Welcome New and Prospective Students!

Welcome! Thanks for showing interest in the Women@SCS organization at Carnegie Mellon University. Whether you are prospective student or have already been admitted (congrats!), you've come to the right place. Below we've listed some key things you should know about Carnegie Mellon, the computer science department here, and of course, Women@SCS. Also, if you ever have questions, feel free to email us at any time.

  • Programs and Organizations
  • Academics and Curriculum
  • Internships, Jobs, and Research
  • Fun Activities
  • Advice from Women in CS now!

  • Programs and Organizations

    Most students who come to Carnegie Mellon were very active in their high school organizations and Carnegie Mellon will definitely let you continue that trend. Of course, one of the best organizations on campus is this one, Women@SCS. Women@SCS also includes many evens and programs, such as the Big/Little Sisters, which pairs freshmen with older female students in the department. Women@SCS also includes outreach programs and trips to conferences. Below are some of the things Women@SCS do: If you're also interested in programs or organizations outside of the CS Department and Women@SCS, there are tons of student-run organizations on campus. Some interesting ones include: Society of Women Engineers, Robotics Club, Game Creation Society, Student Government, and more. Be sure to attend the Student Activities Fair at the beginning of each semester to learn more information about these clubs. You can also check a full listing of the organizations now. Also, if you're interested in Greek life, check out the Greek Life website or join the Big/Little Sisters program as many of our sisters are in a sorority.

    Academics and Curriculum

    While you may get excited with all those student activities... you can't forget about your classes! One of the biggest questions on new students minds is the classes they will have to take and how difficult they are. One great way to find out about these is, again, to join our Big/Little Sister program because the best advice comes from those who have gone through the same things. Every student will also be assigned an advisor, who will help you through the years in planning your academic life and making sure you get through it as easily as possible. The freshman advisor is Jacobo Carrasquel, and he will guide you through scheduling your courses over the summer and help you through any other concerns you may have.

    One important point to note is that every CS major MUST have a minor. But don't worry, most CS students haven't figured out their minor until sophomore and even junior year, so you have time to think about it. Your advisor will also be able to help out with any questions you may have. If you can't wait until then, we have a very informative Minors/Double Majors page that lists and describes some of the minors and double majors held by some current and past students so that you can get a little information on minors that may interest you.

    For those who also can't want to wait to receive course packets, you can find the CS course requirements here. However, not all courses are offered every semester, so you'll have to check out the Schedule of Classes. Finally, don't limit yourself to all academic courses! Check out the very interesting Student Taught Courses (also known as "Stucos"). You can also take classes at the University of Pittsburgh (located right down the street) for free, which opens you to an array of interesting and challenging courses such as history or language classes not found at Carnegie Mellon. You can find out about these by talking to your advisor as well.

    Internships, Jobs, and Research

    Ask just about anyone and their main reason for going to college is to obtain a great education and to get a job or go to graduate school afterwards. We know that you will get a great education here at Carnegie Mellon and a well-rounded education includes summer internships and research, which also help students find excellent careers and graduate schools after graduation. Therefore, one of our focuses is to present all these opportunities to our students.

    Summer internships are a great way to build your resume and to find out what is really like to work in the industry. Carnegie Mellon has a great Career Center that can help you obtain a summer job, but Women@SCS also does a lot on its own to provide for its members. Firstly, we have many ties with great companies, such as Microsoft, Google, Intel, Apple, and others. These companies recruit heavily from our membership and even like to meet with our members at exclusive events. Furthermore, Women@SCS creates a network of individuals so you can meet people who have held prior jobs so that you can get some advice on what to do. In fact, you can check out where some of our past students have worked at our Summer Jobs Resource page.

    There are also many job fairs throughout the year that everyone should check out, even freshman. Talking to employers is always helpful, even if you're not looking for an internship. There's the Technical Opportunities Conference in the Fall, as well as many other conferences throughout the year. Companies also often hold tech talks throughout the year, and attending them is a good way to get to know a company, and get some free food while you're at it. Check out this calendar of undergraduate events in CS for what's coming up.

    Women@SCS also sponsors many events for graduate studies. You can find links pertaining to grad school and admissions at our Graduate Resources page. If you are interested in doing research, you can get some help by talking to your advisor, and you can also check out some research opportunties both at Carnegie Mellon and at other schools at the bottom of our Jobs & Research page. Last, but not least, there are a multitude of great scholarships available to our students, and in fact many of our students do receive them. You can find a full listing at our Funding/ Scholarships page.

    Fun Activities

    We all know the phrase "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" and here at Carnegie Mellon we try and match all the hard work we do by enjoying ourselves. One fun way that the women of computer science enjoy ourselves is by attending Sister events. These range from outings to the skating rink, museum trips, and even making our own pottery at local stores. Women@SCS also takes part in the annual SCSDay. SCSDay is a celebration of the diversity of the students in the school of computer science at Carnegie Mellon with great events held on campus such as a talent show, dance lessons, and lots of food.

    One campus wide event that always gets the school and community talking is the annual Spring Carnival. This is one of the best times of the year as students get two days off from school to enjoy the weather, Buggy events, concerts, and Midway activities. You can find out about all the exciting events and happenings of the Spring Carnival weekend at the Spring Carnival homepage.

    Another great way to enjoy yourself is to join one of the many student organizations on campus. You can find a listing of campus wide events at any Carnegie Mellon University calendar or on the Student Affairs Campus Life page. Some fun activities include UC Late Nights and concerts by student bands around campus. You can also take part in Intramural (IM) sports on campus, or take advantage of the many fitness centers, racquetball and tennis courts, or swimming pool on campus. We also have Schenley Park right next to campus that's a great location for picnics, sunbathing, and even sledding during the winter.

    Lastly... Pittsburgh is a great city! There are many exciting areas to see, such as the Waterfront (food, shopping, and movies), Shadyside (food and shopping), Downtown (ice skating and Point Park), Southside (food), Station Square (nightlife), the Strip District (nightlife and great weekend markets), Mt. Washington (amazing view of all of Pittsburgh atop a steep incline), all the local museums including the Andy Warhol Museum, attending a professional sports game (Penguins, Pirates, Steelers), the many parks around the area, and experiencing absolutely wonderful international food at the many restaurants close to campus. Pittsburgh really does have an incredible variety of things to do and you should definitely experience as much as possible during your four years here.

    Advice from current W@SCS Members

    Here are some words of wisdom from our current W@SCS members. If you are interested in connecting with more Carnegie Mellon University students, feel free to email us. Also consider joining the Big Sister/Little Sister mentoring program, which matches up first year students with upperclassmen for advice and support.

    "Make sure that you like the atmosphere and student body, because you will be around them all the time."

    "Contact professors in areas you're interested in, and ask them questions about what schools and classes they recommend."

    "Take fewer classes your first semester. You're going to be busy making friends and getting accustomed to college life, so you don't want to have to stress to much about classes initially."

    "Visit many museums and landmarks in the area."

    "Don't schedule 4:30pm classes. They conflict with everything."

    "Visit the Women@SCS website regularly to see and sign up for upcoming events."

    ...and More!

    If you have any more questions about anything, please email us. We look forward to hearing from you and hope this page has helped you make a decision or has sparked your interest in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.