How to Apply

Domestic Applicants (all US citizens and current US residents)

  • Complete the online application (there is no cost, at the end of the application select "Payment by Check" but do not send a check if you are a US applicant or McNair Scholar)
  • Personal Statement: A personal statement is a statement which should discuss the applicant's intellectual and professional interest in graduate study in the one or more of the areas in Physics and Astronomy. This statement carries significant weight in admissions decisions.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Use our cover page and submit online by the recommender after you initiate the application, or by mail at the address below)
  • Copies of transcripts for all college-level institutions attended with or without degree(s) conferred must be uploaded as well. These may be unofficial transcripts for the review process. Certified (official) transcripts and translations of all undergraduate and graduate study will be required as soon as degrees are awarded and no later than prior to enrollment.  Minimum GPA for admission with full status is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (see FAQ).
  • General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required, and Subject Test is recommended. Scores should be no more than five years old. The GRE should be taken soon enough for results to reach the University and available to the Department of Physics and Astronomy so that they are accessible by January 15. Submit to the University of Pittsburgh School Code 2927, Department Code 0808.
  • Apply by January 15th

International Applicants

All of the above plus:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores should be no more than two years old. Submit to the University of Pittsburgh School Code 2927. The minimum TOEFL score TOEFL score is 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The minimum IELTS score is 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections). Note: Any non-native speaker of English that is a U.S. permanent resident or with refuge status, and has been in the U.S. less than 2 years, are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS w/ acceptable scores. University of Pittsburgh TOEFL code: 76 or 61
  • TOEFL EXCEPTIONS and exceptions have been made for applicants with one component below the minimum required.
  • Application Fee: $50.00 US Dollars
  • Upon learning of your decision to our offer, we will forward your information to the Office of International Services (OIS).  At that point, you will be contacted by OIS directly on how to submit your financial documentation.  More information to become familiar with OIS's financial requirements can be found HERE. Becoming familiar with this document will expedite the process for visa documents, once admitted.

Upon acceptance, official transcript(s) and documents with evidence of degree(s) may be mailed to:

University of Pittsburgh
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Attn: Leyla M. Hirschfeld, Graduate Administrator 
3941 O’Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260