Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is also featured in our ranking Top 50 Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology.

Carnegie Mellon Psychology Degrees with Real World Impact

The undergraduate psychology programs at Carnegie Mellon University stress the practical applications of the discipline and the undergirding of research necessary for this approach. There are two psychology bachelor's degrees, two bachelor's degrees in related fields and an undergraduate dual major available through the Department of Psychology. The department has several state-of-the-art labs and a childhood center that offer study opportunities for students. The thing that sets Carnegie Mellon's programs apart is the focus on the student's acquisition of knowledge and on innovative ideas for research and competence in research methods. The university also stresses the application of psychology to industry and other areas.

The Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology both require:

• two semesters of both calculus and statistics sequences

• four psychology survey courses

• two research methodology courses

• two advanced psychology courses

• A computer programming course

• Two science courses (the department recommends biology)

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology requires two additional science courses.

The degree can be customized to concentrations in Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Health Psychology or Cognitive Neuroscience. In addition to the Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology, students may earn a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science or a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.

The dual degree is a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biological Sciences. It is offered because Carnegie Mellon recognizes the connectivity between the fields indicated by current research. The requirements for that program are:

• Two semesters of sequencing each in statistics and calculus

• Five introductory science courses

• One course in computer programming

• Four psychological surveys including requisite surveys Introduction to Psychology and Biological Foundations of Behavior

• Four core classes in biology

• Five courses in laboratory/research methods

• Six advanced psychology or biology electives

About Carnegie Mellon

This private university was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1900 as the Carnegie Technical School. In 1912, it became the Carnegie Institute of Technology and operated under that name until 1967 when it merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to become Carnegie Mellon University. Known as a global research institute, the university is composed of seven colleges : the College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, Tepper College of Business, H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy and the School of Computer Science. Through these schools, the university offers 122 undergraduate degree programs. The school has a student body of 13,650. Its student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1 and most classes have less than 20 students. Carnegie Mellon is very selective, but it has an impressive 75 percent four-year graduation rate. The US News and World Report ranks this school as #25 of National Universities. The Department of Psychology has been in existence for 100 years. It prides itself on the practical aspects of the discipline as the school has helped start several companies and has participated in the development of cognitive tutoring machines.

Carnegie Mellon Accreditation Details

• Middle States Association of the Higher Education Commission

• American Psychological Association

Carnegie Mellon Application Requirements

Students applying as freshmen should complete the online Common Application. This includes an application essay and a personal statement. In addition, students must provide:

• Application fee of $75

• Official SAT/ACT scores submitted by the testing agency

• Official high school transcript

• Counselor evaluation

• Teacher recommendation

Students who apply as graduates should complete the appropriate form for the school that houses their desired degree program. In addition, they must submit:

• Application fee of $75

• Three letters of recommendation

• Official transcripts of all undergraduate coursework

• Statement of purpose

• Resume/CV


Graduate students should note that all applicants are required to take the GRE and submit that score. The university will not accept hard copies of any requested document.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The undergraduate cost of attendance at Carnegie Mellon is $72,283 per year. This includes tuition and fees of $54,264, room and board at $13,784, an estimated cost of $2,400 for books and supplies and $485 in other expenses. Graduate tuition differs by school and department, but for the Department of Psychology, the cost-of-attendance is calculated to be $68,183 per year. That figure includes $44,050 tuition and fees, $9,364 for room and board and $2,212 for books and supplies, as well as other personal expenses.

Students who find they cannot pay for their degree without assistance are in the majority. Most students need financial assistance to get higher education. The first step in obtaining this help is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance or FAFSA form. This government program uses information about the financial status of a student and his family to award grants, student loans and work-study opportunities. The most familiar federal grant is probably the Pell Grant. Students who do not qualify for "free" money may be awarded a low interest student loan. The FAFSA program also gives loans to parents of students so that they may assist their children in paying college bills.

Pennsylvania offers grants and scholarships to residents seeking higher education. Among these are the Pennsylvania State Grant, The Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant, the PATH Grant and the Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program Grant. The last grant is money made available to individuals seeking careers in energy, agriculture and food production or advanced materials and diversified manufacturing. These grants are all awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Carnegie Mellon also has scholarships and grants like the Presidential Scholarship available to individuals who show academic excellence. These are also awarded "in the context" of financial need. Additionally, there are outside scholarships and grants that are funded by private individuals, service organizations and some corporate entities. These can be found by searching scholarships on the Internet.

Most students still have debt after exhausting their "free money" (money which does not have to be repaid). The average remaining student debt after applying scholarships and grants is 86 percent, according to some sources. To cover this remaining balance, students can take out student loans. These are loans that have a low interest rate and allow students to defer repayment until after they graduate. Another option is work-study programs that feature limited work schedules and have caps on the amount that may be earned, or even part-time employment. Using credit cards or secured loans to cover student debt should be a last resource for Carnegie Mellon University students.