Pitt | Swanson Engineering


Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and its Office of Diversity (EOD) have established the Global Engineering Preparedness Scholarship program (GEPS). GEPS helps to support the recruitment, retention and graduation of low-income students from underrepresented minorities and majority populations. GEPS also prepares students for the global marketplace by offering international opportunities that students would not normally be able to participate without additional supporting funds. Read more about the GEPS program.


Funding for graduate education is available through many sources, including scholarships and fellowships. The Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) is committed to helping graduate applicants find appropriate funding.


The K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship Program is designed to address the critical need to recruit and retain graduate and professional students who contribute to the diversity of the Swanson School of Engineering, and to ultimately enhance presence of such students in the professorate. The award is named for distinguished Pitt alumni K. Leroy Irvis. In 1977, Mr. Irvis became the first African American in the history of any of the 50 state governments to hold the position of Speaker of the House. Irvis Fellowships are awarded to incoming students through the School's academic departments. Fellowships are awarded on the strength of the student's graduate application. In order to integrate students into the research dimension of the professorate, first year Irvis fellows are assigned to work one-on-one with faculty mentors who guide them in specialized research. In their second and third years of residence, fellows are supported by their departments and obtain valuable classroom teaching experience in addition to continued exposure to the research environment. 


Graduate diversity fellowships are awarded to graduate students who contribute to the diversity of the school for structured skill-building activities and continued research involvement during the academic year.


Teaching assistantships (TA) and teaching fellowships (TF) are awarded to exceptionally well-prepared students in return for assistance in laboratories, recitation sections, and other teaching duties. Students who receive a full TA or TF position will also receive a full tuition scholarship. Partial TA or TF positions typically include a partial scholarship. 


Traineeships are awarded to students for training in selected areas. There may be restrictions on the courses that may be taken. 


Graduate research assistantships (GRA) are awarded to students for assistance with research programs. Scholarships are included with the GRA award. For more information about graduate school funding, please contact Terri Kennelly-Cook via eodadmin@pitt.edu.


The purpose of the student award shall be to provide recognition and financial assistance to three outstanding undergraduate students in the Swanson School of Engineering who have demonstrated a financial need (eligible for assistance under the guidelines of Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). The student award is designed to support and encourage students with significant need coming from an underprivileged and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  Consideration for the student award shall be given to all undergraduate students in the Swanson School of Engineering who have achieved or manifest promise of outstanding academic success.


Please visit the following link for information on more scholarships available.


The Meyerhoff Scholars Program has been at the forefront of efforts to increase diversity among future leaders in science, engineering, and related fields. The UMBC Meyerhoff family is now more than 1200 strong, with 800 alumni across the nation and 300 students enrolled in graduate and professional programs. The nomination-based application process is open to prospective undergraduate students of all backgrounds who plan to pursue doctoral study in the sciences or engineering and who are interested in the advancement of minorities in those fields. The program's success is built on the premise that, among like-minded students who work closely together, positive energy is contagious. By assembling such a high concentration of high-achieving students in a tightly knit learning community, students continually inspire one another to do more and better. The program has been recognized by the National Science Foundation and The New York Times as a national model. Scores of representatives from federal agencies, campuses, and corporations across the country have visited UMBC's campus to learn more about the program's success. The College Board's National Task Force on Minority High Achievement praised the Meyerhoff Scholars Program as an example that could provide broader educational lessons.

Over the last decade, the Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) under the leadership of Dr. Wosu have pursued and enjoyed a unique relationship with the Meyerhoff administration and students. Each year, Dr. Wosu and other faculty, most notably, Bioengineering, visit the UMBC campus and meet with the Scholars in a formal presentation followed by an informal lunch to allow for interaction with faculty. In addition, EOD tracks students’ progress and encourages them to prepare and contemplate graduate education, especially PhD. Each year Dr. Wosu attends the Meyerhoff dinner which honors and celebrates the accomplishments of the students.

Meyerhoff Scholars are intentionally invited to participate in the Summer Engineering Pre PhD Research Program. The goal of the Pre PhD program is to create a pipeline for students who wish to pursue PhD degrees in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. The Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) identifies prospective students with a 3.5 or higher GPA as Pre-PhD Scholars. These engineering students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field are recruited from institutions across the nation, and are assigned to Swanson School of Engineering faculty mentors who lead multidisciplinary teams in advanced research. Scholars are placed in the admissions pipeline as candidates to MS or PhD program at the Swanson School of Engineering. All students present their research findings to faculty members, staff and current students. Over the last four years, 17 students participated in the Pre PhD summer program of which 8 were Meyerhoff Scholars. Currently five of the 8 Pre PhD participants are enrolled in graduate programs in Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering a SsoE. Two of the 8 Pre PhD participants are Junior undergraduate students at UMBC and one of the students accepted a graduate fellowship at another University. Three of the five Meyerhof Scholars became K. Leroy Irvis Fellows when coming to SSoE.