Carnegie Mellon University and ETH Zurich are similar when it comes to academic excellence. However, when it comes to admission processes, scholarships, requirements, and extracurricular activities, they differ to a large extent. Therefore, the differences between the universities must be researched carefully by prospective students. This will help them determine which university aligns better with their goals and interests. Students can look forward to receiving a world-class education from both universities regardless of their choice.
For computer science, two of the top universities in the world are Carnegie Mellon University and ETH Zurich. As per the QS World University Rankings 2023, Carnegie Mellon University and ETH Zurich are ranked 9th and 52nd respectively for computer science. Both universities offer outstanding programs. However, their curricula, requirements, admission process, scholarships, and extracurricular activities vary to a great extent.
Carnegie Mellon University is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is a private research university. It is renowned for its strong engineering, computer science, and art programs. The university comprises seven colleges and schools. From them, the School of Computer Science ranks among the top computer science programs in the world.
On the other hand, ETH Zurich is a public research university in Switzerland. The university is also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. It is well-known for its science, engineering, and mathematics programs which are in the top tier. There are 16 departments in the university. The Department of Computer Science, among them, is ranked in 8th place in the Best Global Universities for Computer Science.
Comparison of Computer Science Departments
Carnegie Mellon University: The School of Computer Science of Carnegie Mellon University offers programs in various fields. Such fields include artificial intelligence, computer science, human-computer interaction, robotics, and machine learning. Several degree options are provided by the school which include:
- BS in Artificial Intelligence
- BS in Computer Science
- MS in Computer Science
- MS in Artificial Intelligence and Innovation
- MS in Language Technologies
- MS in Intelligent Information Systems (and many more)
ETH Zurich: The Department of Computer Science of ETH Zurich offers programs in various fields which include information technology, computer science, cyber-security and communication systems. There is also a wide range of specializations and electives available. The department offers various courses such as the:
- Bachelor’s degree program
- Master’s in Data Science
- Master’s in Robotics
- Master’s program in Cyber Security (and many more)
Comparison of Admission Process
Carnegie Mellon University: Applicants at Carnegie Mellon University are required to complete a standard application. This will be used to evaluate their academic records, letters of recommendation, essays, test scores, and extracurricular activities. Early Decision and Regular Decision options are offered by the university for undergraduate applicants. The following requirements must be fulfilled by the applicants for both bachelor’s and master’s programs:
- Official transcripts
- TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo English test reports
- Common application essay
- Secondary school counsellor evaluation
- Letter of recommendation (LOR)
ETH Zurich: A holistic approach is used in ETH Zurich in order to evaluate applicants. They consider their academic records, letters of recommendation, essays, test scores, and extracurricular activities. The admission process at ETH Zurich requires exceptional academic credentials due to its high competitiveness. Moreover, the candidates must adhere to the following requirements in order for the applicants to be considered for admission:
- Official transcripts or mark sheets
- Copy of passport or identity card
- Valid language certificate
- Curriculum Vitae
- GRE test score
- Letter of recommendation (LOR)
Comparison of Tuition fees
Carnegie Mellon University: The tuition fee at Carnegie Mellon University for the academic session 2022-2024 is $62,260. Moreover, additional fees must be paid for textbooks, room and board, and other expenses. Substantial financial aid opportunities are provided at Carnegie Mellon. However, they are available only to citizens of the United States, permanent residents, and D.A.C.A. recipients.
ETH Zurich: The tuition fees at ETH Zurich vary according to the degree program. For a semester, both Swiss nationals and international students pay CHF 730. They must also pay a compulsory fee of CHF 74. On the other hand, CHF 1500 must be paid by doctoral students per semester. Additionally, various scholarships and financial aid programs are offered by the university in order to support the education of the students financially.
Comparison of Scholarships
Carnegie Mellon University: Financial aid is not offered by While Carnegie Mellon University to students from outside the United States. However, resources are provided in order to help undergraduate and graduate students so that they are aided in searching for external scholarships.
ETH Zurich: International students are offered a wide range of scholarships at ETH Zurich. Such scholarships include the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships, the ETH Scholarship & Opportunity Program (ESOP) and foundation study grants.
Comparison of Extracurricular Activities
Carnegie Mellon University: A diverse range of over 400 student-led organizations are hosted at Carnegie Mellon University. These organizations cater to the diverse passions and interests of various students which include religious or spiritual pursuits, media, civic engagement, fraternities and sororities, sports, politics, academics, the arts, identity, and technology. The athletics program of the university is also formidable. It offers more than 23 club sports organizations. It includes figure skating, cricket, crew (rowing), ultimate frisbee, rugby, fencing, cycling, and martial arts.
ETH Zurich: Across almost all 16 departments, ETH Zurich has its departmental student associations. In Switzerland, the Students Association at ETH (V.S.E.T.H.) is one of the most significant students. It is managed professionally and hosts around 10,000 members. Students are represented in these associations at the departmental level. Moreover, there is a robust sports program at the university. The university offers over 120 sports and nearly 600 weekly lessons. Moreover, annually, it offers almost 1,200 courses, camps, and events.
A Conclusive Statement
Carnegie Mellon University and ETH Zurich are similar when it comes to academic excellence. However, when it comes to admission processes, scholarships, requirements, and extracurricular activities, they differ to a large extent. Therefore, the differences between the universities must be researched carefully by prospective students.
This will help them determine which university aligns better with their goals and interests. Students can look forward to receiving a world-class education from both universities regardless of their choice. They can also expect to become part of a community of individuals who are like-minded and share their passion for innovation and technology.
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