Current Graduate Students

Graduate Student Handbook

The graduate student handbook is your guide to what is expected of you in order to get your MS or Ph.D degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Be sure to check it each year since the requirements do change from time to time.

Documents & Forms


Visit here to view our graduate courses.

Grant & Fellowship Opportunities

Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowships
These fellowships are awarded to students of exceptional promise and ability either when they first enroll in the PhD program or when they have advanced to the dissertation stage. They carry a stipend plus payment of tuition. No service is required. The application process begins in January of each year.

K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships
These multi-year fellowships are designed to enhance the diversity of the University of Pittsburgh's graduate student population and, eventually, the professorate. They generally include a stipend and tuition coverage. K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships are used primarily to recruit new graduate students to Pitt.

Provost's Development Fellowships
These University fellowships are awarded to U.S. citizens on the basis of need and merit to provide development opportunities for women, minorities, and disadvantaged students pursuing doctoral degrees. They generally carry a stipend and full tuition for two terms. Both incoming and continuing students are eligible to apply.

Dean's Tuition Scholarships
A limited number of tuition scholarships are available for students who are not funded by teaching assistantships or fellowships. Priority is given to students who have completed all course requirements, are working on their dissertations, have exhausted all departmental support, and need to be minimally registered in order to use University facilities.

Whittington Predoctoral Fellowship
The Whittington Fellowship is awarded to incoming female doctoral students of exceptional ability and promise who are admitted to a University of Pittsburgh PhD program in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The recipient is selected on the basis of academic achievement in both undergraduate and graduate work (if applicable) and promise of research capabilities with preference being given to those who are residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Whittington Fellowship includes a stipend for the academic year plus a tuition scholarship for two terms.

Arts and Sciences Fellowships
A&S Fellowships are used to recruit doctoral students of exceptional promise and ability either when they first enroll in the PhD program or for later years. They carry a stipend plus remission of tuition. The stipend includes fund with which to purchase health insurance.  No service is required.

The Department of Geology and Environmental Science also provides small awards for graduate research and field work from the Leighton Fund. These awards are based on a combination of merit and need.

In addition, funding for graduate degree programs is available through a number of federal sources:

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.  The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship. Deadline is in November.

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program
The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program supports graduate students in basic and applied research in Earth science and space science. Awards of $30,000 per year are made for up to three years. More information and application instructions can be found at by searching for NESSF.

Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Graduate Student Fellowship
The Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology (GEST) Graduate Student Fellowship is an up to $34,000 one-year fellowship renewable for one additional year for full-time degree-seeking graduate student in an earth, biological, physical or computer science, mathematics or engineering discipline whose thesis research is aligned with similar research conducted within the GEST Center and NASA Goddard’s Earth Sciences Division.

EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowships
EPA's Science To Achieve Results (STAR) graduate fellowship program supports masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies. Each year, students in the United States compete for STAR fellowships through a rigorous review process. Students can pursue degrees in traditionally recognized environmental disciplines as well as other fields such as social anthropology, urban and regional planning, and decision sciences.  STAR fellowships are intended to help defray the ever-increasing costs associated with studies leading to advanced degrees in environmental sciences. The actual amount awarded per year will vary depending on the amount of tuition and fees and the number of months the stipend is needed. Benefits of an EPA STAR Fellowship include up to $44,000 per year, which includes $12,000 per year for tuition and fees, $27,000 per year in a monthly stipend, and an annual expense allowance of $5,000. Masters level students can receive support for a maximum of two years. Doctoral students can be supported for a maximum of three years with funding available, under certain circumstances, over a period of four years.