August 21st, 2024

Where Passion Meets Precision

To take a glimpse at last year's orientation, please see below. Updates will be made frequently to this website so please check back.

Congratulations! You are going to be a Pitt Graduate Student in the Swanson School of Engineering (SSoE)!

In just a few weeks you will be starting your academic career in the School of Engineering at The University of Pittsburgh. We know how excited you are to get started and succeed here! The first step to success at Pitt starts at SSoE’s Graduate Orientation during which you will learn many things about Pitt, SSoE, and joining our Pitt engineering community.

We can’t wait to see you on-campus!

We encourage attendees to utilize Pittsburgh's public transportation including bus lines that service Oakland and various neighborhoods surrounding campus - it's free with your Pitt ID! Uber and Lyft are also available. Parking on-campus will be very limited. Please allow extra time in your commute.



Wednesday, August 23 - on-campus event

Swanson School of Engineering School-Wide Graduate Orientation 

Time: 9 AM - 12 PM 

Location: Soldiers and Sailors Ballroom 3rd Floor - 4141 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 

Dress: We will be distributing t-shirts for you to wear but make sure to arrive early to ensure time for registration at 9am and to change. No pressure to wear if you do not choose to, but we like to kick off the year as a unified graduate group.

During this informative part of orientation, you can expect: 

Welcome from SSOE Leadership including:

  • Our Interim Dean of Engineering – Dr. Sanjeev Shroff 
  • Our Associate Dean for Graduate Education – Dr. Robert S. Parker
  • Our Director of Engineering Student Services & Graduate Ombudsperson – Cheryl Paul, MEd
  • Our Director of Graduate Recruitment & Enrollment Marketing – Stephanie Opalinski, MBA
  • Our Program Administrator for the Associate Dean for Graduate Education – Tracy Anderson
  • For more information on the team members of the Swanson's graduate programs, please visit our Who's Who in SSoE page.

Guidance for Grad Students - A Panel Discussion moderated by Cheryl Paul

  • Perspectives within Community (Polling with audience)
  • Expectations and feedback (with panelists)
  • Address questions | Share resources
  • Ombuds supports & other opportunities

Academic Integrity – Dr. Katrina Knight (Assistant Professor, Bioengineering & Pitt Engineering Alum)

Professionalism & Graduate Study - Dana Romano, Valerie Kerr (Grad Co-Op) & Alicia Olalde (International Opportunities) from our Office of Experiential Learning & Professional Engagement (ELPE)

Safety/COVID Protocol – Dr. Schohn Shannon (Assistant Dean Swanson School of Engineering)

Lunch to immediately follow


Panther Engineer Graduate Luncheon 

Time: 12:15 PM – 2 PM 

Location: Soldiers & Sailors Ballroom - 4141 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Swanson School Department Orientation Breakout Sessions 

Start Time: 2:00 PM (End times may vary by department. Times and Room locations all listed below. )

Location: Benedum Hall (BEH) - 3700 O'Hara St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 

Learn everything you need to know about your specific department at Swanson. Information will include details about curriculum, enrollment, advising, faculty, and more! Below you will find the locations and start times for our Department's breakout sessions for this year's orientation.




  • 2:00-3:00pm - Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) orientation and mixer, Benedum Hall, Room 157
  • 3:00-4:00pm PhD, MS-Research, and BRIDGE orientation, Benedum Hall, Room 157
  • 3:00-4:00pm Professional MS orientation, Benedum Hall, Room 158
  • 4:00-4:30pm Continued BRIDGE orientation, Benedum Hall, Room 302K


Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

2:00-4:00pm MS & PHD – Benedum 939


Civil and Environmental Engineering

2:00-4:00pm –Masters & PhD-Benedum 319


Electrical and Computer Engineering

2:00-3:30pm-MS & PhD – Benedum 226


Industrial Engineering

2:00-4:00pm – MS & PhD – Benedum 1044


Mechanical and Materials Science Engineering

2:00-2:30pm ALL MS and PhD – Benedum G29

2:30-4:00 Breakout Sessions:

  • Nuclear Engineering – Benedum G28
  • Mechanical Engineering – Benedum G29
  • Materials Science and Engineering – Benedum G30
  • Computational Modeling and Simulation – Benedum G27


Sustainable Engineering

2:00-3:00pm MS – Benedum 153 (Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation)


Resume Writing Session

Time: 4:30-5pm

Location: Benedum 229

Looking for a way to stand out in the co-op, internship, or full-time job search? Your resume is a prospective employer’s first impression of you!

Graduate Engineering Professional Development Consultant, Valerie Kerr, from the Office of Experiential Learning and Professional Engagement (ELPE) will discuss an overview of industry career resume tips and best practices. There will be an opportunity to have your resume reviewed after the session, if interested, so please bring a printed or electronic copy of your resume.


Engineering Graduate Student Organization (EGSO) Welcome Party

Time: 5 PM – 8PM

Location: Benedum Hall Courtyard (outside of the 1st floor lobby entrance)

Questions: Email

Get to know your incoming graduate students as well as current graduate students in SSoE... and who doesn't love free food, pizza, milkshakes, and bubble tea?


Other University Events and Resources

Who's Who in SSoE

Swanson Resources for Incoming Graduate Students

Additional Orientation Events

COVID-19 Response Information for Graduate and Professional Students

University-Wide Graduate Resources