Frequently Asked Questions

How does academic advising work in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences?

What is an “Academic Advisement Required” HOLD?

What is an Enrollment Appointment Date/Time?

How does Add/Drop work?

Do I have to see an advisor to Add/Drop?

What if my advisor isn’t available to speak with when I stop by? Is there anyone else I can talk to?

How do I register for classes?

Can I register for more than 18 credits?

How do I get into a closed class?

Will I be notified if my class is cancelled?

Will I be notified if my class is changed?

Can I retake a course if I don’t do well in it? How many times?

What is CourseWeb?

I dropped a course but it still shows up on CourseWeb or I added a course but it’s not showing up on CourseWeb.

Why aren’t all of my classes showing up on CourseWeb?

How can I tell which courses are offered each term and what requirement(s) they might fulfill?

I am having trouble in a course. Is tutoring available?

Can I still individually withdraw from a course after the deadline?

When do I have to declare my major?

How do I know if I’m ready to declare my major?

How do I declare my major?

Where do I go for advising once I have declared my major?

What should I do if I am interested in declaring a major in another school?

What happens once I declare my major?

How do I prepare for a pre-professional school?

How do I get an internship?

How can I gain research experience?

How can I get in touch with a faculty member?

I would love to study abroad. Are many study-abroad opportunities available?

I am on probation. How do I get myself off probation?

My financial situation has changed. How do I apply for a student loan, financial aid, or work-study?

How does academic advising work in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences?

Each student is assigned an academic advisor and is required to meet with him or her at least once per term. Students must meet with their academic advisor prior to their assigned enrollment appointment date and in time to have their “Academic Advisement Required” HOLD cleared in order to be able to register online. Students are encouraged to schedule a follow-up appointment to meet with their advisor after registering for their courses and as necessary throughout the term.

What is an “Academic Advisement Required” HOLD?

Each term, a new “Academic Advisement Required” HOLD will be placed on each undergraduate student’s account. This ensures that each student meets with his or her academic advisor at least once per term as required. Once you meet with your academic advisor, your "Academic Advisement" HOLD will be lifted and you will be cleared for online registration on your assigned Enrollment Appointment Date/Time. Your hold will not be removed if you have not met with your advisor.

What is an Enrollment Appointment Date/Time?

By the fourth week of any given fall or spring term, the Office of the University Registrar randomly assigns each student an enrollment appointment date and time, based upon how many credits they have accumulated up to that time. Typically, seniors register first, followed by juniors, sophomores, freshmen, and finally incoming transfer students. For continuing students, spring-term registration occurs during the first two weeks of the preceding November. Registration for the fall term occurs near the end of the preceding March.

How does Add/Drop work?

The add/drop period begins the moment you register for courses and goes all the way through the first two weeks of the fall or spring term. Instructions on how to add/drop can be found at the Office of the University Registrar's Web site. Please consult the academic calendar for specific dates and deadlines.

Do I have to see an advisor to Add/Drop?

No. Unless you are an athlete or a freshman in an Academic Community, you may add/drop at any time online through my.pitt.edu. It is recommended that you notify your advisor by e-mail of the changes that you make to your schedule.

What if my advisor isn’t available to speak with me when I stop by? Is there anyone else I can talk to?

For times when you drop by unannounced, the Advising Center offers an ON CALL advisor when available 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. ON CALL time is to be used for quick questions and concerns. More lengthy questions and concerns will require you to schedule an individual appointment with your assigned academic advisor. ON CALL time cannot be used to get your advising hold lifted.

How do I register for classes?

If you have already met with your academic advisor for the term and you are cleared to register, log in to my.pitt.edu on your assigned Enrollment Appointment date and time. Click on Student Center Login > Self Service > Student Center > Enroll. Perform a class search for each course you want to take and place them in your shopping cart (please note that items can be placed into your shopping cart ahead of time). Review the instructions for enrollment procedure.

Can I register for more than 18 credits?

Students wanting to register for more than 18 credits must make an appointment to see an assistant dean in the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, 140 Thackeray Hall. Prior to visiting the Dean’s Office, you must fill out an Enrollment Form (which can be obtained on the table next to the front desk in the Advising Center, 201 Thackeray Hall) with the additional course(s) information. If given approval, students will be sent to the Office of the University Registrar on the ground floor of Thackeray Hall to get their enrollment form processed. Typically, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA or higher to receive a dean’s signature for approval. Please note that you will be charged an extra credit’s worth of tuition for each credit taken beyond 18.

How do I get into a closed class?

In order to register for a course that requires department/instructor consent, has requisites that have not been met, is full, or is outside of a student’s level (i.e., an undergraduate student taking a graduate-level course), a student must request permission from the instructor and/or department offering the course. If permission is granted, someone authorized in the department will issue the student a permission number. The permission number is entered when adding the course to the shopping cart. Dietrich School advisors are not authorized to generate permission numbers under any circumstances. Those authorized to generate permission numbers vary by academic department and can include the departmental administrator, a faculty member, and/or major advisor(s). Please note, that if available, students should place themselves on the wait-list for the course they hope to add. The wait-list feature is not available for courses that have a linked lab or recitation.

Will I be notified if my class is cancelled?

The Office of the University Registrar will send you an e-mail, and you will have two weeks to drop the course from your schedule. If you do not drop the course, the Registrar’s Office will drop it for you.

Will I be notified if my class is changed?

You will not be notified if there is a change of room, time, or day to your course. It will be of utmost importance for you to closely check your schedule online before classes begin to make sure no changes have occurred.

Can I retake a course if I don’t do well in it? How many times?

Students may attempt to take a course up to three times in order to pass or meet degree requirements. The most recent grade in a course is always the one that will count toward the GPA. For example, if you earn a C in a course and then retake it and get a D, the D will count toward your GPA. Students are responsible for filling out a Course Repeat form in 140 Thackeray Hall after they have completed the course for the second or third time. A course can be repeated only at the Pittsburgh campus; you cannot repeat a course elsewhere once you take it here. This includes Pitt regional campuses in addition to other colleges and universities.

What is CourseWeb?

CourseWeb is the University of Pittsburgh's implementation of Blackboard, a Web-based course-management system. Professors use it to post and collect course requirements. Many, but not all, of your professors will use CourseWeb. Your academic advisor in the Dietrich School has his or her own individual CourseWeb organization, and students are encouraged to use it as a tool for keeping themselves apprised of the University’s many academic programs, policies and procedures, and resources. It also is a one-stop means of communicating with your academic advisor and learning about the University's offerings.

I dropped a course but it still shows up on CourseWeb or I added a course but it’s not showing up on CourseWeb.

Students are not automatically added or removed from CourseWeb when they add or drop a course. It is your responsibility, when you add or drop a course, to notify the instructor and ask him/her to add you to, or remove you from, the CourseWeb organization for that course.

Why aren’t all of my classes showing up on CourseWeb?

Not all professors use CourseWeb, so your full schedule will not be listed under the “My Classes” portion of CourseWeb. Only those courses whose instructors are using it will appear. In order to find your current schedule, log in to my.pitt.edu and click on Student Center Login > Self Service > Student Center to see your entire schedule.

How can I tell which courses are offered each term and what requirement(s) they might fulfill?

Each term, the course descriptions are published online. There are two ways to search for course descriptions: either by department or by general education requirement. Please note that a course can only satisfy one general education requirement at a time, although several may be listed. Exceptions do apply, so be sure to ask your academic advisor about any questions or concerns you have related to these exceptions.

I am having trouble in a course. Is tutoring available?

Tutoring for many courses is offered through the Academic Resource Center located in the Gardner Steel Conference Center. Information can be obtained by visiting the center's Web site or by calling 412-648-7920. Some departments, such as chemistry, biological sciences, computer science, physics, and statistics have help desks or labs where you also can receive assistance with your coursework. Check the departmental Web sites for tutoring options. The University also operates a Math Assistance Center and Writing Center in the O’Hara Student Center located at the corner of O’Hara Street and University Place.

Can I still individually withdraw from a course after the deadline?

To attempt to withdraw from a course after the deadline, you must file an Appeal for Late Withdrawal form, which you can get in Room 140 Thackeray Hall. You will need to obtain your instructor’s signature, provide a written explanation of the extraordinary circumstances that warrant consideration of the late withdrawal, and provide relevant documentation. If your withdrawal is approved, a grade of “W” will be recorded, no tuition will be refunded, and no credit will be earned. Performing poorly in a course is not considered to be an extraordinary circumstance.

When do I have to declare my major?

The traditional time that students declare their major is by the end of their sophomore year, if they are ready. Students have until the end of the first week of the fall or spring term to declare their major to be seen by the advisor in their academic major department. If they do not declare by the end of the first week deadline date, they still will need to see their Dietrich School advisor for that term.

How do I know if I’m ready to declare my major?

Some indications that you're ready to declare your major are:

  • You have completed a minimum of 24 credits and at least one full year of college coursework in the Dietrich School.
  • You have reviewed your General Education Requirements and know which courses you still need to complete.
  • You have completed at least two courses in your intended major and have earned a grade of C or better in each course.
  • You have carefully reviewed the requirements for your intended major. Note that some majors have specific prerequisites you must complete before declaring.

How do I declare my major?

Visit the Advising Center in 201 Thackeray Hall and complete the Academic Plan (Major) Change form.

Where do I go for advising once I have declared my major?

You will be required to meet with a new advisor in your major department at least once each academic term before you can register for the next term. In addition to discussing your Dietrich School major and General Education Requirements, your departmental advisor will be able to give you direction regarding internships, undergraduate research, and preparation for graduate school.

You should alert your new advisor to any plans you have to continue into a professional program (e.g. medical school, law school, education certification). You are responsible for consulting the pre-professional advisors for these programs as well. Be sure to notify your new departmental advisor of any plans you have to study abroad before you finish your undergraduate major.

What should I do if I am interested in declaring a major in another school?

Students interested in declaring a major in other schools within the University (e.g., College of Business Administration; School of Education; Swanson School of Engineering; School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; School of Library and Information Science; School of Nursing; School of Pharmacy; or School of Social Work) must adhere to the admissions policies and procedures of the school in which they intend to declare their major.

What happens once I declare my major?

Once you complete and turn in the Undergraduate Program Change Form, you will receive a welcome letter from the department, outlining the department’s advising procedures. It will be your responsibility to contact your major department early in each term to schedule your required academic advising appointment.

How do I prepare for a pre-professional school?

Each professional school has its own set of prerequisites and general education requirements. Speak with your academic advisor and make it clear which pre-professional program you are preparing for. Be sure you keep apprised of the application requirements and deadline dates for consideration of entry into the professional school.

How do I get an internship?

Internship information can be found in several locations around campus. Departments post internship opportunities in their offices and/or on their departmental Web sites. The Career Development Office maintains a database of paid and unpaid internships on FutureLinks

How can I gain research experience?

Do your research! Investigate the Web sites of the major programs in which you are interested. Often, each department has at least one bulletin board with information about research, internships, and other experiential-learning opportunities. Visit the departmental office and related offices to see what they have to offer. Also, for second-term freshmen, there is an opportunity to apply for the First Experiences in Research program through which students can earn one to two academic credits for research with a willing faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. For more information, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.

How can I get in touch with a faculty member?

Visit the Find People site to find the faculty member’s contact information. You can also contact the academic department the faculty member teaches in to inquire about his/her contact information and office hours. Visit the faculty member during the office hours posted on your syllabus or ask to schedule an individual appointment with him/her if your class schedule conflicts with the faculty member's office hours.

I would love to study abroad. Are many study-abroad opportunities available?

Yes, Dietrich School students have many opportunities to study abroad. The Study Abroad Office maintains a searchable database of international-study programs. The office recommends that students participate in its 45-minute study-abroad basics introductory workshop, which can be completed online or in person. Visit the Study Abroad Web site and search its program database for more information.

I am on probation. How do I get myself off probation?

Develop an academic plan with the assistance of an academic specialist in the Academic Resource Center, G-1 Gardner Steel Conference Center. Students should attend regular tutoring sessions and also meet with their professor(s) regularly for any course in which they are experiencing difficulty. In order to be removed from probation, students must earn a cumulative 2.0 GPA overall. An academic HOLD will be placed on the student’s account until he/she meets with an academic specialist.

My financial situation has changed. How do I apply for a student loan, financial aid, or work-study?

Visit or otherwise contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (OAFA) in 120 Alumni Hall. OAFA regularly offers 15-minute walk-in appointments.

Next Year's FAFSA Available Now

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available on October 1, 2016 for the 2017-18 academic year. This is the most important form to complete in order to qualify for almost all types of financial aid. Visit the Federal Student Aid Web site to access the online application and find many helpful tips.