Application Details

Required Application Materials:



Application Fee

(US Citizens, Permanent Residents and Veterans)

The Application Fee is waived for U.S. citizens, permanent residents and veterans.  At the final step of the application process, where the server requests payment, select the option to "Pay by Check".  HOWEVER, SEND NO MONEY OR CHECK to the Department of Physics or Arts and Sciences.  This payment demand is required by the ApplyYourself system and there is no way to process a reimbursement if you select the credit card option. 

The University of Pittsburgh waives the application fee for McNair Scholars. If you are a McNair Scholar, and are completing the online application, choose the payment option to "mail your check." Send a printed copy of your payment voucher to the department with "McNair Scholar" written on the voucher. Do not send a check.

Application Fee (International Students)

Fifty dollars ($50 U.S.) payment can be made electronically along with the online application, or by mailing a check to the department. Checks should be made payable to the "University of Pittsburgh" and mailed with a copy of the payment voucher from the electronic form.

Application Form

Complete the online form. Paper applications are no longer accepted.

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 is a critical component of the application and carries significant weight in admissions decisions.

Official GRE General Aptitude Test Scores

Scores should be no more than five years old. The GRE (general (required) and Physics subject (recommended) 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 .

Official Transcripts of all Undergraduate and Graduate Work

Applicants will be required to upload to their application, digital scans of transcripts for all post-high school academic work. Applicants do not need to provide official paper or digital transcripts during the admissions process. However, all applicants who are admitted and who accept the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences offer of admission will be required to submit certified transcripts and translations of all undergraduate and graduate study, with evidence of degree(s) awarded, prior to matriculation (that is, before enrollment in late August of 2018).

Admission letters from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences will include a "transcript contingency".  Certified transcripts and translations (if applicable) of all undergraduate and graduate study will be required at the time of matriculation (upon enrollment).  Admitted students will be required to forward official transcripts/translations to our office as soon as they become available and no later than August 1st, since needed at the time of matriculation (enrollment). This will remove the admission contingency.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Referees may submit their recommendation letters either electronically (instructions are included with the online application), by e-mail or by mail to the department.

Writing Sample

Not applicable

International Applicants should also include the following:

Official TOEFL or IELTS scores
(Non-native English speakers)

Scores should be no more than two years old.
See TOEFL EXCEPTIONS and Exceptions have been made for applicants with one component below the minimum required.

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.

International Graduate Student Supplemental Application Forms

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.