The following contains specific admissions requirements for the MSIS program. For information regarding admissions requirements for the School of Computing and Information, please click here.

Applicants for graduate study must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better.

The scholastic average of the final 50 percent of a student's undergraduate course work, as well as of graduate courses that may have been taken, shall be examined in determining achievement of this requirement. Students unable to meet the QPA requirement may use Graduate Record Examination scores as evidence of ability to do graduate-level work in seeking a waiver of the requirement.

The Graduate Information Science program seeks students with diverse interests and abilities. An undergraduate computer science major is not a prerequisite. Although many successful students have entered the program with a background in mathematics, engineering, or computer science, many other outstanding students entered with undergraduate degrees in business, music, history, philosophy, or chemistry.

Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University's mission.

Prerequisites for admission to the Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) degree program include one three-credit college course in each of the following:
  • A structured programming language: A course on structured programming using Java, C# or C++ is required. Either INFSCI 0017 Object-Oriented Programming 1 for Information Science, CS 0401: Intermediate Programming Using Java is recommended to meet this requirement.
  • Statistics: A course covering data collection, descriptive and inferential statistics is optimal. It should cover measures of central tendency and variability, regression, correlation, non-parametric analysis, probability and sampling, Bayesian analysis, significance tests, and hypothesis testing. Either STATS 0200: Basic Applied Statistics, or STATS 1000: Applied Statistical Methods is recommended to meet this requirement.
  • Mathematics: A college-level mathematics course, in discrete mathematics or calculus, is required. Any of the following Pitt courses will meet the requirement: MATH 0120: Business Calculus, MATH 0220: Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1, or MATH 0400: Discrete Mathematical Structures.

Students who lack some of the prerequisite courses may be admitted provisionally pending completion of the prerequisites during the first 12 credits of study. Any coursework that the student is asked to meet as a condition of their admission must be completed with a grade of B or better.

Credits for prerequisite courses are not counted toward completion of requirements for the master's or PhD degree.

Transfer Of Credits

A maximum of six graduate credits earned with a grade of B or better may be transferred toward either the master's or PhD degree from institutions fully accredited for graduate study, provided:

  1. these credits have not been applied to any other degree or certificate;
  2. they are applicable to the study of information science or telecommunications;
  3. they are not older than the statute of limitations for the degree.

Credit By Examination

No credit by examination will be granted toward the master's degree, nor credit for work completed in extension courses or in off-campus centers of another institution unless those credit are approved for graduate degrees at that institution.

Letters of Recommendation

Identify and seek the recommendations of two individuals (e.g., professors, employers, information professionals) who are in a position to evaluate your academic performance or your potential as an information professional. Before you submit your application, ask your references in which form they wish to submit their recommendation, by paper or electronically. For both paper and electronic submission of recommendation letters, please follow the instructions outlined on Apply Yourself.

Transcripts

Only official transcripts will be accepted. Please read transcript upload intsructions.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) applicants are required to submit a recent score (within five years of the date of application) on the Graduate Record Examination as part of their admission credentials. Scores on all three sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical) of the General Section should be submitted. While submission of the GRE scores are preferred, a recent and strong performance on the GMAT will be accepted in lieu of taking the GRE exam. The University code for the GRE is 2927. The Program code is 0404.

Please note that ​you can not ​add the numerical code 0404 by it​self​. Please type “Information Sciences” ​in the required field and the system will auto populate your choices, one of which is Information Sciences/Studies 0404. ​

Required Documents

Please include the following in your online application:
  • Resume; and
  • Statement of intent of no more than 500 words outlining your career goals
Your resume and Statement of Intent should reflect and highlight relevant work experience.

International Applicants

In order for your student visa document (Form I-20 or DS-2019) to be issued in time for your studies, you will need to provide additional financial information directly to the Office of International Services (OIS) at the University of Pittsburgh.

Please access and read the International Graduate Student Financial Information form to determine what you need to prepare.

Please note: you will not be able to submit your financial information unless you have been admitted to our School and you accept that offer of admission.

At that point, OIS will contact you directly via the email address you have provided to us in your application, and they will share a link to use to submit your financial information. You must accept any offer of admission you receive by the deadlines stated below in order for your visa to be processed in time. OIS will then give you a deadline by which to submit your financial information as well.

English Language Proficiency

Graduate students must possess sufficient knowledge of English to study without being hindered by language problems, to understand lectures, and to participate successfully in class discussion.

International applicants must submit either the TOEFL or the IELTS (taken within two years of the date of application). Contact Educational Testing Services directly to request that an official score report be sent to the School of Information Sciences. The institution code for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927 and the department code for all applicants is 90.

A minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL is required for admission to the MSIS, MST, MLIS, PhD IS & TELE programs. Students may choose to take the International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) in place of the TOEFL. Students should receive a minimum result of Band 6.5 on the IELTS.

A minimum score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 100 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL is required for admission to the PhD in Library and Information Science program. Students may choose to take the International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) in place of the TOEFL. Students should receive a minimum result of Band 7.5 on the IELTS.

Exceptions: International students who completed a degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States are not required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS score. Students from certain English-speaking countries are also exempt. Permanent residents are exempt. However, the School reserves the right to ask for TOEFL scores if deemed necessary for the evaluation of the application. Please note: degrees where anything less than the entire degree was completed in-residence within the English-speaking country will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students in these circumstances may be required to complete the TOEFL or IELTS with the required minimum score upon review.

Prior to registration, students with TOEFL scores of less than 100 (Internet-based), 600 (Paper-based) or less than Band 7.5 on the IELTS must take this additional test of English language proficiency: English Language Proficiency Test. If remedial courses in English as a foreign language are recommended, the student must complete the remedial course during the first two terms of study.

Transcript Evaluation

All degrees obtained outside of the U.S. will be evaluated for equivalency to U.S. educational standards by the School of Computing and Information/University of Pittsburgh. Therefore, all international applicants must provide an official English-language translations of all pertinent transcripts. All transcripts from non-U.S. institutions, for undergraduate and graduate study, will be reviewed by the School/University of Pittsburgh in terms of: the U.S. degree to which your degree is equivalent - Bachelor's, Master's, etc., the overall grade point average for your studies (converted to a U.S 4.0 scale), and a course-by-course grade equivalency evaluation for every class taken.

If you completed your degree in the U.S. but also took coursework outside of the U.S., you do not need to have an evaluation by an external agency. However you need to provide a certified English translation of the coursework taken outside of the U.S. if the record was issued in a language other than English.

Please note: the Admissions Committee may request an external review of your transcript, the cost of which is the responsibility of the applicant.

The application fee is $50 for all applicants and must be paid when you submit your application. The fee will not be waived, deferred, or refunded. Applications will not be considered until the fee has been received. Receipt of payment will be acknowledged by email from Apply Yourself.
*The MSIS program accepts applications on a rolling basis. However, priority consideration will be given to applications received by the following deadlines:
Fall Term Spring Term Summer Term
Admission Application (Domestic) July 15 November 1 March 15
Admission Application (International) January 15 June 15 December 15
Financial Assistance Application January 15 September 15 January 15

The School of Computing and Information makes every effort to issue a determination about applications within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline. This is, of course, dependent upon the timely receipt of all required application materials. You will be notified via e-mail when an admissions decision has been posted to your Apply Yourself account.

Please note that, during the December–January timeframe, numerous applications are received. Due to the volume of submissions, there may be a delay in notification of receipt of materials.

You may always check your Apply Yourself account to ascertain if documentation has been received or if an admissions decision has been made. The status of your application, related documents and admission decision cannot be verified until you have submitted the application fee (which is the final step in submitting your application).