Carnegie Mellon University is a consistently top-ranking institution that began as a small technical school and has blossomed into one of the most prestigious global research facilities. Its early roots are reflected in its strong programs in computer science and technology, but the university also includes schools of business, public policy, science, fine arts, and humanities and social sciences. Carnegie Mellon has always been committed to using ground-breaking research to search for solutions to modern problems. The Pittsburgh campus was founded by philanthropist and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, whose motto, “my heart is in the work,” is reflected in Carnegie Mellon’s rigorous academic standards and original, multidisciplinary research. In fact the institution just launched a campaign to raise $1billion towards supporting innovative professors and students with scholarships and research grants. Students can expect a high-quality education as well as many opportunities to research right alongside their professors.
Carnegie Mellon has a dynamic student body that participates in a wide range of activities from intramural and Division III sports to student publications and Greek organizations. With 130 student organizations to participate in, students keep busy both in and outside the classroom. In one of the school’s most beloved traditions, these organizations compete by racing homemade “buggies” at the spring carnival Sweepstakes Race.
The culture of Carnegie Mellon has a distinctly Scottish flair, reflecting the heritage of its founder. It is one of the few U.S. institutions to offer a degree in bagpipes, and the Carnegie Mellon Pipe Band performs at many formal events, while the Kiltie Band entertains the crowds at football games in full Scottish regalia. The school’s mascot is a Scottish terrier.
Carnegie Mellon has something unique amongst college distance learning programs: the Open Learning Initiative, which offers free online courses and academic materials for students who are not earning credits. These include classes in statistics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, economics, and more. Distance learning is also used to earn full course credit towards various degrees. For example, students can earn a Master of Science and Information Technology; Carnegie Mellon was ranked#1 in this department by the US News & World Report. Similarly, online classes can contribute towards degrees in systems engineering, or towards a Master of Business Administration from the prestigious Tepper School of Business. The FlexMode MBA program offers an identical curriculum to the on-site Pittsburg campus course, but conducts live, interactive video conferences at corporate locations so that employees can continue to work while enhancing their education.
Many of Carnegie Mellon’s degrees combine campus and online classes, such as the Master of Medical Management, which includes four on-site and nine online classes. Similarly, companies can offer their employees continuing education through Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute. Online classes often include filmed lectures on DVD with multimedia features such as keyword searches, transcripts, and Power Point, as well as using Blackboard to simulate class discussion. Online courses are highly interactive and are equally challenge as their on-campus counterparts.