University of Pittsburgh School of Education
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) make it easy for you to find answers to your most pressing inquiries into the School of Education. If you can't find your answer here, please feel free to contact us or use our site search to find the information you need.

Getting Started

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There are several ways to navigate the School of Education's diverse program offerings:
Please use this helpful guide as a resource.
Our school offers top-quality programs built upon stellar faculty, groundbreaking research, and a deep commitment to the success of our students. Both challenging and rewarding, our programs are designed to prepare tomorrow's teachers, administrators, policymakers, and researchers to be life-changing leaders. Join our dynamic community, and prepare to do work that matters—each and every day.
Our school offers several graduate programs leading to teacher certification. You can read about these programs in greater detail online, and you can also attend a weekly information session to learn more about the application process.
If you are interested in either the Combined Accelerated Studies in Education (CASE) program, the Applied Developmental Psychology bachelor’s degree, or the Exercise Science/Wellness bachelor’s degrees, you will need to apply to the School of Education by February of your sophomore year. You can review the admission procedures and download the application form on the Undergraduate Admissions page.

If you are interested in teacher certification, which is only offered in post-baccalaureate “fifth year” programs here at Pitt-Oakland, then you should complete the prerequisite courses required for admission during your undergraduate program and apply to the School of Education no later than January 15 of your senior year. You can review the admissions procedures and prerequisite courses by clicking on the name of your program of interest on the Department of Instruction and Learning program page.
Read about all of our teacher certification programs and involve yourself in volunteer and/or paid positions that afford you the opportunity to work with a variety of different age groups and types of students. You can also look for certification programs based on your area of interest.
We prepare our students to meet the demanding needs of a constantly changing society and to excel in a variety of roles, such as:
  • school leaders
  • policy experts
  • academic administrators
  • physical activity programmers
  • health, fitness, and disease-prevention advocates
  • curriculum specialists
  • assessment designers
  • educational researchers
Locate a program that matches your projected career path.
Our Web site provides useful information about each program. However, should you have more detailed academic content-related questions about a master's or doctoral program, please contact the program's faculty coordinator. Any questions concerning admissions, enrollment, and financial aid, please contact our Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Applying

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General information on how to apply can be found here. To submit an application, you can access the school's online application system. After creating a user account, you may continually login to work on your application prior to officially submitting it for admission consideration.
While some programs operate on rolling admissions, others have specific deadline dates. Please refer to the program’s homepage, along with the Deadline Dates by Program reference sheet, for the most accurate information.
Yes, a $50 application fee is required before your application will be processed. You may pay online with a credit card or via mail with a check. More information about this process will be provided when you officially submit your application.
You are encouraged to complete an Online Transcript Review. You do not need to have completed ALL prerequisites at the time you submit an application; however, they must be satisfied by the time your intended program will begin (fall for MAT; summer-ll for PreK-4).
Admission requirements vary by program. It is best to consult the program's homepage and the admissions procedures to determine the exact credentials required for your specific program.
Application materials should be sent to the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services:

University of Pittsburgh
School of Education
Admissions and Enrollment Services
5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 S. Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15260
PHONE: 412-648-2230
FAX: 412-648-1899
EMAIL: soeinfo@pitt.edu
The following links will direct you to information from Educational Testing Service about admission tests (which, may be required depending upon your specific program of interest). When taking a test, please be sure to indicate the relevant school code(s) so that we receive an official score report.
  • GRE - University of Pittsburgh institution code (R2927); School of Education department code (3999)
  • TOEFL - University of Pittsburgh institution code (2927); School of Education department code (85)

Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions are required for admission.

* Please note, even University of Pittsburgh students must submit official transcripts requested from the Registrar's Office in Thackeray Hall.
The most compelling recommendations come from individuals who both know you well and are qualified to assess your academic and/or professional ability to succeed in a given program. Typically, letters come from professors, supervisors/bosses, volunteer program coordinators, etc. It is useful for the admissions committee to receive a diverse representation of these perspectives in order to best assess one's candidacy for a program.
When completing the online application, you will be asked to provide the names and e-mail addresses of your three recommenders. When you formally submit your application, an e-mail will go out to the three recommenders whom you've indicated, providing them with instructions on how to submit their letter electronically. If your recommenders would prefer to mail us their letters, they can do so by sending them to the following address:
University of Pittsburgh
School of Education
5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15260
The statement should be approximately two to three double spaced pages and respond to the following types of questions:
  • Why are you interested in and qualified for this program?
  • What are your ultimate academic and professional goals, and why?
  • How will this specific program, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, help you accomplish these goals?
Be sure to include a comprehensive list of your academic, professional and/or service experiences, achievements, and awards. Equally important to include are skills, competencies, or activities relevant to the field of education and your specific program of interest.
Completed applications (those with all required credentials received) will be reviewed by a departmental faculty admissions committee. The review process can typically last four to six weeks, after which candidates will be notified of the official decision via regular mail.

Enrollment and Course Registration

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Please have your student ID number available (found on your acceptance letter) and click through to the admissions response form.
Admitted students may defer their offer of admission for up to one calendar year. For example, if you are admitted for fall 2012, you may defer to spring 2013, summer 2013, or fall 2013. To do so, contact Paula Owens in the Admissions and Enrollment Office.
Some programs, such as the PreK-4 and MAT teacher certification programs, have a structured, predetermined course schedule. However, others are much more flexible. If at any time you have a question regarding which course(s) you should be taking, please consult with your academic advisor. He or she will identify courses that will satisfy requirements or elective credit for your specific academic program.
Please read our Self-Enrollment Guide PDF for specific details on how to register.
The new online self-enrollment will allow you to drop courses until the end of add/drop period.
  • Log onto my.pitt.edu and select the "Student Services" tab
  • Click the Link to Student Center, then click Self-Service, then Student Center
  • On the top left, there will be a link called "My Class Schedule"
You will need to obtain a special permission code for online registration if you are a non-degree student, or if the course you are attempting to enroll in is full, restricted, or upper-level. Please contact the instructor of the course and obtain written permission (email is OK) authorizing you to take the course. Present this documentation to the departmental administrator listed below in order to retrieve the special permission code for online registration.
Students in the School of Education who have not been enrolled for a 12-month period must apply for reinstatement. Please contact Paula Owens at the Admissions and Enrollment Office at 412-648-2230 or powens@pitt.edu for assistance with the process. She will work with you to determine exactly what will be required, as requirements may vary based upon your specific program and length of absence.

Non-Degree Admissions

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A nondegree student is an individual who is taking courses at the University of Pittsburgh, but is not part of a degree-seeking program. Nondegree students can register for both arts and sciences and education courses through the School of Education. Nondegree students typically take courses.
You will need to submit a nondegree application, on which you must indicate if you are taking undergraduate or graduate courses (if taking both, apply as graduate), along with a $50 application fee. Once your application is processed by Admissions and Enrollment Services, you will be matriculated as a nondegree student and eligible to enroll in classes.
Nondegree students are eligible to complete up to 15 credits of coursework. A maximum of 15 credits completed as a nondegree student may be applied toward a certificate or degree program upon admission to the school as a degree-seeking student, subject to the approval of program faculty.
Follow the admission procedures for your intended program. Please note that you will not need to pay another $50 application fee.

Billing / Financial Aid

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PittPAY is the University of Pittsburgh's online billing and payment system. There are no paper bills mailed. All billing is electronic through PittPAY. Student and their authorized payers receive an email from PittPAY each time a new electronic bill (e-bill) is available for their attention. The student email is sent to their official Pitt e-mail account. Please use this resource to learn more about PittPAY including when e-bills are posted and due.
Please contact the Student Payment Center.
  • Undergraduate students - Please refer to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
  • Graduate students - Many federal and state aid programs that are available to undergraduate students are not offered to graduate students. Therefore, if eligible, many students finance their graduate education through the Federal Stafford Loan program. Please also see our school financial aid page.
Yes, the following programs exist, but often entail very specific eligibility requirements. Please click on each program to learn more: TEACH Grant and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
A very limited number of assistantships are available to graduate students, most of which are awarded to doctoral students. Students are encouraged to express interest in potential assistantships to their academic advisor within their specific academic department.
Once you are admitted to a graduate program in the School of Education, you can apply for the Federal Stafford Loan by following the steps on the Graduate Financial Aid Checklist.
The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid manages the loan application and certification processes.
Once you have completed the FAAS form, please submit it to the School of Education's Admissions and Enrollment Services, which will complete the enrollment verification required by question #9 A-D. The completed form will then be forwarded to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Tools for New Students

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Your student account is created shortly after you matriculate as a University of Pittsburgh student. CSSD (Computing Services and Systems Development) will send you a hard copy of your account username and temporary password via postal mail. You should then access your account to change your password and set your preferences from the Manage My Account page.
Your Pitt e-mail address is your account username followed by "@pitt.edu". You can read useful information about managing and accessing your Pitt email account here.
Once you have accepted the offer of admission, you can obtain your student ID card by visiting Panther Central, located in the main lobby of Litchfield Towers.
Please visit Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD), or contact the Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (412-624-4357).
Visit the Office of Parking and Transportation Services for information about campus parking options.
Please visit our campus tour site which includes a printable campus map to locate classroom buildings and other important resources.

Information for Prospective Teachers and Current Teachers

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Teacher preparation candidates who meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) requirement criteria earn an Instructional I teaching certificate, often referred to as a "provisional certificate". Instructional II certification or "permanent certification" is granted by PDE to teachers who meet the following criteria: hold a valid Instructional I certificate; have completed a teacher induction program; have three years of satisfactory teaching experience in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and have completed 24 post-baccalaureate credits or a Master's degree.
This is a special certificate issued by PDE. Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students are required to earn an intern certificate in order to complete the intensive classroom-based training, which correlates with their coursework at the University. Without an intern certificate, students can only function as student teachers in their respective districts. Refer to the PA Department of Education for more information.
Currently, there are Interstate Agreements in place for those with a PA Instructional I certificate. If your destination state is known, you should contact that state's Department of Education to find out more details of the agreement.
  • The Early Childhood Pre-K–4 certification program is waiting for final approval from PDE. The tentative start date is summer 2013. Contact our Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services for the prerequisite coursework required for admission.
  • The Middle Child Grades 4–8 certification program is in development. The program will be implemented once it is approved by PDE.
  • The Dual Content Area plus Special Education certification program is awaiting final approval from PDE. The expected start date is summer 2013.

For the most recent information on these programs, please visit the Department of Instruction and Learning program page.

The graduate Primary Plus: PreK–Grade 4 program will begin in June, 2013. This program offers an Instructional I Certificate that qualifies a student to teach grades pre-kindergarten through grade 4.

The graduate Middle Child Grades 4–8 certification program is in development. It will have a math and science content focus. The program will be implemented once it is approved by PDE.

The graduate MOSAIC program (Master of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certificate) offers a specialization that leads to a Master’s Degree in Special Education and dual teacher certifications for grades 7-12; one in Special Education and one in a Secondary (e.g., grades 7-12) Content Area - English, Foreign Language, Math, Science, or Social Studies Education. The program will begin in June 2013.

For the most recent information on these programs, please visit the Department of Instruction and Learning program page.

The Combined Accelerated Studies in Education (CASE) program is a five-year program in which a student earns a Bachelor of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology, Master of Education, and two teacher certifications–one in PreK–Grade 4 and one in Special Education PreK–Grade 8. An undergraduate student applies to this program in the second semester of the sophomore year. Complete details about the CASE program can be found on the Psychology in Education program page.

We are in the preliminary stages of developing a graduate level, Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) - focused Middle Child Grades 4-8 certification program. Science and mathematics will be important undergraduate areas on which to focus, but backgrounds in humanities and social sciences will also be required. When the program is approved, more complete details will be posted on the Department of Instruction and Learning program page.

All certified school personnel are covered under Act 48. Effective July 1, 2000, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted Act 48, mandating a continuing professional education program for educators to maintain active certification.
Please visit our Act 48 Web site for information on complying with Act 48 and reporting your credits or hours to the PA Department of Education.

Graduation

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“Graduation” will occur after a student has satisfied all of the academic requirements of his/her program of study. However, graduation is not automatic. All students must apply for graduation, even if they are not attending the commencement ceremony. An application for graduation must be filed with the School of Education’s Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services, 5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall.
No. Graduation can occur only at the end of an academic term; e.g. at the end of December, April, or August.
Application materials are available online as well as in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services. Students should submit the application and supporting documents during the first two weeks of their last semester of study.
The School of Education sponsors a commencement (graduation) ceremony for its students at the end of each term. Additionally, graduating students are invited to participate in the University-wide commencement ceremony held each spring at the Peterson Events Center.
Yes, all students must apply for graduation.
Once your application is reviewed and approved by the Dean's Office, your graduation is authorized and your diploma is ordered. Your diploma and a complimentary official copy of your transcript will be mailed to you approximately four weeks after the end of the term in which you graduate.
Yes, all students must apply for graduation.

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