The Impact of COVID-19: FAQs

COVID-19 has impacted so many aspects of our lives for the foreseeable future, and we know you've had to make significant adjustments during this unprecedented time. Given all the changes and disruptions our prospective students are dealing with, the Office of Admission is committed to offering flexibility and understanding as you move through the admission process.

Because we know you may be unsure of how some of these changes will impact the admission process, we've provided answers to some questions you may have below. Please know our admission staff is also here to help with any questions or concerns you may have. You can reach our office via LiveChat, email or phone during normal business hours.

All of us at Carnegie Mellon want to send our best wishes to you and your loved ones, and we hope you're staying safe and healthy. While there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty at the moment, it truly reveals how interconnected we really are. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Will Fall 2021 applicants be expected to submit standardized test scores?

For those applying to join the Fall 2021 first-year class and beyond, SAT Subject Tests are neither required nor recommended, and these scores won’t be considered in our admission review process.

We recognize the diminishing opportunities to take the SAT and ACT as a result of COVID-19. While we‘re actively monitoring the remaining availability of standard administrations of the SAT and ACT, we want to emphasize that we don’t expect students to take an at home version of these tests. We’re committed to making a final decision regarding a potential test optional policy for Fall 2021 applicants by July 15.

I wasn’t able to take my IB/AP exam; how will this impact my application?

If you were are unable to take your Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam(s) this year, this won't affect your admission decision. AP/IB examinations aren't required for applicants but can be used for credit. At Carnegie Mellon, each college or school has its own curriculum and thus decides how AP or IB exams contribute toward your degree. Carnegie Mellon may grant advanced placement and credit for 4's and 5's on AP exams taken in the College Board Advanced Placement program or for 6's and 7's on IB exams. Visit The Hub's credit awarding page for more information on the guidelines for receiving credit.

Will you accept the special administration results of the Advanced Placement tests? What about calculated IB results?

Yes, we will accept official test results from AP special testing administrations offered during the COVID-19 crisis and taken at home. Recognizing there will be no formal IB testing this year, we will accept this year’s calculated official IB results scheduled to be available in July. 

If I live in mainland China and can't take the TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test), will you accept other versions of the TOEFL?

The TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition are the gold standards of preferred English language proficiency tests in the TOEFL family for college admission. The challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have currently made taking these tests extremely difficult for prospective students in mainland China. While we believe that these challenges may possibly be resolved in the coming months, in the interim, the TOEFL program has made available a secure testing solution for students in mainland China which features the TOEFL ITP and a video speaking interview from Vericant.

While the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition remain our preferred TOEFL testing solutions for demonstration of English language proficiency, Carnegie Mellon will accept the results of the TOEFL ITP and the video speaking interview from Vericant until students in mainland China can again take the TOEFL iBT in nationwide testing centers. Students taking the interim TOEFL ITP/Vericant Interview test do not need to retake the TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Special Take Home Edition when either becomes available.

My course grades were switched to pass/fail for Spring 2020. How will this impact the review of my transcript?

We understand and support the move to pass/fail grading options which many schools and colleges have adopted as a valid COVID-19 accommodation. As such, we will be accepting pass/fail results in the normal review of transcripts during this time.

Do you expect classes may take place virtually next year?

At this point we’re unsure what long-term impact COVID-19 will have on the fall semester. We're hopeful that classes will resume on-campus as usual but will provide more information to both admitted and prospective students as specific information is available.  We can announce that in-person, on-campus courses and formal summer programming can only be offered in remote or online formats at all U.S.-based domestic locations through August 1, 2020.

If my family receives a payment from the COVID-19 stimulus (CARES Act), will that impact my financial aid eligibility?

The Department of Education has indicated that any aid received by victims of an emergency by either a federal or state entity for purposes of providing financial relief will not be counted as income for the calculation of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or estimated financial assistance (EFA). This would apply to any funds a student received from a stimulus check and/or funds a student received from the CARES Act Economic Stabilization Fund — the fund to provide emergency grant aid dollars to institutions and students.

When will Carnegie Mellon be open again for on-campus visits?

While we're excited for you to visit our campus, we want to make sure you can do so safely. Campus is currently closed to visitors, but we'll announce visit opportunities as soon as it's determined we can host on-campus events in a way that ensures the safety of our community and our visitors. 

In the meantime, check out our Virtual Visit opportunities to experience Carnegie Mellon online, including a virtual version of our Information Session and options to explore campus. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to stay connected with the Office of Admission.

How can I contact the Office of Admission while campus is closed?

While the Office of Admission on campus may be closed, we're fully open for business as usual and available by phone, email and chat during normal business hours. Please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re anxious to help in any way possible.

Also, don't forget to check out our Virtual Visit opportunities, including a virtual version of our Information Session and online options to explore campus. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Finally, to ensure you’re included on future communication, you can join our Admission Mailing List.