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The Computational Modeling and Simulation Program provides its graduate students with an integrated program of creative, independent research, course work, and teaching. Our students pursue research in diverse areas including:

  • Bioengineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

The quality of the Center for Simulation and Modeling and the accessibility of its faculty will offer you unparalleled opportunities for individualized training and interaction. 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 finest and most productive universities in the world, uniquely positions our department to help you meet your objectives.

Course Requirements

All students enrolled in the program will be required to satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Two courses (3 credits each) in Numerical Methods
  2. Two courses (3 credits each) in Scientific Computing/Programming
  3. Two courses (3 credits each) from a participating department outside of Computer Science, Math, and Statistics (but still within the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Swanson School of Engineering, or the School of Computing and Information)
  4. 12 credits in a concentration area in a participating department (i.e. the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Swanson School of Engineering, or the School of Computing and Information)

A minimum of 30 credits of graduate level courses from the above categories will be required. There can be overlap in courses satisfying category 4 and those satisfying the category 1, 2, and 3 requirements.  It is anticipated that students entering the program will be able to complete the six core courses in categories 1-4 in their first year and the concentration requirements in the second year.

University Credit Requirement:  All students in the program must satisfy the University’s requirement of a minimum of 72 credits for a PhD. At least 30 of these credits will be satisfied by the core program, including the concentration area, described above.  The remaining credits will be met by directed study (i.e., research).

Preliminary Exam: A student will satisfy the preliminary exam requirements by passing (grade B or higher) the six courses in areas I-III described above. In the case that a student received one grade below B in one of the three main areas, he/she can counter that with a grade of B or above in an additional approved course in that area.  If a student receives two grades below B, he/she will no longer be able to continue in the program.  Students who do not meet these requirements but who have an overall grade average of B or better, have the option of doing a literature-based Master’s Thesis.  All Students receiving a Master’s degree, must meet the minimum requirement of 30 credits.  This includes six courses in areas I-III listed above, and 12 credits in area IV. Up to six credits can be met in section IV by Thesis Research credits.

Comprehensive Exam: The comprehensive exam will be taken by the end of the student’s seventh semester at the University of Pittsburgh, and will focus on the progress that the student has made to date on his/her research.  The comprehensive exam will consist of a written report prepared by the student on his/her research, followed by an oral examination.  The exam will be administered by a committee of four faculty members, at least two of whom (including the student’s advisor) will be from the Department of the student’s concentration, and at least one of whom will be from an outside department.  If a student does not pass the comprehensive exam, he/she will have the option of continuing in the program for another semester, completing the minimum required 30 credits, and submitting a Master’s thesis based on independent research. The student’s committee will decide on whether the thesis warrants awarding the Master’s degree.

Dissertations/Theses: Every graduate student has to write a thesis or dissertation before being awarded a MS or PhD degree. Browse our publications section for recently posted theses, dissertations, and presentation. All theses and dissertations are submitted online.

For a full listing of core requirements, click here.