Department of Athletics and Physical Education
Susan Bassett, Director of Athletics
Office: 204 Gymnasium
Carnegie Mellon emphasizes excellence in its intercollegiate athletic programs as well as in its classrooms. The University strongly believes that academic and athletic excellence can successfully coexist. It also believes that intercollegiate athletics are important in student life and can become a key part of the educational experience. Professional and social endeavors after graduation also benefit from university experiences as a student-athlete.
Carnegie Mellon sports teams have competed intercollegiately since the early 1900s. In the past 15 years, the program has experienced extensive success. The Tartans have won 81 conference championships and competed in over 108 national championships since 1976. This success has been achieved while meeting all of the academic requirements of demanding programs and without athletic scholarships.
In 1986, Carnegie Mellon became a charter member of the University Athletic Association (UAA), a nine-team league of similar institutions with regard to academic and athletic programs. The UAA, a national association which geographically reaches as far north as Massachusetts, as far south as Atlanta and as far west as St. Louis and Chicago, sponsors intercollegiate competition in 24 sports including 12 for men and 12 for women. UAA members include Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, New York University, the University of Chicago, the University of Rochester and Washington University in St. Louis.
Carnegie Mellon, like the other seven UAA members, is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Its intercollegiate teams compete on the Division III level, which prohibits athletic scholarships and operates under the true meaning of amateurism. Student-athletes who play at the varsity level are students first and athletes second. All students, both athletes and non-athletes, are treated equally with regard to admission and financial aid policies. Carnegie Mellon fully supports a policy of equity in resources and opportunities for women and men.
The university fields competitive teams in 17 sports. The Tartans compete in football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and golf.
Carnegie Mellon’s intercollegiate program has consistently produced winners. The Tartans’ football team has won 15 conference championships, has a string of 33 consecutive winning seasons, and has appeared in the NCAA Division III Championship playoffs six times. In 1979, Carnegie Mellon was awarded the Lambert Trophy as the best small college team in the northeast. The men’s cross country won the conference championship in 2005 going on and placing 8th at nationals that same season. The team also has had a 12th and 9th place finish at nationals. The women’s cross country won the 1998 conference and went on to place 4th nationally.
A freshman computer science major on the men’s tennis team won the NCAA National singles title in 2000 and Carnegie Mellon’s top doubles team also was selected to play in the nationals. The men’s program garnered their highest team ranking ever in 2006 at 11th nationally. The women’s tennis team has recently produced national ranked players in the NCAA competition and in 2005 had a sophomore claim the ITA National Small College Championship while earning the James O’ Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award. Both men’s and women’s swimming and track and field teams annually qualify a number of athletes for the national championships. Swimming recently has produced a national champion and the men’s track and field team has won back-to-back conference championships.
To provide excellence in the athletic program, the department employs full-time coaches in all varsity sports. Intercollegiate competition begins with the first football and soccer games in early September and ends with the UAA track and field, golf and tennis championships in late April. Students with athletic skills in any of the above mentioned sports are welcome to become members of the team. Participation is open to all students. Inquiries may be directed to the appropriate coach at the:
Department of Athletics, Skibo Gymnasium
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
In addition to providing for its more formal programs and teams, Carnegie Mellon’s athletic facilities are available for use by individual students on an extensive seven-day per week schedule.
The Skibo Gymnasium, has facilities for basketball, volleyball, badminton, weight lifting, and cardio equipment. Located within the University Center are facilities for squash, basketball, racquetball, volleyball, badminton, a diving pool and a large swimming pool for lap swim, cardio machines like treadmills, Expresso Bike EFX, steppers, Cybex machines, dumbbells, a sauna and a whirlpool. Gesling Stadium provides soccer, football and track facilities. Tennis courts, located between the University Center and Margaret Morrison, are lighted for night play. During the school year they are open for use by students, faculty and staff.
These facilities are available to any student, faculty or staff person with a valid Carnegie Mellon ID. For hours, please contact the Athletic Office at (412) 268-1236, or visit our website.
The Department of Physical Education provides an elective program with an emphasis on personal fitness and lifetime recreation, thus preparing students for physical activity after the college years. Most classes are offered on a mini-course system with each class running seven weeks in length.
This program of more than 30 courses is designed for all students, from the beginner to those students who have already developed some skill. Courses include personal fitness, racquetball, tennis, golf, weight training, karate, aerobic fitness, and yoga. Instruction is also provided in several team sports. Carnegie Mellon also provides courses for American Red Cross certification in the four levels of swimming (beginners, intermediate, swimmers, and life guarding), and First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
For those who seek another level of competition or just like to participate and have fun, the Intramural Program provides recreation and relaxation for all students, faculty and staff, regardless of the degree of their natural athletic skills. The university prides itself on an intramural program which annually involves 6,000 students. Men and women, both graduate and undergraduate, compete in more than 20 different activities. Major sports include flag football, soccer, volleyball, floor hockey. basketball, and softball. A few of our popular tournaments are ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, tennis, and badminton.
Through participation in this program, students are able to keep physically fit, put to good use various learned skills, and develop leadership, team play and sportsmanship. Intramural activities, like all sports endeavors, contribute to physical development, good health, and a sound state of mind, while providing keen competition and team spirit. In addition, intramurals possess an inherent flexibility that allows for a limited commitment of time in light of academic priorities. The intramural program permits students from all departments to meet and socialize on an informal basis.
Fitness and Wellness
The university is well aware that fitness is a vital contributor to an individual’s well-being and productivity. For this reason the department is committed to providing the entire campus community with the opportunity and resources to keep fit for the new century.
The Fitness and Wellness program provides educational services, programs, workshops and seminars. Programs include cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular strength, blood pressure and stress reduction. Workshops include the topics of nutrition, weight control, stress management and lower back care and prevention. The Group X program provides over 30 exercise classes per week ranging from yoga and pilates to zumba and spinning.