Welcome from Dean Hoock

Dean Holger Hoock

Welcome to the Office of Graduate Studies in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Graduate education is a public good and a strategic national asset that plays a critical role in the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our region, state, and the nation. As graduate students prepare for future leadership within the academy, government, industry, and the non-profit sector, they can expect higher lifetime earnings, sustained employment, personal and professional mobility, and quality of life than individuals without graduate degrees.

Graduate education is central to the academic mission of the University of Pittsburgh to advance discovery, creativity, and innovation. Our graduate students are at the core of the Dietrich School’s diverse and inclusive excellence in research and education. The Dietrich School offers more than 50 graduate degrees ranging across the life, physical, mathematical, behavioral, and social sciences as well as the arts and humanities, including joint degree programs with the Schools of Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Public Health, as well as Carnegie Mellon University. Interdisciplinary certificate programs and numerous interdisciplinary units promote research and creative activity across departmental boundaries.

Each year, we attract the most outstanding, creative, and ambitious students from all backgrounds to join our diverse and dynamic scholarly and educational community of some 1,350 graduate students dedicated to the pursuit of research and knowledge that will contribute to improving lives in our region, the country, and the world.

Our faculty and programs educate and support our graduate students as emerging scholars, teachers, and mentors. We help them prepare to become tomorrow’s disciplinary and interdisciplinary leaders advancing knowledge, driving innovation, and tackling the grand challenges of our globally connected world. This requires maintaining a welcoming, inclusive, respectful environment where students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and with diverse intellectual interests feel a sense of belonging and thrive. 

Earning a graduate degree demands time, deep commitment, as well as patience and resilience. As students work alongside our remarkable faculty and undergraduates to advance discoveries and make original contributions to their fields, we are committed to sustaining an environment where they experience the intellectual engagement, mentoring, and attention to the physical, emotional, and social dimensions of the graduate life experience necessary to achieve their goals. Our priorities include mental wellness and health, broadened professional development and career preparation, and supporting faculty as they re-imagine doctoral education.

As we support our students to complete their degrees in a timely fashion, they can expect a high level of engagement with our graduate faculty who research on the cutting-edge of discovery and knowledge. We emphasize strong mentoring and advising, high-quality pedagogical preparation, rich interdisciplinary as well as international opportunities, and cutting-edge professional development. Our programs have demonstrated success in helping prepare graduates for high-impact, satisfying careers in academia, government, industry and business, as well as the social impact sector.

The year ahead will require thoughtful deliberation as we navigate a global pandemic and its intersecting crises at this inflection point for graduate education and for societies. We are focused on the health and safety of our community while maximizing our research and educational mission. To sustain and enhance inclusive excellence in graduate education, we must render our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion even more intentional and more consistently visible. Amidst our ongoing work to sustain an environment in which all students feel safe, welcome, seen, heard, and supported, and where all feel a sense of belonging and inclusion, we recognize that we must urgently effect the bold change that our times demand.

Whether you are a current or prospective student, or a member of our alumni community, I hope this website offers something to you – from news of activities, stories of our students’ and alums' accomplishments, academic opportunities and resources for students on campus, to program statistics and essential policies and procedures. If you don’t find what you need, please feel free to contact me or any member of our Graduate Studies team.

Thank you for your interest in graduate education in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Holger Hoock
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research