Visiting Scholars


The School of Computing and Information (SCI) offers academic scholars from around the world the opportunity to visit the University of Pittsburgh, conduct research, and make a valuable contribution to SCI.

Scholars interested in becoming a Visiting Scholar should review the requirements before submitting an application. It is essential that candidates identify an SCI faculty member to be their sponsor/host during their visit. The faculty sponsor/host will provide guidance during a visiting scholar’s residence at SCI.

Hosting Visitors

The Office of Trade Compliance provides the following Academic Visitor guidelines to assist University hosts and administrators by presenting an overview of the Visitor-hosting process and explaining the five steps that they must complete to bring a Visitor to campus. Specific information on the definition of Academic Visitors and on Academic Visitor eligibility is located at:

Visitor Process Overview

The Visitor Process Overview describes the steps associated with hosting Visitors, Visitor eligibility constraints, and the basic characteristics of visits.

Step 1: Determine Visitor Category 

Step 1: Determine Visitor Category describes the three visit categories, including how a visit's duration and a Visitor's proposed activities influence category choice.

Step 2: Visitor Screening and Export Controls Review 

Step 2: Visitor Screening and Export Controls Review describes the security-related procedures associated with bringing Visitors to the University of Pittsburgh.

Step 3: Centralized Invitation Review and Agreement Processing

Step 3: Centralized Invitation Review and Agreement Processing describes the agreements that are required for a visit and the agreements that are conditional upon the category of visit.

Step 4: Visitor Onboarding Procedures 

Step 4: Visitor Onboarding Procedures describes the required and conditional administrative actions associated with bringing Visitors to the University of Pittsburgh.

Step 5: Visitor Departure and Close-Out Procedures

Step 5: Visitor Departure and Close-Out Procedures describes the administrative actions associated with terminating a University of Pittsburgh Visitor's visit.

Application Process and Deadlines

Interested candidates should complete the application. Only complete applications submitted in English will be considered. A completed application includes:

  • Application: Applications must be fully completed. Applications with incomplete sections will not be considered.
  • Current CV or Resume: Candidates must submit a current CV or resume detailing their educational background, academic qualifications, publications, and any relevant awards or honors.
  • Summary Statement of Proposed Research Project: A statement outlining the candidate’s proposed research project that will be conducted while in residence at the School of Computing and Information as a Visiting Scholar.
  • English Language Proficiency:  J-1 exchange visitors are subject to English language proficiency requirements.  Program sponsors (hosting departments) are required by the US Department of State to determine if the incoming J-1 exchange visitor possesses "sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in his or her program" AND "function on a day-to-day basis." 
    • Accepted objective measurements:
      • Native English speaker
      • Recognized English test - Test results should be less than two years old.
      • Signed Documentation from an Academic Institution or English Language School - transcript or diploma certifying completion of a degree at an institution where the sole language of instruction is English or official certification of completion of an English language program within the previous two years where proficiency attained is clearly indicated. 
      • English Language Interview - If no other option is available to the scholar.
  • Intended Dates of Residence: Clearly state the dates during which the candidate intends to be in residence. The initial residency is for a maximum of one year. Please note that the intended start date of residency must be 45 days after submission of all documentation. Visit extensions are permitted and require an extension letter from the faculty host for submission to OIS.
  • Demonstration of Available Funding: Effective July 1, 2024, OIS will require evidence of funding in the amount of at least $35,000 per year for any J-1 Scholar.  Any J-1 request received in My OIS as of July 1, 2024 or later must include this minimum amount of funding for OIS to proceed with issuing J-1 immigration documents.  The minimum funding for each J-2 dependent will increase to $6,456 per year. All financial documentation must be submitted in English. If the J-1 Scholar is receiving support from an outside sponsor, they will also need to complete the Certification of Financial Responsibility form, which can be found in My OIS.

Application Deadlines

Due to visa requirements, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply at least three months prior to their intended start date.

Requirements and Details

  • Housing: The School does not provide housing to Visiting Scholars. Visiting Scholars are strongly encouraged to contact their sponsor/host for assistance with identifying housing options. Hosts and school administrators will not obtain or reserve housing for Visiting Scholars. Learn more housing options at Pitt’s Off-Campus Living site and Cool Pittsburgh site.
  • Residence Details: Visiting Scholars have access to the University of Pittsburgh Library System and may use the library at any time that it is open to students.

Due to space restrictions, the school provides shared office space (or individual office space, if available), but Visiting Scholars will receive access to a shared workspace and to collaborative workspaces. Please note that you may audit classes with a professor's permission. Audited classes do not grant academic credit.

You are strongly encouraged to bring your own laptop, as there are no public computers at the School and computers in Hillman Library are limited. Visiting Scholars are given full access to the School’s wireless network while in residence.

  • Visa Requirements: An invited visiting scholar will be required to apply for and obtain a United States Department of State J-1 Exchange Visitor (Scholar) visa. Upon receipt of your invitation, you will receive an emailed link from the Office of International Services to complete the J-1 Exchange Visitor (Scholar) On-Line  Request Form and certification of financial responsibility.  Visiting Scholars are required to maintain health insurance for the duration of your residence in the United States. The University of Pittsburgh has information for international visitors about obtaining health insurance, but does not provide health insurance and will not procure health insurance on behalf of any visitor.

Please contact the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of International Services with any questions concerning health insurance options.  Processing a submitted application might take several months and must be submitted 45 days in advance of the intended start date of residency.

For more information regarding a J-1 Scholar visa, please visit the Office of International Services website:

  • There are no mandatory monthly visiting scholar fees charged to cover the scholar's Pitt email account, access to the University's computer system temporary university ID, library privileges, printing, and additional administrative costs.

University ID

Visitors will be eligible to receive a University Visitor ID card after the completed appointment form has been entered into Pitt Worx and the information appears in the University’s CDS. Please note that it will take on average 2-5 working days from the time that an appointment form is received until an ID card can be generated. Factors that may extend this time frame include accuracy of appointment form information and volume from other University areas requesting University ID cards. Once the Visitor arrives on campus, they should visit a Panther Central ID center to obtain his/her ID after the host department or school verifies that the visitor’s information appears in the University’s CDS.

The University Visitor ID will allow broad access to computer labs, University libraries, and other University buildings that allow for common access. If your department or school wishes to allow for greater access to approved laboratories, clinical space, or key card facilities, you will need to follow your internal procedures for granting additional levels of access.

Contact Information

Any questions or comments about becoming a Visiting Scholaror application process should be directed to Elizabeth Defide or Sharon Bindas.