Fellowships & Awards

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Financial aid is normally provided to graduate students through teaching or research assistantships. In addition, several competitive fellowships are available for entering students. Fellowships may be combined with teaching or research assistantships in an academic year. All qualified applicants are automatically entered into a pool for these fellowships. Additional fellowships are awarded on the basis of a University-wide competition. The Department endeavors to support each student throughout his or her entire graduate career, provided good academic standing is maintained. Detailed information may be obtained by contacting the Department.

Dietrich School of A&S Pre-Doctoral Fellowships (A&SF)*

The Department awards a substantial number of these fellowships to incoming graduate students. The fellowship provides a significant stipend and full-tuition scholarship. These fellowships are not considered payment for duties performed, but are primarily financial support for a student's education. The Fellows do not "work for" their respective faculty members as do other graduate students appointed as Graduate Student Research Assistants. One goal of this fellowship is to allow a student maximum flexibility in determining the direction of his or her research path. Also, as an entering graduate student, the award of a fellowship should allow you to accelerate your academic career and shorten the time it takes to earn a degree. Since an A&S Predoctoral Fellow will not be a TA in their first or possibly second year, we will connect you with an advisor who can help you prepare and enhance your research experience in your initial years and also help you accelerate your course work as appropriate.

Note:  Qualified applicants will be recommended by the departmental Graduate Admission Committee for consideration of the following awards by the Graduate Dean of Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences during the admission process.

*In the event that A&SF's remain following the recruitment admission process, current, advanced graduate students will be invited in June to apply for one of these for the coming academic year.

Dietrich School of A&S Summer Research Pre-doctoral Fellowship

Five fellowships are offered and awarded to entering graduate students who will help meet the Dietrich School's diversity goals.

Dietrich School of A&S Summer Fellowships

These pre-doctoral fellowships for first-year graduate students in good academic standing are awarded in April for part or all of their summer research.

Mary E. Warga Pre-doctoral Fellowship

This is a Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (A&S) fellowship offered to entering female graduate students in physics, astronomy, and chemistry. It was funded by alumna and former faculty member Mary E. Warga, a renowned optical spectroscopist. All qualified female applicants who are U.S. citizens are automatically entered into the pool. Applicants with exceptional promise for accomplishments in research or teaching are sought. The fellowship provides a substantial two-term stipend, with the third term supported by teaching or research. It also provides a full-tuition scholarship for the period of the fellowship, and supplemental funds to be used for travel, research, and other academic expenses during her first four years of graduate study.

PQI Graduate Quantum Leaders

The Pittsburgh Quantum Institute seeks graduate students to help unify and promote quantum science and engineering in Pittsburgh. Funds are available for the Spring 2022 semester to support 6 PhD students to work 10 or 20 hrs/week, with support equivalent to a half or full GSA position.
Examples of activities include: writing articles about quantum research in Pittsburgh, conducting video interviews with researchers, helping to strengthen the existing network of graduate students in quantum areas. You can also propose your own initiatives!
The Spring 2022 Deadline is Wed, November 24, 2021. Submit your application now!

Zaccheus Daniel Fellowships

This is a program open to qualified students of astronomy (astrophysics, cosmology, and astrometry). Nominations are sought from the faculty in April. Awards are made on an annual basis for students in good standing. The fellowship provides a stipend and covers tuition and fees for the period of the fellowship, typically one term.

University Honors College National Fellowship Information

For information and deadlines please visit the website.

University Fellowships and Scholarships

Dean's Tuition Scholarship

This scholarship is only available to students who are in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The primary criteria for this award are financial need and academic achievement in the graduate program as certified by the applicant’s graduate department. Priority is given to students who have exhausted all University and personal resources and who are required to be registered in order to receive a degree. Due to limited funds, tuition scholarships will not be provided for beginning students. This is a tuition only scholarship. Students are responsible for any other required fees. Applications are made available from the A&S Graduate Studies office prior to each term.

Elizabeth U. Baranger Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

This predoctoral fellowship honors Professor Elizabeth U. Baranger, who in 2004 retired as the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. Dr. Baranger’s distinguished career at Pitt began in 1955. She served as a professor of physics and Dean of Graduate Studies for the School of Arts and Sciences for 16 years before becoming Vice Provost. Dr. Baranger spent much of her career at Pitt working toward improving the status of women at the University and in STEM fields. Incoming PhD students of any gender in STEM fields who support the mission of Dr. Baranger to improve the status of women at the University of Pittsburgh and in STEM fields are eligible for this award. The recipient of the award is chosen by the Office of the Provost with input from the deans of participating schools.  The recipient is selected on the basis of academic achievement, potential to contribute significant research to their field, and commitment to Dr. Baranger’s mission. The award provides a 12-month stipend, a full tuition scholarship and health insurance.

K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship Program

In 1994, the University of Pittsburgh established the K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships to enhance the academic excellence and diversity of the Pitt's graduate student body and prepare doctoral students for academic and research careers. Each year, schools select distinguished doctoral applicants who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement to participate in this prestigious program, which provides a non-duty bearing fellowship for the student’s first year of doctoral study as well academic guidance and cohort-based mentoring throughout the student’s doctoral studies.

Peter F.M. Koehler Predoctoral Fellowship

The Koehler Fellowship is designated for a full-time graduate student in good academic standing, irrespective of their area of research specialization, who has shown exceptional promise for accomplishments in research and a commitment to quality teaching; primarily for graduate students who have passed their comprehensives, who have a formal research agreement.

Whittington Predoctoral Fellowship

The Whittington Fellowship is awarded to incoming female doctoral students of exceptional ability and promise who are admitted to a University of Pittsburgh PhD program in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The recipient is selected on the basis of academic achievement in both undergraduate and graduate work (if applicable) and promise of research capabilities, with preference being given to those who are residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Whittington Fellowship includes a stipend for the academic year plus a tuition scholarship for two terms.

Whittington Dissertation Fellowship

Established in 2019, the Whittington Dissertation Fellowships are awarded to women Ph.D. students in disciplines where women have traditionally been underrepresented in Dietrich School programs, who are of exceptional ability and promise, and who are in their final dissertation year.  The Fellowship models the importance of orienting students towards diverse, high-impact careers within and beyond the academy and of providing multi-layered mentoring as well as professional development and leadership opportunities for early career scholars.

Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowships

This is an A&S fellowship program that offers financial support for highly qualified students. The fellowship provides a two-term stipend and a scholarship for full tuition and fees for the period of the appointment. Awards are made on an annual basis and may be renewed for a second year. The fellowship is supplemented by the department with a teaching or research assistantship for the third term. Application information will be provided by the Graduate Coordinator in early December for the following academic year.  The Department of Physics and Astronomy elects to use this for advanced graduate students in the program.

Department Awards

Myron P. Garfunkel Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching

Each year, the department recognizes a graduate student who has demonstrated an outstanding effort as a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Fellow.

Thomas-Lain Fund Scholarship Essay Competition

Any University of Pittsburgh declared undergraduate physics/astronomy major or graduate student in the Department of Physics & Astronomy is eligible to enter this competition provided the student has a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and has at least one full term of study left to complete at the University before graduation following the essay submission deadline  (see more).

University Awards

E. Baranger Excellence in Teaching Award

Sponsored by the Arts & Science Graduate Student Organization (GSO)

Provost’s Development Fund Award (PDFA)

Applications are open for doctoral students (US Citizen or Permanent Resident).  The PDFA is designed to help students who assist with the University's diversity mission.  It is for students in the last stages of their doctoral work who have been admitted to candidacy.  Applications and additional information is available from the Cross Cultural and Leadership Development office, Room 617 William Pitt Union.

Nationality Room Scholarships- what are they?

External Fellowships

A significant number of external fellowships are available to students applying to or continuing in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Due to the large number of outside organizations offering graduate student support, we encourage the student to research external fellowships on the Internet or by personally contacting the granting organization. Following are a few examples of organizations and programs that have supported our graduate students. You are invited to visit our Listing from A-Z of information we have gathered together for this purpose and the Graduate Dean’s Listing of External Fellowships.

Please remember that the application deadline for National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowships is in early November, and applications should be sent directly to the NSF, and not to the University. First-year graduate students are encouraged to note the eligibility requirement and seek assistance from the department's Director of Graduate Studies.

We also suggest that students seeking support visit the Office of Research's Funding Resources site for more information. Bridge to the Doctorate, IGERT, to name a few.