University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Options Program

What is the Options Program?


The Options Program is the University of Pittsburgh's response to the increasing number of highly qualified students who seek admission. As Pitt's reputation continues to grow, so does the volume of their applications. Unfortunately, they have a limited number of spaces at the Pittsburgh campus and they find that they cannot accommodate all students who apply. For students whose academic profile suggests they could benefit from the University's educational philosophy, strengths, and reputation, the Admissions Committee may offer admission to one of the four regional campuses. The same philosophy, strengths and international reputation are also available at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville.

If you have received an Option Program letter for Pitt-Johnstown, CONGRATULATIONS on your admission!


How it works

Students typically apply directly to the University of Pittsburgh campus of their choice. However, some academically qualified students do not gain admission to their first choice of campus due to the level of academic competition. The University may then offer admission to a regional campus to many of these students who possess an acceptable academic profile.

For students who are not admissible to the Pittsburgh campus but rank their campus choices on the Pittsburgh campus admissions application, the committee will review the applicant for admission to another University of Pittsburgh campus according to their preference. Depending upon qualification, this may result in an offer of admission to the second, third or fourth ranked campus.

For students who do not rank their preferred campus, the committee will make the best choice possible for the student based on their qualifications and intended academic goal. Students will be contacted by the university campus where they qualify for admission following their initial notification of an Options decision by the Pittsburgh campus.

Once offered an option, students are encouraged to explore both what is specific to that campus in the way of setting and programs, and in what ways major university resources are shared throughout this unique system.

What we mean by shared

International recognition

For more than two hundred years the University of Pittsburgh has grown and prospered. We are now numbered among the top research institutions in the nation. We are a world renowned university, a major center of teaching and learning, research and medicine and the degrees that we confer, offered at all five campuses, carry that recognition with them.


Commitment to undergraduate education. We reward and award good teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. Each campus boasts recipients of the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. Each campus offers a wide array of academic support services to help insure the successful completion of your studies. Your success is to a very large degree our success. Just as you have an academic track record spanning twelve or so years of schooling, we have ours, spanning more than two centuries of successful teaching.


For students to apply to upper-division, professional programs on the Pittsburgh campus at the junior year level. This includes the Schools of Education, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Information Sciences, Pharmacy, and Social Work. But we also provide opportunities for educational and career-related experiences outside the classroom and in the community that will help give you an edge, a leg up, in your career endeavors. Internships, leadership opportunities, research possibilities and volunteer work are available and encouraged at all of our campuses.

A Social Life

A wide range of University-sponsored extracurricular activities are offered at all of our campuses. These include educational lectures, dances, film series, concerts, music and cultural productions, and much, much more. Some of these activities by their very nature are going to be specific to a particular campus, but every campus offers a full array of possibilities that cater to almost every style and taste. In addition, each campus offers unlimited opportunities for leadership, and works with interested students in developing their leadership potential for the college years and beyond.

Library Collections and Services

The University Library System is the 26th-largest academic research library in all of North America and the 16th-largest among the prestigious public libraries of the Association of American Universities. It provides a large array of innovative, world-class services. All students at the University have ready access via a shared online catalog, PITTCAT, to the University's 28 libraries and collections that hold 5.6 million volumes and 59,000 journals. Students at any Pitt campus may borrow all of these materials directly or through intercampus loan. In addition, the University's massive digital library of databases, electronic journals, and electronic books is available through the Pitt network.


From maintaining the University's extensive network of wired and wireless Internet connections, to providing low-cost software and technical support, Computing Services and Systems Development is Pitt's one-stop source for information technology solutions. Students have access to many software applications, multiple operating systems, and software/hardware support and services. The University's Network (PittNet) provides access to the World Wide Web, e-mail services, library resources, course schedules, grades, and billing information.

Access to Information, Networking, and Support Services

The services of the university's office of Student Employment & Placement Assistance (SEPA) before and after graduation, including access to Future Links, a computerized database that enables all students to place their resumes in resume books for employment review. Daily, employers post jobs on Future Links for student review.

Athletics and Recreation

A full range of intercollegiate athletic opportunities is offered at each of our five campuses. While the Pittsburgh campus is a member of NCAA Division I, the other campuses are members of NCAA Division II (Johnstown), NCAA Division III (Bradford and Greensburg), or USCAA (Titusville). In addition, each campus provides a multitude of fitness, recreation, and intramural sports, which take advantage of the specific outdoor attributes of each campus setting.

Study Abroad

Incorporating a study abroad experience is strongly recommended for any student at the University of Pittsburgh, regardless of major or foreign language ability. As a world-class university, Pitt has relationships with many excellent universities around the world to offer students at all fives campuses the opportunity to live and study in a foreign culture, while earning credits toward their University of Pittsburgh degree. Each year, hundreds of Pitt students from all campuses participate in study abroad.


Internship opportunities (both credit and non-credit) are provided for students, depending on academic major and level of student interest, at all five campuses.


A network of 259,066 Pitt alumni, worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Options Program


Q. I applied to the Pittsburgh campus, why was I offered admission to the Johnstown campus?

A. The interest in the Pittsburgh campus is growing, and admission has become very competitive over the last few years.  Only a select few gain admission each year.  For students whose academic profile suggests that they could benefit from the University's educational philosophy, strengths, and reputation, the Admissions Committee may offer admission to one of the four regional campuses.  At Pitt-Johnstown we offer the same philosophy, strengths, and international reputation that Pittsburgh offers; however, we offer it in a much smaller setting.

Q. I have been optioned to the Johnstown campus, do I have to reapply?

A. No. You have already been admitted and there is no need to reapply.

Q. Are there any academic scholarships available for incoming freshmen?

A. Freshman students admitted to Pitt-Johnstown are automatically looked at for academic scholarships - whether admitted through a direct application to Pitt-Johnstown, or through the Options Program.

Q. If I decide to start at Pitt-Johnstown, can I relocate to Pittsburgh?

A. Yes. You can relocate to Pittsburgh after you have successfully completed 60 credits and have achieved a GPA of at least a 3.0.

Q. I have been optioned to another regional campus, can I be considered at Pitt-Johnstown?

A. Absolutely.  Students that wish to be considered at another Pitt campus need to fill out a Change of Regional Campus Request Form. If you are then admitted to Pitt-Johnstown, you will need to call the Admissions Office of the campus to which you were originally admitted and asked them to DEACTIVATE your application.  Within the Pitt System, you can have one active application for admission open at a time.  Deactivate DOES NOT mean cancel, it simply means that the campus will release your information to allow another Pitt campus to evaluate it.  You can then make your final college selection.

Q. I am unfamiliar with the Johnstown campus, how can I get information about the campus?

A. If you contact the Admissions Office, you can make an appointment to visit the campus.  You will be given a tour of the campus by one of our student tour guides, and also have the opportunity to meet with an Admissions Counselor. We also offer several Open Houses and Admitted Student programs throughout the year.  You can contact the Admissions Office by calling 1-800-765-4875.  You can find information about the various campus visit options on the Admissions web page.

Q. How big is the Johnstown campus?

A. The campus sits on 650 picturesque acres; however, we actually only use 120 acres for classroom buildings, dining facilities, student housing, and athletic events.  Pitt-Johnstown is the largest regional campus with 3,200 students.  The average class size is about 25 students.  The student to faculty ratio is 19:1.

Q. What are the benefits of going to the Johnstown campus?

A. Pitt-Johnstown offers small class sizes designed to give the student the opportunity to interact with professors and classmates.  All classes taught by faculty members - not graduate students or teaching assistants. Each student is assigned an academic advisor in his or her academic field. There are excellent research and internship opportunities available and there are more than 70 student clubs and organizations on campus. You are guaranteed campus housing for all four years.  Pitt-Johnstown sports teams are NCAA Division II and a member of the WVIAC Conference.  You will find many additional benefits and opportunities including study abroad and Pitt Panther football tickets!  When you earn your degree from Pitt-Johnstown, you become part of the tradition that is the University of Pittsburgh.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the Pitt-Johnstown Office of Admissions.

Phone: 1-800-765-4875