Department of Chemistry



Admission FAQ

Question: Can I submit a paper application?
We are no longer accepting paper applications.  You can apply online by visiting our webpage.  Click on "Graduate" and then "How to Apply".  Follow the instructions for either domestic or international applications.

Question: Do you require a recommendation form?
No. You will provide your references email addresses and they will receive an email with a link to complete the letter of recommendation.  They will upload their letters to your application by following the instructions given. 

Question: How many students enter your program each year?
Usually about 35-45 students total.

Question: How will I know if my file is complete?
You can view the status of your application after logging into the application website on the Application Status Check page.  Once the committee starts evaluating files, e-mails will be sent to the applicants that have incomplete files.  Specific information will be requested in order to complete your application.  It is to your advantage to get this information to us as soon as possible. 

Question: Is my file complete?
Complete files includes the following documents to be completed and uploaded:

  • Online application
  • Personal statement
  • Unofficial transcripts, from each school a degree was received, uploaded to the website
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • General GRE, Subject GRE and TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • Supplemental Application (if applicable)

Question: Must I have a TOEFL test score report if I get a degree from a U.S. institution?
No, you will not need a TOEFL if you have a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a U.S. school. 

Question: Must I send original transcripts or will you accept copies until I am admitted?
Transcripts (unofficial) must be uploaded to the application website.  If you are accepted and admitted we will request official transcripts to be sent to the university.

Question: Must I take the subject GRE?
We require the general GRE test to be taken and we highly recommend the subject GRE test to be taken.  Failure to take the subject test could possibly decrease your chances of being admitted as almost all applicants take the exam and report a score.  Your application is reviewed as a whole, so if it shows chemistry knowledge strength in other areas then the subject GRE isn't as vital.

Question: Should I send my supporting application material to the department or graduate admissions?
Our application process is completely online, so everything must be uploaded to the application website.  If you have any difficulties, please contact the graduate administrator at

Question: What are the minimum GRE, subject GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) requirements?
We do not have a minimum score requirement for the GRE and subject GRE. The Admissions Committee evaluates your entire file. We do, however, have a minimum for the TOEFL and IELTS. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 100 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing) or the required minimum IELTS is 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections). TOEFL or IELTS scores over two years old are not acceptable.

Question: What is the department code for GRE reports?
The code is 0301 - General Chemistry. This code is sufficient to reach our department. You do not need to break it down into individual divisions of chemistry.

Question: What is the department code for TOEFL score reports?
The code is 62.

Question: What is the QPA requirement?
The university requires a 3.00 QPA or higher in the most recently earned degree for you to be awarded a Teaching Assistantship.

Question: What is the size of your department?
Our department consists of the following:

  • 31 Research Faculty
  • 7 Lecturers
  • 200+ Graduate Students
  • 26 Postdocs
  • 32 staff

Question: What is the University of Pittsburgh's school code for GRE score reports?
The code is 2927.

Question: When will decisions be made?
The Admissions Committee will review the applications as they are completed.  Decisions will not be made until after the January 15th deadline.

Question: Will you accept photocopies of GRE and TOEFL score reports?
We don't accept hardcopies of any information during the application process.  You must self-report your scores on your application.  You should attach a copy of your score report to your application or you can email them (in PDF form) to the graduate administrator ( and she will upload them to your application.  We will verify the scores with ETS, after you request that they are sent to the university, and they will be attached to your application.