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Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Former names
College of Humanities and Social Sciences (1969-2011)
Established 1969
Type Private College of Arts and Sciences
Dean Richard Scheines
Academic staff
Undergraduates 1,148[1]
Postgraduates 86[1]
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Campus Urban

The Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Dietrich College or DC) is the liberal and professional studies college and the second largest academic unit by enrollment at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The college emphasizes study through rigorous analysis and technology and the behaviors, institutions, and beliefs that constitute the human experience. The college was named for Marianna Brown Dietrich, the mother of philanthropist William S. Dietrich II after his donation of $265 million to the university in 2011 -- the largest single donation in Carnegie Mellon history.

The Dietrich College offers more than 60 majors and minors through its academic departments and specialized degree programs. It is committed to a balance among humanistic, scientific, and professional orientations, and to an emphasis on integrating research experience into undergraduate education. The Dietrich College General Education Program combines required courses that teach key analytical skills with a wide range of elective courses to develop foundational skills essential to effective learning throughout the college career and beyond.


  • About the Dietrich College 1
  • Departments and programs 2
  • Areas of study 3
    • Jointly administered undergraduate degree programs 3.1
    • Pre-professional advising 3.2
  • Rankings 4
  • Research 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

About the Dietrich College

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences admitted its first freshman class in 1969, following the announcement of the pending closure of the Margaret Morrison Carnegie College, although roots of the college can be traced to the Division of Applied Psychology, founded in 1915 and led by Walter Van Dyke Bingham and Walter Dill Scott as the first research-oriented department within Carnegie Mellon.[2] The administrative offices of the Dietrich College are located in Baker Hall. Most of the classes offered by the Dietrich College are held in Baker Hall and Porter Hall, but some classes, particularly the smaller recitation classes, are held in various locations throughout the campus. All undergraduate students at Carnegie Mellon are required to take several Dietrich classes (at least two, but usually more) as part of their program's General Education requirements. Dietrich College's general education program has been called "the most creative general education program of any American university" by the New York Times.[3] The founding Dean of the Dietrich College was Erwin Steinberg. Past deans include John Patrick Crecine, Stephen Fienberg, Joel A. Tarr, Peter Stearns, and John P. Lehoczky . The current Dean is Professor of Philosophy Richard Scheines, who began his term on July 1, 2014.[4] In December, 2014, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the Dietrich College a $2 million grant to develop training in digital humanities for PhD students in the departments of English, History, Philosophy, and Modern Languages.[5]

On September 7th, 2011, William S. Dietrich II, the former chairman of Dietrich Industries, Inc., a subsidiary of Worthington Industries, Inc., pledged a gift of $265 million. In response to this gift, Carnegie Mellon renamed the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences after William Dietrich's mother.[6]

Departments and programs

Baker Hall, home of the Dietrich College

The Dietrich College manages seven departments, one center, one institute, and four interdisciplinary programs.

  • Department of English
  • Department of History
  • Department of Modern Languages
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Social and Decision Sciences
  • Department of Statistics
  • Institute for Politics and Strategy
  • Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
  • Economics Program (jointly with the Tepper School of Business)
  • Information Systems Program
  • Humanities Scholars Program
  • Quantitative Social Science Scholars Program

Areas of study

Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in the following fields of study. Additional majors and minors are available in most fields as well. Graduate programs at the master and doctorate levels are also available through the college.

In addition, undergraduate students can define their own major through consultation with their academic advisor.

Jointly administered undergraduate degree programs

The Dietrich College jointly administers the Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA) and Science and Humanities Scholars (SHS) degree programs with the College of Fine Arts and the Mellon College of Science, respectively.

Pre-professional advising

The office of Carnegie Mellon's Pre-Law Advising Program is located in the Dietrich College Academic Advisory Center in Baker Hall. Because it is a university program, all interested undergraduate students of the university are welcome to make use of the services offered by the program. Similarly, all interested students of the university, not just science students, can meet with the advisor for the Health Professions Program, located in Doherty Hall.


Several of the Dietrich College's graduate programs have been ranked in national and international surveys. The 2014 U.S. News & World Report graduate schools rankings ranked the graduate program in English 39th in the country, History 42nd, Statistics 9th, and Psychology 21st. The graduate program in cognitive psychology is especially highly ranked at 5th in the country.[7]

The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index has listed the Dietrich College's research in History as the 4th most productive in the country, Modern Languages as 3rd, Philosophy as 5th, and Cognitive Science at 2nd in the country.[8]

The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) ranking of world universities, the Dietrich College ranked 30th in North America and 51st in the world in the social sciences category.[9] The Dietrich College is also ranked 20th in the social sciences among Shanghai Jiao Tong University's world's top 100 universities.[10]

In 2007, an Institute for Operations Research and Management Science-study ranked the graduate Social and Decision Sciences program at a tie for 1st in the country.[11]

A 2014 ranking of the top earning average starting salaries by graduates in colleges of humanities and social sciences ranked the Dietrich College first with an average salary of $60,723.[12]


The Dietrich College has particular strengths in the interdisciplinary fields of cognitive science, decision science, logic, rational choice, technical writing, history and policy, and cognitive neuroscience and manages the following interdisciplinary research centers, some of which are linked to other Carnegie Mellon colleges or the University of Pittsburgh:
  • Carnegie Mellon University Press
  • Center for African American Urban Studies & the Economy
  • Center for Ethics and Policy
  • Center for the Arts in Society
  • Center for Behavior and Decision Research
  • Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging
  • Center for Formal Epistemology
  • Center for History and Policy
  • Center for Human Rights Science
  • Center for International Relations and Politics
  • Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
  • Center for Risk Perception and Communication
  • Child Language Data Exchange System
  • Children's School
  • Global Communication Center
  • The Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory
  • The Humanities Center
  • Infant Cognition Lab
  • Infant Language and Learning Lab
  • Laboratory for Empirical Approaches to Philosophy
  • Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity and Disease
  • Laboratory for Symbolic and Educational Computing
  • Modern Language Resource Center
  • Pittsburgh Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Pittsburgh Eighteenth Century Consortium
  • Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center
  • Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center
  • Pittsburgh Speech and Society
  • Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research
  • Health and Human Performance Lab


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External links

  • Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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