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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 23, 2021
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Bachelors Degree Requirements


Graduation requirements differ among degrees. However, all degrees require a minimum of 120 passing credits with a minimum 2.00 overall GPA, completion of the School’s General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, and a Capstone Experience. Furthermore, students must earn at least half of the credits for their major(s), minor(s), and certificates(s) and the final 30 credits toward the School of Computing and Information degree while enrolled as an SCI student.

General Education Requirements

All students are required to complete general education requirements. These courses are meant to provide foundational skills and breadth of knowledge, aiming to provide students with a broad exposure outside of their core discipline of study while encouraging a focus on the application of techniques from the classroom to meaningful problems. 

Full lists of specific courses that meet the following requirements are available to students through the Academic Advisement Report and/or the “Plan by my requirements” tool found in the enrollment system. 

Informational videos and documents related to the AAR and other advisement and enrollment resources can be found on the Registrar’s Student Training website.

Note: Transfer students receive an evaluation of their previous course work indicating the equivalent University of Pittsburgh courses for which transfer credits have been awarded. Courses will meet requirements for the major where deemed appropriate by the Department. Students who believe that a previous course not equivalent to a Dietrich School course should meet a requirement for a major may petition the department to review that course. If students believe a course should meet a general education or skills requirement, they may petition the School’s Records Office.

Skills Courses

Skills requirements help ensure that all students attain appropriate levels of competence in writing, communication, and quantitative and formal reasoning. Students may be placed in or exempted from skills requirements based upon certain achievement test scores, University of Pittsburgh placement test scores, or course work completed at other colleges and universities. Skills requirements are outlined below.  All skills courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

  • Category 1:Expression (3 courses)
    • Introductory Composition
    • Technical, Business, or Research Writing
    • Communications
  • Category 2:Quantitative (2 courses)
    • One course in university-level mathematics for which algebra is a pre-requisite
    • An approved course in statistics

Polymathic Context

SCI degree programs address the holistic spectrum of computing and information, from producers to users and from science-oriented exploration to human-centric applications. The following requirements facilitate the development of a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, information management, and computing by immersing students in a variety of intellectual contexts that are crucial to understanding problems at the confluence of natural, social, and engineered systems to which computing and information skills can be brought to bear.

  • Category 3:Scientific Context (3 courses)
    • 2 sequenced courses in one discipline
    • 1 course in a second discipline OR a third course in the sequenced discipline
  • Category 4:Ethical and Policy Context (1 course)

At least one course from each of the following three categories (5 courses total)

  • Category 5:Global Awareness and Cross-Cultural Understanding
  • Category 6:Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Category 7: Humanistic Context
  • Category 8: Diversity
    • This course may fulfill other major or General Education Requirements.

Total:  14 courses

Requirements for the Major 

See the program offerings pages  for the major requirements

Capstone Experience

To provide an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge within a real-world context, all SCI students will complete a capstone experience as part of earning their degree. The mechanisms for satisfying the capstone requirement will be determined and defined by the faculty of the individual degree programs.

Degree programs allow this requirement to be satisfied in a number of ways, including:

  • Approved internship or co-op experiences
  • Directed research sponsored by a faculty member
  • Capstone-designated project courses

The capstone typically requires 2-3 credits to complete.


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