The IDMA is typically a two-year program. It is designed for students who have already had at least two years of Chinese or Japanese language study. A strong academic record is required, with evidence of course work in one or more of the disciplines of greatest interest. Finally, the applicant’s academic interests must be compatible with the expertise of the EALL and other East Asian faculty at the University of Pittsburgh.

University of Pittsburgh Application

Fill out an online application on Grad Cas.

Application Deadline

The deadline each year for submitting applications is January 15. Notification can be expected with several weeks. The program admits students only for the Fall Term.

Application Fee

There is a $75 application fee, payable by credit card, as part of the online application process.

In an effort to reduce financial barriers to attending graduate school, the Kenneth P. Dietrich Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers application fee waivers. Please note that fee waivers are approved on a case-by-case basis and not all fee waiver requests will be granted.  All requests received will be reviewed and responded to within 48 hours during normal business hours: Monday - Friday 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. EST.  To be considered for a fee waiver, please complete the following fee waiver survey for review:

Statement of Purpose

The IDMA application requires a statement of purpose of approximately 500-600 words in length, written in English. For the essay, applicants are asked to choose one book that has influenced them in applying to the IDMA program. The essay should summarize its content, and critically analyze its impact on the applicant as a scholar. Through this exercise, you should aim to demonstrate evidence of intellectual curiosity, outline how you have engaged with a research problem in the past, and identify a question you would like to guide your research going forward. Your application will be stronger if you plan to take advantage of our strength in media and performance studies with a digital orientation. The applicant should bear in mind that autobiographical information has little relevance to the statement. 

Transcripts of All Credits

An official transcript is required from each undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) school attended (one copy of each transcript). The cumulative undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Three Letters of Recommendation

These letters should be written by professors with whom you have studied or worked. The letters must be written in English. The recommendation letters may be submitted via Grad Cas.

Writing Sample

In addition to the Statement of Purpose, applicants should submit a sample of scholarly writing in English of at least 10 double-spaced pages. This writing sample can be a class paper, a research report, or any other example of writing that displays the applicant's ability to write and do research. The bibliography or notes of this writing sample should show that the applicant is capable of finding resources appropriate for the chosen topic.

The writing sample should be included in the online application.

GRE Scores

EALL no longer requires nor accepts a GRE score for admission.


If English is not your first language, TOEFL or IELTS is required. The TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing) or the IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) or higher will be required.

If you graduated from a U.S. institution of higher education with a bachelor's or master's degree, the TOEFL requirement is waived.

The code for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927. The department code is 29. Results must be sent directly to the University of Pittsburgh by the Educational Testing Service.

In recognition of the physical and financial constraints experienced by many international applicants with regard to conventional test options, the Dietrich School will accept the Duolingo English Test as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS for 2020-2021 application season. The minimum Duolingo score acceptable for admission to the IDMA program is 110.

Applicants must share their Duolingo test results either by uploading them as a PDF under ‘Additional Information’ in their online application (preferable) or by sending the test results in PDF format to the Graduate Administator, Mike Orbin. See also:

Additional Forms for International Applicants

Upon learning of your decision to our offer, we will forward your information to the Office of International Services (OIS). At that point, you will be contacted by OIS directly on how to submit your financial documentation. More information to become familiar with OIS's financial requirements can be found here. Becoming familiar with this document will expedite the process for visa documents, once admitted.

Note to International Applicants: As you are no doubt aware, U.S. immigration laws are continually being modified and are subject to change. A great deal of lead time is required to process applications and you should take this into consideration when making your application.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please contact Mike Orbin, Graduate Administrator.