New Graduate Student FAQ

For All New Students

Where can I get more information about tuition and financial aid?
A summary of information on tuition rates, financial aid options, and planning for your graduate education can be accessed on our Tuition and Financial Aid page

When and where can I get my Pitt Student ID?
 You get your Pitt ID at Panther Central, located in the Litchfield Towers Lobby, once you have enrolled into classes. Students who are required to take the English Language Proficiency exam upon arrival to campus are able to get their Pitt ID prior to enrolling into classes.

What is my Pitt email address?
You should receive computing account verification information from the University’s Information Technology department (CSSD) within 1 to 3 weeks of accepting your admissions offer; be sure to check your spam folder as well for this email. If you have not received an email from CSSD after three weeks, you may contact them directly.

What is my PeopleSoft ID and where can I find it?
Your PeopleSoft ID number (i.e. Student ID number) is a 7-digit number that identifies you in the University of Pittsburgh records system. You can find your PeopleSoft ID number via your Student Center in your account or on the bottom right-hand corner of your Pitt Student ID. Students are encouraged to include their PeopleSoft ID number in all email exchanges with faculty and staff members.

I have a hold on my student account that is prohibiting me from enrolling in classes. How do I remove the hold?

Please contact your program or department administrator to initiate a review of the hold(s) on your account:

  • Department of Computer Science: Keena Walker,
  • Department of Informatics and Networked Systems (DINS): you may send an email to Academic Records at
  • Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship (ICDS): Debbie Day,
  • Intelligent Systems Program (ISP): Heidi Davis,

Please note that some holds may not be removed until you have arrived on campus or may need to be removed by another office on campus.

How do I enroll in classes?
Helpful course registration links:

How do I view and pay my tuition bill?
Students can access PittPay through the Pitt portal. All details on due dates, setting up accounts to issue payment, setting up payment plans, etc. can be found at the PittPay site.

My admissions letter states that I am required to complete a college-level mathematics, statistics and/or programming course in addition to my graduate course requirements. However, I feel I have completed a similar or equivalent course(s) in my previous academic career. Am I able to petition to waive this requirement(s)?
Yes, students are able to petition to waive a prerequisite course requirement for their degree by submitting a course description/syllabus of the previously taken course and a copy of the transcript with the grade earned in the course to the Department of Informatics and Networked Systems (DINS) Manager, Kelly Shaffer ( You will receive an email from the Department regarding their decision in three to 10 business days after all required documents have been submitted.

There are checklist items that are unchecked in my Student Center that I thought I completed? What do I do?
Checklist items will not be updated until after the add/drop period of your admissions term. If you notice by the close of your first term of study that certain checklist items are still unchecked that should not be, please contact

Note: Students are required to submit all items on the checklist. Students will be unable to graduate if not all items on their checklist are marked as complete.

How do I know what my degree requirements are?
You should review the Graduate SCI Catalog of your University admissions term for more information about your degree requirements and other School/department level policies. You can also review your Academic Advisement Report (AAR) or personalized degree progress report to review which degree requirements you have completed and have remaining.

Note: If a requirement on your AAR is listed as unsatisfied, when it should be considered satisfied (ex. Received a class waiver, completed the requirement, etc.), please email

When and where do I submit my official transcripts?
You will need to request an official transcript from all previous institutions you have attended, regardless of whether or not a degree was conferred, before the first day of your first term of study. Please contact if you cannot obtain official copies of your final transcript(s) before this deadline. We will update your student checklist once your official transcripts have been received and processed. No transcripts will be accepted or considered official if not sent directly from the originating institution to the SCI Records Office. All official transcripts should be sent to the SCI Records Office directly from the originating institution either via email ( or to the address below:

SCI Record Office
Fifth Floor, Information Sciences Building
135 North Bellefield Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

When do I have to submit my official test scores?
You must submit all official test scores before the first day of your first term of study. Please contact your test agency if you have not yet submitted them.

Does SCI offer a new student orientation?
Please check your Pitt and personal email account for communications from the Student Services office closer to the start of your first term of study regarding orientation. You may also visit the Graduate Student Orientation page for more information.

For International Students

I accepted my offer of admission. When can I receive my I-20?
Once you have accepted your offer, it takes about 2-3 weeks before the Office of International Services (OIS) contacts you regarding your I-20. They will guide you through the final remaining procedures regarding your Visa and financial documentation.

My admissions letter states that I am required to take the English Language Proficiency test. How do I sign up?
You can find out more about this exam or sign up for it on the Department of Linguistics site. Please sign up and take the exam at your earliest convenience. Your ability to enroll into courses for the upcoming term is dependent on completing this exam.

When will I receive my English Language Proficiency test results?
You should be able to review your English Language Proficiency test results via Pitt PS Mobile (by navigating to Test Scores under Academics) roughly one to two days after you take the exam. You will also receive an email communication to your Pitt email account roughly one to five days after you take the exam informing you whether or not you will need to take an English class in your first term of study based off these results.

If I am required to take an English class, what information do I need to know?

  • If you have to take an English course in your first term of study, you do not need to enroll in the course yourself. Our office will automatically enroll you into the required course(s). No class change requests will be accepted.
  • You must allocate space in your schedule for our office to add in your English course(s). If you are enrolled in too many courses for our office to add the required course(s) into your schedule (i.e., 13 or more credits), we will drop a random course from your schedule in order to add the English course. You may not remove an English course from your schedule if you are required to take one. If you drop an English course from your schedule, the SCI Records Office will automatically re-enroll you into the course and place a hold on your student account that will prohibit you from any further enrollment activity.
  • If you do not receive a passing grade in your English course, you will be required to retake it the following term. Failure to achieve a passing grade in an English course after two terms will result in dismissal from the program. No exceptions.
  • If you are recommended to take 3 English language courses, you may require more intensive English Language Training before pursuing a degree at Pitt. Please contact Sung-Min Kim ( if you have any questions regarding your English Language test results.
  • Credits earned from courses taken to fulfill an English language course requirement are considered as additive, which means they will not be counted towards the minimum credits required to graduate in your degree. Although credits earned from an English Language course(s) will be factored into your overall credits earned on your academic record, they will NOT factor in towards the minimum credits required for graduation. However, English language courses taken for a letter grade will factor into your overall GPA.

Where do I submit my immunization form?
Please upload your immunization form to your MyOIS account. Details can be found on the Student Affairs site.

I am required to obtain health insurance. How do I obtain it?
Please find details about Student Health Insurance on the Student Affairs site.

Late Arrivals

Visa and travel restrictions may create unusual challenges for international students’ ability to arrive on campus by the first day of the term. However, there are valid academic reasons that graduate students must be present in classes as soon as possible in order to fully participate in their program.

However, the Office of International Services will create an I-20 with their determined “late arrival date” under the following conditions:

1. An exception will only be considered for graduate students.

2. The student must confer with their advisor to discuss the viability of their plan to arrive late while maintaining successful progress in their courses. The late arrival exception must be approved by the student’s advisor and the SCI Dean’s Office.

After conferring with their advisor, the student should fill out the SCI Late Arrival Exception form in order to gather the appropriate approvals. Once the student finishes their portion of the form, it will automatically route to the advisor and the Dean’s Office for final decisions and signatures. The Dean’s Office will ensure the form is submitted to the Office of International Services.