How to Apply

ALL APPLICANTS - FALL 2022 DEADLINE: January 7, 2022

Our online application is currently undergoing maintenance. Please check back on September 20, 2021.

Online application detail: In the space Proposed Area of Specialization, list in ranked order your fields of interest. Select from the following general areas. 

Astrophysics/Cosmology Observational
Astrophysics/Cosmology Theory
Biological Physics Experiment
Condensed Matter Experimental
Condensed Matter Theory
Nanoscience Experimental
Nanoscience Theory
Particle Physics Experiment
Particle Physics Theory
Physics Education Research
Quantum Information Experimental
Quantum Information Theory

Domestic Applicants (all US citizens and current US residents)

  • Complete the online application once it becomes available.  The application fee is waived, (at the end of the application select "Payment by Check" but do not send a check if you are a US citizen, US Permanent Resident, Veteran or currently serving as a member of the U.S. Armed Services, a member of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans, Gates Millennium Scholars Program or a McNair Scholar)
  • Personal Statement: At the beginning of your statement, please rank-order your specialization interests. A personal statement is a statement, which should discuss the applicant's intellectual and professional interest in graduate study in one or more of the areas in Physics and Astronomy. Discussion of interests in the work of specific faculty members/research groups is encouraged. Telling us about your relevant experience, including research experience is helpful.  This statement carries significant weight in admissions decisions.
  • CV including a list of relevant physics textbooks you have used.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Submit online by the recommender after you initiate the application, or by email to the graduate administrator at
  • Legible 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. Applicants not yet graduated should provide fall term grades when they become available.   Send an updated "unofficial" transcript to the department's graduate administrator at clearly stating in the email subject line "updated grades for my application". Certified (official) transcripts and translations of all undergraduate and graduate study will be required as soon as degrees are awarded or no later than the time of matriculation (upon enrollment).   Minimum GPA for admission with full status is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (refer to our FAQ for a chart).
  • General and Subject Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are optional. If you believe that any of these scores will strengthen your application, you are invited to provide them. Conversely, the absence of any of these scores will not adversely impact your materials for the review process.  Scores should be no more than five years old. If you so choose, 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 7th. Submit to the University of Pittsburgh School Code 2927, Department Code 0808. 
  • Application and all supporting materials are due by January 7th

International Applicants

All of the above plus:

  • Demonstration of English language proficieny either through the TOEFL or Duolingo English Test. 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 or Duolingo test with acceptable scores.
  • 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). University of Pittsburgh TOEFL code: 76 or 61
  • The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken on demand in ca. one hour (requires computer with camera, microphone, speakers, internet connection). It involves an adaptive test via a graded section that evaluates applicants’ reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills (45 mins) and a video interview recording answers to open-ended questions (10 mins). Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session. For more information, please visit Duolingo’s website. A minimum Duolingo total score of 110 is required. Applicants must share their Duolingo test results either by uploading them as a PDF under ‘Additional Information’ in their online application (preferable) or by sending the test results in PDF format to the Graduate Administrator for the admitting program.
  • English test exceptions have been made on a case-by-case basis for applicants with a bacholer's (or higher) degree from a U.S. institution or nationals from countries indicated on this LIST.
  • Application Fee: $75.00 US Dollars
  • Upon learning of your decision in response 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 any financial documentation, if applicable.  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.

  • *Please note that the application link for domestic and international students is the same and can be found at the following: International and Domestic Student Application.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Application Process can be found here.


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

University of Pittsburgh
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Coordinator for Graduate Student Services
Atten: Graduate Admin
University of Pittsburgh
210 South Bouquet Street, Sennott Square Bldg., Rm. 5141
Pittsburgh, PA 15260