Turning Tartan

Andrew Carnegie, one of the founders of Carnegie Mellon, was of Scottish origin. Our Scottish heritage is in the fabric of what we do and who we are. Our official school color is Tartan — created at Andrew Carnegie’s request and manufactured in Scotland — which is a plaid pattern consisting of blue, red, green and yellow.

The Scottish Terrier (appropriately named Scotty) is the official Carnegie Mellon mascot and now greets fans and community members at university events. Make sure you take in a home football game and enjoy our Kiltie Band, decked out in full Scottish regalia!

Being a Carnegie Mellon Tartan is about more than our school colors and mascot. When you choose Carnegie Mellon, you’re joining a community that’s rich with tradition and culture.

We Value:

Interdisciplinary Knowledge: With our educational philosophy focused on interdisciplinary knowledge, we develop world changers skilled in problem-solving, leadership and communication. Our students leave Carnegie Mellon equipped with the skills to impact society in a transformative way.

Collaboration: Carnegie Mellon is filled with passionate students just as dedicated and motivated as you are. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded, hardworking students as you collaborate in the studio, on research projects, in the lab or in the classroom.

Diversity: Diversity is our strength, and by bringing together our different backgrounds and experiences, we can solve society’s biggest challenges. A diverse and inclusive community is the foundation for excellence in learning, research, creativity and human development. Our campus builds this foundation every day, benefitting from the work of our Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, robust multicultural student organizations, campus advocates and more.



While fall homecoming is the major event of the year at most universities, at Carnegie Mellon we celebrate Spring Carnival. Dating back to 1920, Spring Carnival is one of the oldest and most beloved campus traditions. Each April, students and other community members enjoy a fun-filled, four-day weekend filled with carnival rides, food, live music and comedy acts. Students collaborate and compete in two premier Carnival events: Booth and Buggy.


In Booth, student organizations build elaborate one or two-story structures with a game all designed around the yearly Spring Carnival theme. Booths are displayed side-by-side along the midway parking lot for all Carnival-goers to enjoy.


Buggy is the highlight of Spring Carnival! Part high-tech soapbox derby race, part relay race, Buggy is uniquely Carnegie Mellon. In Buggy (aka Sweepstakes), student teams compete in a five-person relay race around Flagstaff Hill in neighboring Schenley Park. Teams include pushers and a driver. The pushers propel their buggy through the uphill sections of the course, while the driver steers through the downhill portions of the course reaching speeds of 35 miles an hour! 

The Fence

Painting the Fence is another time-honored tradition at Carnegie Mellon.

The Fence occupies prime real estate on our campus and has become the de facto university billboard for student organizations to share their message. Students painting the fence is a long-standing tradition at Carnegie Mellon.

Tradition dictates that the Fence can only be painted between midnight and sunrise, in its entirety, using only paintbrushes.

Your message will be painted over by fellow classmates if you don't stand guard, so set up your tent and get comfortable!