Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Graduate programs in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (A&S)
are designed to prepare students for careers in research and teaching
in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences responsive
to the evolving needs of the private and public sectors of society
as well as to the particular interests of academia.
A&S Graduate Studies has final approval over all admissions
to graduate study in A&S and overall student appointments as
teaching assistants, teaching fellows, graduate student assistants,
A&S fellows, and graduate student researchers, as well as responsibility
for processing all related tuition scholarships. It reviews and
records the academic progress of graduate students, including the
passing of comprehensive examinations, admissions to doctoral candidacy,
and final oral examinations. It verifies the completion of theses
and dissertations, and certifies all graduate degrees awarded in
the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.
Questions regarding admissions, teaching and research appointments, and programs of study should be addressed first to the individual graduate department or program. Questions regarding registration, tuition scholarships for teaching or research assistants, and graduate status should be addressed to:
- Dietrich School of Arts and SciencesGraduate Studies
- Student Services
- 5141 Sennott Square
- Fax: 412-624-6855
- E-mail: email@example.com
A&S offers MA, MFA, and PhD degrees and certificate programs
in the humanities; MA, MS, and PhD programs in the natural sciences;
and MA and PhD programs in the social sciences. Several dual and
joint degree programs are available.
Students applying for admission should proceed as follows:
Interested applicants are encouraged to go to the School of Arts and
Sciences graduate Web page at www.asgraduate.pitt.edu and
to visit Web pages of their departments of interest. Students should
complete the online application through the ApplyYourself
Application Network from the departments' Web pages. The online
application is automatically sent to the appropriate department for
Admission to graduate study is valid for the academic year. If a department so approves, a student may defer admission for one year without having to complete any additional applications. If approved, the student is sent a new admission letter. Additional course work taken during the deferred year and a new affidavit of financial support should also accompany any financial aid request. The deferral of admission is independent of financial aid.
Transferring Between A&S Departments
A student desiring to change a major department of graduate study
in A&S must file an application for admission in the department
of intended graduate study. Applications for transfer will be evaluated
in the same way as applications for admission to the designated
department. An application fee is not required.
Admission of International Students
Before reading the A&S-specific details below, see the Graduate
Admissions of International Students section for a complete
overview of University admissions requirements, including TOEFL
or IELTS scores, for students from other countries.
The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences 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. The required minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) will be required.
Students should apply online using the ApplyYourself
Application Network available from the department's Web site.
The online application is automatically sent to the appropriate
department for processing. All applicants should take note of
specific departmental requirements, in addition to those required
of all international students. A&S Graduate Studies, Student
Services (in 5141 Sennott Square) will determine whether or
not an applicant has sufficient proficiency in English.
International Student Application Deadlines and Application Fee
The deadlines for submitting a completed application and financial aid form are determined by the individual departments, but due to delays in the issuance of visas it is recommended that international students apply as early as possible, preferably at least six months prior to the start of the term of admittance, so that paperwork can be processed in a timely manner.
The application fee for all students is $50. The fee must be submitted in the form of a check or money order made payable to the University of Pittsburgh or may be paid using a credit card when applying online.
For an overview of the requirements for the three admission statusesfull, provisional, and specialsee Admissions Status in the application for admission section of this bulletin.
Full Graduate Status
Only students in full graduate status may undergo preliminary evaluations, take comprehensive examinations, be advanced to degree candidacy, or receive teaching assistantships or fellowships.
Provisional Graduate Status
Transfer from provisional to full graduate status is possible only
upon formal recommendation of the student's department and after:
- (a) removal of deficiencies noted at the time of admission, with A or B grades, and/or
- (b) completion of four courses (12 credits) for which graduate credit is earned with at least a 3.00 average.
A special status student who takes courses while not seeking an advanced degree may transfer up to four courses (12 credits) taken while on special status to a degree program if the student is subsequently admitted into one, and if the department recommends the transfer. A transferred course must carry a grade of B or better.
Those special status students who earn graduate credits while on temporary admission may apply those credits toward degree requirements.
Early Admission Program
Exceptionally able students in Arts and Sciences at the University
of Pittsburgh (GPA of 3.50 or above) with strong letters of recommendation
from faculty in the department to which they are applying may be
admitted to full graduate status in a department in A&S. At
the time of admission, students must have completed 96 credits toward
the baccalaureate degree, the final 30 of which must have been taken
in A&S, and must have satisfied the general education requirement,
second language requirement (if any), and academic major requirements
(as certified by A&S). For additional information regarding
requirements for the completion of the baccalaureate degree, see
section in the University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Bulletin.
For detailed information on what constitutes inactive registration status and requirements for readmission to active status, please see Registration Status and Readmission, respectively.
Applications for readmission to A&S should be received according
to the following schedule:
- Fall term readmission applications by August 1
- Spring term readmission applications by December 1
- Summer term and/or sessions by April 1
Financial assistance for graduate students is provided in the form of teaching and research appointments, fellowships, traineeships, tuition scholarships, and loans. Application for financial aid should be made on the regular Application for Admission to Graduate Study form except in special cases as noted below. All applications for financial assistance are reviewed at the departmental level and awards are made to the extent of available funds. Admission to graduate study does not carry any implications concerning the award of financial aid. Only students with full graduate status are eligible for teaching assistantships and fellowships.
Information concerning nationally competitive grants and fellowships is available to University of Pittsburgh Students through the Office of Research Web site at www.pitt.edu/~offres/funding.html.
Teaching and Research Appointments
Each year about 665 graduate students receive teaching appointments
and fellowships in departments offering graduate degrees in the
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences to assist in undergraduate instruction
in Arts and Sciences and the College of General Studies. In addition
to financial support and medical coverage, these appointments provide
teaching experience and further professional development.
In recognition of academic merit, the University offers teaching assistants (TA), teaching fellows (TF), graduate student assistants (GSA), and graduate student researchers (GSR) full or proportional tuition scholarships, and students are required to register for the number of credits proportional to appointment. If appointed in the summer term, students should register for a minimum of 3 credits (or full-time dissertation study, if eligible), unless additional registration is needed for academic purposes.
Information regarding TA/TF/GSA/GSR policies is available at www.pitt.edu/~graduate/tapolicyrev.htm and at A&S Graduate Studies, Student Services in 5141 Sennott
Square. For further information on these positions and general descriptions
of each appointment's job requirements, see Financial Aid, Teaching
and Research Appointments of this bulletin.
Teaching Assistants (TA)
For completion of services requiring approximately 20 hours per week, a TA receives a salary for two terms. Two-term TAs who want to receive their salary spread out across three terms should contact their department immediately.
Teaching Fellows (TF)
For teaching services, requiring about 20 hours per week, a TF receives a salary for the term of their contract, either one or two terms. Two-term TFs who want to receive their salary spread out across three terms should contact their department immediately.
Graduate Student Assistants (GSA)
A few graduate student assistantships are available in A&S.
A GSA usually assists a faculty member in library research, editorial
duties, or similar academic tasks. For such services, requiring
about 20 hours per week, a GSA receives a salary for the term of their contract, either one or two terms. Two-term GSAs who want to receive their salary spread out across three terms should contact their department immediately.
Graduate Student Researchers (GSR)
The GSRs work under the direct supervision of and are appointed by the principal investigator (or associate) of a funded research project. Their stipends are determined by the terms of the grant within guidelines set by the associate dean for graduate studies and research.
Fellowships and Traineeships
Fellowships and traineeships available to students in the School
of Arts and Sciences can be found at www.asgraduate.pitt.edu/financial-assistance.
In addition to those University-wide regulations and standards
detailed in the section on General Academic Regulations, each student
in A&S is expected to be familiar with these school-specific
regulations and academic standards:
Credits and Grade Points
Courses for which a G, I, N, R, or W grade is recorded and courses numbered below 1000 (00999) do not contribute either credits or grade points toward graduation. When a course is repeated, only the last grade and credits are used to calculate the GPA.
Students must achieve the minimum GPA established by their departments, in no case less than 3.00, in order to be eligible to retain teaching assistantships or fellowships, to undergo the preliminary evaluations, to take comprehensive examinations, to be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree, and to graduate.
Independent study and individual thesis and dissertation research must be graded using the S/NC option (formerly the S/N option) and thus are not used in the calculation of the GPA required for continuation in good academic standing.
Academic Probation and Dismissal
A graduate student who fails to maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or to make satisfactory progress in a degree program is subject to dismissal from graduate study at the University. When the overall GPA of a student falls below 3.00, the student is automatically placed on academic probation; is not eligible for a teaching assistantship, fellowship, or participation in the department comprehensive examination; and is subject to dismissal at the end of the following term. The department should so warn the student in writing.
In addition, any student who is not making satisfactory progress toward the completion of an advanced degree (completion of an acceptable number of required courses and/or research each term or year) may be placed on academic probation by the department. The student must be informed in writing of this action by the department. Normally, one term will be granted in which to correct the deficiency.
A student whose performance on a preliminary or comprehensive examination is judged to be inadequate may be subject to dismissal at the end of the term.
Withdrawal from Courses
Students may add or drop courses before the end of the add/drop period. A student who wishes to withdraw from an individual course after the add/drop period must complete a Monitored Withdrawal form available from the dean of the school offering the course, obtain the signature of the instructor, and return the completed form to the assistant dean of graduate studies, 5141 Sennott Square. A W grade will then be issued.
Students may terminate their registration in all classes by informing the Office of the University Registrar of their intent to do so prior to the end of the add/drop period for the term. Students registered for courses scheduled to begin after the end of the add/drop period for the term may terminate their registration by informing the Office of the University Registrar of their intent to do so at any time prior to the first scheduled meeting day of the class. A student who stops attending a course and does not initiate the withdrawal or resignation procedures may be assigned an F grade.
Repetition of Courses
A student may repeat any course in which a grade of B- or lower
is received if authorization is given by the student's department.
When a graduate student repeats a course in which the subject matter
has not changed, only the last grade received is counted in computing
the grade point average. A Course Repeat form must be filed with
A&S Graduate Studies, Student Services, 5141 Sennott Square,
to initiate proper computing of the grade point average.
A grade given by an instructor for completed work will not be changed
unless an error has been made in reporting or recording the grade.
(Reexamination or extra work may not be used as a basis for a change
of grade.) A Grade Change Request form must be filed with A&S
Graduate Studies, Student Services, 5141 Sennott Square, and approved
by the assistant dean of graduate studies.
Students who are using University facilities to an extent greater than represented by their formal course load (and those students required by a fellowship or other appointment to be full-time students) are required to register for an appropriate number of additional credits of Independent Study to reflect their correct status. All graduate study not under the direct supervision of a specific faculty member is, by definition, Independent Study, course number 2990 in each program. This includes study for preliminary evaluations, comprehensive and overview examinations, the preparation of research proposals, etc. Only the S/NC Grade Option (formerly the S/N option) may be used in a 2990 course.
Registration for Directed Study is limited to students in good
academic standing and normally beyond their first year of graduate
study who wish to study or carry out a project in an area not available
in a formal course. The work must be under the direct supervision
of a faculty member who has approved the proposed work in advance
of registration. A brief description of the work should be recorded
in the student's file in the department. Either a letter grade or
the S/NC option (formerly the S/N option) may be used to evaluate the quality of work performed
by the student, and both the credits and the grade points (if any)
will be used in determining the academic standing of the student.
Students may transfer credits earned at another accredited institution
in an approved degree-granting graduate program toward the requirements
for an advanced degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Students
requesting advanced-standing credits by transfer should indicate
this within the first year of graduate study and provide official
transcripts. The department evaluates each applicant's credentials
and indicates to the student at the time of admission its recommendation
to the assistant dean of graduate studies concerning advanced-standing
credit. Credits for course work taken 10 or more years prior
to admission for graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh
are not automatically transferred for PhD students. For Master's students, credits for course work taken four or more years prior to admission for graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh are not automatically transferred. Departments must evaluate such
coursework in terms of its currency of knowledge in the field when
submitting transfer credit requests for approval by A&S. Students
admitted with special or provisional status cannot transfer credits
until full status has been granted. Graduate students already enrolled,
when approved in advance by their department and the assistant dean
of graduate studies, may spend a term or more at another graduate
institution to obtain training or experience not available at the
University of Pittsburgh and may transfer those credits toward the
requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Pittsburgh.
A maximum of 6 credits may be accepted by transfer toward the requirements
for the master's degree. A maximum of 24 credits may be transferred
toward the requirements for the PhD degree for course work at the
master's level earned in another approved graduate school. A student
who transfers 24 credits due to completion of a master's degree
at another institution is not eligible to earn a master's degree
in that discipline at the University of Pittsburgh. If a student
has completed relevant graduate work beyond the master's level at
another institution, up to 12 additional credits may be accepted
for transfer. (No more than 36 credits can be accepted for transfer
from all other graduate institutions.) Acceptance of credits by
transfer from other graduate schools does not relieve the student
from the requirement to register at the University of Pittsburgh
and satisfactorily complete a minimum of 18 credits for a master's
degree and a minimum of 36 credits for a PhD degree.
For further detail on University requirements on transfer credits, see Acceptance of Transfer Credits under the allowable credits section of this bulletin.
Registration of Undergraduate Students for Graduate Credit
University of Pittsburgh undergraduate students who need fewer
than 15 credits to complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree
and who intend to continue study toward an advanced degree in A&S
may be permitted, during their final term, to register for one or
two courses at the 2000 level for credit toward a graduate degree.
Students must obtain written permission from an A&S department
admissions officer that the course may count when and if they are
admitted into the degree program. This privilege should not be granted
if the proposed total course program exceeds a normal full-time
load or if the courses are required for the undergraduate degree.
When students register for graduate study at the University, these
graduate credits and grades may be transferred to the graduate transcript
upon recommendation of the department and approval by the assistant
dean of graduate studies. No more than 6 credits can be transferred
in this manner.
Statute of Limitations and Leaves of Absence
All regulations regarding the statute of limitations for completion
of degree requirements and leaves of absence are detailed under
Statute of Limitation/Leaves of Absence of this bulletin. Variations
and additions to those rules within A&S are as follows:
Requirements for the master's degree should be completed within
a period of four consecutive calendar years from the student's initial
registration for graduate study. Requirements for the PhD degree
must be completed within a period of 10 years from the student's
initial registration, or within eight years if the student has received
a previous master's degree. Some departments
may have a more stringent statute of limitations for completion
of master's or doctoral degrees. There is also a strictly enforced
limit of four calendar years on the master's comprehensive examination
or its equivalent for students beginning or readmitted for graduate
study in fall 2002 or later, and a seven-calendar-year limit on
the PhD comprehensive examination for students entering graduate
study programs in fall 1999 or later. (Ten-year limits on PhD comprehensive
examinations apply for doctoral students enrolled prior to fall
1999.) If the student has not completed all requirements for the
master's or doctoral degrees within the time limits on comprehensive
examinations for degrees as specified above, the comprehensive examination
for the degree must be retaken in order to graduate.
Under exceptional circumstances a candidate for an advanced degree
may apply for an extension of the statute of limitations. Applications
are available in the department or in A&S Graduate Studies,
Student Services, 5141 Sennott Square. They must state the reason
for the delay, provide evidence of continuing progress toward the
completion of the degree, and include a detailed plan of study and proposed date for
completion. The request must be approved by the chair of the student's
doctoral or master's committee and the department chair or director
of graduate studies and be submitted to the assistant dean of graduate
studies for final action. Each student who requests an extension
of the statute of limitations must be able to demonstrate proper
preparation for the completion of all current degree requirements.
There is no extension on the time limits for the master's and doctoral
Under special conditions, graduate students may be granted a leave of absence. Only one leave of absence can be obtained by students during their graduate career. Readmission following an approved leave of absence is a formality.
Advising and Placement
Advising and placement services in A&S graduate programs are
conducted within the various departments and programs. Students
should consult department handbooks, their departmental advisor,
their departmental director of graduate studies, their departmental
graduate administrator, and/or the chair for details. The A&S Graduate
Studies Office makes every effort to keep advising and placement
in the forefront of departmental concerns. All departments are responsible,
with A&S oversight, for implementing policies and practices
consistent with the University's in Elements
of Good Academic Advising. Unresolved problems relating
to the advising of graduate students at the department level can
be taken to the assistant dean of graduate studies and research
in A&S Graduate Studies, Student Services, 5141 Sennott Square.
A&S Degree Requirements
The general requirements for the master's degrees and doctoral
degrees are detailed under Regulations Pertaining to Master of Arts
and Master of Science Degrees, Regulations Pertaining to Professional
Master's Degrees (including the MFA), and Regulations Pertaining
to Doctoral Degrees. For further A&S-specific requirements,
see below. Once the University-wide requirements and the A&S
Degree Requirements below have been reviewed, see the relevant departmental
description for more specific detail.
Requirements for the MA, MS, and MFA Degrees
The minimum requirement for the Master of Art and Master of Science
degrees is 24 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. Furthermore,
the MFA, as a professional degree, requires a minimum of 30 credits.
Not more than 6 credits may be granted toward the completion of
the requirements for a master's degree for work completed at another
accredited graduate institution. Most programs require more than
In addition to the general credit requirements detailed under MA and MS Requirements at the front of this bulletin, the following requirements must be satisfied:
- Completion of 12 credits from the 2000 or 3000 series with a grade of B or higher.
- All courses from the 2000 or 3000 series must be completed with an average grade of B (3.00)
- Registration for research, independent study, or directed study cannot be included among the minimum of 12 credits that must be taken from the 2000 or 3000 series with a grade of B or higher
- Independent study credits do not count towards the MA/MS/MFA degrees
Second Language Requirement
The requirement of proficiency in second languages is at the discretion of individual departments.
Whenever a program substitutes an equivalent requirement for the
comprehensive examination, the department or program must obtain
prior approval from the A&S Graduate Council and notify the
University Council on Graduate Study and describe the situation.
Students on inactive, special, or provisional status, or who have
a GPA less than 3.00, are not eligible to take the comprehensive
examination. See Comprehensive Examination under Regulations
Pertaining to Master of Arts and Master of Science Degrees for further
detail on requirements for comprehensive exams.
The requirement of a thesis or its equivalent is at the discretion
of individual departments. If a thesis is submitted, its form must
be in accord with specifications available from The
ETD Format Guidelines Manual and approved by
the assistant dean of graduate studies. A report of the final oral
examination in defense of the master's thesis must be filed in 5141
Sennott Square. For further information on thesis requirements,
including the make up of the thesis committee, see Thesis Option
under Regulations Pertaining to Master of Art and Master of Science
Application for Graduation
Each candidate for graduation must file an official Application for Graduation in 5141 Sennott Square, early in the term in which graduation is expected. (See your graduate secretary for deadline dates.) See Graduation under General Academic Regulations for further details on graduation and graduation requirements.
The faculty of the department evaluates the performance in course
work and on comprehensive examinations. If the candidate's performance
is satisfactory and all degree requirements have been met, a letter
must be submitted to the associate dean for graduate studies and
research, on behalf of the department, certifying that the candidate
has completed all requirements for a master's degree and indicating
whether or not the candidate is recommended to proceed to doctoral
Requirements for the PhD Degree
An overview of the University requirements for the PhD degree
is presented in Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees. A&S-specific requirements are detailed below.
The minimum requirement for the PhD degree of 72 credits may be earned in formal course work, directed study, independent study, and/or thesis and dissertation research.
No course numbered below 1000 may be applied toward a graduate degree and no more than 12 credits of 1000 level can count towards a doctoral degree.
Students must achieve the minimum GPA established by their departments, in no case less than 3.00, to be eligible to undergo the preliminary examination, to take the comprehensive examination, to be admitted to candidacy for the PhD degree, and to be graduated.
Second Language and/or Other Tools of Research
The requirement of proficiency in the use of second languages or other tools of research is at the discretion of individual departments. The second language departments have the capacity to evaluate second language proficiency and will be available to so certify.
The nature of the preliminary examination/evaluation and the time
when it is conducted are determined by each department. In some
programs, the preliminary doctoral exam/evaluation may be combined
with a master's comprehensive examination. See Preliminary Evaluation
under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study for further details
on regulations pertaining to the exam. Students must be registered in the term they are completing the Preliminary Examination.
Comprehensive examination results must be reported promptly to
A&S Graduate Studies, Student Services, 5141 Sennott Square,
and no later than the last day of the term in which the examination
is administered. Students must be enrolled in the term in which they are completing the Comprehensive Examination. See Comprehensive Examination under Regulations
Pertaining to Doctoral Study for further detail on regulations regarding
Doctoral dissertation committees are composed of four members, all of whom must be current members of the Graduate Faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. There must be three Graduate Faculty members from the candidate's department (“internal members”) and at least one Graduate Faculty member external to the candidate's department (“external member”). A list of Graduate Faculty for the university can be viewed at the following website: http://www.ir.pitt.edu/gradfac/homepg.htm. Membership on the Graduate Faculty is not automatic and must be formally requested by the faculty member's department or school and approved by the Associate Dean before the faculty member can serve on a doctoral dissertation committee.
External committee members must be approved by the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies before the thesis proposal/prospectus meeting or defense. Prior approval also must be obtained for any prospective committee member from the University of Pittsburgh or elsewhere who does not have Graduate Faculty status but is requested as an additional committee member beyond the four required members with Graduate Faculty status. Any changes to the committee after the thesis proposal/prospectus/overview meeting also must be approved by the Assistant Dean before the defense. Forms for admission to candidacy and committee changes can be obtained in 5141 Sennott Square. If a graduate faculty member has a primary appointment in one department and a secondary or joint appointment in another department, s/he may serve as either an internal or external committee member. S/he may also serve as a chair or co-chair of the committee. All committee members are required to be physically present at both the thesis proposal/prospectus/overview meeting and the defense. In special circumstances, a committee member may request to participate via videoconferencing at either the overview or defense, but cannot participate remotely in both. Only the Assistant Dean can approve a remote participation from one of the two required meetings (overview or defense).
A graduate faculty member from another University may serve as the external member of a doctoral committee with the approval of the Assistant Dean. A department must submit the C.V. of the external member along with a memo justifying their participation on the committee (i.e., special expertise in a particular field). Requests for external members must be approved by the Assistant Dean in advance of the requested member’s participation on the doctoral committee. The Assistant Dean will review the material and either approve or reject the proposed external member. It must be understood by the external member that they are required to be present in person at both the thesis proposal/prospectus/overview meeting and the defense of the dissertation at their own expense. Any exceptions to this attendance rule must be approved by the Assistant Dean in advance. A graduate faculty member from another school or University, who has been approved by the Assistant Dean, may serve as a cochair of a dissertation committee.
Committee members who leave the university after a graduate student has been admitted to candidacy may stay on the committee in their original capacity, be it as an internal/external member, as long as they are willing and able to physically attend the defense, and providing that the defense is scheduled within 12 months of the faculty member's departure. The only exception to this rule is if the departed committee member is the chair, in which case a co-chair from the department must be designated. If a committee member retires, they may remain on the committee as long as they are still willing to serve, and are still active professionally in the academic community.
For further detail on the committee's duties, see Doctoral Committee
under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study.
Admission to Candidacy for the PhD Degree
After completion of the overview, the student should, in consultation
with the student's major advisor, file the application for admission
to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Students are informed
of admission to candidacy by written notification from the assistant
dean of graduate studies. When the topic has been accepted and the
proposed doctoral committee has been approved by the department
chair and the assistant dean of graduate studies, the student will
be informed of admission to candidacy and of the membership of the
doctoral committee. Students must be enrolled in the term in which they are completing the overview for candidacy. For a listing of requirements for admission
to candidacy, see Admission to Candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy
Admission to candidacy must be at least eight months before the defense of the dissertation in order to provide an opportunity for the members of the doctoral committee to review, criticize, and monitor the proposed research.
Meetings of the doctoral candidate and the dissertation committee
must occur at least annually from the time the student gains admission
to doctoral candidacy. A record of such meetings must be maintained
in the student's file in the department.
See Dissertation and Abstract under Regulations Pertaining to
Doctoral Degrees for an overview of requirements and form for the
dissertation and abstract. In addition, students in A&S
should note that photocopies of journal articles may be used only
in the appendix and only if necessary.
Language of the Doctoral Dissertation
The language in which doctoral dissertations are written shall normally be English. Exceptions may be granted for graduate students in second language departments but only for sound reasons of scholarship. Permission shall never be granted on the grounds of inadequate command of English. Students who wish to write a dissertation in a second language shall apply formally to their department chair for permission. The application must be approved by the assistant dean of graduate studies prior to submission of the paperwork for admission to candidacy. For approval, the following requirements must have been met:
- The application must be recommended for approval by the department.
- All members of the doctoral committee must have an adequate command of the language.
- The student must have demonstrated full proficiency in English to the satisfaction of the assistant dean of graduate studies.
Dissertation abstracts shall in any case be in English. The final oral examination must be conducted in English.
Final Oral Examination
Students preparing to take their final oral examination in defense of their dissertation should refer to Final Oral Examination under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for details on the examination. Expansions on and additions to that information are given below.
Candidates for a doctoral degree must provide a suitable number of copies of the dissertation, as designated by their doctoral committee, for review and use during the final oral examination.
One copy of the dissertation must be submitted to each member of the doctoral committee at least two weeks before the date set for the final oral examination. All members of the doctoral committee must attend the examination; exceptions can be made only with the permission of the assistant dean of graduate studies. At least four weeks before the final examination, the chair of the doctoral committee must provide the assistant dean of graduate studies with a typewritten notice, listing the title of the dissertation and the time and place for its defense, for announcement in the University Times and Pitt Chronicle. A report of this examination and a report on approval of the dissertation, signed by all members of the doctoral committee, must be sent to the assistant dean of graduate studies for approval. The report on the approval of the dissertation may be signed concurrently with or subsequently to the report of the final oral examination. If the decision of the committee is not unanimous, the case is referred to the assistant dean of graduate studies for resolution.
When the examination is completed, the candidate must notify the assistant dean if they have
uploaded an electronic dissertation and submit three copies
of an abstract of the dissertation initialed by the dissertation
advisor in the upper right-hand corner. These documents must have
been prepared for publication in accordance with instructions furnished
by A&S Graduate Studies, Student Services, 5141 Sennott Square.
Each candidate must execute an agreement for the publication of
the dissertation on microfilm and for publication of the abstract
in Dissertation Abstracts; respond to the Survey of Earned
Doctorates; and present a Microfilm Processing Fee Receipt
when the dissertation is deposited in 5141 Sennott Square. All graduation requirements are in the graduation packet available each term in 5141 Sennott Square.
Multiple Degree Options
Students in A&S have several options for dual and joint degrees
that may be pursued as detailed below. Students also may pursue
two independent degree programs simultaneously, either in two departments
within A&S or in a department within A&S and a department
in another school at the University. For information on pursuing
two independent degrees simultaneously, see Two Independent Degree
Programs Simultaneously under Special Academic Opportunities.
A&S dual-degree programs are available only in mathematics and computer science. For further details, contact one of those departments and see Cooperative-, Dual-, and Joint-Degree Programs under Special Academic Opportunities.
There are three joint-degree programs involving A&S:
- The MD/PhD program offers selected students an opportunity to
earn MD and PhD degrees simultaneously from the School of Medicine
and certain departments in A&S. Interested applicants should
contact the MD/PhD program at M211 Scaife Hall, 412-648-2324 for
- The MBA/MA in area studies program provides students who are admitted to the MBA program in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business an opportunity to earn a joint MA in area studies with foci in Asian studies, Latin American studies, Russian and East European Studies, or West European studies. Interested students should contact the International Business Center, 355 Mervis Hall, 412-648-1509 for further information.
- The JD/MA program offers selected students the opportunity to earn the JD and the interdisciplinary MA degree in bioethics. Interested students should see the Bioethics section of this bulletin or call the School of Law at 412-648-1415.
In both the dual- and joint-degree programs, students must be admitted to both academic programs offering the degrees and must be graduated from both degree programs at the same time. For further details, see Cooperative-, Dual-, and Joint-Degree Programs under Special Academic Opportunities.
A variety of interdisciplinary programs leading to completion of
a certificate may be pursued by students working toward a master's
degree or doctorate in A&S.
Department and Program Descriptions
The minimal requirements established by the Graduate Faculty
of the University, as described under General Academic Regulations,
and any additional requirements of A&S Graduate Studies described
under A&S Degree Requirements, should be read in conjunction
with specific departmental and program requirements.
Courses numbered from 1000 to 1999, inclusive, are primarily advanced undergraduate courses, but under appropriate circumstances they may be taken for graduate credit. All courses numbered 2000 and above are open only to graduate students unless special permission is granted.
Descriptions of graduate courses offered in a particular term in
departments of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences can be obtained by visiting the following Web site: www.courses.as.pitt.edu.
Departments/Programs Web sites
- Return to the main page to select departmental text in the bulletin. Click below to visit the individual department program Web sites.
- Biological Sciences
Computational Modeling and Simulation
East Asian Languages & Literatures
French and Italian Languages and Literatures
Geology and Planetary Science
Germanic Languages and Literatures
Hispanic Languages and Literatures
History of Art and Architecture
History and Philosophy of Science
Intelligent Systems Program
Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology
Neuroscience, Center for
Physics and Astronomy
Slavic Languages and Literatures
- Asian Studies
- Cultural Studies
- Film Studies
Gender, Sexuality, and women's Studies
Latin American Studies
- Medieval and Renaissance Studies
- Russian and East European Studies
- West European Studies