Graduate study in engineering at the Swanson School is designed for those professionals who wish to further develop the ability to apply engineering principles to the solution of modern society’s problems. The programs are flexible and can be used by those interested in research, design, management, and related technical positions in both the public and private sectors. PhD programs are designed for those individuals interested in an academic or research career.
The Swanson School of Engineering offers graduate education leading to the Master of Science degree in bioengineering, bioengineering-medical product engineering, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, civil engineering, industrial engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering, petroleum engineering, and sustainable engineering. Swanson School of Engineering MS degree programs have two tracks: a professional track and a research track. The school offers PhD degrees in bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering as well as computational modeling and simulation. Also offered is a MD/PhD Program with the School of Medicine, a DPT/PhD program with the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, a MS/MBA program with the Katz School of Business, and Certificate programs in medical product innovation, construction management, health care systems engineering, nuclear engineering, physical metallurgy, safety engineering, and sustainable engineering.
The Swanson School of Engineering is housed in the Michael L. Benedum Hall of Engineering. Inquiries and correspondence concerning graduate study toward a PhD, MS, or graduate Certificate, should be addressed to the graduate coordinator of the appropriate department or program. Inquiries of a general nature can be sent to:
Associate Dean for Graduate Education
151 Benedum Engineering Hall
Swanson School of Engineering
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
All applicants will be judged on their own merits. For recent graduates of an ABET-accredited program, admission will be based primarily on the undergraduate academic record. Typically, a B average (cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better is required for admission. GRE scores are not required for applications and admissions, but may be optionally submitted by students who want them included as part of their application package.
Applicants from non-ABET accredited programs also are considered on an individual basis with emphasis given to academic achievement, area of study, career orientation, and work experience. Depending on the program, applicants who do not have an engineering degree may have to take certain prerequisite courses before beginning their graduate engineering degree program. Applicants may be admitted provisionally until specified prerequisites are completed and/or a 3.000 grade point average is achieved. Undergraduate courses cannot be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements.
Graduate Special Student - A student not currently enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh will be granted temporary admission, typically only for one term and at most for a total of six credits. Students in this classification cannot earn credits toward the completion of degree requirements at the University of Pittsburgh, with the following exception: students who are unable to meet the deadline for filing an official application for admission may be granted temporary admission status by the appropriate Graduate Coordinator. Regular admission must be granted within the first term of registration as a Special Student. Graduate credits earned during this temporary admission period can be applied toward a graduate degree, with approval of the appropriate Department Graduate Coordinator.
- See the Swanson School of Engineering Web site for the online application. A fee is associated with the application and is not refundable. Requests for an application fee waiver should be directed to the Graduate Coordinator of your intended degree or certificate program.
- Request an official transcript for each undergraduate and graduate school attended from the respective University Registrars. Official transcripts should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the University of Pittsburgh; Swanson School of Engineering Office of Admissions; 151 Benedum Engineering Hall; Pittsburgh, PA 15261. An official transcript of the undergraduate record is required unless the applicant is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
Once all application materials, including the application fee and complete transcripts, are received, the application will be reviewed. As application deadlines vary by department, please review the information found here: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Graduate/. Deadlines for financial assistance vary by department and program; details can be found here: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/academics/graduateadmissions/admissions/admission-deadlines/.
Additional Requirements for International Students
Please see Graduate Admissions of International Students in the front section of this bulletin for additional University regulations on admissions.
International Students: In addition to academic review by the Swanson School of Engineering, the Office of International Services (OIS) admissions officer will process international student applications for non-academic qualifications. The document needed to apply for a non-immigrant visa will be issued only after the applicant has been admitted and has provided evidence of adequate financial support and English language proficiency. The procedure for international applicants is as follows:
- Preliminary inquiries concerning graduate programs, research, and financial aid may be directed to the appropriate graduate program coordinator.
- Following review (and acceptance) by the program based upon the applicant’s academic qualifications, the OIS admissions officer will review the applicant’s financial and language qualifications to determine eligibility for a visa document.
- Prior to completion of registration for the first academic term, entering engineering graduate students with TOEFL scores of less than 100 on the iBT or Duolingo English Test Scores below 120 (or equivalent) must take an additional test of English language proficiency administered by the English Language Institute (ELI). International students who are citizens of countries where English is the official language, international students who have completed degrees at regionally accredited institutions in the U.S., and international students who have results on the TOEFL above 100 on the iBT or above 120 on the Duolingo English Test (or equivalent) may be exempted from taking the additional test of English language proficiency by the student’s academic department.
This procedure applies also to international applicants who are already in the United States.
The University reserves the right, even after the arrival and enrollment of a student from another country, to require, at the student’s expense, individual curricular adjustments whenever particular deficiencies or needs are found. This may include enrollment without credit in English as a Foreign Language or other prerequisite courses. New international students are encouraged to use the services of OIS for help in adjusting to the United States and to facilitate their total educational experience.
The Swanson School of Engineering provides a considerable amount of financial assistance to highly qualified, full-time graduate students. Applicants interested in being considered for financial assistance, including teaching and research assistantships, should check with the department or program of their choice for any additional information concerning applications for assistantships. Deadlines for financial assistance vary by department and program; details can be found here: https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/academics/graduateadmissions/admissions/admission-deadlines/.
Financial aid includes:
- Fellowships awarded to students of outstanding ability, usually as an unrestricted grant.
- Traineeships awarded to students for training in selected areas.
- Teaching assistantships and teaching fellowships awarded to exceptionally well-prepared students in return for assistance in laboratories, recitation sections, and other instructional duties. Partial to full tuition scholarships are provided with these assistantships.
- Research assistantships awarded to students for assistance to research programs. Partial to full tuition scholarships are provided as part of the assistantship.
Three types of advisors are primarily responsible for guiding engineering students through their program:
Graduate Coordinator or Vice Chair
The Graduate Coordinator or Vice Chair is the faculty member responsible for the operation of the department’s graduate program. The coordinator supervises the operations of admissions, registration, course scheduling, assignment of advisors, graduation, and academic disciplinary procedures. The graduate coordinator generally is the best source of information and advice when questions arise or problems are encountered during graduate study.
Each student is assigned a faculty advisor when admitted into a graduate program, and the Faculty Advisor may be the Graduate Coordinator or Vice Chair for the department. This advisor assists the student in planning a course of study and is responsible for approving the student’s registration and all course changes. Once the student begins thesis or dissertation research, the duties of the faculty advisor are assumed by the student’s major research advisor.
Major Research Advisor(s)
The major research advisor (or advisors if joint advisors are designated) is the graduate faculty member who directs the student’s research and supervises the preparation of the thesis or dissertation. Generally, the major advisor fulfills the role of faculty advisor and also serves as the chair of the final oral examination (defense) committee for the student’s thesis or dissertation.
Responsibility for Academic Progress
It is the responsibility of students to check their academic progress by contacting either the Graduate Coordinator/Vice Chair or their faculty advisor. The student should also become familiar with the program degree requirements and pertinent academic regulations, including department handbooks, this SSoE Graduate Catalog, and the Regulations Governing Graduate Study and other policies maintained by the Provost’s office (https://www.provost.pitt.edu/policies-guidelines).
Academic Integrity and Code of Conduct
The integrity of the academic process requires fair and impartial evaluation on the part of faculty and honest academic conduct on the part of students. Students are expected to conduct themselves with a high level of responsibility in the fulfillment of their course of study and their conduct in and out of the classroom. Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy can impact a student’s grade or status with the University; some serious or subsequent violations could lead to suspension or dismissal. Academic Integrity violations can also affect a student’s eligibility for scholarships and assistantships. It is the corresponding responsibility of faculty to make clear to students those standards by which they will be evaluated and the resources permissible for use by students during their course of study. The educational process is perceived as a joint faculty-student enterprise that will involve professional judgment by faculty and may involve, without penalty, reasoned exception by students to the data or views offered by faculty. Consistent with these considerations (and without limiting their scope and application in their entirety to the academic programs of the University), faculty and students are directed to observe established University of Pittsburgh and Swanson School of Engineering guidelines on academic integrity and the University Code of Conduct. The Swanson School of Engineering and the University of Pittsburgh Guidelines on Academic Integrity are available to faculty and students at https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Academic-Integrity-Guidelines/. The University’s student Code of Conduct is available at https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Code-of-Conduct_10-1-2020.pdf
Probation, Suspension and Dismissal
A graduate student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.000 will be placed on academic probation for the following term. Students on probation are not eligible to take the PhD preliminary evaluation or the MS or PhD comprehensive examination and will not be graduated. A student’s whose cumulative GPA remains below 3.000 for the next academic year term (i.e., the cumulative GPA is below 3.000 for two successive academic year terms) will be dismissed from the Swanson School. Students who are dismissed will normally be suspended from the University for one calendar year, and students who are dismissed will not be re-admitted to the Swanson School of Engineering.
Course Work for Graduate Credit
Only graduate courses (i.e., 2000 or 3000 level courses) will count for graduate credit. Students may not use undergraduate courses taken at either the University of Pittsburgh, or another university to satisfy a graduate requirement.
Online courses are allowed only with the support of the academic department Graduate Coordinator or Vice Chair, and must be approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, on a case by case basis. These courses must be:
- Offered by an appropriate academic graduate program.
- Suitable for the student’s academic program and typically not available on the University of Pittsburgh campus
Statute of Limitations Requirements
The Swanson School of Engineering adheres to the University of Pittsburgh statute of limitations for all MS, Professional MS (non-thesis), and PhD programs.
Master of Science Programs
All departments in the Swanson School of Engineering offer MS degree programs that have two tracks: a professional (non-thesis) track and a research track. The differences are detailed below. At the discretion of the appropriate Graduate Coordinator, students may transfer no more than six credits of appropriate graduate course work from another graduate program to satisfy the course requirements of both the professional and research MS degrees.
Professional MS Track
The professional track consists of approximately 30 credits (10 courses). The faculty of the degree-granting program determines the actual course content and requirements. These programs typically have a set of required core courses. Students may have an opportunity for more in-depth study in a particular area of interest through a two- or three-course concentration. As a professional degree, while no thesis or comprehensive examination is required, the department may require a special projects course.
The professional MS programs are oriented toward full-time students seeking a career in industry and part-time students currently working in industry. Certain programs may be offered off campus at industrial sites or online. Although students who have an undergraduate degree in a technical area (e.g., mathematics, physics, computer science, or chemistry) may be accepted, depending on the particular program, they may be required to take additional specified prerequisite courses. These undergraduate pre-requisite courses cannot be used to satisfy graduate course requirements. Interested students should contact the appropriate Graduate Coordinator for details.
Research MS Track
The research track is primarily for those students who wish to pursue the PhD. Students in this track will be advised to take courses best suited for a research degree. The MS research track requires a minimum of 24 course credits, depending on the selected degree, and six credits of thesis research. The department may also specify credit distribution requirements for courses in the major and related areas. The student should see his or her major advisor for detailed information. Students working under the MS research option are required to present a thesis that demonstrates marked attainment in some area of the student’s major subject, as well as acquisition of the methods and techniques of scientific investigation. Certain programs may permit a project to be completed in place of the thesis. A comprehensive examination or equivalent is required, which is usually met through the final oral exam for the thesis.
A graduate student may commence MS thesis work only after obtaining full graduate status. A graduate student should initiate preliminary thesis and research work as early as possible. Once research and thesis work has begun, the student must register for thesis credits of research in each succeeding term until successful completion of the thesis and the final oral examination. Exceptions to this rule can be made only upon the recommendation of the student’s major advisor. Only six credits of MS thesis may be used as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the MS degree.
MS Thesis Oral Examination (Defense)
The purpose of this examination is to evaluate the student’s MS thesis and is part of the MS thesis requirements as specified by the program. For additional information on the thesis exam, see Thesis Option under Regulations Pertaining to Master of Arts and Master of Science Degrees .
Residency and Statute of Limitations Requirements
A graduate student may complete all requirements for the MS degree on a part-time basis. All degree requirements for the MS degree, however, must be fulfilled within a period of four calendar years after the student’s first registration for graduate study.
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD)
All graduate students preparing a thesis or dissertation must go to the ETD Online System and follow the instructions in the ETD Format Guidelines for submission of an ETD. The ETD Approval form and other necessary documentation are to be submitted to the Swanson School of Engineering Records Office. Questions and problems can be addressed by contacting the School of Engineering Records Office at email@example.com
Joint MBA/MS Degree Program
The Swanson School of Engineering and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business have established joint MBA/MS (non-thesis) programs with each engineering Department graduate degree programs and the sustainability program. These programs are designed to meet the clear and growing need felt by various industry sectors for managers with sophisticated business and engineering skills. In today’s environment, such cross-functional skills are essential in addressing multifaceted problems involving issues related to product development, quality, information systems, modeling and quantitative analysis, finance and accounting, international relations, and marketing.
Both full-time and part-time options are available. The full-time option can be completed in two academic years, whereas the part-time option may typically require a period of four to five years. The programs generally consist of 64.5 credits full time (or 69 credits part time). These programs are designed for students with undergraduate degrees in engineering and, in some cases, the physical sciences, preferably with industry work experience. Candidates must meet the admissions criteria of both the MBA program and the specific professional (non-thesis) MS engineering program of interest.
Students accepted into the program will be expected to complete both degrees concurrently. Courses will be scheduled in such a manner as to preclude students from receiving one degree before the other. This program is only for those students seeking a professional MS engineering degree. Students interested in the research MS engineering degree track will not be admitted. Because of the high credit demand, students in the program will not be able to hold either research or teaching assistant positions. Students who enroll in the joint degree program are expected to complete both degrees. Full-time students will register for the program through the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business for four semesters. For more information see https://business.pitt.edu/mba/joint-degree-mba/mba-and-master-of-science-in-engineering/.
Doctor of Philosophy Programs
The general PhD requirements of the Swanson School of Engineering are listed below. Further information concerning degree requirements and options can be found under each program’s catalog description.
Entrance to the PhD Program
A graduate student who has received the Master of Science degree in one engineering program area or has equivalent preparation is eligible to enter a doctoral program in that same area. To be accepted for a doctoral program, a graduate student must have achieved a superior scholastic record and shown great promise for conducting independent research. A prospective doctoral student should have a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.00 in graduate course work. Evidence of research aptitude, including favorable recommendations, is required. Exceptionally well-qualified students may be permitted to enter the PhD program without an MS degree according to the established criteria and qualifications set by each department. Admission to a doctoral program does not include any implication concerning admission to candidacy for the PhD degree.
Course and Dissertation Credit Requirements
An objective of the PhD program is to attain a high degree of competence in the student’s chosen field of specialization. Completion of the PhD program requires a total of 72 credits, of which at least 30 must be for research. The graduate faculty determines the minimum course requirements for each PhD program. Typically, each program has a core of well-coordinated courses followed by advanced course work in one or more specialty areas, with the number of course credits varying among programs. Additional course work may be prescribed in accord with the student’s specific needs. However, all PhD students must take a minimum of 24 credits of graduate level didactic coursework (2000 or 3000 level). A student may further attain the required degree of competence beyond these 24 credits by other means including independent study under faculty supervision. Regardless of how the required competence is obtained, it must be certified by passing the appropriate series of examinations.
Prior to completing the Comprehensive Examination (or Dissertation Proposal), students register for preliminary dissertation research using a 3990 or 3997 course, as appropriate to the Department or Program. Upon passing the Comprehensive Exam, students are admitted to PhD candidacy and register for dissertation research (3999). The number of dissertation credits for which a student registers should be commensurate with the independent research effort to be undertaken during the term. Minimum registration is three credits per term. Of the minimum 30 credits of dissertation research, at least 12 credits must be for the program’s PhD dissertation research course (3999).
Once a student registers for dissertation research (3999), he or she must continue to register for dissertation research in successive terms (not including the summer term) until they have completed the necessary 72 credits required for PhD study. Doctoral students who have completed all credit requirements for the degree, including any minimum dissertation credit requirements, and are working full time on their dissertations should register for Full-Time Dissertation Study (FTD), which carries no credits or letter grade but provides students full-time status. Students so enrolled are assessed a special tuition fee.
Doctor of Philosophy Evaluation/Examinations
To complete the PhD program, students must pass the preliminary evaluation, comprehensive and final oral examinations. Students who have less than a 3.00 cumulative GPA for all courses that satisfy graduation requirements are considered to be on probation and will not be permitted to take any of these examinations until their GPA is brought above 3.00.
Preliminary Evaluation (Qualifier)
See Preliminary Evaluation under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for an overview of the purpose of this examination; school-specific information follows. This examination is usually taken within the first two to four terms of graduate study and is a first step towards the student’s formal admission to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Each program determines the exact format and content of this examination, which may consist of written and oral components. Qualifier examinations are usually given once or twice a year at a time specified by the program.
See Comprehensive Examination under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for an overview of the purpose and regulations of this examination; school-specific information follows. The nature and timing of this examination is determined by the department; it may be combined with students’ formal presentation of their dissertation proposal. However, the Comprehensive Examination cannot be taken until at least one full term after successfully completing the Preliminary Examination. The formal thesis proposal should be scheduled as soon as the candidate is prepared to present his/her topic and research plan, since there must be at least two full terms between its successful completion and the Final Oral Examination.
Final Oral Examination (Defense)
See Final Oral Examination under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for an overview of the purpose and regulations regarding this examination; school-specific information follows. This examination cannot occur sooner than two full terms following the formal thesis proposal. The final oral examination determines the acceptability of a student’s dissertation and the student’s ability to comprehend, organize, and contribute to the chosen field of research. 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. Because a portion of the defense is open to the public, the student should ensure that the dissertation defense is formally announced at least two weeks prior to the defense date.
Admission to PhD Candidacy
See Admission to Candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for the requirements for admission. An Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Doctoral Degree must be filed after these requirements have been met.
In order to have the dissertation topic approved, the student must prepare, in consultation with their major advisor(s), a dissertation proposal. A formal dissertation proposal conference will then be held in which the members of the doctoral committee will review the proposal and either accept, revise, or reject it. Depending on the department’s procedure, this conference may be held in conjunction with the comprehensive examination. Approval of the proposal does not imply either the acceptance of a dissertation prepared in accord with the proposal or the restriction of the dissertation to this original proposal.
If the dissertation proposal is accepted by the doctoral committee, the student is formally admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Such admittance to PhD candidacy must be accomplished at least two terms before the student plans to graduate.
See Doctoral Committee under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for an overview of the committee’s make up and responsibilities. In addition, the following school-specific rules apply in the School of Engineering:
Faculty who hold a secondary appointment and actively participate in the department will be considered as internal rather than external members of the doctoral committee. Hence, they may serve as the major advisor. Faculty members whose secondary appointment within the department is viewed as a courtesy appointment may be considered as an external committee member but cannot serve as the student’s sole committee chair (major advisor).
The composition of the Doctoral Committee must be approved by the department’s graduate coordinator and the Associate Dean for Graduate Education prior to the presentation of the formal dissertation proposal. A committee must consist of four or more persons, including at least one from outside the department. This external member must hold a Ph.D. and may be from another department within the University of Pittsburgh, an appropriate graduate program at another academic institution, a government agency, or industry. The majority of the committee, including the major adviser, must be full or adjunct members of the Graduate Faculty. Typically, the committee will consist of three internal (from the department) and one external members. In certain cases, the graduate coordinator or associate dean may recommend one or more additional members of the committee, if appropriate. Once the dissertation proposal is approved, the student is expected to meet at least annually with his/her Doctoral Committee.
If a committee member leaves the University, that member can continue to serve as an internal committee member provided that he/she has an adjunct appointment in the student’s home department. If the major advisor (committee chair) leaves the University, then a new major advisor must be appointed by the graduate coordinator and approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education. The new major advisor will typically be selected from among the remaining committee members. The former major advisor may remain on the committee as a member, but only if he/she has an adjunct appointment. The graduate coordinator and School administration must be informed of any proposed committee changes in the term they occur.
A major advisor has an obligation to assist the student to the successful completion of his/her dissertation. In those rare cases where the major advisor no longer feels that he/she can adequately work with the student, then it is incumbent on the department chair and graduate coordinator to meet with the committee and, if it is decided that the student is able to complete the dissertation, then select a new major advisor, typically from among the remaining members of the committee. A replacement committee member must also be appointed.
Each student must prepare a dissertation embodying an extended original, independent investigation of a problem of significance in the student’s field of specialization. The dissertation must add to the general store of knowledge or understanding of that field. Dissertations must be written in English. It is highly recommended that the student use a plagiarism-detection software (e.g., iThenticate) to ensure that no plagiarism, which is considered research misconduct, has been committed, overtly, covertly, or inadvertently.
A dissertation submitted to the Swanson School of Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree must be free from any restriction, other than the author’s copyright, concerning its publication by any agency outside the University. Any publication of a dissertation must be with appropriate acknowledgment to the University of Pittsburgh. After the dissertation has been prepared and approved by the major advisor, the final oral examination can be held.
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD)
All graduate students preparing a thesis or dissertation must go to the ETD Online System and follow the instructions in the ETD Format Guidelines for submission of an ETD. The ETD Approval form and other necessary documentation are to be submitted to the Swanson School of Engineering Records Office. Questions and problems can be addressed by contacting the School of Engineering Records Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The policies enumerated above represent minimum requirements. In certain cases, individual departments may have stricter requirements. It is the ultimate responsibility of the student to understand the policies/requirements of their graduate program; questions should be directed to their Graduate Coordinator or Vice Chair.
Computational Modeling and Simulation PhD Program
The Computational Modeling and Simulation (CMS) PhD Program at the University of Pittsburgh provides its graduate students with an integrated program of creative, independent research, course work, and teaching. Our students pursue research in diverse areas of engineering and sciences with concentration on numerical methods and computational schemes. Coupled with the University Center for Research Computing (www.crc.pitt.edu), this program offers unparalleled opportunities for individualized training in high performance computing and physical modeling. An extensive seminar series exposes students and faculty alike to the world’s leading scientists and their latest research. Pitt’s outstanding research and placement resources, coupled with the university’s commitment to being one of the top centers for computational research, uniquely positions us to help our PhD candidates to meet their objectives. For a review of our PhD Program in CMS, and application to this program, please see: www.cmsp.pitt.edu
Joint MD/PhD Degree Program/Medical Scientist Training Program
The Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) offers exceptionally talented individuals the opportunity to undertake a physician-scientist training program tailored to their specific research interests. This program is funded partly by the Medical Scientist Training Program of the National Institutes of Health. For students who have a clearly defined interest in biomedical research, the MSTP serves as a bridge between the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and 20 graduate programs in basic sciences or engineering at either the University of Pittsburgh or Carnegie Mellon University. During a period of seven to eight years, these individuals meet the degree requirements of both a graduate school and the medical school, thus acquiring the knowledge, skills, and experience to begin careers in some of the most exciting areas of medical research. More information can be found here or by contacting MD/PhD program at 5585 Scaife Hall, 412-648-2324 for further information. http://www.mdphd.pitt.edu/
With the renewed emphasis on professional master degree programs and the development of such initiatives as the MS/MBA, and 3+1+1 (first three years at a home institution, a fourth year at the SSoE to earn the BS degree, and a fifth year at the SSoE to earn an MS degree) programs, there is a strong need to provide graduate students, including international graduate students, with a work opportunity that is an essential part of their education. This also includes PhD students who desire to take a term off in order to obtain industrial experience and perspective. Not only does the program provide them with needed experience, but it enables them to earn a reasonable amount of money over a 12-16 plus week work rotation. For more information, please visit http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/coop/.
SSOE Diversity Initiatives
Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate - Transition to the Doctorate by Adaptable Engagement (PITT - STRIVE)
The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Transition to the Doctorate by Adaptable Engagement (PITT - STRIVE) is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate-Knowledge Adoption and Translation (AGEP-KAT). The University of Pittsburgh PITT - STRIVE program is housed in and administered by the Swanson School of Engineering Office of Diversity.
Studies reveal that Black/African Americans (5.3%), Hispanic/Latinos (3.5%), Asian Americans (9.1%), and American Indians (1.4%) are significantly underrepresented in the professoriate compared to the university/college student populations. The primary goal of the PITT - STRIVE program is to improve the transitions of Underrepresented Minorities (URM), who are US citizens, into doctoral engineering programs at the University of Pittsburgh and to ensure their successful completion by employing evidence-based strategies for student and faculty engagement and fostering an inclusive academic climate for URM doctoral students.
The primary goals of PITT - STRIVE are to (a) significantly increase the number of underrepresented minorities (i.e., African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders) obtaining graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and (b) enhance the preparation of underrepresented minorities for faculty positions in academia.
The overarching goals of PITT - STRIVE at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering are to:
- Improve the transition of URM (African/Black American, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans) students, who are US citizens, into doctoral engineering programs at the University of Pittsburgh; and
- Create a systemic engineering culture and climate that ensures the success of URM transition to the doctorate through adoption/adaptation of evidence-based strategies for student and faculty engagement.
- Adapt and implement evidence-based strategies with URM doctoral student participants in engineering, who are US citizens.
- Enhance professional and educational skills of URM doctoral student participants in engineering, who are US citizens.
- Increase the number of URM doctoral student participants, who are US citizens, to continue and maintain an interest in the engineering PhD program.
- Improve faculty engagement with URM graduate students, who are US citizens in engineering.
- Improve faculty awareness of the problems facing URM graduate students who are US citizens in engineering.
- Develop a shared vision among vested faculty regarding the success of URM graduate students within the school of engineering.
- Fostering an inclusive academic culture climate for the success of URM doctoral students.
Who is eligible to participate in PITT - STRIVE?
- Member of an underrepresented minority group (Black/African American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latino, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander).
- US citizens (permanent residents and students with disability also eligible).
- Graduated from an accredited STEM undergraduate program with a 3.3/4.0 GPA and show strong motivation for entering a PhD program at University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. All PITT - STRIVE Scholars must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.300 to maintain the award. Activities associated with PITT - STRIVE include a Mentor/Mentee Weekend Retreat; the Discover Graduate Recruitment Weekend; and the Faculty-Student Engagement Training.
For more information on PITT - STRIVE please visit http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/diversity/agep/.
Graduate Engineering Education Scholarship (GEES)
The Graduate Engineering Education Scholarship (GEES) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, is designed to create access to MS Degrees through Scholarships and to Create Bridges to Professional Careers (BPC) through a thesis or project-based Master of Science degree program in any of the engineering degree programs. The GEES program will provide partial scholarships to support eligible MS students with unmet financial need and offer curriculum and co-curricular activities to enable the student to be successful in either the workforce or in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
GEES provides partial scholarships of up to $20,000 per scholar toward the completion of an MS degree program. The project provides faculty-guided course selection and mentorship to train an engineering graduate workforce capable of performing as creative engineers. Other strategies include building capacity for research and innovation (CRI), industrial internship, Individual Developmental Plan (IDP) structured to guide the scholars through plans for career, academic, industrial, and project developments, mentorships through faculty-structured apprenticeship, and providing graduate-student-centered community activities.
To be eligible, students must:
- Have unmet financial need.
- Have an overall BS GPA of 3.0/4.0 or above in any STEM field.
- Be interested or enrolled in a thesis or project-based MS degree in any engineering field.
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident.
- Perform well in the interview process to access motivation and preparation for graduate engineering education.
Graduate Diversity Workshop
The Graduate Diversity Workshop is mandatory for all graduate students in their first year of the program. It discusses principles of intercultural communication and acceptable classroom and research group behaviors.
For more information on PITT - STRIVE and GEES, please contact:
University of Pittsburgh
Swanson School of Engineering
Engineering Office of Diversity
129A Benedum Hall
3700 O’Hara Street
Pittsburgh PA 15261
Swanson School of Engineering Faculty
School of Engineering Faculty
Contact information and research interests of faculty members can be found on the Swanson School of Engineering faculty page.
Program and Course Offerings