Criminal Justice Information

As part of the Carnegie Mellon supplement to the Common Application, applicants are asked whether they’ve been adjudicated guilty, pled guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. If an applicant answers ‘yes’, this information may be considered in the admission decision but will not be an automatic disqualification for admission to the university. Note that you're not required to answer ‘yes’ to this question or provide an explanation, if the criminal conviction has been expunged, sealed, overturned, annulled, pardoned, destroyed, erased, impounded or otherwise required by law or ordered by a court to be kept confidential. You should also answer ‘no’ if you were arrested but not convicted or if you were adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent or have youthful offender status.

Criminal justice information is known to deter otherwise academically and/or artistically talented individuals from considering higher education as a potential option for their future. We understand that this aspect of the admission process may seem like a barrier for those who have been involved in the criminal justice system, and we’re sensitive to concerns of fairness and equity around the justice system and how it disproportionally impacts certain populations. The collection of this information remains on the application to Carnegie Mellon for 2020 as the university finalizes a process to collect and evaluate criminal justice information at a later stage of the enrollment process in the future.

Our ongoing work is to ensure our admission policies and procedures don’t discriminate, and we strongly support the university’s strategic goal of increasing access and equity for all populations, including those who have been involved with our nation’s criminal justice system.  

We’re committed to reviewing all applications for admission in an inclusive and holistic way, paying particular attention to a candidate’s history of academic and/or artistic excellence, supportive recommendations from teachers and counselors and evidence of extracurricular engagement and collaboration. An affirmative answer to the prior criminal convictions question would be only one factor among many considered. This question is designed to help us ensure the safety and welfare of the Carnegie Mellon community, not to act as a barrier to admission.  Should a candidate who has disclosed a criminal justice history present the credentials described above, the candidate will then be considered by a special committee consisting of professionals from the Office of Admission and Division of Student Affairs to determine whether past criminal offense may justify withholding admission.

Finally, we’re committed to protecting the privacy of candidates who disclose criminal justice information and working to ensure that this information is provided only to requisite campus individuals.

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Admission at 412.268.2082 or