Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Engineering Accelerated Graduate (EAGr) Program

Beginning in 2020, qualified undergraduates in the Swanson School of Engineering can enroll in the new Engineering Accelerated Graduate (EAGr) Program. EAGr enables students to earn complementary bachelor’s and master’s degree in their discipline within five years. Successful students will save time and money and be more competitive in the job market upon graduation.1,2 The Swanson School is also working alongside select companies interested in offering employment opportunities and tuition reimbursement packages to EAGr students, via the EAGr+ program. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about this unique opportunity. 

Who is eligible?  

  • Undergraduates who maintain a 3.50 cumulative grade point average (GPA) through their junior/third year (7 terms).
    • Transfer students who have entered from their institution with a 3.50 cumulative GPA and have maintained that at Pitt.
  • NOTE: First-year students with an SAT score of 1510 or 34 ACT Composite score, are in the top 5 percent of their graduating class or have an equivalent grade point average (GPA) are offered provisional admission, pending a 3.50 GPA by their junior year at Pitt.

How does EAGr work? (Instructions for Eligible Applicants)

  1. Two to three terms before completing their BS degree, eligible students receive a letter from the dean indicating their invitation.  
  2. Send an email to the undergraduate coordinator & graduate coordinator of your desired department to arrange a meeting to discuss the EAGr program. The list of coordinators is at the bottom of this page. Make sure you attach the letter from the dean with your email.
  3. Prior to your meeting with the coordinators - create your initial plan of study 
    • Use this template to create your plan
    • Determine important dates:
      • Desired BS graduation term/year
      • Expected MS start term/year
      • Application due date for the desired graduate engineering program (see here).
    • Create initial program plan
      • BS final 2 terms
        • Include the classes needed to obtain a BS degree in your current engineering program. Of these courses, select 3 graduate classes. Recognize that 2 of these classes will count for both undergraduate requirements (i.e. 2 of these graduate classes will count as technical electives in the undergraduate program) and all 3 classes will count towards the MS program.  
        • Select 7 additional graduate classes that you plan to take as a graduate student in your desired MS engineering program. Go to the department website to determine coursework and when particular classes are offered (i.e. fall or spring term).
      • Email completed template to both coordinators for their review prior to meeting with them.
  4. At the meeting with each coordinator, students review the initial program plan and revise where necessary. Coordinators sign off on the approved plan of study, which is submitted to administration and added to the student's record.  
  5. Submit a graduate school application to the engineering program of interest. This ensures that the student is identified the PeopleSoft system as an EAGr student.  
    • Please see here for application information
    • In completing the application, please note*:
      • No GRE is required
      • Include:
        • Resume/CV
        • Essay
        • Letter of eligibility to participate in EAGr as an "optional document"
      • Most EAGr applicants do NOT need to submit recommendation letters.
        • If you are an interdisciplinary student (ie. ChemE undergrad to Sustainable grad), please submit 1 reference from your undergraduate program.
        • If you are unsure whether you need to submit references, please contact Stephanie Opalinski at stephanie.opalinski@pitt.edu
      • There is no application fee for EAGr students; however, the applicant must enter "EAGR" as the fee waiver code.
        • Under the application Fee Payment page, select the radio button “Check (I’ll mail my payment)” under the Select Payment Method then click on the “Pay and Continue” button. After submitting the application, the applicant will be instructed to print out a payment voucher. The applicant does not need to do anything with the voucher. 

*As a result of COVID-19 we are allowing some flexibility with application requirements. Please continue to check this page for updates as they become available.

Interdisciplinary Degrees

EAGr is primarily designed to benefit students who earn a BS and MS in the same field; however, it is possible to combine an undergraduate engineering degree in one area with a MS engineering degree in another area (e.g., BS in Mechanical and MS in Industrial).  If you are interested in this, please approach your undergraduate coordinator in your current discipline and the graduate coordinator in the program you are interested in pursuing for your MS.   

Financial Aid

Any merit-based scholarship, need-based financial aid, or federal and state grants and loans would be directly related to the student’s career level (as an undergraduate or graduate student). While the student is an undergraduate, his/her undergraduate types of financial aid would be applicable. However, after the student receives his/her undergraduate degree, the student would then be eligible for financial aid as a graduate student and no undergraduate financial aid resources would be available, including undergraduate scholarships that were renewable for up to eight terms. 


Undergraduate Coordinators (as of fall 2020)  Graduate Coordinators (as of fall 2020)
Bioengineering: Arash Mahboobin  Bioengineering: Neeraj (Raj) Gandhi
Chemical & Petroleum: Taryn Bayles  Medical Product Engineering: Kilichan Gurleyik
Civil & Environmental: Leonard W. Casson  Chemical & Petroleum: Susan Fullerton
Electrical: Robert J. Kerestes  Civil & Environmental: Vikas Khanna
Computer: Samuel J. Dickerson  Electrical & Computer: Hong Koo Kim
Industrial: Karen M. Bursic  Industrial: Jayant Rajgopal
Mechanical: William S. Slaughter IV / Tony Kerzmann  Mechanical: Inanc Senocak
Materials Science: Markus Chmeilus  Materials Science: Jung-Kun lee
Engineering Science: Paul Ohodnicki  Engineering Sustainability: David Sanchez


EAGr+: Eager to earn your MS AND start your career journey?

We are excited to introduce the EAGr+ program here at Swanson! Through this program, companies work alongside Swanson to offer EAGr students part-time employment as well as tuition reimbursement during the MS year. Once graduated from their MS program, EAGr+ students then have the opportunity to earn full-time positions. Interested job applicants should reach out to their company of interest about open positions. Tuition reimbursements and employment is at the company's discretion. See below for more information about the companies working with Swanson for this special opportunity:

BPMI is working with Swanson to hire Electrical and Computer Engineering students who are pursuing the EAGr program and looking to work at the same time! This opportunity would include part-time employment while enrolled in classes, a tuition reimbursement to cover the cost of the MS year, and the possibility of a full-time position upon graduation (at the discretion of BPMI).

To view the job description for this opportunity please click here. Interested students should apply directly for the position on BPMI’s career page.

Timeline and Deadlines

  • 2nd year/Sophomore year – This is your time to ensure your GPA remains a 3.5, as well as evaluate if an MS is a personal or career goal of yours. Additionally, consider if the opportunity of completing both degrees in 5 years appeal to you.
  • 3rd year/Junior year – This is typically when students are notified of their final 3.5 EAGr eligibility (but you may have received this as a sophomore based on your credits). This should be when you are further considering pursuit of the EAGr Program and how it may fit in with your existing degree pursuits. Meeting with your undergrad/graduate coordinators should occur now. The summer between your Junior and Senior year is when you would apply to BPMI should you decide this employment opportunity is for you. This allows BPMI the needed time for interviews, offers, and to begin the clearance process*. For Summer 2020, students should apply to BPMI by 6/26/2020 allowing the BPMI team time to schedule interviews and follow up with you directly*.
  • 4th year/Senior year – You’ve made a decision as to whether or not to pursue your MS, met with your UG/Grad Coordinators, and completed the Course Planning Document. You will begin your 3 graduate courses over your last 2 semesters. Also, you will need to submit an application to Swanson’s graduate programs thereby allowing us to identify who are our EAGr+ students. The critical item as per the application is that you select the correct term in which you will be starting your MS degree (ie. Spring 2021)
  • 4th year/Senior year – You’ve made a decision as to whether or not to pursue your MS, met with your UG/Grad Coordinators, and completed the Course Planning Document. You will begin your 3 graduate courses over your last 2 semesters. Also, you will need to submit an application to Swanson’s graduate programs thereby allowing us to identify who are our EAGr+ students. The critical item as per the application is that you select the correct term in which you will be starting your MS degree (ie. Spring 2021).
  • 5th year Fall – Begin your MS. Complete your 7 remaining classes by the Spring of your 5th year. Should you receive an offer from BPMI through the EAGr+ program, you will work part-time during your MS year*.
  • Following your MS year & EAGr+ - You will begin full-time employment with BPMI.

    *If you have questions regarding this employment opportunity, salary, tuition reimbursement eligibility, hiring process, etc., you should contact the BPMI team directly via: BPMIRecruiting@unnpp.gov – Be sure to note that you are an EAGr Eligible student from Pitt.



1Carnovale, Anthony P., Cheah, Ban, and Hanson, Andrew R. “The Economic Value of College Majors,” Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2015, p. 36.
2Farnen, Karen. "What Are Some Ways to Increase a Salary in Engineering?" Work - Chron.com.



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