TRANSFERRING TO A NEW SCHOOL CAN BE HARD. WE ARE HERE TO HELP.
Whether you have already been accepted or are just starting to think about transferring to Pitt, it is never too early or too late to get some more information. We are here to help you figure out your best path to a major in biological sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.
You likely have lots of questions about the transfer process, where you stand, and what to expect once you start here at Pitt. Our goal is to help all students on an individual basis to evaluate their record, help them making the best plan moving forward toward their degree, and supporting them in their academic progress. Here are some of our more frequently asked questions, but we are happy to answer others by email, phone, or walk-in appointment.
WHERE DO I STAND?
Not sure which classes will transfer to Pitt? Or how they will count? Check the guides below to get an idea of how courses from your PA school transfer. Whether you have already taken some courses or are planning out your upcoming semesters, make sure you know all of the options.
Reminder: Students MUST complete at least half of their BIOSC credits on the Pittsburgh campus to satisfy their major requirements.
**Please note: these worksheets are meant to be guides. Student Records will officially evaluate all transcripts to determine how credits transfer.
Coming from a different school? Contact email@example.com to have your courses evaluated.
AP/IB credits? Check the AP/IB transfer credit guide
Transferring non-biology courses? Check the Pitt Connection Guides or the home department for the course.
WHICH CLASSES SHOULD I TAKE WHEN I ARRIVE?
Great question! This question will have a unique answer for each student, but we do have some general advice based on our experience with many other transfer students:
Newly transferred to Pitt? Don't overload on sciences courses your first semester! A lot of transfer students are worried that they are ‘behind’ and try to ‘catch up’ in their first semester at Pitt. The first semester is hard enough on its own: a huge transition where everything is more difficult than it ‘should be’. Please don’t let extra science courses add unnecessary stress to this already difficult time. We typically recommend that students only take 1-2 science courses their first semester on campus and have seen that this leads to much higher success rates.
We are happy to help you plan out your time on campus so that you can spread your science classes and not overload during any semester.
Thinking about transferring to Pitt? Make a plan early on to figure out which classes you can take before your move and which classes you will need after. Use our transfer worksheets (see Where do I Stand above?) to make the most effective use of the courses at your current institution. Have questions? Feel free to reach out; we are happy to take a look at your plan!
Other tips for planning courses before transferring:
1. Satisfy the Skills requirements, i.e., Composition, Algebra, Second Language (algebra and general writing MUST be completed before transfer to Arts & Sciences)
3. Begin taking the introductory courses in your expected major.
4. Finish any sequence classes before transferring! Take both semesters of intro chemistry or physics - do not try to split them across schools.
WHICH MAJOR IS BEST FOR ME?
Choosing your major is one of the most important decisions you will make in college. Some questions you might ask yourself in the process: Which classes are you most excited about? Which classes do you want to go back for more? Which classes are required for any intended graduate school or career plans?
While career is an important factor in course selection, it does not always need to determine your major. For example, it is perfectly reasonable to be a Studio Arts major and go to medical school; you just have to fin the required coursework and MCAT preparation. On the other hand, some graduate programs do want to see specific higher-level courses in their field of study. We are very happy to help you as you are wading through and organizing all of the different requirements.
The Department of Biological Sciences offers five majors for students to choose between. The majors share a common core of classes and then each offers its own unique features - choose between flexibility of course selection, interdisciplinary approaches, or a specific concentration.
Bioinformatics/Computational Biology: An interdisciplinary major shared between Biological Sciences and Computer Sciences.
Biological Sciences: A flexible major that offers the choice of greath breadth or deep focus.
Ecology & Evolution: A major that addresses the questions of how species live and interact in nature and the evolutionary origin of species.
Microbiology: A major focused on the study of microscopic organisms - viruses, bacteria, algae, fungi, slime molds, and protozoa.
Molecular Biology: A major focused on the study of biomolecules, chemical changes, and genetic control of life processes.
OTHER RESOURCES FOR TRANSFER STUDENTS