University of Pittsburgh




The department offers several tracks to the bachelor’s degree in physics or physics and astronomy.

  • BS in Physics
    • Area of Concentration: Graduate School Preparation
    • Area of Concentration: Education
  • BS in Physics and Astronomy
    • Area of Concentration: Graduate School Preparation
    • Area of Concentration: Education
  • BA in Astronomy
    • Area of Concentration: Science Communication
    • Area of Concentration: Science Breadth
  • Physics as a Minor
  • Nanoscience and Engineering Certificate

They have rather different goals and provide for a wide range of possible activities after graduation. It is desirable for students intending to major in the department, or simply wondering whether they should, to discuss their plans with one of the department’s advisors as soon as possible.  An appointment may be made by stopping in at the departmental office, room 100 in Allen Hall, or by calling the office at 412-624-9000.

It is also possible for prospective students to visit the department prior to admission to the University or registration for classes. Such a visit may be arranged by contacting the department.

Grading Policy

A grade of C or better indicates satisfactory competence at the baccalaureate level. A grade of B or better indicates potential for graduate study.

The Three-Term Calendar

The University of Pittsburgh’s academic year is divided into three terms, each lasting approximately 15 weeks. The third term is further divided into two 6-week sessions. Some third-term courses are spread over the full term, as in the first and second terms. Many, however, are given at an accelerated pace in one of the sessions. This three-term calendar has many advantages. Students have the choice of enrolling for two terms per year or three, and may change at will from one option to the other. Those who elect to attend all three terms can complete their undergraduate education in two and two-thirds years, instead of the four years required under the standard academic calendar. This has the obvious advantage of enabling a student to begin graduate or professional training sooner and to enter a career at an earlier age, either after additional training or immediately upon receiving the bachelor’s degree. It should be emphasized, however, that such a program must be carefully planned with a departmental advisor, since the required physics or astronomy courses beyond the introductory level are not normally offered in the third term. Students who must work in order to remain in school will also find great advantage in the three-term calendar. By attending only the first two terms in the three-term calendar, they have four months free for employment, and so can earn more than is normally possible during the summer.

Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Pittsburgh
100 Allen Hall
3941 O'Hara St
Pittsburgh PA 15260
O: (412) 624-9000 | F: (412) 624-9163

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