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Engineering Student Profile: Why I Picked Carnegie Mellon

A Ph.D. engineering graduate explains why she chose to attend Carnegie Mellon.

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Arielle Drummond is a 30-year-old graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University Institute of Technology. Here, in her own words, she tells U.S. News why she chose to attend the school to pursue her Ph.D., which she received in 2009:

I was first drawn to CMU because its engineering school was highly rated. But later I was impressed by the rich variety of courses offered—many taught by professors with international reputations. And CMU has this attractive option: If it doesn't offer a specific course, it makes it possible for you to take that class at another Pittsburgh-area university.

CMU has other strengths. For example, the university actively encourages grad students to get involved with campus life. Since minorities are still underrepresented in engineering, I joined the CMU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, partly to see how we could help attract others to the field. I was later elected to the executive board of the Black Graduate Student Organization.

I also appreciated the research opportunities CMU provides. As a grad student, I worked on a collaborative project with the University of Pittsburgh and its medical center to develop a blood pump for infants and children with heart failure—a great experience for someone who wanted to get into biomedical engineering.

In fact, after completing my Ph.D. in 2009, I was hired to help develop the next-generation blood pumps for both adults and children. This was possible only because CMU gave me the professional, academic, and leadership opportunities I needed to succeed.

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