We received nearly 28,000 applications for approximately 4,000 places in the fall 2017 freshmen class.
We operate on a rolling admission policy for these places in our class. This means there is no specific deadline to apply for admission, but it is to your advantage to plan ahead and apply early. This is because some of our graduate school guaranteed admission programs either have deadlines or fill up quickly.
With this in mind, here are a few things you can do to stay competitive as you prepare to apply to the University of Pittsburgh:
Preparing to Apply
- Honors, AP, International Baccalaureate (IB), and College in High School classes. It’s good to take a number of such classes, but don’t take so many you can’t do reasonably well in them.
- Advanced level classes. The Committee is looking for a well-rounded curriculum from all applicants. Whenever possible, go beyond the minimum requirements. Four years of French and/or math, for example, looks better on a transcript than three.
- Taking the SAT or ACT more than once. We recommend that you test once in the junior year and once early in the senior year. We will superscore your SAT Critical Reading or Evidence Based Reading and Writing subscore and your math subscore. We will use the highest of the SAT superscore or the ACT composite score in reviewing your application for admission. You are not required to submit SAT Essay or ACT Writing test scores.
- Retaking a class with a lower-than ‘C’ grade. If you earn less than a ‘C’ grade in a key class, think about retaking the class in the summer.
- A rigorous senior year curriculum. We recommend a solid curriculum even in your senior year. It is to your benefit in the admissions review. Also, you’ll make an easier transition to college-level work during your freshman year.
Your application is considered complete for review and will be sent to the admissions committee when we have received:
- Completed online application for admission.
- $45 application fee.
- High school academic information using the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) or submitting an official high school transcript. We encourage you to complete the SRAR rather than sending a transcript to improve application processing time. Please note that we will compare your SRAR to your official high school transcript if you enroll at Pitt. Accuracy in completing the SRAR is very important. Discrepancies and misrepresentations could result in the Admissions Committee revoking your admissions decision.
- Official SAT or ACT test results (SAT Essay and ACT Writing Test scores not required). Please arrange for all of your test results to be forwarded directly to Pitt from the testing agency.
Fall 2019 Freshmen Application Short Answer Questions
Our Fall 2019 application will open later this summer. In the meantime – feel free to work ahead on our short answer questions!
In lieu of an essay or personal statement, we ask interested applicants to respond to short answer questions. The Admissions Committee reviews responses for quality rather than length. However, the most effective responses typically range from 200-300 words per question. Responses that are longer or shorter are acceptable. The first two questions are required for PittHonors consideration.
- An important emphasis of PittHonors is working for the public good. Please describe how you have worked for the public good in the past and how you expect to continue to do so as a student at the University of Pittsburgh and after graduation.
- A hallmark of students in PittHonors is intellectual curiosity. Please describe how you have demonstrated intellectual curiosity in the past and how you expect to manifest that intellectual curiosity as a student at the University of Pittsburgh.
The following questions are optional, but strongly encouraged. Your answers may increase the likelihood that you are considered for scholarships, guaranteed admission to graduate or professional school, or given special consideration due to extenuating circumstances. You may choose to answer any or all of the following questions:
- How have you made an impact at your high school or within your community? Choose one example and tell us about it.
- What makes you stand out from the crowd? What experiences have you had, good or bad, that make you unique?
- If you could create a new product, process, business, or organization, what would this entity look like?
In order to submit your responses to the Short Answer Questions, you must first apply to the University of Pittsburgh.
Letters of Recommendation
While we appreciate your teachers, counselors, and other mentors taking the time to write recommendation letters on your behalf, we find letters are beneficial in very limited circumstances (for example: providing context for variance in your overall academic performance). We recommend that you submit responses to the Short Answer Questions and use that space to explain or clarify what most recommenders would cover in a letter.
Questions about your application materials? Contact the appropriate admissions processor.
All University of Pittsburgh applicants who are applying to the Pittsburgh campus have the option to rank the regional Pitt campuses in order of preference on their application. This helps the Admissions Committee do its best to match you with a Pitt campus. If you do not rank campuses, the Committee will select a Pitt campus that they feel best matches your academic interests.
You may only have one University of Pittsburgh application active at a time across our five campuses. For a prompt review, please apply directly to the Pitt campus that is your first choice. To transfer your application to another campus, please contact the campus that has your current application on file and ask them to cancel it for you. You will then be able to apply to a different campus of your choice.