatly wrapped, I proudly dropped the Christmas gifts at the local children’s cancer hospital. My first business endeavor taught me a crucial purpose of entrepreneurship: the ability to strengthen networks of people and make positive social changes.

This essay prompt is the classic “Why This Major?” essay,   which asks you to detail your interest in the field and your professional goals. The writer elaborates on their motivation to pursue entrepreneurship through a fitting anecdote about their first time leading a business.

The author shares genuine reasons that make entrepreneurship exciting to them, such as developing leadership skills and making positive social change. These are authentic reasons for pursuing their major that stay away from the superficial motives for pursuing a major such as money or prestige.

Additionally, throughout this entire essay the writer keeps their audience captivated by employing strong use of imagery. It almost feels as if one is right in the middle of the market with the writer as they struggle to navigate the chaos of the market. The line “Embarrassment overwhelmed me, and I stood only able to stare at passing customers with my lips sewn shut” makes the reader feel just as anxious as the author is in the moment. And it feels even better to the reader when the author sells out the entire stock of crafts and ornaments the following night and donates the money to charity. 

As the essay progresses, it’s hard not to wonder what is going to happen next, and the story strings together very nicely, despite having a limited word count. By the end of the essay, the reader has a better understanding of why this student has chosen to pursue entrepreneurship, because they have shared an exciting lived experience that captures the ups and downs of a fast-paced, turbulent major.

All in all, this essay was well written and the author’s point came across well. However, a few items could be slightly improved, including a few syntax errors, poor transition statements and slight thematic inconsistency. 

The second sentence of this essay “We must support a local business and donate our profits towards a good cause” appears a bit out of place and may be better suited in quotes as the mother appears to be speaking these lines. Alternatively, the writer could have rephrased to something like “We were tasked with supporting a local business…”

Similarly, in the last sentence, the author says their motivation for pursuing entrepreneurship is the “ability to strengthen networks of people,” when it may have been more succinct and less clunky to say something along the lines of “the ability to bring people together.”

Another area of improvement for the essay comes in the middle, when the author’s mother “roused the leader” within them. The author could have expanded on why their mother’s words roused them to overcome the daunting obstacle, but instead missed the opportunity to explain why they felt inspired to continue selling ornaments at the marketplace. The author may have even suggested that by overcoming their challenges at the market, they would accomplish their ultimate goal of donating their profits to charity, highlighting their sense of altruism.

The final sentence even states that the author intends to pursue entrepreneurship to make a positive social impact. However, in a thematic sense, this idea is not consistently present throughout the essay. If the author were to include more details about their desire and motivation to donate their profits to charity throughout the essay, this point would have been much more understandable.

Finally, the essay is hard to follow because it’s only one paragraph. The flow would’ve been improved if the author broke the essay up into a few shorter paragraphs.

At 8 years old, I learned that Democrats were donkeys and Republicans were elephants. By 11, I had decided which one I wanted to be. By 14, I discovered I didn’t have to be an elephant or a donkey—the political world was not black and white, but instead multifaceted with many moving parts. As I explored programming through high school, I learned how politics and computer science could be intertwined to enact change exponentially. For the Congressional App Challenge, I developed the winning app, which allows parents to sustainably trade outgrown children’s clothing. Everything in this process, from surveying real families with this need to perfecting the front end design, showed me how coding could easily be geared toward social progress. 

Beyond programming, interning for a state non-profit encouraging Muslims to participate in politics showed me the real potential of computational politics. Big data analysis was a common skill I utilized when encouraging people to vote in the 2022 general election. What furthered my interest was attending a Kode With Klossy event in New York City: I not only spent the day workshopping with Swift and iOS app development, but also heard the stories of activist Sofia Ongele, a pioneer for young women in STEM. 

Discussing sanctions and China’s Uyghur Muslim crisis with U.S. Representative Jim McGovern was my first look into the workings of international conflict resolution. The power systems behind diplomacy became a point of fascination for me. Whether it was marching miles chanting “No Justice, No Peace” in June 2020 or debating as Elizabeth Warren in my ninth grade mock democratic primary, I have taken every stride to involve myself politically. Majoring in international relations and politics and minoring in science, technology and society at Carnegie Mellon is the next step in furthering my involvement.

This essay is another great example of the “Why This Major?” archetype. The author shares why the intersection of technology and politics is the perfect fit for her, through her unique experiences and background.

The introduction is a captivating one, which follows her evolving understanding of politics. Starting with a simplistic view of “Democrats as donkeys and Republicans as elephants” at a young age, the writer matures and recognizes the complexity of the political landscape as she enters high school. This progression implicitly showcases her thoughtfulness and willingness to challenge existing beliefs which are critical to any career in politics and international relations.

Additionally, the essay adeptly integrates the realms of computer science and politics. The author provides a unique combination of academic interests that most applicants would otherwise shy away from. The writer’s successful development of an app for the Congressional App Challenge exemplifies her ability to utilize coding for social progress. By mentioning the process of surveying real families and refining the front-end design, the writer illustrates her comprehensive approach and shows how coding can be harnessed as a tool for enacting positive social change.

Finally, the author provides more unique experiences that reveal her true passions for politics and technology. She references her experiences during the 2022 election and Kode With Klossy events which each relied on bringing together both her academic interests. In the final paragraph, the author provides even more evidence to her experience in the political realm which drive home the point about her interest in her major as well as show accomplishments in a specific area which are hard to come by for most students.

From initial impressions, this essay is great at providing sufficient evidence as to why this author is pursuing international relations and politics with a minor in technology. However, one suggestion for this author, and general advice for any applicant, is not to fall into the trap of simply recapitulating all of one’s resume in an essay. This author has unfortunately used most of the 300 word count to list out her experiences and qualifications, but misses out on key opportunities to expand upon how these experiences have shaped her perspective and developed her interests over time.

In general, there is a lack of reflection on the lessons learned from the various experiences mentioned. While the writer describes her involvement in protests, debates, and internships, there is limited discussion of the personal growth and insights gained from these activities. The author has experiences including “ winning the Congressional App Challenge, to marching miles chanting ‘No Justice, No Peace’ in June 2020 or debating as Elizabeth Warren in [her] ninth grade mock democratic primary,” which could all be powerful standalone experiences for a 300-word essay. Adding a reflective element to the essay would provide a deeper understanding of the writer’s development and demonstrate their ability to learn from their experiences.

For example, the author could remove a few activities from her essay and  expand upon the experience of winning the Congressional App Challenge, discussing her thought process and emotions during the development of the app, or the impact it had based on feedback from families.  Here’s an example of an excerpt that would’ve made this section stronger:

“I decided to use the app for myself to clear out the bags of my younger brother’s baby clothes in the basement. A young immigrant mother responded to my post, saying that she hadn’t been able to afford properly-fitting baby clothes for her toddler son. A week after she picked up the bags, the mother returned with her giggly son in his ‘new’ clothing. The mother was full of gratitude, and I was just as grateful for this experience as it showed me the direct impact coding could have on improving real lives and making social progress.”

By incorporating specific examples and adding reflective elements, the essay would become more compelling, allowing the reader to better understand the writer’s experiences and their personal growth. These adjustments would enhance the overall quality of the essay and provide a vivid and engaging narrative.

Essay Example #5 – Politics

At Carnegie Mellon, I see myself defining a college experience in which I can widen my career goals in politics and learn from real-world experiences. D.C. is where I hope to work following college, as there is no place better than our capitol to explore the inner workings of decision-making in government. Through CMU’s Washington Semester Program (WSP), I aim to intern with a member of Congress to expand my understanding of the legislative process and gain experience in the nation’s center of politics. This orientation into Washington and chance to meet leaders and alumni at top think tanks would allow me to connect with all the working parts of public policy, encapsulating everything I wish to take from college. 

Immersing myself in the relevant and multifaceted courses at the Institute of Politics and Strategy is how I plan to take my learning to the next step at CMU. Electives like “Implementing Public Policy: From Good Idea to Reality” and “In the News” intrigue me; they tie in law and journalism with politics, contextualizing it in a realistic and applicable sphere. 

I hope to conduct research to delve deeper into what I’m passionate about and ripen my goal of effecting change. Under esteemed criminologist and public policy expert Professor Daniel Nagin, I see an opportunity to conduct actionable research on race and incarceration. I want to discuss the disparities in Pennsylvania’s fast growing prison populations itself and develop my paper “Slavery is Flourishing Under the U.S. Prison System.”

Expanding my learning doesn’t end with academics, however. I am eager to explore the diverse community at CMU, and start a cultural literary magazine for all students to share their lived experiences about their heritage through art, writing, and overall self-expression.

This prompt is basically the “ Why This College? ” essay presented in a different way. The goals of the prompt are the same, however: it’s asking you what makes CMU the perfect school for you, and how you will make the most of its resources to have a successful education.

This student clearly has an interest in politics, detailing specifics such as their hopes to pursue an internship, undertake course work, and do research to further their education. They show that they’ve done their research on why CMU is a fit for them, by mentioning unique resources at the college.

Furthermore, the author does a great job of providing additional information as to why they would like to pursue the activities they’ve researched. They explain how CMU’s WSP will teach them about the legislative process, how their classes will tie in law and journalism, and how their research will deepen their understanding of race and incarceration. Providing this level of detail helps admissions officers understand what this student values and is hoping to learn through their education at CMU.

Writing-wise, the student also makes sure to use varied sentence structure and smooth transitions, making the essay easy to read.

The objective of this essay is two-fold: 1) what do you hope to accomplish in your undergraduate degree program, and 2) how CMU is uniquely equipped to help you realize your goals.

The essay does a great job in answering question #1, but could do more to address the latter. We know why the student is interested in the resources they mention, but we don’t know how those things will help them reach their overarching academic and career goals. 

In fact, we don’t even know what those overarching goals are: does this student want to become a political journalist, politician, or something else? It’s okay if you’re undecided, but you should at least share some potential options, rather than simply saying that you’re interested in a broad field (like “politics”), which feels unfocused.

The student should also move the section about CMU’s program in D.C. to later in the essay, as having it right at the beginning makes it seem like they’re more interested in spending time in D.C. than on CMU’s campus in Pittsburgh.

Additionally, the final paragraph, about the student’s hope to start a cultural literary magazine,  feels unrelated to the rest of the essay, which is focused on their political interests. If they wanted to include this detail, they should’ve introduced it earlier, to give themselves time to connect it to their other ideas.

Where to Get Your Carnegie Mellon Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your Carnegie Mellon essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

carnegie mellon common app essay

  • Graduate programs

Apply to the MSE graduate program

  • Request more information
  • Graduate Application Support Program (GrASP)
  • Ph.D.: October 1 - January 8
  • M.S.: October 1 - January 15
  • Ph.D.: June 15 - August 31

Prospective students must be a graduate of materials science and engineering or a related discipline at a recognized university with better than a B average. Admission is based on overall academic performance and potential.

A completed application will include the following:

  • Non-refundable application fee of $75 USD (this fee cannot be waived or deferred)
  • The  online application form
  • Ph.D. - 3 required
  • Master's - 1 required, 1 optional 
  • Uploaded unofficial transcripts (Official transcripts will be requested upon admission)
  • Essay questions
  • English proficiency exam (for non-native English speakers; see requirements below)

The Graduate Admissions Committee thoroughly reviews each complete application and considers each applicant exclusively for the degree program to which they have applied.

The Graduate Admissions Office does not prescreen any application materials prior to the submission of your application. Also, the office will not advise applicants as to whether they should or should not submit an application.

CMU Rales Fellows

This distinctive and transformative program is dedicated to developing a diverse community of exceptionally talented national STEM leaders from underrepresented or underresourced backgrounds by eliminating cost as a barrier to graduate education.

Submitting your application materials

All required materials should be uploaded into the application form . You should request English proficiency exam score reports be sent electronically to the department. It is acceptable for letters of recommendation to arrive after the application submission deadline. 

Unofficial transcripts

Transcripts will be marked “unofficial” even if you have uploaded an official copy of your transcripts directly into the application. The Admissions Committee will review the unofficial transcripts that have been uploaded directly. It is not necessary to submit an official transcript until you have been requested to do so.

Recommendation letters

The most informative recommendations are written by those for whom you have done technical work or research similar to the type you will do as a graduate student in our program. Most often, this will be a professor in engineering or science with whom you have taken a course with a significant project component, or an undergraduate (or master’s) thesis advisor. Depending on how long it has been since you have been out of school, some combination of one or two professors and one or two work supervisors is the most common choice.

English proficiency exam

As an applicant, an English proficiency exam is required for non-native English speakers. The department accepts TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo scores (must be sent electronically to the university from the company).  Applicants who are non-native English speakers can receive a requirement waiver if they have or will complete a four-year undergraduate program at a university within the United States before the start of the first term they are enrolled.

Score requirements

Submitting your scores.

  • TOEFL Institution code is  2074

IELTS + DUOLINGO send your scores to:  Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering, 431 Hamerschlag Drive, Ansys Hall Suite 250, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The essay section is important and application reviewers read every word of it during the review process. It should be thoughtful, informative, and written in crisp, clear English. It should show that you have thought about your research interests and motivations, future professional goals, and interest in outreach, as well as diversity equity, and inclusion. The essay field on the application will allow for 500 words. Do not copy whole sections of our catalogue or faculty bios, web pages, etc. into your statement of purpose. Suggest a few possible projects that might interest you, but do not limit yourself to a single, narrowly-defined project.

Check out CMU’s schedule of classes

Financial support

Doctoral students generally receive financial support for their tuition and stipend from fellowships, traineeships, government grants, graduate assistantships, or scholarships. The vast majority of graduate assistantships that cover a stipend and tuition are paid for by competitive external research grants. Hence, continued financial assistance for doctoral students is contingent upon both satisfactory research progress and academic performance.

Checking the status of your application

Please sign into your  graduate application  to check the status. This site is updated when material is received and decisions are made, so please feel free to check your status frequently during peak admission season.

Reapplying if not admitted

Your  completed  application may be reconsidered for the next concurrent semester after your original application semester. If you would like your application to be reconsidered, send an email to  [email protected]  stating your intentions. 

Statement of Assurance

Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, ancestry, belief, veteran status, or genetic information. Furthermore, Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate and is required not to discriminate in violation of federal, state or local laws or executive orders.

Inquiries concerning the application of and compliance with this statement should be directed to the university ombudsman, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, telephone 412.268.1018.

Obtain general information about Carnegie Mellon University by calling 412.268.2000.

Carnegie Mellon University publishes an annual campus security and fire safety report describing the university’s security, alcohol and drug, sexual assault and fire safety policies, and containing statistics about the number and type of crimes committed on the campus, and the number and cause of fires in campus residence facilities during the preceding three years. You can obtain a copy by contacting the Carnegie Mellon Police Department at 412-268-2323. The annual security and fire safety report also is available online at www.cmu.edu/police/annualreports .

Information regarding the application of Title IX, including to admission and employment decisions, the sexual misconduct grievance procedures and process, including how to file a report or a complaint of sex discrimination, how to file a report of sexual harassment, and how the university responds to such reports is available at www.cmu.edu/title-ix . The Title IX coordinator may be reached at 5000 Forbes Ave., 140 Cyert Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; 412-268-7125; or [email protected] .

For more information regarding the statement of assurance please visit www.cmu.edu/policies/administrative-and-governance/statement-of-assurance.html .

IMAGES

  1. Common App Essay Prompts 2021-22

    carnegie mellon common app essay

  2. Carnegie Mellon Essay Example: Breakdown + Analysis

    carnegie mellon common app essay

  3. The Common App Essay Example for 2020

    carnegie mellon common app essay

  4. How to Write the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essay

    carnegie mellon common app essay

  5. What should I write about in the Common App Essay

    carnegie mellon common app essay

  6. Carnegie Mellon Common App Supplement Essay

    carnegie mellon common app essay

COMMENTS

  1. Admission Consideration

    At Carnegie Mellon, we treat every applicant as an individual, taking great care to make our admission decisions fair, thorough and sensitive. Learn more about what we consider, including grades, curriculum rigor, performance, recommendations, essays, testing, activities, passions and more. ... We also consider your Common Application essay and ...

  2. How to Write the Carnegie Mellon University Essays 2023-2024

    Read these Carnegie Mellon essay examples to inspire your own writing. Carnegie Mellon University Supplemental Essay Prompts Prompt 1 (required): Most students choose their intended major or area of study based on a passion or inspiration that's developed over time - what passion or inspiration led you to choose this area of study? (300 words)

  3. 4 Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essay Examples (2023)

    Carnegie Mellon Essay Example #1 Prompt: Emphasize About Your Application

  4. Undergraduate Admission Requirements

    Carnegie Mellon doesn't accept supplemental submissions, such as resumes, artwork, portfolios, recording or websites. We encourage you to use the Common Application, along with the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays, to highlight experiences or activities that have enhanced or defined your personal growth during high school.

  5. 4 Tips for Stand-Out Carnegie Mellon Essays

    In addition to the personal statement you must write for the Common App (for which you get to select one out of seven possible prompts), Carnegie Mellon requires all applicants to submit three supplemental essays; these essays make up the Carnegie Mellon Supplement.

  6. College Essay Guides

    The Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays are available on the Common App site. You can also visit the Carnegie Mellon admissions page to view the Carnegie Mellon essay prompts as well as a full list of application requirements. How many essays are required for Carnegie Mellon?

  7. Carnegie Mellon University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    No Time To Lose! The Carnegie Mellon University Deadline Countdown is on: Regular Decision Deadline: Jan 3 We can help you draft in time for submission! Carnegie Mellon University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations The Requirements: 3 short essays of 300 words Supplemental Essay Type (s): Why, Short Answer

  8. Apply

    Please review our application plans and deadlines and our admission requirements. Applicants to the Schools of Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music should also review our College of Fine Arts applicant information. Please note that the Schools of Drama and Music have an earlier Regular Decision application deadline of December 1.

  9. 2023-2024 Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essay Prompts

    CMU requires applicants to write three essays (in addition to The Common Application 's Personal Statement). Each essay has a 300-word maximum. So, what are this year's CMU essays? Let's find out! 2023-2024 Carnegie Mellon University Essay Topics and Questions 1.

  10. Carnegie Mellon University

    Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. Option 1. Some students have a background, identity, interest ...

  11. How to Write the Carnegie Mellon Supplement 2021-2022

    This essay is essentially asking for your origin story—why do you want to study what you want to study? You need to identify a major for this essay, even if you're personally not sure what you want to do.

  12. Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays 2023-24

    There are three Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays in 2023-24. We offer CMU hopefuls tips for each prompt.

  13. Apply to Carnegie Mellon University

    Private Urban Medium (2,001 to 14,999) Co-Ed Test Optional/Flexible - First Year Carnegie Mellon University is a world-class, innovative university rich with tradition and culture. With more than 90 majors and minors across six undergraduate colleges, we collaborate across disciplines to make real change that benefits all of humankind.

  14. How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Carnegie Mellon Essay Prompts

    Reviewed by Bill Jack Edited by Maria Geiger Updated: October 10th, 2023 Carnegie Mellon is one of the nation's top universities. With a 14% acceptance rate, CMU surely gets top applicants each year. If you want to rise above the rest, the Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays are your chance.

  15. Carnegie Mellon University Supplemental Essays 2023-24

    In addition to your Common Application personal statement, Carnegie Mellon University requires applicants to respond to three Carnegie Mellon essay prompts. These Carnegie Mellon supplemental essays should be under 300 words and will explore your academic interests, learning process, and personal interests.

  16. PDF 2022

    COMMON APPLICATION • Engineering & Arts* Carnegie Mellon uses the Common Application exclusively. Use of the Common Application is governed by the license agreement for Common Application forms, a copy of which is displayed at commonapp.org. • We accept fee waivers from students who meet one of the indicators of economic need as

  17. Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays 2022-2023

    September 25, 2022 By AdmissionSight Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays 2022-2023 When it comes to applying to the top schools in the country, your application is vitally important. In order to give yourself the best chance of gaining admission, you need to make sure all aspects of your application are top notch.

  18. Carnegie Mellon University Essay Guide 2020-2021

    Carnegie Mellon University Essay Guide 2020-2021 Austin Bennett In this Carnegie Mellon University essay guide, we'll be diving into some tips to help future applicants best represent themselves in the Carnegie Mellon University supplemental essays.

  19. How to Write the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essay

    What are the Carnegie Mellon supplemental essay prompts? How to write each supplemental essay prompt for Carnegie Mellon Prompt #1: "Why major" essay Prompt #2: "Why us" essay Prompt #3: "Additional information" essay

  20. Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays 2023-2024

    These essays are an integral part of the application process, giving applicants the opportunity to showcase their individual strengths and aspirations in relation to what CMU offers. What are the Carnegie Mellon Supplemental Essays 2023-2024? Prompt #1

  21. 5 Carnegie Mellon Essay Examples

    Essay Example #1 - Computer Science Prompt: Many students pursue college for a specific degree, career opportunity, or personal goal. Whichever it may be, learning will be critical to achieving your ultimate goal.

  22. Admission Process

    Common Application Essay Carnegie Mellon Common Application Writing Supplement 3 years mathematics*§ 1 year science (2 years or more preferred) Activities, experiences and passions extracurricular accomplishments, part-time jobs, hobbies and community service

  23. Apply to the MSE graduate program

    IELTS + DUOLINGO send your scores to: Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering, 431 Hamerschlag Drive, Ansys Hall Suite 250, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Essay. The essay section is important and application reviewers read every word of it during the review process. It should be thoughtful, informative, and written in crisp, clear English.

  24. PDF Writing a Transfer Essay

    Writing a Transfer Essay Transferring to a different university can be a stressful process. The transfer essay, which is usually 500-words, is one of the most important features of your transfer application. The essay is your chance to show an admissions officer their school is the right fit for you.