Application Details

Required Application Materials:



Application Fee

(US Citizens, Permanent Residents, Veterans, and others described here.)

The Application Fee is waived for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, veterans, those currently serving as members of the U.S. Armed Services, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, McNair Scholars, and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans.  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 and Astronomy or Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.  This payment demand is required by the ApplyYourself system and we are unable to process a reimbursement, if you select the credit card option. 

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 to:

Graduate Admissions Admiistrator
Department of Physics and Astronomy
3941 O'Hara Street, Rm. 100 Allen Hall
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA  15260.

Application Form

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

Personal Statement

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. Discussion of interest 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.

Official GRE General Aptitude Test Scores

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 15. Submit to the University of Pittsburgh School Code 2927, Department Code 0808. 

Official Transcripts of all Undergraduate and Graduate Work

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". A formal Admission letter from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences will include a "transcript contingency". 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) or start of classes.   Minimum GPA for admission with full status is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (refer to FAQ for a chart).

Three Letters of Recommendation

Referees may submit their recommendation letters either electronically (instructions are included with the online application), by e-mail to the graduate administrator at, 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 .  Additionally, exceptions have been made for applicants with one component below the minimum required. Refer to our FAQ for more details.

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 -Office of International Services

Upon receipt of your decision to our departmental offer, we will forward your file to the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences  to provide a formal offer, They promptly send this out within 24-48 hours.

Upon receipt of your acceptance to the Gradaute Dean's formal offer, the Graduate Administrator in the Department of Physics and Astronomy forwards your acceptance and admission to the Office of International Services (OIS).  At that point, you will be contacted by OIS directly with regard to visa documentation and other important issues related to international students.  More information can be found HERE.