Setting Sail: Carnegie Mellon Student Community

Fall opportunities for school spirit & engagement

campus life

Fall is a great time for new Carnegie Mellon undergraduates to jumpstart their transformation into proud Tartans. From the activity-packed Orientation Week and Scotty Saturday, to multiple sporting events that occur over the course of the fall, students have many opportunities to exhibit their school spirit.

Orientation Week
Each year, more than 1,500+ high school graduates join our Tartan community during new student orientation, a weeklong immersion in a whirlwind of activities on campus and in Pittsburgh. Orientation is designed to help students get to know the university, the city and, most importantly, each other.

Among the highlights of Carnegie Mellon's Orientation Week is Playfair - billed as "the largest icebreaker ever" - where students and staff gather on "The Cut," the grassy area outside the Cohon University Center, for games, activities and mingling. After settling down in their first-year student residences and meeting their housemates and housefellow, students participate in other activities, such as engaging in a discussion about how Carnegie Mellon can help them "achieve [their] childhood dreams," using the late Carnegie Mellon professor and alumnus Randy Pausch's book The Last Lecture, which this spring will celebrate its 10th anniversary since originally published. 

To be a Tartan, you have to learn about many of the things Pittsburgh offers; so students have the opportunity to go on guided tours through different nearby city neighborhoods, including Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Oakland, and discover the many great amenities the city offers.

Craig Street Crawl
Each year in late August before the start of classes, Carnegie Mellon takes over Craig Street, closing an entire block to celebrate the upcoming academic year with live music, food tasting from Craig Street eateries, dancing and other fun activities. The Craig Street Crawl allows students to join a massive block party and explore Carnegie Mellon's nearest off-campus restaurants and shops, which offer free treats and giveaways that provide students a sampling of things they can find in the business district. If students are lucky, they can have a picture taken with our very own Scotty Dog!

Scotty Saturday
Scotty Saturday is a day in which Carnegie Mellon students come together to celebrate pride in their university through a series of events, including a showcase of student talent, spirited activities, opportunities for exposure of student groups, as well as free goods and Carnegie Mellon swag. A family-friendly festival is the highlight of Scotty Saturday featuring a photobooth, large inflatables and an Andrew Carnegie impersonator. 

The beloved tradition was created by students a year ago, and it's meant to unite students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends.

"Our teams picked up right where they left off last year - competing with the best teams in the country and reflecting the excellence that defines our university on their respective fields of play. Most importantly, our student-athletes are performing at high levels in their academic disciplines, and impacting our community in a positive way." - Josh Centor, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Athletics

Fall Athletics
Whether cheering for the Tartans football team in Gesling Stadium, watching our basketball teams tear up the court in Skibo Gymnasium, or spectating our nationally ranked soccer teams dominate the Soccer Field, Carnegie Mellon students have ample opportunities to dress in Tartan plaid, cheer for our athletic teams and celebrate school spirit in the fall. Here's a complete list of Carnegie Mellon's fall athletics:


  • Men's football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Women's volleyball
  • Cross country


A member of the University Athletic Association, Carnegie Mellon has 19 intercollegiate teams, and there are 20+ club sports and 25+ intramural sports, including over 2,000 participants. 





Community Engagement and Collaboration
From the very moment first-year students step onto Carnegie Mellon's campus, they are initiated into the culture that defines the university's values: engagement and collaboration. Whether through participation in time-honored traditions such as the activities offered during Orientation Week, Craig Street Crawl and athletics, or in the classroom, students collaborate by sharing their diverse experiences, ideas and values with peers and others, making an impact on campus and in the surrounding community.

The Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, and Civic Engagement (SLICE) helps facilitate such opportunities, and also provides support, advising and guidance to student-run organizations and students, who are looking to create their own student life experience. 

Follow the Office of Admission on Instagram and Facebook for snapshots of student life here on campus.