Admission to Graduate Study
An undergraduate degree is the minimal requirement for admission to graduate study. Students are admitted to a graduate program and granted one of the following three types of status:
- Full graduate status: when all admission requirements are met;
- Provisional graduate status: when some admission requirements are not (or inadequately) met;
- Temporary graduate status: to take specific graduate-level courses for one term.
All students, except those with temporary status, must apply either to the MS program or to the PhD program. Students admitted to the MS program are eligible to complete the requirements for that degree. If they wish to transfer to the PhD program, they must apply to the admissions committee, which will make its decision based on the student's performance in the MS program and on faculty recommendations.
A student is admitted to a degree program with full status if he or she has minimally earned a bachelor's degree, has maintained a grade point average of at least B, and has completed the following courses or their equivalents. A student is admitted to a degree program with full graduate status if they have earned at least a BS degree, maintained a grade point average of at least B, and completed minimally a selection of courses in the following topical areas (the corresponding Pitt course numbers are indicated):
- In Computer Science, one course in each of:
- Discrete Structures (CS 0441)
- Information/Data Structures (CS 0445)
- Computer Organization/Assembly Language (CS 0447)
- Theory (CS 1510 or 1511)
- Languages (CS 1520 or 1621)
- Systems (CS 1550 or 1651)
- In Mathematics, the following:
- The three-course calculus sequence (Math 0220, 0230)
- A course in linear algebra (Math 1180 or 0280)
- A course in probability and statistics, requiring calculus as prerequisite (Stat 1151, 1152)
A student may be admitted to the MS degree program with provisional status if their qualifications are minimally deficient. Such students will be advanced to full graduate status after removal of the identified deficiencies. Students are expected to gain full graduate status by the time they complete 18 credits or, equivalently, one academic year of full-time graduate studies. Students with provisional status are not allowed to hold a teaching assistantship.
This status allows a student to take graduate-level courses for one term without enrolling in a graduate program. Temporary status is appropriate for a student who:
- Wants to take one or more specific courses for which they have the necessary qualifications;
- Has deficiencies (in background or low grades);
- Fails to meet the deadline for filing an official application for admission but has met all of the requirements for admission into a degree program with full graduate status.
A student interested in applying for such special (temporary) status must first obtain written permission from the faculty member teaching the course of interest and then follow all of the procedures for admission to a graduate degree program.
Applications for graduate study must be completed and submitted entirely online. Our admissions application system is a two step process:
- You will be asked to set up a free account with the ApplyYourself
Application Network, which enables you to work on your
application over several sessions. Your information is transmitted
through a secured server and is kept confidential until you submit your
- After you submit your application to ApplyYourself, your application is transmitted to the CSD Application and Review System (Apply2CS). Within 24 hours you will be sent via e-mail an apply2cs link to access your application, verify your information, upload your personal statement and specify your evaluators. Once you do this, your evaluators will be contacted via e-mail to provide their recommendations through our Apply2CS system.
We require at least three letters of recommendation, two of these must be from Professors (preferable with PhD's), especially if you are applying for a PhD degree. ALL LETTERS MUST BE SUBMITTED ONLINE to our Apply2CS System, directly by the recommender. No paper recommendation letters will be accepted.
- You MUST say "NO" to this question in ApplyYouself: "Will this provider be submitting the letter of recommendation online?" when specifying your evaluators and
then provide them through our system. If you fail to do this, your
application will be considered as incomplete and will not be reviewed.
- WE REQUIRE OFFICAL E-MAIL ADDRESSES of the evaluators (in addition to a yahoo, hotmail or google emails).
Your application will be available for review by the department once all the evaluator's letters are submitted and all the official transcripts are received. The only thing CS should receive via mail should be your official transcripts.
The required minimum TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing) will be required for applicants. The required minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) will be required for applicants. If you do not meet the minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores, your application will not be considered for admission.
For material that must be sent to the department directly (such as GRE and TOEFL scores) our institution code is: 2927. A department code is no longer required.
Please address mailed material to:
Keena Walker, Graduate Admissions Secretary
Department of Computer Science
6117 Sennott Square
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
- January 15: Fall admission. All application materials, including TOEFL and GRE results, must be received in the admissions office by January 15.
- September 15: Spring admission. Spring admissions are limited to applicants who are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and international students who are enrolled in other universities in the United States. International applicants applying for spring admission and who are not in the U.S. will be automatically considered for the following fall term.
E-mail inquiries about Pitt's graduate programs may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To check the status of your graduate school application, please visit the unique URL you were given for the online application. If you do not remember your unique URL, please go to the Online Application page and enter your e-mail address; the URL will be re-sent to you.
Non-U.S. citizens applying to the graduate program will need the International Graduate Student Supplemental Application Packet: