#37 Overall Influence #35 Desirability Rank

Carnegie Mellon University

Private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
By James Barham, PhD

In 1900, the Scottish-born industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, donated the funds to establish a vocational college called the Carnegie Technical Schools. In 1912, the Technical Schools’ name was changed to the Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT).

Carnegie based CIT in Pittsburgh, where he had worked as a messenger boy for the Ohio Telegraph Company not long after arriving with his family in the US. By the turn of the twentieth century, that thriving industrial city had become the main base of operations for Carnegie’s vast steel factories. CIT’s site was adjacent to that of the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1913, the brothers, Andrew W. and Richard B. Mellon—scions of a wealthy Pittsburgh banking family (also of Scottish ancestry)—donated money to the University of Pittsburgh for the creation of a Department of Industrial Research. Andrew Mellon would go on to serve as US Secretary of the Treasury under President Warren G. Harding during the early 1920s.

In 1928, the Department of Industrial Research was reconstituted as a nonprofit corporation and renamed the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research (MIIR). In 1937, MIIR moved into a new facility on the Pitt campus, across the street from the world-famous Cathedral of Learning.

In 1967, CIT and MIIR merged to create a new, technically oriented university called Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). CMU’s campus is physically adjacent to, and partially overlaps, the University of Pittsburgh campus.

A total of 20 CMU-related individuals have received the Nobel Prize, including:

  • John L. Hall & Otto Stern — physics
  • Ada Yonath & Paul Flory — chemistry
  • John F. Nash, Herbert A. Simon, Oliver Williamson & John Lucas — economics

Computer science is a special strength of CMU, as is shown by its large number of Turing Award–recipients—13 in all—including:

  • Alan J. Perlis
  • Ivan Sutherland
  • Allen Newell
  • Geoffrey Hinton
  • Edward Feigenbaum
  • Edward M. Clarke
  • Manuel Blum
  • Raj Reddy
  • Shafi Goldwasser
  • Herbert A. Simon (the only person to win both a Turing Award and a Nobel Prize)

Also, one might say that CMU is not unlike a startup accelerator, given the number of CMU-connected engineers and entrepreneurs who have gone on to found important IT companies, including, notably, Xerox PARC, Adobe Systems, Sun Microsystems, Lycos, Red Hat, and Nest.

Finally, among other CMU-connected individuals, we may mention:

  • Painters, Andy Warhol & Philip Pearlstein
  • Novelist, Kurt Vonnegut
  • Actors, Holly Hunter, Christopher Reeve, Ethan Hawke, Patrick Wilson, & Ted Danson
  • Java programming language inventor, James Gosling
  • Statistician and machine-learning pioneer, Andrew Ng
  • NASA astronauts, Edgar Mitchell & Judith Resnik

From Wikipedia

Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1900, the university is a merger of the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research.

Source: Wikipedia


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


IncomeAverage Net Cost
0 - 30K$12,542
30K - 48K$13,782
48K - 75K$18,276
75K - 110K$30,722

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

33 per 100K

Violent Crime

8 per 100K

What is Carnegie Mellon University known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#5 World Rank
Computer Science
#15 World Rank
#49 World Rank
#20 World Rank
#29 World Rank
#34 World Rank
#52 World Rank
#61 World Rank
#56 World Rank
Political Science
#61 World Rank
#192 World Rank
#186 World Rank
#146 World Rank
#110 World Rank
#212 World Rank
#107 World Rank
#85 World Rank

Other areas of influence

#35 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#154 World Rank
Social Work
#217 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#255 World Rank
#327 World Rank
#354 World Rank
#357 World Rank
Religious Studies

Influential People

Who are Carnegie Mellon University's Most influential alumni?

Carnegie Mellon University 's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Engineering, and Economics

James C. Coyne

James C. Coyne

American university teacher and psychologist

Jure Leskovec

Jure Leskovec

Slovene computer scientist

George G. Robertson

American visualization expert

E. L. Konigsburg

American writer and illustrator

V. V. Chari

Indian-American economist

Scott Draves

Scott Draves

American artist

Philip Pearlstein

American artist

David S. Touretzky

David S. Touretzky

American computer scientist

Romesh Wadhwani

American businessman

Masaru Tomita

Japanese computer scientist

Michael Loren Mauldin

American computer scientist

L. Stephen Coles

American gerontologist