- Class: Senior
- Major: Engineering
- Gender: M
- High School: Carrick High School
- Transfer Student: N
In a nutshell, CMU is a great place to go to school. It's located in Pittsburgh's Oakland region which is not-to-far but not-to-close to Downtown Pittsburgh. Oakland is also home to the University of Pittsburgh, among other colleges/universities, so it is in a pretty college-age friendly area. Oakland is also home to the Carnegie Musuem of Natural History, which is a fun place to visit from time-to-time since it is constantly changing -- and FREE for all CMU students. In addition to all the great aspects of Oakland, it is possible to explore the City of Pittsburgh (and its surroundings) with your CMU ID card since it grants you free and unlimited access to the region's public transportation system. So, you can head over to one of Pittsburgh's great sporting arenas/parks and see the local team play or to the Carnegie Science Center for a more casual outing. As for CMU itself, I cannot express how wonderful the atmosphere of the campus is. There are going-ons all the time -- all you have to do is find them. The size of the school is one of its best features. The smaller university setting gives you a chance to develop relationships with other students, as well as faculty and staff on campus. When people are told I'm a CMU student (at the risk of sounding egocentric and snobbish here) the reaction is usually along the lines of admiration. This is due to CMU's reputation of providing a quality education which helps to produce modivated students who are considered above average, in terms of quality. As for an unusual niche that CMU has, well it's just too hard to explain in words -- but at CMU we call it Carnival -- which comprises (mainly) of two things -- booth and buggy. Booth allows organizations/groups of students to literally construct massive carnival booths that are meant to inspire and impress (which they most certainly do). Buggy on the other hand is a racing competition that is truly one-of-a-kind, from what I can gather. Students build these "buggies" and race against one another in a soapbox-like, but oh-so-much-better manner. Young women are literally encapsulated in the buggy and pushed up and down hills; it sounds crazy, I know, but you'd have to see it to believe it and truly understand it.
As far as academics go, CMU is truly a powerhouse. The classes at CMU are challenging, but in a good way. They push students to truly reach their full potentials, through a variety of ways. Engineering classes often have everything from homeworks, exams, midterms and finals, to lab work and lab reports. While professors vary, overall CMU professors seem to have a knack at getting students to participate during lectures (maybe to keep us awake, but either way it seems to work). And most make a point to learn every one of their student's names...even some of the larger lecturing professors (but those are fewer and farther between). Outside of class, students are known to be working on projects that can span across disciplines. However, it is far from uncommon to see students studying on campus -- both in- and outdoors. Students are even able to see meet with their professors outside of the classroom, although typically that depends on both the individual student and the individual professor. Overall, I'd say CMU is definitely a great academic school that prepares you for the "real world." It challenges you, but the rewards that you are able to reap because of the challenges CMU presents are able to be seen even before graduating.
CMU's student body is a rather unique student body. As far as race goes, CMU has just about every hue in the color spectrum colored (well naturally occurring skin tone colors, that is). As mentioned before, all of CMU students are intelligent -- in one area or another. Don't expect to be the know-it-all here, because someone else will surely know more than you on one topic, but you may know more than them on another. And CMU's student body is pretty diverse about everything...from race, gender, and sexuality to political opinions and finanical backgrounds.
The Best Things
The people you'll meet -- the atmosphere as a whole
The Worst Things
The athletics at CMU aren't huge (when compared to Ohio State, Texas, Pitt, etc)