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Started in the year 1900, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university in Pittsburgh. It is one of the best colleges for just about any course, which is why it’s a ‘dream college’ for almost every Asian student. It’s pretty expensive, though, so that’s something you have to keep in mind.
The main CMU campus is just 3 miles away from downtown Pittsburgh. Public transportation is the only means of commute for most of the students, but that isn’t really a problem since the public transport around here is pretty good. This provided you get used to the bus timings, of course. Also, CMU students can roam around most of Pittsburgh for free with the bus passes the university provides.
CMU is spread over 140 acres of greenery, and is quite beautifully maintained. There are a number of fantastic libraries, all up-to-date with tens of thousands of volumes. CMU has excellent facilities for almost all sports and recreation, and even has its own theatre.
Many students (especially graduation students) choose to stay off-campus, both because it’s cheaper and because it’s slightly more liberal. Beeler Street is perhaps the most popular and common destination for student apartments, though Shadyside, Oakland and Squirrel Hill get their fair share of off-campus students as well.
In a word, gloomy. There are very few days when the sky isn’t obscured by clouds.
Summers are pretty humid, but never really hot. Winters, on the other hand, can get extremely cold. Pittsburgh experiences an appreciable amount of snowfall, and snowstorms aren’t uncommon.
Most of the professors at CMU are highly reputed stalwarts of their own fields, and are at the university for further research. Having said that, they are still extremely approachable, and also take teaching very seriously. The student-professor relationship depends largely on what the students make out of it.
CMU is notorious for its workload, so if you want to end up here, get used to really slogging it out.
CMU being a private university, scholarships are hard to come by. It does offer a few grants though, but you have to be pretty lucky (and really good) to get those too.
The placements at CMU are absolutely first-grade. Some of the Who’s Who in the fields of IT, Consultancy, etc are major recruiters at the institute. Intel, Accenture, IBM, Harris, Bank of America, Microsoft, Oracle, Nvidia etc hire students in numbers, at fantastic salaries.
The crowd at CMU is excellent, although the male-female ratio isn’t exactly very healthy. Although there’s a hell of a lot to study all the time, students do find time to pursue other extracurriculars, and party a bit of course. Forbes and Fifth Avenue are the most common hangouts for CMU students. Oakland, Shadyside, South Side, Station Square and Strip District are well known for their nightlife. You’ll find a string of decent restaurants and cool bars here, and a number of concerts take place in the area as well. Some of the most frequented spots are Dejavu Lounge, Tequila Willies, Matrix, Panther Hollow Inn, Rolling Rock, Club Havana, Fuel and Fuddle, Taste of India, Buffalo Blues, etc. There are a number of 24 hour cafes/restaurants, some of which are Eat n Park, Ritter’s Diner, Tom’s Diner, etc.
Kushagra Bajaj- Vice Chairman of Bajaj Group
Vinod Khosla- Co-founder of Sun Microsystems
Pradeep Sindhu- Co-founder of Juniper Networks
Definitely a top-5 institute in the US, perhaps a top-10 institute in the world. CMU should definitely be on every student’s wish-list.