Biology Transfer Students



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 emailing


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. This includes needing at least one upper division lab on the Pittsburgh campus. 

Transfer Resources for Prospective Biology Majors coming from Community Colleges

BC3 transfer worksheet BC3 2+2 semester planner BC3 transfer tips  
CCAC transfer worksheet CCAC 2+2 semester planner CCAC transfer tips
CCBC transfer worksheet CCBC 2+2 semester planner CCBC transfer tips
HACC transfer worksheet HACC 2+2 semester planner HACC transfer tips
WCCC transfer worksheet WCCC 2+2 semester planner WCCC transfer tips

Transfer Resources for Prospective Biology Majors coming from Regional Pitt campuses

Overview: Relocating from UPB

Overview: Relocating from UPG

Overview: Relocating from UPJ

UPB transfer worksheet UPB 2+2 semester planner
UPG transfer worksheet UPG 2+2 semester planner
UPJ transfer worksheet UPJ 2+2 semester planner
UPT transfer worksheet UPT 2+2 semester planner

**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 to have your courses evaluated.

AP/IB credits?  Check the AP/IB transfer credit guide. Note that we do not give lab credit for AP/IB exams.

Transferring non-biology courses? Check the Pitt Connection Guides or the home department for the course. 



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)

2. Begin taking comparable courses to meet the General Education Requirements (see Gen-ed requirements; Pitt Connection Guides)  

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.





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.


University of Pittsburgh Admissions

Pitt Transfer Experience

Pitt Transfer Guidelines

Pitt Transfer Deadlines

Pitt Transfer FAQs

Arts & Sciences transfer info

Arts & Sciences placement exam info

General Education Requirements

Academic Success Workshops

Peer Tutoring

Campus Resources

Getting Involved in Research