Undergraduate Studies
Office of the Provost

Dear Pitt Students:

Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester! I hope you were able to find time to relax and recharge in the summer months and are looking forward to all that this academic year will offer.

As classes and activities get underway, I want to share some resources and reminders.

To begin, a reminder that the University is offering flexibility to both students and instructors by allowing remote access to courses during the first two weeks of the term. All classes are scheduled to move to in-person, with few exceptions, beginning Monday, Sept. 13. 

Please continue to follow all health guidance and mitigation protocols—including universal masking—to keep yourself, our campuses, and our classrooms safe.

Additionally, watch for a forthcoming communication about how to continue to be successful in your classes while quarantining, if necessary.

The add deadline for the Fall 2021 semester is Friday, Sept. 10, while classes can still be dropped until Friday, Sept. 17. You can reach out to your academic advisor if you have questions. They can help you adjust your schedule or support you at any time throughout the semester.

As you will have noticed, we continue to auto-enroll all first-year students in the Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance (PITT 0210) course. This class helps students to participate more knowledgably in discussions of race, inequality, and other aspects of social difference. We encourage all students to engage in this class—whether you are auto-enrolled or not. You will not be charged additional tuition, regardless of how many credits you have. Students wishing to add this course, or those wishing to opt-out of engaging in this course, can do so via the PeopleSoft/Highpoint HCX mobile app. More information on enrollment and access is available on the FAQs page.

If you’re looking for a resource for academic support and tutoring, Pitt's Tutoring website provides resources as well as an online learning space suitable for all types of subjects: math, writing, languages, computer programming, chemistry, and more. Specifically, the TutorOcean tool’s virtual learning space is uniquely equipped to help you to interact live with tutors, peers, advisors, and instructors.

Of course, your time at Pitt isn't just about academics; it's also important to explore interests, cultivate new friends and connections, and enjoy experiences that will shape your path well into the future. To help you make the most of your time at Pitt, I invite you to use two technology platforms that can help to expand and enrich your experiences and your network.

The Catalog of Opportunities: Explore co-curricular activities—programs, activities, and learning experiences that happen beyond the classroom—customized to your interests. You can browse new opportunities; search current program offerings—such as Business, Global, Honors, and OCC—in a single space; and track your participation and share your accomplishments via a unique URL. Explore the possibilities at catalog.pitt.edu or on the Pitt mobile app (iOS or Android).

Pitt Commons, designed exclusively for members of the Pitt community, allows Pitt students, faculty, staff, and alumni to establish networking and mentoring relationships that are specific to their unique interests and professional goals.

And finally, each academic year, the Office of the Provost identifies a theme that unites the University of Pittsburgh community. This year has been tagged as the Year of Data and Society. Students are invited to submit proposals for new programs, events, research projects, creative works, and other opportunities tied to this theme and to receive up to $8,000 in support to help realize their vision. The first of three deadlines for proposals is fast approaching; applications for the first round of funding are due by noon on Oct. 1.

Please email me anytime at vpmccarthy@pitt.edu if you have questions or concerns—or if I can help you achieve your academic goals.

Have a terrific year—and Hail to Pitt!


Joseph J. McCarthy
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies