Application Plans & Deadlines

Carnegie Mellon has several application plans to choose from. Please review each plan to decide which is the best for you.

Early Decision

Early Decision is a binding application plan for students who view Carnegie Mellon as their first choice university. You’ll be notified of our admission decision early in your senior year. 

Early Decision Deadline*

Deadline: November 1
Notified by: December 15
Enroll by: February 1

*Early Decision is not available for acting, directing, dramaturgy, music theater or the School of Music. 

Early Decision Instructions

Under Early Decision:

  • If you’re admitted to Carnegie Mellon, we expect you to enroll.
  • You can apply to only one college within the university.
  • Three decisions can be given: admit, deny or defer to Regular Decision.
  • You must agree to withdraw applications previously submitted to other institutions, in any country, when notified of Early Decision acceptance granted at Carnegie Mellon. To do this, please complete and submit our Early Decision Agreement along with the rest of your application. 
  • You're not able to compare financial aid packages between Carnegie Mellon and other universities you may have applied to.

Note about November standardized tests for Early Decision applicants:
It's strongly preferred that Early Decision applicants complete all standardized testing by November 1. If there are circumstances that have led you to take a test after November 1, in the month of November, make sure you've indicated the future test you're taking on the Common Application. The Office of Admission will do our best to wait until these scores arrive before making an admission decision, however this will cause a delay in the review of your application. December testing is too late for Early Decision consideration.

Regular Decision

Regular Decision is the most common plan used by students who apply to Carnegie Mellon. It’s common for students to apply Regular Decision to a number of institutions and then compare financial aid offers.

Regular Decision Deadlines

Application Plan: Regular Decision
Deadline: January 4
Notified by: no later than April 1
Enroll by: May 1

Application Plan: Regular Decision for Schools of Drama and Music
Deadline: December 1
Notified by: no later than April 1
Enroll by: May 1

If you're applying to the School(s) of Architecture, Art, Design, Drama or Music, please view our fine arts admission requirements. For fine arts students, it’s advantageous to apply earlier in the process in order secure auditions or portfolio review appointments.

*If Regular Decision applicants want to change their application plan to Early Decision, they may do so by completing this form until January 15. They will be required to submit an Early Decision Agreement. If they made the switch after December 12, a decision will generally be available in their Where Am I in the Process? portal within one week of application completion. Changing from Regular to Early Decision isn't available for applicants to the Schools of Design, Drama and Music. Applicants to the Schools of Architecture and Art may be approved to switch on a case-by-case basis.

Early Admission

Early Admission is for highly qualified juniors in high school who apply to Carnegie Mellon a year early. It’s ideal for mature, responsible juniors who’ve exhausted the courses offered at their high schools and taken all required standardized testing.

Early Admission Deadline

Deadline: January 1
Notified by: No later than April 15
Enroll by: May 1

Please be aware that:

  • A high school diploma isn't required at time of application, though we encourage you to make arrangements to receive either a diploma from your high school by the end of your freshman year at Carnegie Mellon, or a General Education Diploma (GED). Without a high school diploma or GED, students cannot receive federal financial aid.
  • Applicants under the age of 17 must contact the Dean of Student Affairs Office to discuss housing, services and resources available.
  • You must be at least 16 years old in order to reside in university housing.
Transfer Admission

Each year, Carnegie Mellon admits a small number of transfer students, where space permits. The policy for transferring does vary from college to college within Carnegie Mellon, so please review our deadlines below, as well as the transfer application instructions carefully.

Transfer Deadlines

Application Plan: Spring Transfer (Engineering/DC/IS/MCS/TPR/SCS)*
Deadline: October 15**
Notified by: December 15 or soon after
Enroll by: January 1

Application Plan: Fall Transfer (Engineering/DC/IS/MCS/TPR/SCS)
Deadline: February 15*
Notified by: May 15
Enroll by: June 1

Application Plan: Fall Transfer Fine Arts
Deadline: December 1 for drama and music, January 1 for architecture, art and design
Notified by: April 1
Enroll by: May 1

* Spring transfers must have completed a semester of college by the application deadline in order to apply for admission
** All supporting documents must be received by March 15 (fall transfer) or November 1 (spring transfer).