Office of the Provost

Dear Graduate and Professional Students,

I hope that the semester is going well for you as we approach the University’s Thanksgiving Recess and the last few weeks of the term.

Earlier this week marked the National First-Generation College Celebration, a day to celebrate the success of students who are the first in their families to go to college. I want to take this moment to acknowledge the incredible success and accomplishments of all of you who are first-gen graduate and professional students. Whether you are in a research-focused PhD program, a professional program training to be a teacher or a dentist, or another type of graduate program, you are leading the way and inspiring many others. We are so proud of you and appreciate all that you bring to the Pitt community.

I also want to announce that the Graduate Studies team is pleased to share our new website at a new URL: The new website combines our presence on the Office of the Provost site and the former Graduate Student Resources site to offer you “one-stop shopping” for all the information, resources, and guidelines that you need for your graduate career. It is organized by six tabs: About, Admissions, Funding, Academics, Professional Development, Student Life, and News and Events.

Over the next few months, we will be building out the website with more information about things like national and international fellowships and professional development opportunities. Our goal is for you to be able to find all the information you need about graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh through our website, so if there is additional information you think we should include or clarify, we would love to hear your feedback.

Additionally, we would love to highlight your accomplishments in our Graduate Student Accolades. If you win a national award or fellowship, take on a national leadership position, or are recognized for another accomplishment related to your studies, please let us know so we can spread the good news.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  

Hail to Pitt!

Amanda J. Godley
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies


University News and Resources

Graduate and Professional Student Lounge, 524 William Pitt Union (WPU): The lounge is a space on campus for graduate and professional students to socialize, study, or take a break between classes. It is currently open during the WPU’s fall semester hours of Monday-Thursday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 8 a.m. to midnight. Visit the WPU Information Desk located on the main floor to obtain a temporary swipe card to access the lounge.

Student Emergency Assistance Fund: The Student Emergency Assistance Fund is available to any Pitt student who may be experiencing financial hardship due to unanticipated expenses or emergency situations.

Academic Year 2021-2022 Is the Year of Data and Society: As a community, we will explore the societal implications of data and its uses and build our understanding of socially responsible data practices. The Year of Data and Society Funding Opportunity will support programs, events, curriculum development, and other possibilities connected to the theme of data and society. Students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty, and staff are invited to apply. Applications are accepted for December 1, 2021, and February 1, 2022, deadlines. Keep your eye out for special programming and events related to this theme.

University Events

Impact of COVID-19 on the Academic Careers of Women in Medicine and Science, Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.: Pitt leaders, including Vice Provost Amanda Godley, will share their perspectives of the pandemic’s impact on female scientists and clinicians at Pitt followed by a panel discussion. Register to attend the Zoom Panel Discussion.

Financial Aid Information Session, Thursday, November 18, 2021, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.: Attend a virtual financial aid workshop to learn more about financial aid at the graduate level and get assistance in completing the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The eligibility criteria for receiving a federal government loan includes being a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen. View Financial Aid Quick Reference Guide and how to contact the Financial Aid Office. Register to attend the Zoom session.

New Federal Loan Changes Information Session, Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 6 p.m.-7 p.m. or Thursday, December 9, 2021, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.: Attend a virtual financial aid workshop to learn about new changes in federal student loan programs coming in January 2022. Students who have federal and/or private education loans are welcome to attend. Register to attend the November 30 session or register to attend the December 9 session.

Overcoming by Understanding Academic Writer’s Block, Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Join the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) webinar to reflect on the relationship between academic writing and personal identity, understand and re-narrate the stories about your writing identity, and learn ways to conquer academic writing blocks. Claim your NCFDD membership for free and then register for this virtual webinar.

2021 Science Career Symposium, Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.: Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can participate in a series of virtual roundtables to learn about exciting careers for PhDs covering a range of employment settings and job sectors. Register to attend the Zoom session.

Dialogue for Difficult Subjects, Thursday, December 2, 2021, noon-1:30 p.m.: This workshop will address how to deal with difficult subjects, such as racism, sexism, ableism, or other forms of violence that may arise spontaneously during class. Participants will be able to describe the value of student voices as part of your teaching; identify current and future strategies to welcome student voices as part of instructional activities (readings, lecturing, assignments); and recognize yourself in your role of a dialogue facilitator. Register to attend the Zoom session.

How to Negotiate for Your Next Opportunity, Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.: Attend this session to learn how to develop a negotiation strategy that will contribute to your future success. Tips and tricks for how to negotiate while maintaining positive relationships will be covered, as well as guidance regarding how to become a more confident and successful negotiator. Register to attend the Zoom session.


Department of Defense SMART Scholarship-for-Service Fellowship applications are open to STEM graduate students at any level of their PhD program. Applications are due December 1, 2021. Winners receive one to five years of funding including tuition, stipend, and health insurance. Check citizenship requirements and learn more.

Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship applications are open to grads from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups who are in the dissertation writing stage of their PhD. Applications are due December 9, 2021. Winners receive a $28,000 stipend for one year. Check citizenship requirements and learn more.

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship applications are open to grads from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups with three or more years left to complete their PhD. Applications are due December 16, 2021. Winners receive a $27,000 annual stipend for three years. Check citizenship requirements and learn more.

Penn Predoctoral Fellowships for Excellence through Diversity applications are open to doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, in the final stages of dissertation writing or research, who do not currently attend the University of Pennsylvania. Applications are due January 14, 2022. Winners spend one academic year at Penn and receive $45,000 for stipend, health insurance, and travel. Learn more.

Boren Fellowship applications are open to graduate students who are U.S. citizens planning to study in a country of which they are not a citizen, and which is outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. Applications are due January 26, 2022. Maximum combined award amount is $30,000. Learn more.