Before You Begin
The application form is online. You will find the application process easier if, before beginning the process, you:
Prepare a personal statement and gather relevant information. See Admissions Requirements.
Contact three persons who know you well and are familiar with your academic accomplishments, and request that each person write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. At least one of these persons should be familiar with the field of intelligent systems. Recommenders are required fill out the recommendation form online, so make sure to obtain e-mail addresses for each recommender.
Have Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent to the University of Pittsburgh. The University's college code is 2927. Applicants with MDs may be admitted without GRE scores; however, we stress that since most applicants do submit scores, having these could strengthen your application.
Note for non-native English speakers: Have your TOEFL scores sent to the University of Pittsburgh. The School of Computing and Information has TOEFL or IELTS minimum requirements for admission. Effective for 2013-2014 applicants: The required TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing). The required minimum IELTS of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections). The University of Pittsburgh's college code is 2927.
Contact the registrars' offices at each college or university you attended previously and request that they send your official transcript to:
University of Pittsburgh
Intelligent Systems Program
5113 Sennott Square
210 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Deadlines and Important Notes
The deadline for receipt of applications with consideration for financial aid is January 15 every year. Please note that your recommenders may choose to send their supporting materials by regular mail, as will your previous academic institutions. However, letters of recommendation arriving in the mail will not be accepted unless they are sealed and signed across the back of the envelope. Please ask your recommenders to mail/submit their letters before the deadline. You should also complete your application early enough to ensure that we receive all materials supporting your application promptly.
If you are interested in fellowship support, note that School of Computing and Information fellowships are competitively available to students who apply to the Intelligent Systems PhD program. The admissions committee will automatically consider incoming students for such a fellowship. If you are admitted into the program, you will be notified in your admission letter whether you have received a fellowship award. You do not need to submit additional documents to apply for the fellowship award.
Note on GRE scores: Some applicants, particularly those with MDs, sometimes elect to apply without GRE scores. While we do consider such applications, please note that GRE scores are required for applicants and not supplying these could hurt your application. We emphasise that submitting GRE scores is essential for those wishing to be considered for admission and fellowship opportunities.
Filling Out the Application
Fill out the standard School of Computing and Information application form available online.
Transfers from Other Institutions
There is no preset limit on the number of cross-registration credits that can be counted toward a PhD. For other institutions, a maximum of 24 transfer credits may be counted toward a PhD. Up to six credits may be counted toward the MS for work completed at another institution or for work previously completed at the University of Pittsburgh.
However, the explicit approval of the student's advisor and of the ISP director are required. To apply, the student should submit the following information to the ISP director: (1) institution, (2) whether the class is a graduate or undergraduate class, (3) exactly which requirement(s) the course is meant to satisfy (see below), (4) an indication of approval by the student's advisor, (5) what grade the student received in the class (for completed courses), (6) justification, if the class was not taken prior to entering the ISP program, and (7) sufficient information about the course syllabus for the director to judge whether the transfer or cross-registration is appropriate. For (3): the student should specify whether the course is meant to count only toward the 72 (PhD) / 24 (MS) hours required for graduation, or whether it is also meant to satisfy a requirement in the ISP curriculum. If the latter, please clearly identify which requirement.
Based on the SCI regulation, Acceptance of Transfer Credits, the transfer process should be completed through SCI. In this regard, the set of documents, including 1) filled Transfer Credit Form, 2) official transcript of the source university, 3) approval of the student's advisor and of the ISP director; should be submitted to the SCI Records Office to SCI via online form submission or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cross-registrations With Other Institutions
Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Robert Morris University, and the University of Pittsburgh offer graduate students the opportunity for cross-registration in graduate programs in the five institutions in the fall and spring terms. Credits earned by cross-registration in graduate courses at Carnegie Mellon, Duquesne University, the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and Robert Morris University, when approved in advance by the student's graduate advisor, are accepted as University of Pittsburgh credits for the calculation of the grade point average and the completion of degree requirements. Each department at each institution retains the authority to establish the prerequisites for admission and the maximum enrollment in its own courses and to grant priority in registration to its own graduate students.
Cross-registration is only available in the fall and spring terms. Only fulltime students may cross-register. That is, to cross-register for a course in a particular term, students must be registered for at least nine credits at their home institution. Students who cross-register during the spring or fall term do not pay tuition to the host institution; however, they are responsible for any additional fees associated with the course such as laboratory fees, books, and the like. During the summer, students may attend one of the above colleges as guest students, but they must pay that institution's tuition and fees. Students are discouraged from cross-registering during their term of graduation to avoid any delays in the receipt of course credit needed to graduate. Students should meet with their advisor before they cross-register. The forms to cross-register are available at the Registrar (Thackery Hall). See the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) Web site for organization history and available program information.
Substituting Other Courses at the University of Pittsburgh
Similarly to the above, course substitutions require approval of the student's advisor and the ISP director. To apply for a course substitution, a student should first obtain the approval of his or her advisor. Then, the student should submit the following information to the ISP director: (1) whether the class is a graduate or undergraduate class, (2) exactly which requirement the course is meant to satisfy, (3) an indication of approval by the student's advisor, (4) justification for the substitution, and (5) sufficient information about the course syllabus for the director to judge whether the substitution would be appropriate.