All international student applications are processed for academic qualifications by the Swanson School of Engineering and for non-academic qualifications by the admissions officer, Office of International Services (OIS). The document needed to apply for a non-immigrant visa will be issued only after the applicant has been admitted and has provided evidence of adequate financial support and English language proficiency. The procedure for international applicants is as follows:
The applicant will receive notification from the Engineering Office of Administration concerning the evaluation of academic qualifications. If the academic evaluation by the department is favorable, the international student admissions officer will review non-academic qualifications to determine eligibility for a visa document.
International Student Graduate Student Supplemental Form
Once the international applicant is accepted, the international student admissions officer will review the applicant's non-academic qualifications to determine eligibility for a visa document. This procedure applies also to international applicants who are already in the United States.
The University reserves the right, even after the arrival and enrollment of a student from another country, to require, at the student's own expense, individual curricular adjustments whenever particular deficiencies or needs are found. This could include enrollment without credit in additional course work in English as a foreign language or in courses prerequisite to the student's regular plan of study. New students from abroad are encouraged to use the services of OIS to help them in their adjustment to the United States and to facilitate their total educational experience.
Graduate students must possess sufficient knowledge of English to study without being hindered by language problems, to understand lectures, and to participate successfully in class discussions. The determination that the applicant has sufficient proficiency is made by the admitting department or school, subject to University-wide minimum standards determined by the University Council on Graduate Study. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must be taken if the applicant's native language is not English. A minimum TOEFL score of 80 for the Internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based version or 550 on the paper-based test; or Band 6.5 on the IELTS (taking the academic writing and reading modules of the test) is required for admission to graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh. The requirement to take the TOEFL may be waived if the applicant has achieved a satisfactory score on other tests of English proficiency or has received a degree from an accredited institution in the United States.
In addition, upon arrival and prior to completion of registration, students with TOEFL scores of less than 100 on the iBT, 600 on the PBT, or less than Band 7.0 on the IELTS must take an additional test of English language proficiency.
In keeping with the University policy on Certification of English Language Fluency for Teaching, students who are not native-speakers of English and are appointed as teaching assistants or teaching fellows are required to take a test of their spoken English upon arrival. Individuals are given non-teaching assignments and are required to take special course work until they attain passing scores. An unsatisfactory score at the time of reappointment is sufficient cause for non-renewal.