About Pre-PHD

Summer Research Internship

The Pre-PhD scholars program is a summer research internship that creates a pipeline for students who wish to pursue PhD degrees in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. It is tentatively scheduled from May 20 - July 17, 2020.


The Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) identifies prospective students with a 3.5 or higher GPA as Pre-PhD Scholars. These STEM students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields are recruited from institutions across the nation, and are assigned to Swanson School of Engineering faculty mentors who lead multidisciplinary teams in advanced research. At the end of the program, all students present their research findings to faculty members, staff and current students. Scholars are placed in the admissions pipeline as candidates to the MS or PhD program at the Swanson School of Engineering.

Program Structure

The Pre-PhD Scholars program is open to rising juniors and seniors or recent graduates in STEM who are considering graduate education in the field of engineering and would like to learn about graduate school options at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

Program Requirements

The students who are accepted into the program are expected to: 

  • Work 30 hours per week on their research area of interest.
  • Meet with staff regularly
  • Attend weekly workshops
  • Perform literature reviews
  • Write journal quality paper on research findings
  • Present research results
  • Participate in Ethics Forum
  • Maintain a daily journal


Students will receive a $3,500 stipend (for the duration of the program). Please note this is taxable income. Students from outside the Pittsburgh area will receive housing on the University campus. A supplemental food subsidy of $500 is provided. University transportation on campus only is provided. Public transportation for social activities is the responsibility of the student. Parking is available at the student’s expense through the Office of Parking and transportation at approximately $9 a day for weekdays.

Are you Eligible?

The Pre-PhD scholars program is only available to:

  • US citizens or permanent residents
  • Rising juniors and seniors or recent graduates in STEM

Application Information

To Apply for the program you will need to prepare:

  • Three 1-page essays (between 280-450 words).
  • A copy of your most recent transcript.
  • Two letters of recommendation from Faculty members.
  • Rolling admissions so early submission is suggested. Space is limited.
  • The application deadline is on March 31st 2020 at 5pm. Apply here
  • Email agepadmin@pitt.edu about any questions you have regarding the application process.


Check out the Pre-PhD scholars program photo album here