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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 15, 2024
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) Overview

Contact Information

Admission Information

Financial Information

SHRS Academic Regulations

Allowable Credits


Registration and Add/Drop Processes

Grading Policy and Records


Probation, Suspension and Dismissal Policy

Graduation Requirements

Graduate and Professional Student Association

Disability Resources and Services (SHRS specific regulations)

Veteran Benefits

SHRS faculty

SHRS Programs and Course Offerings

Welcome to The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS)

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) offers educational programs leading to the following graduate degrees and certificates:

Master’s Programs:

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (Coordinated Master)
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Master of Arts (MA)/Master of Science (MS)  in Communication Science and Disorders with concentrations in:

  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Audiology

Master of Science degree program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with concentrations in:

  • Health Information Systems
  • Health Care Supervision and Management
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Rehabilitation Science and Technology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Wellness and Human Performance

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Master of Science  in Prosthetics & Orthotics

Doctoral Programs:

Professional doctoral degrees:

  • Doctor of Audiology (AuD)
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) in Medical Speech-Language Pathology
  • Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) in Occupational Therapy

Doctor of Philosophy

  • Communication Science and Disorders
  • Rehabilitation Science

Certificate Programs:

SHRS offers two certificate programs for graduate students or for professionals who hold graduate degrees.

Advanced certificates through the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology

  • Certificate in Assistive Technology
  • Certificate in Disability Studies

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is affliliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences and also shares a close affiliation with the world-class University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). The medical center comprises a variety of hospitals and clinical facilities that affords students a wealth of opportunities for professional experience.

The mission of the school is to advance the theoretical base of knowledge underlying the practice of health and rehabilitation disciplines and professions through research, teaching and professional service.

The SHRS faculty ground their teaching upon research studies, clinical service and participation in their respective professional associations. Faculty research and service typically occurs within a multi-disciplinary collaboration in diverse health care and research environments. Consequently, both entry-level and advanced students are exposed to state-of-the-art curricula, which are continually reviewed from the perspective of new research findings, technological developments, changing public policy and accepted clinical and management practice.

Our students interact with role models and mentors who demonstrate the core values of their respective professions including commitment to:

  • Respect for the inherent value, dignity and integrity of the patient, client and/or research subject;
  • A service-oriented and personalized approach to health care and rehabilitation;
  • Ethical behavior in all clinical, service and research interactions with patients, colleagues, employees and others.

Philosophy of Graduate Education

The faculty of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) believes that it has a major responsibility in graduate education to broaden the perspectives and awareness of students in the health professions toward high standards of scholarship and recognition of its relevance to technological and human needs.

Graduate programs provide depth in a substantial area of the student’s profession and foster critical thinking through a variety of scholarly and creative activities thereby generating an atmosphere of scientific inquiry. These substantive areas include the knowledge of the scientific basis for the development of advanced clinical expertise within the professions represented in the School. An equally important function is to encourage health professionals to be sensitive to the needs of the human beings they are serving and to adapt their methods to the changing social, economic and technological environments in which they practice. Accordingly, these professionals should develop the capability to perform newly emerging and expanding roles of advanced clinical services, research, teaching and administration in the health care systems, advancing the frontiers of their particular field of expertise.

On the assumption that the accumulation and mastery of basic factual knowledge have been accomplished, graduate education focuses on synthesis and integration to allow for new systemic insights into the application and extension of that knowledge. The linkage of various educational experiences with research projects enhances problem-solving skills. Through interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary didactic, clinical and research experiences, individual professional identity is fostered, while the ability to function both on an independent and collaborative level with colleagues from other disciplines is enhanced.

Contact Information

Office of Admissions
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
4020 Forbes Tower
Fax: 412-383-6535

Admission Information

Application Procedures

Each graduate and doctoral program at SHRS has its own specific list of application requirements and instructions. We utilize various application portals for admission including the ApplyYourself Application Network, which is operated through the university, and various CAS portals (centralized application systems) which are unique application portals for specific professions.

The SHRS programs that utilize CAS are:

Communication Science and Disorders (MA/MS and AuD) (CSDCAS
Doctor of Physical Therapy (PTCAS
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTCAS
Physician Assistant Studies (CASPA
Prosthetics & Orthotics (OPCAS

The remaining SHRS graduate and doctoral programs utilize the Apply Yourself Application Network

Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling
Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics
Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences:

  • Health Care Supervision and Management
  • Health Information Systems
  • Neuromuscular or Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Science and Technology
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Sports Medicine
  • Wellness and Human Performance

Doctor of Clinical Science in Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Doctor of Clinical Science in Occupational Therapy
PhD in Communication Science
PhD in Rehabilitation Science

*Applicants for the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program should contact the OT Department

Admissions Process for International Students:

SHRS is a globally diverse community with students from over 20 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Greece, India, Indonesia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

As noted above, because each program has its own specific requirements, it is encouraged that international applicants review these requirements (including CAS programs).

In addition to general admission requirements, SHRS has specific requirements for international applicants which are noted below.

Application Deadlines

Fall admission: March 1*
Spring admission: September 1
Summer admission: February 1

*Please note that if a program deadline is prior to the deadline above you must submit your application by the program deadline.

Academic Credential Evaluations

International applicants applying to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) are required to have their academic credentials evaluated by one of the agencies listed below:

International Consultants of Delaware, Inc. (ICD)
3600 Market Street, Suite 450
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 387-6950 Ext.603
Fax: (215) 349-0026
email: Delaware (ICD)

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE)
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
Phone: (414) 289-3400
Fax: (414) 289-3411

Joseph Silney & Associates, Inc. (JS&A)
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338

The Academic Credential Evaluation must be submitted along with your application. A course by course evaluation including a grade point average equivalent is required. A final transcript or diploma showing completion of the undergraduate degree must be submitted prior to starting the program.

If an international student has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in the United States, this evaluation is not required.

Verification of English Language Proficiency

The University of Pittsburgh accepts TOEFL or IELTS test scores to verify English Language Proficiency.


Minimum TOEFL scores accepted* are:

  • 80 on the internet based test  
  • 550 on the paper based test 

TOEFL scores must be sent electronically through ETS to institution code 2927.


The minimum IELTS score accepted* is Band 6.5
IELTS scores must be mailed to the address below:
SHRS Admissions Office
4020 Forbes Tower
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
IELTS score reports must be submitted in the original sealed envelope to be considered official.

*Minimum scores required for the PhD Program in Rehabilitation Science are 100 on the TOEFL ibt, 600 on the TOEFL pbt, or Band 7.0 on the IELTS (reading and writing modules).

Verification of English Language Proficiency is required unless the following apply:  

  • The applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English
  • The applicant has completed a degree at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
  • The applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English

Process of Issuing Visa Documents

For future international students - Once you have confirmed your admission to the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) at the University of Pittsburgh, SHRS will notify the Office of International Services (OIS) of your future attendance. OIS will then email you to complete the information required to either create or verify your immigration documents. This email will also include information about the timeline for receiving a new immigration document and international student orientation.

All international students should refer to the University’s Office of International Services (OIS) website at  for information on admissions, orientation, immigration and visas, and life in Pittsburgh.

Admission Status

Full Status

The student has been admitted into a SHRS degree program. To maintain full graduate status, the student must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000 (based on 4.000) in his/her graduate study. Students whose cumulative GPA drops below a 3.000 while in the program will be placed on academic probation (please see the Academic Probation policy in this handbook).

Non-Degree Status

Individuals who are seeking advanced degrees but who are unable to meet the deadline for filing all required credentials for admission may be granted temporary admission as non-degree students provided they present acceptable evidence concerning their qualifications for graduate study. Regular admission must be accomplished within the first term of registration as a non-degree student.

Applicants who do not wish to enroll in a degree program may apply for admission as non-degree students to take one or more courses of particular interest, if written permission is obtained from the course instructor. Non-degree students are permitted to take a total of six (6) credits. A non-degree student wishing to register for more than 6 credits must receive approval from the Department Chair/Program Director.  Information concerning such requests should be directed first to the Director of Admissions, 4020 Forbes Tower, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 or via email at

Active Status

Graduate students are required to register for at least 1 credit in the fall and spring terms. PhD students who have completed their course work and have successfully proposed their dissertation, must be enrolled in dissertation credits or FTDI (Full time Dissertation Study) in the fall and spring terms to maintain active status.  All graduate students need to be enrolled in the term in which they plan to graduate.

Inactive Status

A student who has not registered for at least 1 credit or for full-time dissertation study during a 12- month period will be transferred automatically to inactive status. Inactive students cannot apply to graduate or take Preliminary or Comprehensive Examinations. While on inactive status, a student is not eligible to use University facilities and should not expect to receive counseling by the faculty or active supervision by his/her advisor and committee.


Readmission is not automatic nor does it necessarily reinstate the student to the academic status enjoyed prior to becoming inactive. Students must formally re-apply for admission and pay the application fee. If the requirements for successful completion of the specific graduate program in which the student was enrolled have changed during the period of non-enrollment, the re-admitted student may be required to meet the revised requirements of the program that are in effect at the time of readmission. This will be decided by the Department Chair of the student’s particular program; for the doctoral program the decision will be made by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Upon readmission, the student’s Plan of Study will be adjusted to meet the requirements at the time of readmission.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fee Rates

Tuition and fee rates are available on the Financial Information  page.

Additional Fees

Lab Fees: Lab courses may incur an additional fee to cover laboratory expenses. These fees will be charged to the student directly and will appear on the invoice generated by Student Accounts in addition to tuition and other fees each semester.

Liability Insurance: Students enrolled in a clinical education or practicum must carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is required for SHRS students and will automatically be included on the tuition bill.

Scholarships, Grants and Financial Aid

If you are interested in applying for loans, scholarships, grants, or work study, you should call, write or visit the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, Alumni Hall, Pittsburgh, PA  15260, 412-624-PITT. See also the SHRS website financial information page.

Financial Obligation of Students

The University of Pittsburgh has the right to withhold services if a student defaults on any financial obligation until repayment arrangements have been made that are satisfactory to the office or department to which the debt is owed.

Graduate Student Funding

Information on graduate student funding as well as teaching assistant and research assistant positions for graduate students is available at the University’s Graduate Studies Financial Information website:

SHRS Academic Regulations

Academic Integrity Policy

Students have the responsibility to be honest and to conduct themselves in an ethical manner while pursuing academic studies. Students have the right to be treated by faculty in a fair and conscientious manner in accordance with the ethical standards generally recognized within the academic community (as well as those recognized within the profession). Should a student be accused of a breach of academic integrity or have questions regarding faculty responsibilities, procedural safeguards including provisions of due process have been designed to protect student rights. These may be found in the SHRS Guidelines on Academic Integrity: Student and Faculty Obligations and Hearing Procedures.

Student Roles and Responsibilities

University of Pittsburgh Nondiscrimination Policy Statement

The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the mission of the University. This policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

University and SHRS Rules and Regulations

Students should understand and know how to access University, SHRS and individual program rules and regulations. Students should complete the SHRS new student orientation, and review the most updated online version of the University Graduate Catalog, handbook and their program’s policy information. Students should be aware of and meet important academic deadlines, e.g. registration, add/drop and monitored withdrawal. See the Academic Calendar  

Communicate with SHRS Faculty and Staff

Students should stay in regular communication with their academic advisor and faculty members. To facilitate this, the student should: 

  • check Pitt email regularly
  • inform academic advisor, faculty or department chair of difficulties that may impact academic standing
  • seek help as needed
  • make and keep regular advising/registration appointments with academic/faculty advisor

Name and Social Security Number Changes

Students are required to notify the University Registrar (G-3 Thackerary) to process changes in name and social security number. Please visit for more information.  Students should also notify the SHRS Dean’s office and their academic department of any changes to their contact information.

Plan of Study

Every student in SHRS must have a Plan of Study, signed by academic/faculty advisor, on file with Student Services by the end of the first semester in SHRS and as revised. Any changes to the Plan of Study must be approved by the academic/faculty advisor or Department Chair. To be certified for graduation, students must have successfully completed all courses outlined in their final Plan of Study as well as any other requirements for the degree. A final Plan of Study must be on file in Student Services 4019 Forbes Tower.

Minimum Academic Standard

It is the student’s responsibility to review her/his academic standing, to identify graduate program requirements and prerequisites for intended graduate program(s) and to monitor their completion.

All required and prerequisite coursework must be taken for a grade, when letter grade option is available, unless approved by the Department Chair/Program Director.
Students must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required by their program curriculum. Students who receive a grade below a C in a required course must repeat that course and attain a grade of C or better to graduate.

Note: University regulations state that a student may repeat any course in which a grade of B- or lower is received if an authorization to repeat the course is given by the student’s adviser/faculty.

Students will not be permitted to register for a course until they attain a C or better in its prerequisites.

Failure to receive an acceptable grade after the second opportunity to complete a required course may result in the student being dismissed from the program and SHRS.


Master and Clinical Doctorates

Master’s students are assigned an advisor who must be a member of the SHRS faculty holding a regular, research, clinical, or adjunct appointment, and having at least a master’s degree. The director of the program to which the student has been accepted selects advisors for SHRS graduate students. Students are notified of their advisor after their enrollment. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the advisor to schedule an initial meeting.

Doctor of Philosophy

PhD students are assigned and academic advisor in the students main area of specialization.  The academic advisor and student will plan course work and other experiences to enable the student to meet program requirements and her/his academic goals.

Change of Advisor

If either the student or his or her assigned advisor prefers, the student can choose another advisor. The student must obtain a Change of Advisor form, located on the SHRS website under forms.  The student must complete the form and secure the required signatures, and return the form to the Office of Student Services. As a general rule, students who have more than 50% of the credits required for graduation should not initiate change of advisor procedures.

Initial Responsibilities of the Advisor

Meet with each student advisee as soon as possible after admission to review goals, policies and procedures of the program, to assist the student in clarifying his or her educational goals, and to design a preliminary Plan of Study. The preliminary Plan of Study must be on file in Student Services by the end of the first term and then as revised.

Assist the student in selecting courses for the first term registration, sign all completed enrollment forms.

Ongoing Responsibilities of the Advisor

The student’s advisor should continue to provide support by:

  • being available to the student on a regular basis
  • meeting with the student as needed prior to each registration and reviewing academic progress
  • signing all completed necessary forms in a timely manner
  • helping the student meet important deadlines, e.g. registration, application for graduation
  • meeting with the student upon his/her notification of probationary status
  • assisting the student to access resources as needed
  • assist the student in creating, reviewing, and updating his/her Plan of Study according to undergraduate program and intended graduate program or professional requirements
  • help ensure that that Plan of Study is submitted to Student Services and updated as necessary
  • assist the student in planning internships or research projects
  • ensure that the student takes the comprehensive examination (if required) at the earliest appropriate time.  The term the student anticipated taking the examination should be included I the Plan of Study.

Allowable Credits

Transfer Credits

The completion of requirements for advanced degrees must be satisfied through registration at the Oakland Campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Graduate students already enrolled may, when approved in advance by their Department Chair and the Dean, spend a term or more at another graduate institution to obtain training or experience not available at the University of Pittsburgh and transfer those credits toward the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Pittsburgh. In such instances, neither the University nor any of its components are responsible for providing any financial assistance to the graduate student.

Transcripts certifying graduate courses completed at another institution prior to admission to the University of Pittsburgh should be submitted at the time of application, and will be evaluated for acceptability as transfer credits early in the student’s graduate career by the advisor and Department Chair.

For Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees, no more than six (6) credits may be transferred. The Office of Student Services will enter the transfer credits on the student’s transcript. Grades (and quality points) are not recorded for credits accepted by transfer.

For Professional Master and Clinical Doctorate Degrees, no more than one-third of the total number of required credits may be granted to a student as transfer credit for work done at another accredited graduate institution.

For all Master and Clinical Doctorate a maximum of six (6) credits in undergraduate courses (numbered 1000 and above) may be included in the Plan of Study.

For Doctor of Philosophy up to 30 credits taken at the graduate level (2000 & 3000 level courses) toward a master’s degree may be transferred.  In all cases, at least 36 credits must be completed as a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh.  No Undergraduate credits (1000 level course) may be applied towards the doctoral degree.  All transfer credits must be submitted to and approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Transfer credits will not be accepted for courses in which a grade lower than B (GPA = 3.000), or its equivalent, has been received. No credit is granted toward an advanced degree for work completed in extension courses, correspondence courses, or in the off-campus center or another institution unless those credits are approved for the equivalent graduate degrees at the institution, and provided that the institution has an accredited program.

Undergraduate Courses in the Graduate Program

A maximum of six (6) credits in undergraduate courses (numbered 1000 and above) may be included in the Plan of Study.



An internship is a period of supervised, planned, practical experience providing an opportunity to apply previously learned skills or theories designed to complement the didactic phase of the academic program. The internship may be primarily clinical, teaching, or administrative in nature. Many programs require internship experiences, coordinated by the student’s advisor or an identified Clinical Coordinator, who provides oversight regarding internship objectives and activities, administrative and contractual relationships with the site, and ensures that students meet all SHRS and site criteria.

Core Requirements:

Across all internship types and academic programs, internships share these requirements:

  1. All internship sites must have a formal contract between SHRS and the site in place before a student participates in internship.
  2. Prior to beginning the internship, students must meet all criteria required by the internship site and all relevant requirements specified by SHRS (e.g., legal and medical clearances, HIPAA training, documentation of health care coverage).  The advisor or clinical coordinator will advise the student on specific requirements to be completed.
  3. All students must register for the internship using the appropriate class number and number of credits specified within their plan of studies.
  4. Programs may require students to complete an Internship Proposal Form before registering for the internship. This form documents the internship site, the site and SHRS supervisor, the internship objectives and activities, and the time commitment; it needs to be signed by both supervisors.
  5. All registered SHRS graduate students are covered by University Liability Insurance, and are assessed an annual fee; the specific amount of the fee is subject to change.
  6. Students must adhere to all applicable SHRS, departmental, and program policies regarding the internship.

Grading of Internships:

The advisor or clinical coordinator ensures that a timely process of evaluation of the student’s progress occurs during the internship experience and considers this evaluation in assigning a final grade.  Depending on departmental and program requirements, grades may either be Letter Grades or Honors/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (H/S/U).

Detailed Information:

Please see specific SHRS program information for additional information and requirements on internships.

Clinical Internships:

Clinical learning experiences are an integral part of SHRS professional programs.  Clinical learning experiences provide the student with the opportunity to apply his/her knowledge in a supervised environment to develop clinical skills and judgment.

General Policies:

  • Students must follow all policies of the University, SHRS, the department/program, and the assigned clinical site.
  • Each program’s Clinical Education Coordinator will assign students to their clinical education sites.
  • All clinical education sites must have a current contract with the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Students will follow the same procedure to register for clinical education courses as for other courses.
  • Students should expect to travel during clinical education and are responsible for arranging/providing their own transportation. Students may be required to travel a distance or to relocate outside the area for his/her clinical education assignments.
  • All expenses for transportation, parking, housing, meals, and cost of clinical education prerequisites associated with clinical education are the student’s responsibility.
  • Any student who misses clinical time for any reason must meet with his/her Clinical Education Coordinator to discuss any needed make-up time.

Clinical Education Prerequisites:

The following are required by all SHRS programs in which students participate in clinical education. Each program’s Clinical Education Coordinator will advise the students of the deadlines for completion.

Students are required to have a physical examination, including specific immunizations, completed prior to beginning clinical education and repeated annually or as required by the clinical site. The student must submit the completed form according to the requirements of the department (e.g. Certified Profile, Clinical Education Coordinator).

SHRS Initial Health Appraisal Form

The Initial Health Appraisal Form must include the healthcare provider’s printed name, credentials (circled), signature, date, and phone number. Download the Initial Health Appraisal Form from  Some departments have customized this form and will make the form available to students. Several requirements involve time for completion (i.e. titers for immunizations may take 4 weeks; Tuberculosis Screening/2 step PPD takes ~2 weeks).

NOTE: The majority of fieldwork sites require completion of the Hepatitis B vaccination. If you choose not to get the Hepatitis B vaccination, your ability to be assigned to fieldwork sites is restricted which, in turn, may delay your graduation from the program.

SHRS Annual Health Appraisal Form

The SHRS Annual Health Appraisal Form can be downloaded from with customized versions available for individual departments.

Students must provide proof of HIPAA training and certification.  The procedure for completing HIPAA certification titled UPMC Information Privacy and Security Awareness Training for Physicians, Mid-level Providers, and Staff working in University of Pittsburgh Covered Entities is as follows:

Go to atoz; successfully complete the module; save/print your certificate; submit certificate as per departmental instructions.

Students must provide proof of Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP) training and certification.

Go to atoz; successfully complete the module; save/print your certificate; submit certificates per departmental instructions.
Students must carry professional student liability insurance coverage while participating in clinical education.  This coverage is provided by the SHRS group insurance plan and the cost will be automatically included in the student’s tuition bill each fall term.
Students are required to carry personal health insurance while participating in clinical education.

(Note: The Student Health Service fee does not constitute health insurance coverage.)  For those interested, the University has joined with UPMC Health Plan to provide the UPMC Health Plan for Pitt Students. For information on this insurance plan please go to
Students are required to have a Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check completed prior to beginning any clinical education.

  1. Complete on-line. The current address is:
  2. Click on “Submit a New Record Check”
  3. Reason for request: EDUCATION
  4. A social security number is not required.
  5. The Criminal Abuse clearance form is not submitted until you enter credit card information.

Students are required to have a Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance completed prior to beginning any clinical education.  Go to the following website: Scroll down to find and then print the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
Form (CY-113) form and fill it out.

  1. The purpose of the clearance is “Employment with a significant likelihood of regular contact with children.”
  2. Be sure to sign it - this is a common mistake and it delays the process by 1 month
  3. Make sure you enclose the money order made out to “Department of Public Welfare”.
  4. Beware - this can take up to 8 weeks even though the website says 14 days!

Students are required to obtain CPR Training and Certification prior to any clinical education.  If a student’s CPR certification expires prior to the end of clinical education, the student will need to re-certify.  Certification can be obtained from numerous organizations including the Center for Emergency Medicine ( or the American Heart Association (
Students must comply with their program’s and the assigned clinical facility’s dress/appearance code.
Some SHRS programs or clinical sites may have additional requirements that must be met to be eligible to participate in clinical education.  Each program’s Clinical Education Coordinator will advise the students of these requirements and the deadlines for completion. These requirements may include:

  1. Completion of a FBI Background Check or Criminal Record Check from another state
  2. Drug screening
  3. Attendance at a clinical facility orientation session
  4. Any other requirements as specified by the clinical facility

Registration and Add/Drop Process

A student must be registered for at least one credit in a twelve (12) month period from the time of admission until the degree is granted in order to maintain active status. Those students who fail to observe this rule will be placed on inactive status and will have to seek formal readmission in order to continue in the program. If active status is not maintained, the student is not permitted to use University facilities or receive counseling or active supervision by a faculty member, advisor, or committee.

Student Enrollment Process

Prior to enrolling you must meet with your academic advisor within your department to determine your courses, complete enrollment form if required by your department (signed by you & advisor).  The schedule of Classes can be found on the University Registrar’s website at

Be sure to pay attention to any Special Indicators noted for the course (@, R, etc.) and go to the Schedule of Classes Guide on p.4 to see what they mean. Most of these are here to inform you of courses that require special permission. If courses require permission, please seek permission from the instructor of the course. You may do so via email with the instructor. If it is a course within SHRS see the Student Services Coordinator with proof of permission for a “permission number.” If it is a course outside of SHRS you will need to receive a “permission number” from the school in which the course is offered. You will need this “permission number” in order to register for a closed/restricted course in PeopleSoft.

Resolve any holds that you may have on your account with the respective departments that have placed the holds or they will prevent you from registering for your classes.

Demos/handouts on how to do your Self-Enrollment are available in PeopleSoft. Go to the Portal, University Services & Information tab, and then click on Self Service Enrollment. Handouts/demos are available on the following:

  • Preparation Steps
  • Adding a Class
  • Dropping a Class
  • Editing a Class
  • Swap a Class
  • Waitlist a Class

Add/Drop Process

Students are allowed to add or drop classes until the end of the second week of classes each fall and spring term. Add/drop during the summer sessions is dependent on the length of the class session. (See University Academic Calendar  for specific dates.)  The following is a typical add/drop process:

•             Students should make an appointment with their advisor to discuss adding/dropping courses

•             Once approved by the advisor, students will make the enrollment changes online

Problem with Enrollment After the Add/Drop Deadline

Should a student find an error in their enrollment after the add/drop period had ended, a formal memo is required from the student’s advisor to the SHRS, Director of Student Services, Registrar.  This memo will need to include the student name, PeopleSoft number, the course(s) to be added or dropped (subject, name & section), the number of credits, and the reason for the error.  If the error is the students fault, the student will be charged a late fee at the discretion of the main University of Pittsburgh Registrar.  If the fault is with the Department the student is enrolled, that department Chair can provide an account number in which the late charge is to be paid from.

Upon approval from the SHRS Director of Student Services, Registrar the memo will be submitted to the University of Pittsburgh Registrar to process the exception.

Monitored Withdrawal

After the add/drop deadline has passed, the student must process a Monitored Withdrawal Request form to drop a class. (See University Academic Calendar  for deadlines to process a Monitored Withdrawal.) Student should consult with academic/faculty advisor before withdrawal from course(s). The form must be signed by the instructor of the course and be returned to the Director of Student Services, Registrar, 4024 Forbes Tower within the first nine weeks of the term in the fall and spring. 

Because summer sessions vary in length, students should check the summer Schedule of Classes for those deadlines.  The grade W will appear on the student’s grade report and transcript. There is no tuition adjustment associated with a course withdrawal. Please note, withdrawing from a course may jeopardize satisfactory academic progress, financial aid, and assistantships or fellowships.

Resignation from All Courses and SHRS

If you are considering resigning for the term (academic withdrawal from all of your classes), please discuss your situation with your academic advisor, a Financial Aid counselor, or a staff member in the Office of Student Appeals to be certain you understand all of your options and obligations.

The effective date of your resignation determines if you are eligible for an adjustment in the tuition and fees you were charged for the term.  The effective date of your resignation will normally be the date you notify the University by one of the methods listed on the Student Payment Website under Resignation.  You are responsible for satisfying all financial obligations accumulated until the time you officially resign.  The timing of your resignation also has an impact on how grades are recorded on your transcript.  The last day to resign from a term is when sixty percent of the term has passed. 

Please visit the Student Payment center resignation page on the University of Pittsburgh website for more information.

Grading Policy and Records

Grade Point Average (GPA)
The GPA is a numerical indication of a student’s academic achievement based on a 4.000 grade point scale.
The University letter grade system identified below will be followed without exception:

Grade Quality Points
A+   4.00
A     4.00
A-    3.75
B+   3.25
B     3.00
B-    2.75
C+   2.25
C     2.00
C-    1.75
D+   1.25
D     1.00
D-    0.75
F     0.00

Course Grading

The method of evaluation and grading is the prerogative of the course instructor and is based on the course objectives and expectations. SHRS faculty have the option of issuing “+” or “-” grades. SHRS faculty have the option of assigning letter grades or HSU evaluations, as printed in the course catalog and determined at student’s enrollment.

Students will be apprised of the evaluation procedure by the instructor at the beginning of each course. It is the student’s responsibility to request clarification of any evaluation or grading policy.

SHRS Policy and Procedure for G and I Grades

G Grade Policy

Student’s assigned G (incomplete) grades due to course work unfinished because of extenuating personal circumstances, are required to complete course requirements no later than one year after the term in which the course was taken. Once the deadline has passed, the G grade will remain on the record, and the student will be required to re-register for the course if it is needed to fulfill requirements for graduation. Students will not be permitted to register for courses in which a prerequisite course resulted in a ‘G’ grade, unless approval has been obtained by the Department/Program Chair, or their designee.

I Grade Policy

The I grade indicates that the work of the course for which it is awarded has not been completed due to the nature of the course, clinical work, or incomplete research work in individual guidance courses or seminars. It is to be awarded only to students who have been doing the regular work of the course but who need more time than the term allows to complete the course work. That is, the extenuating circumstances ought to arise from the nature of the course work rather than from the student’s personal difficulties (in which case a G grade is appropriate; see above).

Starting the fall of 2016, all incomplete grades are expected to be completed by no later than the end of the next consecutive semester.  It is the responsibility of the faculty member to clearly state to the student the expected due date.

  • If the incomplete grade is given in the spring, it is expected to be completed by the end of the summer term in August.

Action required by the student and faculty member for a “G” or “I” grade:

  • The student, faculty and advisor are to fill out a Completion Agreement of Incomplete Credits Form (Form can be found on the SHRS website)
  • A copy of this agreement will need to be submitted to Student Services, no later than the end of the add/drop period for the current semester. Failure to submit this form before the end of the add/drop period will result in an automatic change to a failing grade.

Student Services, will be following up on any Incompletes or G grades that are not changed within the expected timeframe at the end of every term.

Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC) grading option

Prerequisite and required courses must be taken for a letter grade when available, and a student must earn a C or better. 

Repeating Courses

  • A sequence course may not be repeated for credit if the student passes a higher sequence course with a C or better grade.
  • A student may not enroll in the same course at another institution and have that grade replace the original grade earned at the University.
  • The original course and grade remain on the transcript; however, the grade and credits originally earned are not counted in the calculation of the GPA.
  • The grade earned by repeating a course is used instead of the grade originally earned. Withdrawal (W), Repeat (R), and Audit/Non-Credit (N) grades reported for the repeated course will not be identified as a course repeat, and therefore the original grade earned will continue to be counted in the GPA.
  • Incomplete grades (G and I) are not identified as repeated courses until the coursework is completed.
  • Students are only permitted to repeat a course once. Any grade earned in the repeated course will be recorded on the academic transcript, even if it is lower than the original grade.
  • Students seeking to repeat other non-SHRS (prerequisites, electives, etc.) courses will be permitted to do so at the discretion of the program director.

Statute of Limitations on Allowable Coursework

The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that a graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh represents mastery of current knowledge in the field of study. All requirements for MA and MS degrees must be completed within a period of four consecutive calendar years from the student’s initial registration for graduate study; all professional master’s within five years (includes both full time and part time students). Dual degrees and joint degrees that require course work in excess of 50 credit hours may be granted a longer statute of limitations by the University Council on Graduate Study.

From the student’s initial registration for graduate study, all requirements for the PhD degree must be completed within a period of 10 years or within eight years if the student has received transferr credits. A student who is unable to complete all degree requirements within a five-year period after passing the comprehensive examination may be re- examined at the discretion of the department or school. Programs for professional doctoral degrees, for which the majority of candidates pursue part-time study while working full-time within their chosen disciplines, may be granted a longer statute of limitations by the schools offering the degrees.

Under exceptional circumstances, a candidate for an advanced degree may apply for an extension of the statute of limitations. The request must be approved by the department or departmental committee (master’s or doctoral) and submitted to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for final action. Requests for an extension of the statute of limitations must be accompanied by a departmental assessment of the work required of the student to complete the degree as well as documented evidence of the extenuating circumstances leading to the requested extension. Students who request an extension of the statute of limitations must demonstrate proper preparation for the completion of all current degree requirements.

Leave of Absence

Under special conditions, graduate students may be granted one leave of absence. A maximum leave of two years may be granted to doctoral students or one year to master’s students. All requests for a Leave of Absence should be put in writing to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. The length and rationale for the leave of absence must be approved by the Associate Dean. If approved, the time of the leave shall not count against the total time allowed for the degree being sought by the student.

Probation, Suspension and Dismissal Policy

Graduate students who have completed at least 9 credits and whose cumulative GPA falls below a 3.000 will be placed on academic probation and/or suspension and will receive written notification of this status. At this point it is the student’s responsibility to meet with his or her advisor.

To be removed from academic probation, the student will need to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.000 within his or her next two terms of study. Failure to do so may subject the student to recommendation for immediate dismissal from the program by the Department Chair, in collaboration with the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Students who fail to demonstrate progress toward meeting graduation requirements in a timely manner may be placed on academic probation or recommended for dismissal from the program by the Department Chair, in collaboration with the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. SHRS reserves the right to terminate a student at any time for academic or other reasons. 

Dismissal from the program is at the discretion of the SHRS Dean. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event it is not mathematically possible for a student to remediate their cumulative program GPA within their next two terms of study the student may be immediately dismissed.

A student may appeal their dismissal with the Univeristy of Pittsburgh Provost office.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements for a Graduate degree from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences are as follows:

  • satisfactory completion of required credits
  • minimum cumulative GPA 3.000
  • the GPA will be calculated as a composite of all courses taken at the University of Pittsburgh and counting toward completion of the degree
  • completion of all requirements for the program in which student has enrolled
  • no outstanding D, F, G or I grades in a required course
  • updated and approved Plan of Study on file in Student Services, 4019 Forbes Tower
  • An application for graduation must be filed in the SHRS Office of Student Services, based on the deadlines determined for that term.  Email notification of theses deadlines will be sent to students in the prior term. The graduation application is available on the SHRS website under forms.
  • no unresolved financial obligations to the University
  • student must be considered an “active student” at time of graduation; s/he must have been registered for at least one credit at the University of Pittsburgh within the last three terms or sessions
  • students may not enroll in courses outside the University of Pittsburgh in the semester they are graduating

Graduate and Professional Student Association

The SHRS Graduate and Professional Student Organization (SHRS GPSO) is a member of the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) of the University of Pittsburgh. All full- time and part-time graduate students of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences who have active status, as defined by the School, and who are in good standing, as defined by the University, are members of the SHRS GPSG. Information on this organization is located at the website given below. Further information on becoming active in this organization can be obtained by sending an email to: 

The GPSG of the University represents the interests of all graduate and professional students at the University of Pittsburgh. It also serves as the umbrella organization for graduate and professional student organizations within the University. The Assembly Board governs GPSG, and is made up of four executive officers in addition to representatives from each graduate school and the six Assembly Board groups.  Held on a monthly basis, Assembly Board meetings are open to all graduate and professional students.


Office location: 825 William Pitt Union

Telephone: (412) 648-7844


Disability Resources and Services

Students with disabilities who require special testing, accommodations or other classroom modifications should notify no later than the 4th week of the term:

  • their Department Chair
  • their instructor(s)
  • the Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS)

Students will be asked to provide documentation of any necessary accommodations as prescribed by DRS. For more information, go to:

Veteran Benefits

Veterans and dependents of disabled or deceased veterans may be eligible for benefits according to federal administration guidelines.  The University has an Office of Veterans Services located on the fourth floor of the Cathedral of Learning (  For additional information on Veterans Education Benefits, visit

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