PMI Admissions

The application portal is now CLOSED until September 1, 2022! 

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree in a biological or physical science or in mathematics, computer science or engineering.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.2 (on a scale of 4) or its equivalent from an accredited institution. If you need to convert your grades to the GPA system, please follow these instructions.
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation. Letters from faculty familiar with the applicant's research accomplishments are of particular value to the evaluation process.
  • Applicants who are citizens of countries where English is not the official language (and the Province of Quebec in Canada) are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency by submitting the official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the online Duolingo. A minimum result of 100 iBT TOEFL, a minimum result of 7.0 on the IELTS, or a minimum result of 120 on Duolingo is required for admission to the program. Scores must be less than two years old (24 months) from September 1st. To submit TOEFL scores, use Institution Code 2927 and Department Code 45. IELTS results certificates are to be sent directly to the Graduate Studies Office. Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree or a higher degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States are exempt from submitting English language proficiency test results.
  • The Program in Microbiology and Immunology (PMI) no longer requires GRE scores.

Please complete and submit the online application, as well as all your supplemental materials by December 1. Applications are reviewed by our Admissions Committee as they become complete (i.e. receipt of all recommendation letters, transcript(s), TOEFL score reports).

Should you have any questions about the application process, please contact our Admissions Committee for assistance at


Interview Process

Selected applicants will be invited to interview with our program. Our specific interview weekends will be announced at a later date, but they will be held during January-February 2023. 

Please complete and submit the online application, as well as all your supplemental materials, no later than December 1. Applications are reviewed by our Admissions Committee as they become complete (i.e. receipt of all recommendation letters, transcript(s) and if required, TOEFL score reports).


Admissions FAQ's

Q: Does the Program in Microbiology and Immunology offer a Master's Degree option?

No, at this time the program does not offer a master's degree program.

Q: How do I know if I am a competitive applicant?

There are many applicants for each available position in the graduate program. Several criteria are used to assess an applicant's potential for success. All successful applicants to the PMI have research experience; most applicants have spent at least a year in a laboratory. Letters of recommendation from faculty members are very important, particularly the letter from the research advisor. The applicant's personal statement, especially the research description, is also heavily weighed in assessing an applicant's potential for graduate study. Strong performance in undergraduate science courses (chemistry and physics as well as biology) is expected. 

Q: Do I need to contact faculty to secure a spot in their lab prior to submitting my application?

No, you do not have to contact any faculty members prior to submitting your application or during the application process. If accepted, you will rotate through 3-4 laboratories during your first year to find the fit that is best for you and the mentor.

Q: When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is December 1.  The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing applications as they are completed and received, so it is beneficial to apply early.

Q: How can I find out if my application and supporting documents have been received?

Applicants may log into your application "Check Status" to see if supporting documents (i.e. letters of recommendation and application fees) have been received. We request that you check the status of your application online PRIOR TO contacting the PMI Admissions Committee ( for assistance. 

Q: I need to convert my grade to the GPA system. How do I do that?

Please click here for guidance in converting your grades to the 4.0 GPA system.

Q: Where supporting documents should be sent?

IF you are having a problem uploading any of your supplemental documents (i.e. transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation), please contact and someone from our PMI Administation will assist! 

Q: When will I know if I've been accepted?

The Admissions Committee arranges to interview all applicants whom they are considering for admission. Interviews of overseas applicants may be conducted by teleconference. Our interviews take place during January and February. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis between February 1 through March 1.

Q: What is my application fee?

The application fee is $50, which is due before we can begin processing your application. The fee can be in the form of a check or money order made payable to "The University of Pittsburgh," or can be paid by credit card online.

Q: Is it possible for me to obtain a waiver of the application fee?

We are happy to offer a fee waiver to applicants who have participated in the following program for underrepresented minorities in science or have attended any regional or national meeting for the following underrepresented minorities:

  • MARC program
  • MBRS program
  • McNair program
  • Meyerhoff program
  • RISE program

Q: Can I get a refund on my application?

The application fee is non-refundable.

Q: What if my letter writer does not use the recommendation form?

While we prefer to receive recommendation letters electronically, we will accept letters without the form if the letter comes directly from the letter writer, or in a sealed and signed envelope with the application, or from a college career office.

Q: Which standardized tests does PMI require?

PMI requires only the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo for students for whom English is not the native language. We will waive the TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo for students who have received a degree in the U.S. or other approved English-instructed institution.

Q: What if I took the TOEFL more than 2 years ago?

ETS will not issue TOEFL scores that are older than 2 years (24 months). Applicants who have expired scores must retake the test(s).

Q: What is included in my acceptance to the PMI (award, funding, heathcare, etc.)?

Graduate students enrolled in PhD programs receive a stipend, full tuition remission, and individual health insurance (with an option to purchase additional family coverage). The stipend is competitive ($32,000 for 2021-2022 academic year) and given Pittsburgh's affordable cost of living, allows students to live comfortably. In addition, a $2,000 educational enrichment account is provided to each first-year PhD student for the purchase of books, computers, and other education-related expenses. Cost of living calculator