The Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Richard Scheines, Dean
Sharon Carver, Associate Dean for Educational Affairs
Joseph E. Devine, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Ana Maria Ulloa-Shields, Assistant Dean and Director, Dietrich College Academic Advisory Center
Jennifer Keating, Assistant Dean for Educational Initiatives
The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is one of Carnegie Mellon's seven principal colleges. The college consists of the undergraduate program in Economics; the departments of English, History, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Social and Decision Sciences, and Statistics and Data Science; an interdepartmental program in Information Systems; and the Institute for Politics and Strategy. The college accounts for approximately one-fifth of the university's undergraduate population; 81% of the college's students are undergraduates. The college is staffed by 210 faculty (98% of whom are full-time).
Like its Carnegie Mellon counterparts in engineering, science, computer science, business, and the fine arts, the college has three primary and interrelated foci: undergraduate education, graduate education, and research or creative pursuits. Thus, the college shares in the university’s mission of merging first-rate, innovative research and creativity with undergraduate and graduate education.
Edward Fiske, former Education Editor of The New York Times and author of the Fiske Guide to Colleges, long ago noted that the college and university have done “perhaps the most original thinking of any American university in pursuing the twin goals of liberal-professional education.” These goals continue to guide the college's educational enterprise. The college's educational program is "liberal" in that it stresses breadth and invites wide-ranging inquiry, both through its general education curriculum and through programs in the humanities, behavioral sciences, and social sciences. The “professional” dimension of the college's educational program derives from practical application of analytical and problem-solving skills that prepare students for a range of career fields as well as for graduate or professional school. In its belief that these two types of knowledge (“liberal” and “professional”) are highly complementary, Dietrich College embraces a philosophy that has its roots in Carnegie Mellon's institutional origins: namely, that the traditional liberal arts disciplines merit close, rigorous study, while at the same time practical skills are also mastered and applied.
The rationale for this liberal/professional approach stems from the premise that the intellectual foundations of a challenging liberal education and meaningful professional education are essentially the same. Knowledgeable and effective citizens are as much in need of broad intellectual perspectives, analytical skills, and problem-solving strategies as are most professionals. Moreover, as leaders in American higher education generally agree, undergraduate education is not well served if professional specialization in undergraduate programs is achieved prematurely. The challenge is to strike a balance between breadth and depth, both within and outside of one's specialty. Such a balance insures versatility in one's profession and the knowledge and ability to keep pace as individuals and citizens with changes in our social, technical, and cultural environments. Thus, the objectives of both liberal and professional education can and should work in tandem to complement and enhance one another.
Degree and Program Options
Dietrich College offers a wide range of majors and minors. In addition, there are a number of special programs which add breadth and enhance a student’s overall experience.
Dietrich College Majors
|Department||Name of Major (Degree Options)|
|English||Creative Writing (B.A.)|
|English||Film and Media Studies (B.A.)|
|English||Professional Writing (B.A.)|
|English||Technical Writing and Communication (B.S.)|
|History||Global Studies (B.A.)|
|History||Social and Political History (B.A./B.S.)|
|Institute for Politics and Strategy||International Relations and Politics (B.S.)|
|Interdepartmental (1)||Economics and Mathematical Sciences (B.S.) (by admission)|
|Interdepartmental (2)||Economics and Politics (B.S.)|
|Interdepartmental (3)||Economics and Statistics (B.S.)|
|Interdepartmental (4)||Ethics, History, and Public Policy (B.A./B.S.)|
|Interdepartmental||Environmental Policy (additional major only)|
|Interdepartmental||Information Systems (B.S.) (by admission)|
|Interdepartmental (5)||Linguistics (B.A.)|
|Interdepartmental (6)||Neuroscience (B.S.)|
|Interdepartmental (7)||Psychology and Biological Sciences (B.S.)|
|Interdepartmental (8)||Statistics and Machine Learning (B.S.)|
|Interdepartmental||Student-Defined (B.A./B.S.) (by admission)|
|Modern Languages||Chinese Studies (B.A.)|
|Modern Languages||French and Francophone Studies (B.A.)|
|Modern Languages||German Studies (B.A.)|
|Modern Languages||Hispanic Studies (B.A.)|
|Modern Languages||Japanese Studies (B.A.)|
|Modern Languages||Russian Studies (B.A.)|
|Philosophy||Logic and Computation (B.S.)|
|Psychology||Cognitive Science (B.S.)|
|Social and Decision Sciences||Behavioral Economics, Policy & Organizations (B.A.)|
|Social and Decision Sciences||Decision Science (B.S.)|
|Social and Decision Sciences||Policy and Management (B.S.)|
|Statistics and Data Science||Statistics (B.S.)|
Offered jointly by the Undergraduate Economics Program and the Department of Mathematical Sciences
Offered jointly by the Undergraduate Economics Program and the Institute for Politics and Strategy
Offered jointly by the Undergraduate Economics Program and the Department of Statistics and Data Science
Offered jointly by the Departments of History and Philosophy
Offered jointly by the Departments of English, Modern Languages, Philosophy and Psychology
Offered jointly by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
Offered jointly by the Departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences
Offered jointly by the Department of Statistics and Data Science and the Department of Computer Science
Dietrich College students may pursue additional majors and/or minors in the college, as well as in other Carnegie Mellon colleges. An additional major refers to the completion of the requirements for a second major while also completing the requirements for the primary major and degree.
Most Dietrich College majors are also available as additional majors; one (Environmental Policy) is available only as an additional major. Students from outside Dietrich College can pursue additional majors offered by the college, and would be required to complete only those courses in the college's general education program that are prerequisites to courses required for the Dietrich College major in question.
Minors are like majors in that they consist of coherent programs of study in a department, or across departments. Minors differ from majors in the number of the courses required and in the breadth and depth of the curriculum in the minor's area(s) of study. Dietrich College students can also pursue minors offered and made available by other Carnegie Mellon colleges and departments.
There are two types of minors in Dietrich College: departmental minors, which are housed in a single Dietrich College academic department; and interdepartmental minors, which are sponsored by more than one academic department and administered through the faculty advisor's academic department. The college's minors are available to students from all colleges in the university.
|Department||Name of Minor|
|History||Social and Political History|
|Institute for Politics and Strategy||Cybersecurity and International Conflict|
|Institute for Politics and Strategy||International Relations and Politics|
|Institute for Politics and Strategy||Politics and Public Policy|
|Interdepartmental||African and African American Studies|
|Interdepartmental||Film and Media Studies|
|Interdepartmental||Global Systems and Management|
|Interdepartmental||Health Care Policy and Management|
|Interdepartmental||Science, Technology and Society|
|Interdepartmental||Student-Defined (by admission)|
|Modern Languages||Arabic Studies|
|Modern Languages||Chinese Studies|
|Modern Languages||French and Francophone Studies|
|Modern Languages||German Studies|
|Modern Languages||Hispanic Studies|
|Modern Languages||Japanese Studies|
|Modern Languages||Russian Studies|
|Philosophy||Logic and Computation|
|Social and Decision Sciences||Decision Science|
|Social and Decision Sciences||Policy and Management|
|Statistics and Data Science||Statistics|
"Multiple degrees" is defined as more than one undergraduate degree granted by the university (whether simultaneous or sequential). One diploma is awarded for each degree; each degree has one primary major associated with it, and the possibility of an additional major and/or minor.
Dietrich College undergraduate students who wish to earn an additional undergraduate degree with a primary major also from Dietrich College must:
- Satisfy all requirements for the primary major to be linked to the additional degree.
- Complete at least 90 units beyond the total number of units required for the first degree. If the major associated with the additional degree requires less than 90 units, the student would earn additional elective units to reach the 90-unit minimum. If the major associated with the additional degree requires more than 90 units, the student would perforce exceed the 90-unit minimum in order to fulfill all of the requirements for the additional degree’s primary major.
- Comply with Carnegie Mellon's Statute of Limitations Policy: All units required for an undergraduate degree, whether earned in residence, transferred from another institution or granted via advanced placement, must have been earned within eight (8) years prior to the date on which the degree is granted.
Non-Dietrich College undergraduate students at Carnegie Mellon who wish to earn an additional undergraduate degree with a Dietrich College primary major must complete all of the requirements listed above, plus any portion of the Dietrich College general education program not already fulfilled by prior undergraduate course work.
Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Science
Some Dietrich College majors lead to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and others lead to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree option. In some majors students may choose between a B.A. and a B.S. degree. B.A. degree programs usually require less course work in technical and/or quantitative disciplines, and more depth and breadth in various humanities and social science fields, and (in some cases) the arts. In contrast, B.S. degrees are offered in majors requiring more technical, quantitative or scientific competencies.
Dietrich College General Education Program
Carnegie Mellon's educational legacy emphasizes the connection between theoretical and practical knowledge. Similarly, the university's interdisciplinary approach to education embraces the practical application and analysis of knowledge in institutional, social, historical, and global contexts. The Dietrich College general education program (hereafter referred to as the "GenEd program") supports the development of that expertise and ensures that students gain well-informed perspectives and methodologies by providing the foundational knowledge and skills required for subsequent in-depth study. Additionally, the Dietrich GenEd program provides freshmen and sophomores - whether they have a specific interest, multiple interests, or are undecided about majors - with a systematic, intentional way of sampling the many options available in order to formulate, pursue and achieve their academic goals.
To transcend narrow disciplinary boundaries, the Dietrich College GenEd program focuses on five broad intellectual pursuits that are exercised in nearly all disciplines: communicating, reflecting, modeling, deciding and creating. These form the bases for the Dietrich College GenEd curriculum categories, in which suitable courses are included from all parts of the university.
The five categories are:
1. Communicating: language and interpretation
2. Reflecting: societies and cultures
3. Modeling: mathematics, the physical and natural sciences, and experiments
4. Deciding: social sciences and values
5. Creating: designs and productions
1. Communicating: Language and Interpretation(18 units minimum)
Courses in this category give special attention to the study of language as interpretation, expression and argument within and across multiple discourses. Students examine language for its internal logics and structures. They also explore its rhetorical, historical, cultural, or philosophical dimensions, assessing how language functions while expanding writing skills and sharpening analytical abilities.
|Required (University First Year Writing Requirement)||Units|
|76-101||Interpretation and Argument||9|
- OR -
|76-102||Advanced First Year Writing: Special Topics||9|
|OPTION 2 (must be completed back-to-back within a single semester):|
|76-106||Writing about Literature, Art and Culture||4.5|
|76-107||Writing about Data||4.5|
|76-108||Writing about Public Problems||4.5|
|xx-xxx||One additional "Communicating" course||9|
Note: In their first semester, non-native English speakers may be placed into 76-100 Reading and Writing in an Academic Context (9 units), instead of a University First-Year Writing Requirement option. After successful completion of 76-100, they must fulfill the University First-Year Writing requirement by way of one of the two options described above. For these students, 76-100 plus the course(s) taken to fulfill the University First-Year Writing requirement will fulfill the GenEd "communicating" requirement category.
* For a list and descriptions of additional courses approved for this category, visit the Dietrich College General Education web site
2. Reflecting: Societies and Cultures(18 units minimum)
This category emphasizes the study of history, society, and culture from local and global perspectives. Courses investigate contemporary societies as well as those of the past, along with their rich array of cultural products, artifacts, ideas, values, and belief systems. They encourage a comparative and reflective approach to the understanding of the past and what it can bring to the study of present social relations and cultural outlooks.
|xx-xxx||One additional "Reflecting" course*||9|
* For a list and descriptions of additional courses approved for this category, visit the Dietrich College General Education web site.
3. Modeling: Mathematics, Physical and Natural Sciences, and Experiments(27 units minimum)
Courses in this category stress the interplay of mathematical (formal) theories and experimental work. Some courses investigate the internal structure of theories, whereas others use them as models for producing real-world knowledge. Such models may be drawn from a variety of disciplines including the natural and mathematical sciences, but also such fields as psychology and computer science. The interactions between theorizing and experimenting (observing) can be understood within an intellectual framework that invites comparative assessment.
- mathematical sciences (complete a minimum of 9 units)
- natural sciences (complete a minimum of 9 units)
- one other modeling course (complete a minimum of 9 units)
* For courses approved for this category, visit the Dietrich College General Education website.
4. Deciding: Social Sciences and Values(18 units minimum)
The theme of this category is the exploration of cognitive, behavioral and ethical dimensions of decision-making on both individual and societal levels. Making decisions requires a broad understanding of human rationality and social interaction. Some courses examine the critical collection and analysis of data for achieving such an understanding, whereas others emphasize the historical development of policies and values which form the matrices for decision-making.
|36-200||Reasoning with Data||9|
|xx-xxx||One additional "Deciding" course*||9|
* For a list and descriptions of additional courses approved for this category, visit the Dietrich College General Education web site.
5. Creating: Designs and Productions(18 units minimum)
Original artifacts emerge from creative design ideas and processes of production (e.g., a poem, a painting, a musical performance, a new technology). This general education category points students primarily toward the university’s outstanding strengths in the creative and performing arts for the experience of creative design and production. Courses may center on student creation of artifacts, but they may also analyze such creations by exploring creative processes at work within and across disciplines. Such explorations should be informed by a deep understanding of contexts of production and reception.
For courses approved for this category, visit the Dietrich College General Education website.
6. TWO Additional GenEd courses(18 units minimum)
These courses are selected from any GenEd category.
7. University Requirement (UR)(3 units)
|99-101||Computing @ Carnegie Mellon||3|
This course is a 3-unit mini-course, pass/no credit, completed by the end of the first year.
8. First-Year Seminar Requirement (FSR)(9 units)
Taught by select members of the college's faculty, these seminars maintain a student-to-teacher ratio of 1:16, are centered around topics based on grand challenges to society as well as faculty expertise, and are formatted to encourage a high level of student participation and interaction. In addition to thorough examination of seminar topics, the Dietrich College First-Year Seminar Program has several other goals, including promotion of close and lasting relationships with faculty, introducing and establishing intellectual habits that will serve students well in college, and introducing students to the intellectual resources of the university. For current seminar topics and course descriptions, visit the Dietrich College General Education website.
Note: The first-year seminar will not simultaneously fulfill any other requirement (i.e., in a major or minor).
College Services and Programs
The educational programs in Dietrich College are complemented by a number of services, special programs, centers, and computing facilities.
Dietrich College Academic Advisory Center
Ana Maria Ulloa-Shields, Assistant Dean and Director
Location: Baker Hall A57
The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences Academic Advisory Center (AAC) is primarily responsible for advising and monitoring the progress of students prior to declaring a major. As the “home base” for undergraduates who are new to the college, the AAC provides an accessible, welcoming environment where students can seek information, advice, and counsel about selecting courses, the college's general education program requirements, and the various majors and minors available. Just as important, advisors support students' transition to life and study in the university. The advisor-student relationship is a reciprocal one. Advisors' goals are to meet students where they are, to help them learn to successfully navigate the Carnegie Mellon environment, to become increasingly self-sufficient, and to make viable, informed and confident academic and personal decisions. This kind of relationship is vital to a student’s ability to progress, grow and thrive in a new and demanding educational environment. Additionally, the AAC serves as the office of student records for Dietrich College. Acting on behalf of the College Council, the Center Director oversees adherence to university and college academic policies and procedures.
Dietrich College Senior Honors Program
Joseph E. Devine, Director and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Location: Baker Hall 154F
From its inception in 1982, the Dietrich College senior honors program has provided outstanding undergraduate students with the opportunity to work individually with faculty members throughout the college on original research and creative projects. The honors program is a senior-year program. Admission is based on achievement of a cumulative QPA of at least 3.50 in one's major and 3.25 overall, endorsement of a thesis proposal by the faculty member who will serve as thesis advisor, and department head approval. Honors students enroll in an honors thesis course sequence for both semesters of the senior year (9 units per semester). Upon successful completion of the honors thesis, a student qualifies for graduation with Dietrich College Honors, and will have this designation as well as the thesis title noted on the final transcript.
Students have found the honors program to be a challenging and enriching experience in allowing for focused, individualized work on a sustained independent project. In the opportunity it provides to demonstrate one's capacity for independent and original work, the senior honors program experience helps significantly in developing the ability to present one’s intellectual or creative self to others, including prospective employers or graduate and professional school programs.
Honors Research Fellowship Program The Dietrich College Honors Research Fellowship Program is an optional component for students who have applied and been accepted into the college’s Senior Honors Program. Fellows spend the summer before their senior year undertaking early-stage research and development of their thesis topics. Financial support through a stipend and related funds for research-related expenses allows fellows to apply themselves full-time to their projects during these summer months. This in turn enables fellows to build a strong foundation and momentum for their honors thesis as the fall semester of the senior year gets underway, and ultimately leading to completion of the project by the end of the spring semester. Students apply for this fellowship program in the spring of the junior year, simultaneous with submission of an application and thesis project proposal for the Dietrich College Senior Honors Program.
Humanities Scholars Program
Timothy Haggerty, Director
Location: Wean Hall 8123
The Humanities Scholars Program (HSP) is a rigorous, four-year undergraduate program dedicated to fostering innovative interdisciplinary study and research in the humanities. The program works with the undergraduate admission office to identify a subset of students admitted to Dietrich College who have a special interest in the humanities as these are conceptualized at Carnegie Mellon. The program that includes a shared set of courses as well as an optional residential component.
As practiced within its four departments - English, History, Philosophy and Modern Languages - the humanities at Carnegie Mellon provide broad reflective analysis of humanity and its artifacts. Scholarship may incorporate, as examples, hermeneutic, ethnographic, critical, formal, or quantitative analyses within its arguments. At Carnegie Mellon, research has yielded original themes that have become institutional strengths, including social and global perspectives on culture; science and technology; languages, literature and discourse; the arts in society; cognition and rational decision making; and ethics and public policy.
During the first two years of the program, scholars take a series of four seminars that are designed to introduce them to different fields of the humanities and their disciplinary approaches (representative HSP seminars can be viewed on the program website). In the third and fourth years, students are free to pursue their major course of study. The program complements, rather than replaces, a major or minor course of study. In addition, HSP courses help fulfill breadth requirements, including the freshman seminar requirement and selected college general education requirements.
While in the program, scholars also participate in extracurricular events on campus and in the community that include talks by visiting scholars, theater performances, conferences, and exhibits that highlight the importance of humanistic inquiry and its relevance in public discourse.
Students complete their research under the direction of a faculty advisor and meet in a research seminar headed by the director of the program in the spring of their fourth year. This seminar is designed to develop and showcase students' abilities in addressing a topic from multiple disciplinary standpoints.
Quantitative Social Science Scholars Program
Mark Patterson, Director
Location: Wean Hall 8112
The Quantitative Social Science Scholars Program (QSSS) offers a unique opportunity in undergraduate education at Carnegie Mellon. In recent years, advances in computing power, increasingly powerful models of human behavior, and the exponential growth of data sets recording human economic and social activity have created exciting new possibilities for entrepreneurs, policymakers, and scholars seeking insight into human social behavior. Firms throughout the economy can now use data analytics to identify new markets, avoid errors, and improve efficiency. Policymakers can use the same techniques to shape the direction and expand the impact of social policies designed to promote the public good. Social scientists can also use these techniques to create a broader and deeper scientific understanding of human behavior that serves as the foundation upon which both entrepreneurs and policymakers can build.
The QSSS program is designed to help outstanding undergraduates impact society through the use of these techniques. It does so by laying out a structured program of training in advanced quantitative techniques that can be broadly applied across a range of social science disciplines and topics. Students combine this methodological training with more traditional coursework in the social science major of their choice. The program equips students to undertake sophisticated analysis of their own, and features an integrative senior thesis project that applies their methodological training to a research question of their own choosing.
The QSSS program is not a freestanding major or a minor, per se. It is a program designed to be taken in conjunction with a social science major in Dietrich College. In addition to a freshman seminar, and a sophomore research seminar, students complete coursework in a concentration area of their choice, selecting specialization in econometrics, statistics and regression, choice modeling, quantitative policy analysis, computational modeling, or psychometrics and measurement. Concentration areas are non-overlapping with students’ primary major, and typically consist of 3-4 courses each.
The program recruits students with a range of interests across the social sciences to create a cohesive interdisciplinary learning community. Majors that could fit well with this program include (but are not limited to) economics; behavioral economics, policy and organizations; decision science; policy and management; international relations and politics; statistics; statistics and machine learning.
Special features of the QSSS program include:
- An optional residential component that allows QSSS students to live together in their first year
- An exclusive QSSS freshman seminar (this seminar fulfills the Dietrich College freshman seminar requirement)
- A required senior thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor from the student's home department and benefitting from the QSSS thesis proseminar.
Joseph E. Devine, Director and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Location: Baker Hall 154
For students whose educational goals cannot be as adequately served by the curricula of existing programs, the college provides the opportunity to self-define a major or minor. The procedure for establishing such a major centers on a written proposal, submitted to the college dean's office. This proposal consists of two parts:
Program description and rationale: A description of the components of the proposed program of study; a presentation of the objectives of the program of study, why it represents a coherent and (given available faculty, courses, and other resources) viable course of study, and the reason(s) why these objectives cannot be accomplished within one or more of the college's existing programs.
The curriculum: Presentation of a complete outline of all courses that will comprise the requirements for the major or minor, categorized according to that component of the major program to which each belongs (e.g., mathematics prerequisites; research methods; theoretical perspectives; etc.), and second, a semester-by-semester outline that indicates when each course is to be taken (or, for any already taken, when taken). The minimum requirement for graduation is, as with all majors in the college, 360 units of credit.
Proposals and curricula are evaluated for clarity of focus, coherence and depth in related areas, and viability within the context of the college and university offerings. Proposals should generally be developed no later than the sophomore year, and approved majors begin their program generally no later than the junior year.
As with all other Dietrich College majors, Dietrich College student-defined primary majors must fulfill all of the college's general education requirements.
Study Abroad Scholarships
Funding support for study and travel abroad is available through several sources, many administered by the university, and many others available externally. The Office of International Education is the first place to look for information about funding opportunities for study or travel abroad.
Two programs housed in Dietrich College are part of this portfolio of study/travel abroad funding programs:
The Department of Modern Languages Undergraduate Study Abroad Scholarship Program offers scholarships to undergraduate students for accredited study abroad programs, limited in some instances to students who are majoring or minoring in a modern language and in other instances to students studying a particular language. Scholarship funds can be applied to tuition, room, board, airfare to the host country and book expenses.
The Dietrich College Study/Travel Abroad Grant Program provides support for both traditional study abroad programs, and for non-study abroad experiences such as service learning opportunities, internships, research, or conference travel. The program uses a rolling application schedule for its grant funds, and works closely with the University’s Office of International Education in advising students about eligible programs and potential funding sources, completing applications, and preparing for the intended program abroad experience.
Dietrich College Internship Opportunity Grants
Dietrich College encourages students to pursue interesting and professionally relevant internship opportunities. Often, however, the very positions that provide students with the most challenging and high-quality work experiences are either unpaid or modestly paid. To help compensate students for taking on work experiences that will be invaluable in helping them define and move toward their career goals, the Dietrich College Internship Opportunity Grant Program seeks to make it more financially possible for students to take advantage of such worthwhile internship opportunities.
Undergraduates with primary majors in Dietrich College, as well as BHA students, are eligible and encouraged to apply. Current sophomores and juniors receive preference. NOTE: Graduating seniors are not eligible.
Students are expected to find their own internships. There are many resources available to help in finding internships, including the Career and Professional Development Center's internship database. Preference for grants is given to students who find positions in the public sector or non-profit agencies.
For more information, including application time line and instructions, see: www.cmu.edu/dietrich/students/undergraduate/resources/internship-opportunity-grants.html
Dietrich College Pittsburgh Summer Internship Program
The Dietrich College Pittsburgh Summer Internship Program is designed for undergraduates to engage and connect with organizations (mainly non-profit) in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh-area companies and organizations host Dietrich College students for an 8-10 week summer internship, working between 20-30 hours per week. Students accepted into the program will be supported up to the minimum level of $2,600.
Because of the stipend provided by the college and program’s strong local focus, all interns are required to work in the City of Pittsburgh during the summer, not remotely, so as to ensure that they get the most out of this experience. Participants are also required to attend professional development workshops hosted by the program, and focused on a variety of topics (such as communication, professional etiquette, giving/receiving feedback, and networking).
Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program
Kiron Skinner, Faculty Director
email@example.com, Porter Hall 223E
Emily Half, IPS Deputy Director
firstname.lastname@example.org; 412-268-7082, Porter Hall 223H
Emily Baddock, CMU/WSP Executive Director
email@example.com; 202-608-8316, 100 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20002
From embassy headquarters to nongovernmental organizations, think tanks to advocacy organizations, and consulting firms to media outlets, Washington, DC, is a focal point for many international and public policy activities.
Undergraduates from any course of study who would value firsthand policy experience are invited to apply to the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program (CMU/WSP), sponsored by the university's Institute for Politics and Strategy. In this semester-long program, students live, work, and study in Washington, DC, coming into direct contact with political, business, and community leaders and learning about the most pressing policy issues of the day.
Students earn 48 units for the Carnegie Mellon University Washington Semester Program, interning about twenty-four hours per week in any sector or field of interest within Washington, DC, while taking classes taught by Carnegie Mellon faculty. The Institute for Politics and Strategy sponsors events and policy-oriented opportunities in Washington for students participating in the program to further enrich their experience and enhance their understanding of how Washington functions as a hub of international and public policy decision making.
Students should contact the IPS deputy director for more information or to discuss how the CMU/WSP may fit into their curriculum. Students who participate in the CMU/WSP may qualify for a minor in Politics and Public Policy.
All students enroll in the following core seminars (24 units).
|84-360||CMU/WSP Internship Seminar||12|
Students enroll in 24 units from the below list of elective seminars. Offerings vary by semester.
|84-330||The Shading of Democracy: The Influence of Race on American Politics||6|
|84-331||Money, Media, and the Power of Data in Decisionmaking||6|
|84-332||Effects of US Policy on Businesses: Perspectives of Asian Americans||6|
|84-333||Power and Levers for Change in Washington, DC||12|
|84-334||Presidential Power in a Constitutional System||6|
|84-336||Implementing Public Policy: From Good Idea To Reality||12|
|84-337||Biomedical Science Research, Policy, and Governance||6|
|84-340||Making Change: How Organized Interests Work in Washington||12|
|84-343||Language and Power: How to Understand and Use Political Speech||6|
|84-346||Legal Issues in Public Administration||6|
|84-348||Advocacy, Policy and Practice||6|
Academic Standards, Regulations and Protocols
Transferring into Dietrich College
Undergraduate students in other Carnegie Mellon colleges who wish to transfer to Dietrich College apply through the college's Academic Advisory Center, located in Baker Hall A57. If approved, the transfer is into the college first and then into a primary major. Decisions regarding transfer requests will be based on evidence of adequate prior academic performance and on the applicant's prospects for success in the college and intended major.
The earliest point when undergraduates are considered for transfer into Dietrich College is the second semester of the first year. Students interested in transferring to Dietrich College should begin the process well before the course registration period for the upcoming semester. Prior to submitting a transfer application, students are encouraged to meet with representatives in the department where they are hoping to pursue a primary major.
In order to maintain good academic standing, Dietrich College students must attain at least minimum quality point averages for each semester (as well as cumulatively), and also make and maintain adequate progress toward completing graduation requirements. Minimum quality point averages for good academic standing are 1.75 in the first year and 2.00 thereafter. “Adequate progress towards graduation” generally means that students are successfully completing 45-50 units per semester so that at the end of eight semesters they will have accumulated the minimum of 360 units required for graduation, have a cumulative QPA of at least 2.00, and completed all college General Education and primary major course requirements.
When a student fails to meet minimum performance criteria, it normally results in an “academic action.” Depending on the circumstances, one of the following actions is taken: academic warning, academic probation, continued probation, suspension, or drop. These academic actions are recommended by the college's departments based on the guidelines described below. However, the sequence of the academic actions is not automatic in all cases. Decisions may be based on unique individual student performance and circumstances, and are not determined purely on the basis of grades and quality point averages.
A student may receive an academic warning when they meet any of the following criteria: not passing two or more P/NC courses; repeatedly failing required courses, or repeatedly failing to attain minimum-level passing grades in prerequisite courses; earning a QPA between a 1.75 and a 1.99 in the first year; failing to complete the “first-year 5” courses by the end of the student’s fourth semester; falling off pace to graduate in 10 semesters; or failing to make sufficient progress through their declared primary major. The term of academic warning is one semester, and serves to alert the student that he or she is failing to make satisfactory progress toward completing degree completion despite meeting the college’s minimum QPA threshold to maintain good standing. A student’s academic warning is removed when the issue(s) that led to the warning have been resolved and no new issues around satisfactory academic progress have surfaced. A student can continue on an academic warning or move to academic probation if warranted by additional issues.
A student is placed on academic probation when performance either for the semester or cumulatively fails to meet the minimum standard. The term of academic probation is one semester, and signifies to the student the college's insistence that academic performance return to at least the minimum acceptable level, and concern that a student has failed to do so. A student is removed from academic probation and returned to good academic standing when both the semester and cumulative quality point averages meet at least the stated minimum, and when adequate progress toward completing graduation requirements is being made. A student who has had one semester on probation and is not yet meeting minimum requirements but is making significant progress in this regard may be continued on academic probation.
Academic suspension is the usual action taken when a student fails to meet the minimum semester or cumulative requirements for two consecutive semesters. In general, a first-year student will be suspended if the semester and overall QPAs are below 1.75; for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, if these are below 2.00. Failure to maintain adequate progress toward graduation may also be a contributing factor in such decisions.
The minimum period of academic suspension is normally two semesters, during which a student on academic suspension is expected to reflect on the circumstances leading up to the suspension, identify the issues that prevented him or her from achieving academic success, and take actions that address these issues and demonstrate sufficient readiness to return to the university and successfully resume his or her studies. These actions could include a work or internship experience, a limited amount of approved academic course work at another college or university, and — if relevant — appropriate medical care.
Midway through the semester before a suspended student is eligible to return to the university, he or she will be notified by the Academic Advisory Center Director with detailed instructions about the process for requesting approval to return and re-enroll.
Once cleared to return from academic suspension, the Enrollment Services office will be notified and the student will be eligible to enroll. While on academic suspension, students are considered to be on a mandatory “leave of absence,” and are governed by college and university policies concerning such leaves of absence. See subsequent discussions of “Leave of Absence and Withdrawal from the College.” Students returning from academic suspension do so on final academic probation.
The most severe academic action occurs when a student is dropped for academic reasons from the college and the university, and is not permitted to re-enroll. This normally results when a student, already on final academic probation, continues to perform at levels below the minimum set by the college for good academic standing, and shows no indication of being able to reach an acceptable level of performance or maintain steady progress toward completing graduation requirements. It is also an option when, in unusual cases, a student has performed poorly, and has been unresponsive to outreach efforts by college and/or university offices seeking to offer help and support.
Dietrich College Dean's Honor List
Each semester the college recognizes those students who have attained outstanding semester quality point averages by naming them to the Dietrich College dean’s honor list.
Students who complete at least 45 factorable units and attain a semester QPA from 3.50 through 3.74 are named to the Dean’s List, with Honors; if the semester QPA is 3.75 or higher, students are named to the Dean’s List, with High Honors.
Students who complete at least 36 or up to 44 factorable units and attain a semester QPA of 3.75 or higher are named to the Dean’s List, with Honors.
In addition, it is generally the case that students are not eligible for the dean's list who receive one or more "Incomplete" grades at the time when final semester grades are recorded.
Overloading is defined as taking more than the equivalent of five full-semester courses in one semester; for Dietrich College students this usually means registering for more than 50 units in one semester.
Eligibility to overload is defined as having a QPA of at least 3.25 in the last completed semester, based on a course load of at least 45 factorable units, and a current cumulative QPA of at least 3.00. Students new to the college and university (i.e., first-year students and new external transfer students) may not overload during their first Carnegie Mellon semester.
Eligibility to overload based on QPA does not automatically allow the student to register for an overload. Rather, students must complete an overload petition, and meet with their primary academic advisor to discuss the proposed overload. If approved, the academic advisor will increase the student's unit maximum for the relevant semester.
The first opportunity to register for a course overload is after registration week for the proposed overload semester. Registration week for the spring semester is usually the third week in November; for the fall semester, it is usually the third week in April. Consult the official university academic calendar for the exact dates.
If as a result of final grades for the current semester a student approved to overload for the next semester falls below the QPA overload eligibility criteria, the academic advisor may withdraw the overload permission. Students thus affected are responsible for resolving this in consultation with their academic advisor.
Physical Education and StuCo* Courses
A maximum of nine units of credit for any combination of Physical Education (69-xxx) and StuCo (98-xxx) courses may be counted as credit toward graduation requirements. Physical Education and StuCo courses are not included when calculating a student's QPA or when calculating units to determine eligibility to carry a course overload.
*StuCo refers to "student-led courses" — i.e., courses designed by students, and approved to be offered for academic credit.
Course Failures and Course Repetitions
Students who fail a required course must repeat and pass it (or take and successfully complete another approved course that fulfills the requirement). If a failed course is a prerequisite to more advanced course work within a particular course sequence, the failed course must in general be repeated before moving on to the higher level course. Exception: Dietrich College students who do not successfully complete their first-year seminar will be registered for another first-year seminar if space is available. If space is not available, these students must select and successfully complete an additional course from one of the college's general education categories.
Failed courses that are repeated and passed, or courses that are passed but repeated in order to obtain a higher grade, are all included and remain on the student's record and are included in calculating the student's QPA. Students who repeat a course that they have already passed will not be able to apply the second set of units for the course toward graduation requirements.
An internship-for-credit is a supervised, professional work experience with clear links to a student's academic program, performed primarily or totally outside of a regular course structure, and for which a student earns academic credit. Students doing an internship for academic credit must be registered through the academic department of the faculty member supervising the internship, and must register for the internship course during the term (including the summer) when the internship work is being performed. There is no additional tuition charge for credit-bearing internships that are taken during the academic year. Students registered for internships during the summer will be billed for tuition at the per-unit rate set by the university.
To receive academic credit, the internship:
- must conform to the criteria for internships-for-credit set by the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the U.S. Department of Labor
- requires the involvement of a Carnegie Mellon faculty sponsor and an on-site supervisor in the design, oversight and evaluation of the internship;
- must include regular or periodic meetings between the student, the faculty sponsor, and/or the internship site supervisor to monitor progress and offer feedback on student performance;
- requires an end-product for submission to the faculty sponsor. This usually takes the form of a paper, but may also include a presentation, or some other approved form;
- may be taken for a regular letter grade or pass/no credit as per the policy of the department through which the internship course is taken by registering for the internship course through the sponsoring department. With department approval, the internship may be counted toward program requirements.
- can vary from 3-18 units in any one semester, and is limited only by the college rule of a maximum of 27 units of internship credit that can be applied to graduation requirements.
Additional policies and practices regarding internships-for-credit vary among the college's academic departments. Departments are not obligated to allow internship credit for its majors, and are free to determine whether an internship may be used to fulfill requirements or serve only as an elective. An internship-for-credit is a graded experience. Each department will determine appropriate criteria for the grade if an internship is approved for credit.
Credits for internships are generally earned according to the following scale:
- 9 units = the equivalent of 1 day (9-12 hours) per week during a full semester
- 18 units = the equivalent of 2 days (12-20 hours) per week during a full semester
A Dietrich College student may not earn more than 18 units of internship credit during a single semester or count more than 27 units of internship credit toward fulfillment of graduation requirements.
In instances when the internship sponsor requires that a student receive academic credit from the home institution, the student should contact the Dietrich College Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies for information and advice about available options.
Dietrich College Credit Policy for Non-Carnegie Mellon Courses
The following policies govern the practice of Dietrich College undergraduates taking courses elsewhere and requesting that credits for these courses transfer to their Carnegie Mellon University academic record. Courses taken elsewhere will be considered for transfer credit if the institution offering them is fully accredited, and if the courses in question are judged to be acceptable for the purposes proposed by the student.
Dietrich College undergraduates who wish to take courses at another institution and request that credits for these courses transfer to their Carnegie Mellon University record should familiarize themselves with Dietrich's transfer credit policies found at www.cmu.edu/dietrich/advisory-center/transferring/cmu-course-credit.html. Students must receive approval before taking any courses at another institution in order to guarantee that they will receive transfer credit upon successful completion of the course(s).
Once a student enrolls in the university as a degree candidate, he or she may take a maximum of five courses (or their rough unit equivalent) elsewhere and transfer these back for credit toward the Carnegie Mellon degree.
No courses may be transferred and be substituted for the following general education requirements:
- 76-101 Interpretation and Argument or courses that fulfill the University First-Year Writing Program requirements
- 79-104 Global Histories
- 36-200 Reasoning with Data
- 99-101 Computing @ Carnegie Mellon
- First-Year Seminar requirement
These limits do not apply to courses and credits approved through Advanced Placement examinations, International Baccalaureate examinations, Cambridge International A-Level examinations, cross-registration through the Pittsburgh Consortium for Higher Education (PCHE), Washington Semester Program, and approved study abroad or exchange programs. Exceptions to these restrictions may be made only by way of written petition to the Dietrich College Council (c/o the Dietrich College Academic Advisory Center).
Courses taken elsewhere must be taken for a regular letter grade (not pass/no credit or pass/fail) in order to be granted transfer credit. As a matter of college policy, Dietrich College students must earn a final grade of at least "C" in order for the credit to transfer. A “C-” grade is not transferable when its equivalency is below a 2.00 on a 4.00 scale, or 70%. In cases when courses proposed for transfer credit are to apply to requirements in a Dietrich major or minor program, the program's department may set a higher minimum final grade in order for credit to transfer. Only units, not grades, transfer for courses taken elsewhere, and thus do not affect a student's Carnegie Mellon QPA. Courses offered elsewhere only on a "pass/fail" or “pass/no credit” basis are not eligible for CMU transfer credit. Students should consult their academic advisor before taking courses at another institution for which they want to receive transfer credit.
External Transfer Students
For students entering Carnegie Mellon and Dietrich College as external transfers, the same five-course limit applies after they become Carnegie Mellon degree candidates, unless their transfer credits reach the 180-unit limit for transfer credit stipulated by university policy. A candidate for the bachelor's degree must complete a minimum of four semesters of full-time study, or the equivalent of part-time study, comprising at least 180 units of coursework at Carnegie Mellon. If a degree has already been obtained at another institution, courses that count toward that degree may not be used again as transfer credit toward a Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate degree.
Internal Transfer Students
This policy applies retroactively to students who enter Dietrich College through internal transfer. Courses previously approved for transfer credit may be re-evaluated for consistency with relevant Dietrich College or program policies and standards.
Students on Academic Suspension
Subject to the college's policy limiting transfer course credit, students on academic suspension from Dietrich College will be permitted to receive transfer credit for no more than three non-CMU courses per semester, and no more than a total of five non-CMU courses, while on suspension. Approval to take these courses for transfer credit is to be obtained in advance.
While on academic suspension, students are considered to be on a mandatory "leave of absence" and are governed by College and University policies concerning leaves of absence.
Double-counting refers to instances when a course taken to fulfill one requirement counts simultaneously toward a requirement in another major or minor program. While the college encourages study in complementary areas where majors and minors frequently share requirements in common, it also wants to keep clear the meaning and integrity of the labels “major” and “minor.” To preserve the integrity of these definitions, double-counting is permitted in Dietrich College on a very limited basis, and only in those instances when the course(s) in question represent only a small portion of the second program.
The college and its departments have developed program-specific guidelines for this practice that appear throughout the Dietrich College section of this catalog, and particularly in the case of major and minor programs that students frequently pursue in combination.
Eligibility for graduation in Dietrich College requires that a student:
- complete all Dietrich College general education requirements,
- complete all course requirements in a Dietrich College primary major,
- achieve a cumulative quality point average of at least 2.00 for all courses taken (or, alternatively, for all courses taken after the 1st year),
- earn at least 360 units with a minimum of 180 units taken at Carnegie Mellon University,
- be recommended (certified) for graduation by the faculty of the student's primary major department,
- meet all financial obligations to the university, and
- qualify for graduation within eight years prior to the date on which the degree is granted.
The college reserves the right to modify these academic standards, regulations, and protocols.
Graduation with University Honors
Dietrich College students who achieve an overall QPA of at least 3.50 will be recommended for graduation with University Honors.
Graduation with College Honors
Students who successfully complete a senior honors thesis under the auspices of the Dietrich College Senior Honors Program qualify for graduation with Dietrich College Honors.