The School of Computing and Information aims to position the University of Pittsburgh as a leader in preparing students for this increasingly interconnected world by providing them with excellent disciplinary foundations, while also training them to support the School’s mission to make the world a better place through polymathic education and the science of interacting systems. In short, we aim to teach students the concepts they need to move among the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Our curriculum is designed to support the education of students who view computing and information as a means of empowerment to solve difficult problems that exist at the confluence of our disciplines and the broader world, beginning from their first day in the classroom.

Undergraduate Degree
Minors and Certificates

The Undergraduate Degree

Structure of Program

Gateway Course

Big Ideas in Computing and Information, a new gateway course, will be required of all incoming first-year students. Through a combination of lectures, guest talks, and skills labs, this course will provide you with an understanding of the numerous connections between computing and information and other disciplines; the commonalities and differences between the problems, tools, and methodologies of various computing and information sub-disciplines; and basic technical skills that will serve you as you advance through any computationally-oriented degree program. You will also be introdued to a variety of core principles and important themes that cross-cut this array of computing- and information- oriented disciplines, as well as explore the types of work that individuals educated in these disciplines engage in.

First-Year Seminar

A 1-credit First-Year Seminar will also be required of all incoming students. This course will provide you with an introduction to the School and the University of Pittsburgh. A combination of large group informational sessions, small group discussions, and activities will address a range of issues including:

  • Academic mechanics (e.g., advising, registration, university structure, financial aid, academic and professional communication)
  • Academic support services and opportunities (e.g., tutoring centers, study abroad, internships and co-ops, undergraduate research)
  • Student support services (e.g., career services, counseling center, student health services)
  • Other student opportunities (e.g., Pitt FYE, campus recreation, cheap seats)

General Education Requirements

Students are encouraged to develop a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, information management, and computing by immersing students in a variety of intellectual contexts that are crucial to understanding problems at the confluence of natural, social, and engineered systems to which computing and information skills can be applied. The School’s General Education Requirements are structured to enable both exploration of these diverse intellectual contexts, as well as specialization in particular areas of interest. The requirements are as follows:

Skills courses

  • Category 1: Expression (3 courses)
  • Category 2: Quantitative (2 courses)

Polymathic Context

  • Category 3: Scientific Context (3 courses)
  • Category 4: Ethic and Policy Context (1 course)

At least one course from each of the following categories (5 courses total)

  • Category 5: Global Awareness and Cross-Cultural Understanding
  • Category 6: Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Category 7: Humanistic Context

One course taken from the required categories above must satisfy the diversity requirement. Numerous departments offer classes that fulfill this requirement.

Secondary Field of Study

To emphasize the intersections that computing and information have with other disciplines, you will be required to achieve some depth of study within another discipline. This requirement may be satisfied by:

  • Completion of a joint degree program offered by SCI and another School on campus
  • Completion of a minor or second major
  • Completion of an approved certificate program
  • Completion of an approved 15-credit related area

Capstone Experience

To provide an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge within a real-world context, you will complete a capstone experience as part of your degree. The mechanisms for satisfying the capstone requirement will be determined and defined by the faculty of the individual degree programs. The existing BSIS and BSCS programs allow for:

  • An approved internship or co-op experience
  • Directed research sponsored by a faculty member
  • Capstone-designated project courses


The School of Computing and Information does not directly handle undergraduate admissions. Please contact the University of Pittsburgh Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for more information about admission to the School.