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In SCI, you will be assigned to a full time, primary role academic adviser with whom you will work during your entire time as an undergraduate in our school. The relationship you build with your academic advisor will be integral to your intellectual, personal, and professional growth. Academic advisors will help you to make informed educational choices regarding course selection as well as co-curricular and experiential education opportunities.

By working with an academic advisor, you will learn about:

  • why the classes for your major and gen eds are required
  • how to develop a comprehensive, cohesive, educational plan, which includes planning ahead and choosing classes and activites to help you enjoy and make the most out of your education
  • the purposes of higher education
  • the University of Pittsburgh mission and values
  • The SCI mission
  • Polymathy. Computing and information is everywhere, so you need to learn about the world outside of computing!
  • How what you like, what you are good at, and what is important to you matters in the choices you make

All students at the University of Pittsburgh are required to meet with their academic advisors at least once per semester, but, in SCI, we encourage you to meet with us more often.

Spring Walk-in Advising Hours

For prospective SCI students who would like to talk with an advisor, please send an email to sciadvising@pitt.edu to request a phone or video call. Please give us a brief explanation of your circumstances so that we can be prepared for the meeting. Look forward to speaking with you!

SCI Peer Advisors

Mondays 10:00AM – 1:00PM, Room 301, IS Building with Vlad Slavskii 12:00PM – 2:00PM, Room 301, IS Building with Dhruv Nathwani
Wednesdays 10:00AM – 1:00PM, Room 522, IS Building with Julianne Newman
Fridays 12:00PM – 1:00PM, Room 501, IS Building with Dhruv Nathwani

Meet our Peer Advisors.

Peer Advisors CAN:

  1. Help you to explore how your interests fit in with the degree programs offered by SCI (Computer Science, Information Science, Digital Narrative and Interactive Design, Computational Biology)
  2. Provide recommendations or advice on classes within the IS/CS/DNID/Comp Bio curriculum
  3. Assist you with navigating PeopleSoft (e.g. class scheduling, requesting transcripts, accessing your advising report, etc.)
  4. Help you identify resources to best address your needs (e.g. Math Assistance Center, Writing Center, CS Resource Center, Study Lab, Academic Advisor, Undergraduate Catalog, and more)
  5. Support you in making informed decisions about your degree path and experience at Pitt
  6. Help you to prepare for your advising appointment

Peer Advisors CANNOT:

  1. Lift your advising hold/replace your advising appointment
  2. Tutor you on any course content
  3. Schedule your classes for you
  4. Provide permission codes or change your position on a waitlist


We envision academic advising as a relationship with shared responsibilities. This is what you can expect:

  1. Advisors will be available for one on one in person, web conference, and phone meetings
  2. The advising center will have walk in hours during the week for "quick questions"
  3. Advisers will provide accurate information about SCI academic requirements, policies, and procedures
  4. Advisers will be knowledgeable about campus resources and will make appropriate referrals when necessary
  5. Help students to make informed educational decisions
  6. Help students to understand their unique interests and values
  7. Help students to understand the purposes of higher education, the missions of the University of Pittsburgh and SCI, and the way they inform and influence the curriculum.
  8. Help students to develop polymathic sensibilities
  9. Help students to think about why they are in college, what they want to learn, what problems they want to solve, and how to use their time at Pitt to figure these things out and make progress toward them
  1. Schedule at least one appointment with your advisor each semester.
  2. Prepare for your appointment by reviewing your Academic AdvisementReportand your Educational Planning Worksheet in Courseweb
  3. Be prepared to discuss your strengths, interests, skills, and values as well as what you are learning in your classes and co-curricular experiences.
  4. Be prepared to discuss which courses you want to take, why you want to take them, and what you expect to learn from them. You can find most of the information you need here
  5. Read your emails
  6. Take ownership of your education
  7. Learn about the the requirements for degree as well as relevant policies and procedures. Most of the information you need can be found here
  8. Follow-through on your plan designed with your advisor. Keep your advisor updated on barriers you encounter as you're delivering on your plan.

Academic Advisors and Faculty Mentors

Academic Advisors can help you to:

  • Make informed educational decisions (e.g. courses, co-curricular activities, experimental education, community engagement)
  • Co-create educational plans(e.g. help you incorporate a minor, co-op, study abroad, into your studies)
  • Evaluate and approve graduation applications
  • Find information about academic requirements
  • Provide referrals to resources at Pitt

Faculty Mentors can help you with:

  • Career and graduate school mentoring
  • Preparing for internships
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Research opportunities

The University Catalog

You should familiarize yourself with the University Catalog It will default to the current academic year, but you must always refer to the Catalog from the year that you began your undergraduate career at Pitt. Choose School of Computing and Information from the Schools and Academic Programs menu on the right side of the screen.

Here, you can find the answers to any questions about:

  • University- and School-level policies (for example, grading options, enrollment requirements/restrictions, and experiential learning)
  • Academic standards/regulations
  • The criteria for earning University honors
  • Requirements for your degree progress and completion

Tracking your degree progress

The Academic Advisement Report (AAR) is a function within PeopleSoft that you will use to keep track of your degree progress.  The AAR shows all of the requirements for your declared major, and interacts with your record to display your individual progress within those requirements. On the AAR, you can find:

  1. Which requirements you have satisfied, and which ones you still need to complete. Each requirement is listed as either Satisfied or Not Satisfied.
    1. If the requirement is satisfied, the AAR will list:
      1. The course that was taken to satisfy the requirement
      2. The term the course was completed
      3. The grade received in the course
    2. If the requirement is not satisfied, the AAR will list:
      1. Available Courses to satisfy the requirement
        1. This means that you may choose from any of the listed courses to satisfy the requirement
  2. How many credits you have completed, and how many more you need to reach the required 120
  3. The minimum GPA requirements (both overall and for your major classes only), and your current GPA for each of those categories
  4. A list of every class you have completed