Standardized Test Requirements & Placement/Credit for College-Level Work
First-year applicants to Carnegie Mellon for both Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 aren't required to submit ACT or SAT results. However, we'll consider your results if you want us to consider them. While we're interested in the general pattern of your scores, we give most weight to the highest score you've received on any of the exams. You can view our standardized test averages here.
Please also note that SAT Subject Tests are neither required nor recommended, and these scores won’t be considered in our admission review process.
We’ve outlined our standardized test requirements, as well as our policies regarding placement or credit for college-level work below.
Standardized Testing Requirements
There continue to be challenges to the college admission process brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most common concerns we hear from prospective students has to do with disruptions to standardized testing in the upcoming admission cycle. It’s become clear that students who want to take either the SAT or ACT may find it difficult or even impossible due to limitations associated with testing center availability and capacity related to social distancing requirements. Recognizing that standardized testing opportunities may not be available to all potential applicants, Carnegie Mellon University is extending our test-optional policy through Fall 2022, removing the SAT/ACT standardized testing requirement for all first-year applicants.
Pursuant to this policy, students who are unable to take either the SAT or ACT or choose not to submit their standardized test scores will be considered equally for admission along with those who submit scores. We also recognize that candidates who do submit scores may not have been able to take the SAT or ACT more than once as planned.
We'll continue to review and evaluate our process to make a determination regarding future standardized testing requirements for admission to Carnegie Mellon.
Carnegie Mellon is committed to a holistic approach to admission. No single grade, factor, score or activity guarantees or disqualifies any candidate admission to Carnegie Mellon. We treat every applicant as an individual, taking great care to make our admission decisions fairly, thoroughly and in context. We’re interested in students who can be successful at Carnegie Mellon while taking full advantage of all the university has to offer and enriching our campus community.
Carnegie Mellon is extending our test-optional policy through Fall 2022, removing the SAT/ACT standardized testing requirement for all Fall 2021 & Fall 2022 first-year applicants. Please see the Information above for more information.
We prefer that all testing for Early Decision applicants is completed by November 1 and for Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision by January 3.
If you choose to have your scores considered, you're required to submit all official results of either the SAT or the ACT. While we’re interested in the general pattern of your scores, we give most weight to the highest score you’ve received on the SAT. On the ACT, we give most weight to the set of scores corresponding to the highest composite score.
We believe that college admission testing in the 9th and 10th grades adds to the anxiety of a process that students won’t encounter for several years. As a result, we’re generally not in favor of any 9th or 10th grade SAT or ACT scores (although tests taken the summer after 10th grade are appropriate). While they may measure subject knowledge at the time the tests are taken, that level of knowledge gradually degrades and doesn’t fully represent the subject knowledge students bring to college first-year courses. Should students present tests taken two or more years in advance of their first-year experience, we'd need to take the timing of the test results into consideration. The greater the amount of time prior to students' first year of college, the less we can rely on the test results as a fair representation of their knowledge entering Carnegie Mellon.
Carnegie Mellon accepts either official electronic score results or a student's official score report verified and forwarded to the Office of Admission directly by their school counselor.
The Carnegie Mellon SAT code is 2074 and the ACT code is 3534.
We require the TOEFL or IELTS from all non-native English speakers. If English isn't one of your first languages, you must submit official results from one of the following options:
- IELTS - We require at least a 7.5 overall band score on the Academic Examination and give consideration to those with subscores of 7.5 and above.
- TOEFL iBT or iBT Home Edition - We require at least a 102 overall score and give consideration to those with subscores of 25 and above.
- TOEFL Essentials - We require at least an 11 overall band score and give consideration to those with subscores of 11 and above.
If a student takes the TOEFL more than once, we'll use the set of TOEFL scores corresponding with the highest overall score. We don't use TOEFL MyBest scores, which ‘superscore’ subsection results from more than one test administration of the TOEFL.
Please plan on taking the TOEFL or IELTS no later than December of your senior year. Make sure that the name you use for test registration is identical to your name listed on your passport and in your admissions application.
Placement/Credit for College-Level Work
Carnegie Mellon may grant advanced placement and credit for scores of four and five on exams taken in the CEEB Advanced Placement program. Send your AP scores to the Office of Admission in early summer and the appropriate academic dean will evaluate your scores and let you know if AP credit was awarded. View the AP and IB exams with the corresponding scores and credit usually awarded.
Carnegie Mellon also recognizes the International Baccalaureate Examinations. We may grant advanced standing and/or credit in various fields for scores of six or seven on the higher level exams. Send the results of the IB exams to the Office of Admission in early summer and the appropriate academic dean will evaluate your scores and let you know if credit was awarded. View the AP and IB exams with the corresponding scores and credit usually awarded.
We may grant placement or credit for college work you’ve completed in high school. Have your college transcript(s) sent to the Office of Admission for transfer credit and advanced placement evaluation. Please also send course descriptions for each course we’re to evaluate.
As a safeguard for engineering and science students for whom calculus credit is granted, who may feel uncomfortable with the material, you may move into a lower level course in the sequence and we’ll adjust your credit.
Carnegie Mellon recognizes the Cambridge GCE A-Level (advanced level) examinations in various higher-level subjects and may grant advanced placement and/or credit for exemplary grades. View the Cambridge exams with the corresponding scores and credit usually awarded.
Please note that we do not accept GCE "O" level examinations for placement.