Frequently Asked Questions
|Advising||Classes & Courses||Grades||Financial||Graduation||General|
All degree and certificate seeking students in the College of General Studies are assigned an advisor when admitted. The advisors are full-time professionals, from various backgrounds, trained in academic program planning and familiar with University and College requirements and policies. Students work with their advisor until they graduate or transfer to another college at the University.
Newly admitted students must make an initial appointment with their advisor and must complete the New Student Tutorial PowerPoint presentation prior to arrival. (If you do not have access to PowerPoint, please click here.) During this meeting, the advisor will review your transfer credits, the academic advising transcript, choice of major, degree and major requirements, and course selection and registration procedures. You are to come to the first appointment with a list of questions that you want to discuss and with a tentative schedule of classes that you want to take during your term.
To make either an office or telephone appointment with your advisor, call 412-624-6600. You will be asked for your name, Pitt ID and telephone numbers, e-mail address, and reason for the appointment when you call. You are expected to call to cancel the appointment if you will not be able to keep the appointment.
Except for the initial advising appointment and the graduation appointment, advising is not mandatory. However, you are encouraged to make an appointment with your advisor to discuss any of the issues listed under the question below, "Why should I make an appointment with my advisor?" If you are placed on probation, your advisor’s approval is required when you are registering or adding/dropping classes.
You are held responsible for adhering to University policies and codes of conduct. Guidelines are found in various locations:
• The University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Bulletin
• Through your academic center; for the College of General Studies you can review the University of Pittsburgh Civility Code and the academic integrity code.
• On your my.pitt.edu portal , under Student Services
• The Student Affairs Web site, Student Code of Conduct
Advisors are available to answer questions during the advising information sessions Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m. on the fourth floor in the Cathedral of Learning. Times are subject to change during peak registration periods. Sessions last 15 minutes and are meant to help you prepare for scheduling and to address academic and program-related issues. The advising information sessions are not for registration processing. You are encouraged to e-mail the eAdvisor at eAdvisor@cgs.pitt.edu at any time with general advising questions.
You may see your advisor for issues related to internships, major or degree changes, certificates and minors, academic probation and suspension, personal issues interfering with academic performance, or special needs. Appointments are not for the registration of classes.
Advisors are expected to:
• Understand the University’s academic policies and procedures and relay that information to you.
• Discuss suitable educational objectives as demonstrated by your abilities and interests. • Assist you in planning a course of study.
• Help you become an independent, self confident, educated decision maker.
• Refer you to other resources when appropriate.
You are expected to:
• Acquire the skills needed to assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of all graduation requirements.
• Become knowledgeable about the relevant policies, procedures, and rules of the University and academic programs.
• Be prepared with accurate information when contacting the advisor, whether in an appointment, by phone or email.
• Access my.pitt.edu for important updates, resources, and course information.
• Be actively engaged in seeking the academic and career information necessary to meet your educational goals.
Consult your Academic Advisement Transcript (AAT) in PeopleSoft to determine which requirements you need to fulfill. Consult your advisor if you have questions about your AAT.
Use the following documents to find courses that fulfill requirements. Make sure to view course descriptions to check for prerequisites.
View Degree Requirements fulfilled by each class for the College of General Studies
View Degree Requirements fulfilled by each class for the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
View Course Descriptions
To check course availability, which will require you to have your my.pitt.edu username and password, follow the steps below:
1. Access the University portal at my.pitt.edu
2. Click on the student services tab at the top of the page
3. Click link to student center in the middle of the page
4. Click self service, then student center
5. Click the yellow search for classes button in the top right hand corner of the page.
6. Enter term code (click lookup icon and then click lookup to locate term code).
7. Click go
8. Search for open courses and create a schedule to discuss with your advisor.
The University of Pittsburgh utilizes an online self-enrollment system via PeopleSoft. Your PeopleSoft account can be accessed through my.pitt.edu and the student center. Follow the online guide on our creating a schedule page, listed under the current students and advising, tabs,or find it at www.cgspitt.org/creating-a-schedule.cfm.
You can be admitted to a closed class if you have obtained apermission number from the course department or the instructor of the class. The Admission to Closed Class or Restricted Class form is required to register for restricted classes, denoted by an R in the special indicators column, in the course offering section of the schedule of classes.
When you search for open classes in PeopleSoft, a list of search results will display on your computer screen. Your search results will contain courses offered at various times and in different formats. The course name will be indicated by a downward facing green arrow. In the course heading line, click view all sections. In each section you will see a hyperlink with four digits followed by the letters LEC, REC or LAB then followed by a five digit class number in parentheses. Course sections with LEC indicate a lecture, REC in this line indicates a recitation, and LAB indicates a lab section. Only recitations or labs listed directly below the main lecture section are associated with that particular lecture. For registration, you will want to note the five digit class number (shown in parentheses) for all components: lecture, recitation, and/or lab. Courses with a green circle indicate an open course, and a blue square means the course is closed.
Each school or college at the University of Pittsburgh has their own policy regarding accepting advanced standing or transfer credits. It is best to check with an advisor at the college from which you will be graduating regarding whether a specific course is transferable. However, in general:
• All credits must have been earned at an accredited institution.
• Courses must be passed with a letter grade of C or equivalent.
• Course credit earned from another institution may not exceed credit for a corresponding course at the University of Pittsburgh, nor will credit be granted from the University of Pittsburgh in excess of that which is stated on the incoming transcript.
As an undergraduate student you are permitted to register for more than 18 credits in a term. You must first obtain approval from your academic advisor. Then, you must get approval from the assistant dean for academic affairs of your school.
With your advisor’s approval , you may take graduate courses in order to enhance your undergraduate degree. Once you obtain approval from your advisor, you must get permission to enter the course from the instructor and obtain a letter from the dean of the school offering the course. The graduate course will appear on your undergraduate transcript but will not count as graduate work for you.
Click on the CLEP Information Flyer for more details.
College of General Studies students majoring in administration of justice, public service, and media and professional communications are required to participate in an internship, and all students are encouraged to participate in one or more internships. Many students within the humanities, social sciences, and natural ciences majors have found an internship to be very beneficial. Students have worked with local sports teams, museums and arts organizations, newspapers and magazines, and television and radio stations. See Internships for additional information about College of General Studies Internship options.
There is a vast array of resources available to you as a student of the University of Pittsburgh. They range in scope from veterans services and intramural sports to the campus shuttle service. Contact information for some of the most frequently used services are available online at www.cgspitt.org/links.cfm. If you do not find what you are looking for, check the University’s Web page at www.pitt.edu.
Study abroad is an option for students and you are encouraged to discuss this with your advisor to make sure your coursework overseas applies toward your degree. In addition, the College of General Studies offers some specific study abroad opportunities designed for nontraditional students. For information about programs, go to the Study Abroad Web site at: www.abroad.pitt.edu
There are a number of options you may pursue if you are having difficulty with a course. You could begin by talking with the professor or instructor to see if he or she might be able to assist you. In addition, the McCarl Center for Non-Traditional Student Success offers a number of workshops and seminars designed to introduce you to effective study skills and habits. For current workshop dates and times, visit the news and events section of our Website.
The Academic Resource Center offers tutoring in a number of subjects, such as the Math Assistance Center and the Writing Center to help you with problems in these areas, and the University Counseling Center offers workshops and individual and group consultation on a variety of personal issues. Please seek assistance early; do not wait until your problem becomes unmanageable.
You may elect to repeat a course, subject to the following stipulations. These apply only to College of General Studies students; other schools may have other school-specific rules on repeating courses.
• After completion, you should notify your academic advisor to process a course repeat form.
• You may not repeat the same course at another institution; it must be repeated at the University of Pittsburgh in order to replace the original grade earned.
• The original course and grade remain on the transcript; however, the grade and credits originally earned are not counted in the calculation of the GPA.
• You may repeat a course a maximum of three times.
During the add/drop period, you can make changes to your schedule by accessing your PeopleSoft account and processing an add/drop transaction. Add/drop ends two weeks after the start of the fall and spring terms. Summer term deadlines will vary depending upon the session. Visit the registrar’s calendar for the exact dates. We recommended that you consult with your advisor when making changes to your schedule.
The University of Pittsburgh does not offer phone registration for students. Registration transactions are processed using PeopleSoft and online self-enrollment. To learm more about the online registration process, visit the current students section of our Website under advising and creating a schedule, or visit the page directly at www.cgspitt.org/creating-a-schedule.cfm.
You may withdraw from individual courses from the end of add/drop period through the end of the ninth week of the term (Summer withdrawal dates vary according to the session) by completing the monitored withdrawal request form available at the College of General Studies front desk or at registration forms online at www.cgspitt.org/download-registration-forms.cfm. Be sure to check the academic calendar for the exact deadline for each semester.
This form must be submitted to the College of General Studies front desk. You will be assigned a W grade. This grade will appear on your transcript, but will not affect your GPA. You will be 100 percent financially responsible for any course from which you have withdrawn.
Before you make the decision to withdraw from a class, consider these tips:
• Speak with your instructor about your performance in the class. This class may be graded on a curve, so you might not be doing as poorly as you think.
• Discuss the implications of withdrawing with your advisor. It may impact your selection of classes in future terms or may have financial aid repercussions.
After this period, withdrawal is permitted only in extraordinary circumstances with the permission of the dean. A withdrawal after the ninth week will require a submission of an appeal for a late withdrawal form with the instructor’s signature and supporting documentation submitted to the Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, College of General Studies. Remember this is an appeal, it is not guaranteed. Those students who fail to withdraw properly or whose appeal is rejected will receive an F grade.
If you need to drop all of your courses after the add/drop period ends you have several options:
1. You may resign from all of your courses. You will be responsible for a percentage of your charges and will receive an R grade. This option is available until approximately the ninth week of the term.
Visit the Student Financial Services Web site for instructions on how to formally resign.
2. After the ninth week of the term, approximately, when the resignation and monitored withdrawal period is over, you may fill out a late withdrawal from all classes form through the Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, College of General Studies. You will receive a W grade for all courses and you will be responsible for 100 percent of your tuition and fees for the term. This form may be filled out until one week before the end of the term.
You can view your class schedule by logging into my.pitt.edu. Once logged in, click on the academic services tab located at the top of the page. Then under my class schedule, click on the link for either this term or next term.
If you need to sign into the student center, click on student center login on the right hand side after you click the academic services tab. From there, click on self service and then click on enrollment. From there, click on my class schedule to view your schedule.
You may appeal your suspension by sending written notification to your academic advisor within one month of receiving your notice of suspension.
Your GPA is determined by dividing your total number of grade points by your total number of credits. For a more detailed explanation you can visit the University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Bulletin online at www.bulletins.pitt.edu/undergrad/4gen_academic.htm#graderecords.
The G grade signifies unfinished course work due to extenuating personal circumstances. You should contact your instructor about requesting a G grade. If you are assigned a G grade, you are required to complete course requirements no later than one year after the term or session in which the course was taken. Some schools have a shorter deadline for completion of G grades; check with the specific school for details.
Once the deadline has passed, the G grade will remain on the record, and you will be required to re-register for the course if it is needed to fulfill requirements for graduation.
This choice provides an alternative to a letter grade. You are NOT permitted to take all courses with the satisfactory/audit option. You are allowed to take courses in your major using this option. Check with your advisor for the maximum number of courses permitted to take within the major. You may check in the PeopleSoft portal if a class is available for this option.
An S grade is awarded for satisfactory work completed in the course. The S grade is awarded when overall course performance is at the C grade level or above. Courses for which an S grade is received are counted toward graduation but not computed in the grade point average.
If less than satisfactory work is done, an NC (no credit) grade is recorded on the transcript. The NC grade is given when performance is at the C- level or below. Courses with an NC grade do not count toward graduation nor do they satisfy requirements.
To take a course with the satisfactory/audit option, you may submit a grade option form at the time of registration or during the first four weeks of the term (two weeks of the summer session). This grade option form is available on the fourth floor of the Cathedral of Learning at the main reception desk, or download it from the registrar's Web site at www.registrar.pitt.edu/Forms/GRADE%20OPTION%20AUDIT%20REQUEST.pdf. Be sure to check the academic calendar at the registrar’s office for the exact deadline for each semester.
Students qualify for the Dean’s List by completing at least 12 credits with a 3.5 or better GPA. In order to qualify again, you must complete a new set of 12 credits and earn a 3.5 GPA.
If you have completed at least 12 quality points credits and your GPA falls below 2.0, you will be placed on academic probation and may be subject to suspension. Once placed on academic probation, you have 12 credits to restore the GPA to 2.0. If the overall 2.0 is not reached, you will be suspended and prohibited from registering at the University for a period of one calendar year.
You may view your transcript online by logging into my.pitt.edu. Click on the academic resources tab located at the top of the page. Click on student center login on the right of the page. Then, click on self service and then student center on the top left of this page. Click on degree progress report using the drop down menu under academics history in the academics section at the top of the page. Choose University of Pittsburgh for academic institution and academic advising transcript for report type. Click go. If you have any questions about your online academic advising transcript, you should make an appointment with your College of General Studies advisor by calling 412-624-6600.
Please be advised that this report is not an official transcript and is subject to changes, updates, and corrections as needed.
Bills from the University of Pittsburgh are only available online via PeopleSoft and are called eBills. No paper copies of bills are sent to University of Pittsburgh students. To access your eBill, log onto my.pitt.edu. Once logged in, click on the PittPAY Login tab at the right of the web page. Use the links on the left hand side of the page to navigate PittPay.
You must be registered for classes before your first eBill can be posted. eBills are posted each month between the 18th and 20th and the due date is always the 17th of the following month.
For more information about eBills, visit www.bc.pitt.edu/students.
If you have questions about your eBill, you should contact the Student Payment Center at (412) 624-7520 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Friday.
To apply for financial aid at the University of Pittsburgh, you must go through the University of Pittsburgh Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. You must have a completed current application for University assistance and all federal programs, including loans, on file with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid located in Alumni Hall. Specific instructions, information and forms are available on the financial aid Web site at www.oafa.pitt.edu/fahome.aspx.
After completing all required forms for financial aid a student may apply for College of General Studies Supplemental Financial Aid. Students who wish to be considered for supplemental financial aid may apply through the Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, College of General Studies. Supplemental aid is awarded on a rolling basis and is need-based. The supplemental financial aid application is available on the web at www.cgspitt.org/medialibrary/File/Supplemental_Aid_Application.pdf and in the Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, located on the fourth floor of the Cathedral of Learning.
Yes, there are number of scholarships available for College of General Studies students. The criteria will vary for each. For example, some of the aid available is based on financial need while other awards have specific criteria, such as number of credits completed at the University of Pittsburgh and GPA. You can find College of General Studies scholarship information online at www.cgspitt.org/scholarships-and-financial.cfm.
To graduate from the College of General Studies, you must earn at least 120 degree credits with a minimum 2.00 GPA. You must also achieve a 2.00 GPA in your major and in any minors. Within the 120 credits, you must fulfill the College’s general education and major requirements. You must earn at least half of the credits for a major and the final 30 credits toward a degree while enrolled as a College of General Studies student. You are required to apply for graduation.
You are required to make a graduation appointment with your advisor when registering for classes for your final term. During this appointment, you and your advisor review all degree and major requirements and plan for the last term. The graduation worksheet is prepared which verifies that all information concerning your program and graduation date are updated. You complete the graduation application and several university University survey forms. Details concerning commencement and graduation ceremonies are discussed.
You should schedule your graduation appointments at the beginning of the registration period for the graduation term. For April graduation, schedule for late October; for August graduation, mid-February; and for December graduation, mid-March.
Graduation occurs at the end of each of the terms: fall, spring, and summer. Once final grades and requirements are certified, the student is notified that their degree has been awarded. Final grades are available a week after the end of the term. Diplomas and transcripts, with the degree posted, are available about six weeks after the end of the term.
The College of General Studies hosts two recognition ceremonies each year. Summer and fall graduates are honored at the December ceremony; spring and summer graduates are honored in April. Students are also invited and encouraged to attend the University’s Annual Commencement Convocation that is held in the Petersen Events Center each April to recognize the August, December, and April graduates from all of the University’s colleges and schools.
If you have applied for graduation, but will not finish you classes, you must contact your advisor so you may be removed from the graduation roster. You will need to reapply for the following term’s graduation.
Your PeopleSoft ID/Student Number can be found by logging into my.pitt.edu. Once logged in, click on the student services tab at the top of the Web page. Click on link to student center in the middle of the page, and then click on self service in the menu on the left. From there, click on student center. Under personal Information, click on demographic data. The ID field will list your seven-digit PeopleSoft ID/Student Number.
A username and password is sent to all newly admitted University of Pittsburgh students via regular mail. If you do not know your username and password, you should take your student ID card to one of the campus computing labs where a consultant can help reset your password, or call the Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357).
The College of General Studies and the University of Pittsburgh will send e-mail blasts of upcoming events, career seminars, and course schedules. Course descriptions and class schedules are available from the University of Pittsburgh Web site. Therefore, it is important that you view your University e-mail by logging into the portal at www.my.pitt.edu. To view your Web mail, click on the Web mail tab at the top of the student services welcome page, and then click view mail.
The best way to become involved is to contact the College of General Studies Student Government. As your representatives to the University of Pittsburgh community, they host a number of programs, services, and activities. Find more information about the organization from their Web site at www.cgssg.pitt.edu.