Incoming Students FAQs

Deposits and Financial Aid

After Admission

Practicum, Registration, and Advising

Contact Information


Deposits and Financial Aid

How do I pay my deposit?

  1. Visit It will prompt you to accept or decline. Once you accept, it will prompt you to pay online. If you cannot find your log in, call the Pitt help desk: 412-624-HELP (4357).

Return to top

What happens after I deposit?

  1. After you pay the tuition deposit, you’ll get an email from Pitt’s help desk assigning you your Pitt email address
    1. Check your junk mailbox; it often gets filtered into junk
  2. Please pay attention to your Pitt email account once you officially deposit. You will begin to receive important information about setting up your practicum placement, registration and exemption exams. During this time, the Student Services team works diligently to ensure everyone is set up for all program aspects.

Return to top

When should I do FAFSA?

  1. Complete as soon as possible by visiting the FAFSA website. However, this can be completed during the Summer prior to the start of Fall Term so it is fine if you deposit and start the process late.
  2. University of Pittsburgh Federal School Code: 008815
  3. Everyone in graduate programs is awarded a set amount of slightly more than $20,000 which is applied evenly over the academic Fall and Spring Terms, unless you direct OAFA otherwise. If you don’t need all of financial aid award, try to make the smartest financial decision for yourself, as you aren’t required to take the whole amount. Keep in mind that interest will accrue with these loans while you’re enrolled in classes.
  4. Amounts get “packaged” for graduate students in June/July

Return to top

What else can I do for funding?

  1. We encourage you to look at our website, as there are numerous stipend fellowships available, in addition to documents with various external scholarship opportunities.
  2. Scholarships and Fellowships Link
  3. Create a PittFund$Me account via the Pitt portal. It’s a scholarship database created by the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid in which you can create a profile and the system will match you to eligible opportunities for you to apply for. Student are advised to visit the site frequently as opportunities become more available closer to the term start dates. Opportunities can also arise at the beginning of Spring and Summer terms.

Return to top

How much is tuition?

  1. This differs by year and school within the University. So, if you are a joint degree student, pay close attention to different school rates (you get charged the tuition rate for the primary school-most credits enrolled). These are typically announced during the Summer months- most often during July. They will be announced by the University Financial Aid Department (Not Social Work) and applied to your Pitt Pay account.
  2. Rates differ by residency status (in-state/out-of-state) and full-time/part-time
  3. Link for more tuition information.
  4. 2023-2024 academic year rates (2023-2024) can be found at


Residency information/petitioning.

Return to top

What are some available Scholarships/Fellowships?

  1. SSW Scholarships and Fellowships
  2. Pitt Scholarships and Funding

Return to top

After Admission

I still need to send my transcripts- what do I do?

  1. Friendly reminder, do NOT send to the University OAFA. You need to send to the School of Social Work Office of Admissions, and clearly outline this if you are physically mailing. If it goes to Office of Admissions & Financial Aid (OAFA), we will not receive it.
  2. If physically mailed, it must be official and sent/sealed directly from the School’s Registrar.
  3. If physically mailed, it must be official and sent/sealed directly from the School’s Registrar to the School of Social Work’s mailing address: 4200 Fifth Avenue, 2101 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
  4. You can alternatively send an official transcript electronically directly from the registrar to Jessalynn Oliver if your school has this option.

Return to top

What are Exemption Exams?

Incoming students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work are eligible to take exemption exams for Human Behavior and the Social Environment  (HBSE) and Generalist Social Work Research course. Additionally, students beginning the MSW Program who have earned their bachelor's in social work and who did not receive advanced standing credit for the aforementioned courses may also wish to take this exam if they believe they have mastered the material. Students who pass these exemption exams will be awarded the credits for these courses (up to six total credits) toward the completion of their MSW degree and be exempt from taking the class(es). 

For the HBSE course, students who have completed undergraduate work in human, family, and community development may know this material and wish to take this exam to determine if they can exempt from this class. The current text book for this class is:   Rogers, A.T. (2019). Human behavior in the social environment (5th ed.). Routledge.

For the Generalist Social Work Research Course, the current text book is:  Engel, R. J., & Schutt, R. K. (2017). Practice of research in social work (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Exemption Exam Dates for 2024: 

Friday, May 17, 2024 – 9am-5pm (EST); 
Saturday, May 18, 2024 – 9am-5pm (EST);
Friday, June 7, 2024 – 9am-5pm (EST); 
Saturday, June 8, 2024 – 9am-5pm (EST);
Friday, July 19, 2024 – 9am-5pm (EST); 
Saturday July 20, 2024 – 9am-5pm (EST).

Find Exemption Exam FAQs here.

Return to top

What do I do if my degree is not yet conferred and I want to enroll in classes?

  1. When you request transcripts, you’ll need to click the box indicating “hold for degree conferral”.
  2. If your degree conferral won’t happen until the end of August, the SSW will need a signed letter sent directly from your registrar to the SSW Office of Admissions indicating the successful completion of all degree requirements.
    1. After the degree is conferred, we must receive an official transcript showing the degree conferral date.
    2. Be sure to have the registrar send the official transcript directly to the School of Social Work either electronically to or hard copy to: 4200 Fifth Avenue, 2101 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Return to top

What if I am a joint degree student?

  1. You need to apply to each school separately. E.g., if I am applying for MSW/GSPIA, I need to apply to each program separately, following each school’s respective application process.
    1. Please note, this often means submitting materials separately to each school as they are not permitted to share applicant materials such as references and transcripts.
  2. To determine tuition and courses, you need to speak with your academic advisors, and/or each joint degree representative present in both schools.
    1. These contacts in the School of Social Work can be found for each joint program here.
    2. Please make sure you are communicating with individuals in the other school as well.

Return to top

What do I need to know about residency?

  1. If you want to petition for in state residency, the website for that info is here. They can answer any residency related questions.

Return to top

Practicum, Registration, and Advising

When will I hear about practicum education information?

  1. After you deposit, you’ll get pertinent information about your practicum experience (emailed), and online forms to complete. Depending on if you are entering as a non-advanced or an advanced standing student, you will be contacted by a Practicum Faculty Advisor to discuss practicum placement options. Advanced standing (completed BSW/BASW degree from an accredited school within 7 years) students are contacted sooner than non-advanced standing students to discuss practicum placement options due to earlier start dates for practicum placement.    
  2. Regardless of your standing, your practicum placement will be discussed thoroughly with your Practicum Faculty Advisor and then again during orientation. Practicum is a critical component of your education and will be discussed throughout your Pitt career.
  3. You can find more information about Practicum Education on our website

Return to top

What will my course sequencing look like?

  1. This differs based on if you are a full-time (FT), part-time (PT), Advanced Standing (AS), or non-AS student.
  2. Please look at our MSW Handbook, which can be found on our website under Academics and Polices & Handbooks.
  3. Per the document table of contents, this information begins on page 20, and is sorted by student status, DP or COSA, AS status, etc.
  4. Information about certificates and joint degrees are immediately following these sections.
  5. Your academic advisor can help guide you. But, also ensure you are following the handbook and policies.

Return to top

How do I register for classes?

  1. You will be registered for classes in June/July online with detailed instructions provided from Susanna Cammarata, Academic Registration and Records Manager.

Return to top

When will I hear from my assigned advisor?

  1. You will be assigned this person prior to the student orientation in August.

Return to top

Where can I find important contact information and phone numbers?


Elizabeth M.Z. Farmer

Penelope (Penny) Miller
Administrator, Office of the Dean and Center on Race and Social Problems


Helen E. Petracchi
Acting Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Toya Jones
Director, BASW Program
Dr. Yodit Betru
Director, MSW Program

Sara Goodkind
Director, Doctoral Program
Emmett Mix
BASW and PhD Program Assistant


Stephanie Eckstrom
MSW Program Director – Bradford

Misha Zorich
MSW Program Director – Johnstown


Henry Cantu
Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Jessalynn Oliver
Recruitment and Enrollment Manager; Ombudsperson
(412) 624-6302

Leah Mafrica
Recruitment & Admissions Coordinator

Tiara Teague
Student Liasion


No one at this time


Kyaien O. Conner
412 648-7513

Ron Idoko
Associate Director


Dr. Helen Cahalane
(412) 624-6386


Frank Puchalski
Systems Administrator
(412) 624-3195


Kyaien O. Conner
Associate Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
412 648-7513


Tonya Slawinski
Melvin Cherry
Practicum Assistant Professor

John Dalessandro
Practicum Assistant Professor

Amy DeGurian
Practicum Assistant Professor
(412) 624-6033 
Alicia Melnick
Practicum Assistant Professor
(412) 624-4071

Deborah Robinson
Practicum Assistant Professor/Director of the Home and School Visitor Program
(412) 624-3844


Arif Jamal
Liaison Librarian


Susanna Cammarata
Academic Registration and Records Manager

University of Pittsburgh department numbers/ links that you may find to be useful

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (FAFSA): 412-624-7488,

Disability Resources and Services: 412-648-7890

Office of Veterans Services

Office of International Services

Off-Campus Living

MSW Student Executive Council

Union of Black Social Work Students

Return to top