Collegiate Women/ Diversity Initiatives

WiCStart Camp - Fall Semester

Not sure what path to take? Try computer science!

Are you a woman coming to Pitt? Are you unsure of what to study? Do you want to know more about computer science? Sign up for WiCStart!

WiCStart (Women in Computer Science Start) takes place the week before fall classes begin, and is designed to introduce incoming undeclared women to computer science in a no-pressure, no-grades environment. WiCStart students will be permitted to move into their residence halls one week early. They will get a broad overview of various topics in computer science and hear stories, advice, and technical information from upperclassmen and professional women in industry. Lunch will be served daily.

Throughout the week, students will learn about such topics as basic hardware and software concepts, programming, big data, and artificial intelligence. They will also learn about the benefits of being a CS student at Pitt and graduating with a CS degree. Finally, they will be given the chance to connect with other technical women.  There are no costs for attending WiCStart. In addition to an early move-in date and free lunch, we’ll provide all necessary materials and equipment.  Please email if you are interested in learning more.


WiCStart Lunch  - Spring Semester

If you are an undeclared, female student, with an interest in computer science, then this luncheon is for you!  Come find out information about getting a major or minor in computer science or about the field of computer science in general!

She Innovates Hackathon

The first all-women’s hackathon at the University of Pittsburgh.  The hackathon is co-hosted by the Department of Computer Science, Innovation Institute, Pitt WiCS, and Pitt SWE. This event encourages the participation of all female Pitt students, including but not limited to computer science, business, engineering, and law.  This event prides itself on providing a safe place for women to come together to learn, grow, hack, and empower each other.  The She Innovates Kick-Off Party features: team formation, for those without a team, idea pitching for those without a hacking idea, and Q & A.  We have mentors on-site to help guide students through the hacking process. Throughout the weekend She Innovates features keynote speakers and talks about business and tech.  Each team pitches their idea to a panel of judges, and there is an awards ceremony to announce the winners and award the prizes.

Grace Hopper Conference

(Students at the 2016 Grace Hopper Conference)

"It is a massive confidence boost to see so many other technical women and to see how supportive the companies in attendance are of women in tech.It had a huge impact on me personally because it gave me the opportunity to grow closer to other women in the department, improve my knowledge, and network with other technical women." -- Student, Emilee Betz 

"I met other women of color at the conference and they had specialized receptions for different groups of people (LGBTQ, women of color, etc.).  It was a great learning experience." - Student, Nicole Daniels

The world’s largest gathering of technical women in computing, where technical women gather to network, find or be mentors, create collaborative proposals, and increase the visibility of women’s contributions to computing. Each year the Department of Computer Science funds undergradaute students to attend this conference.  

  • Mid-career and senior students profit the most from listening to presenters from industry, academia and government.
  • Leading researchers present their current work, while special sessions focus on the role of women in today’s technology fields, including CS, IT, and Engineering.

Grace Hopper Debrief

An annual debrief that is held each year after the Grace Hopper Conference in the CS Department,  Grace Hopper Conference attendees present what they learned and experienced at the Grace Hopper Conference, including pictures and slides.

Learn more about the students experience at Grace Hopper by viewing their compilation of slides from the GHC Debrief Here!


Hot Metal Bridge Program

The Hot Metal Bridge Program at the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh is a two-semester post-baccalaureate fellowship program for students who will help us meet our diversity goals. We will provide a two-term fellowship for fall and spring term 2016-2017 (including tuition and stipend) for up to nine fellows. The point of the HMBP is to bridge the gap between an undergraduate degree and a graduate training program, and to help individuals prepare themselves for a successful program of doctoral studies. The featured programs for academic year 2016-2017 are: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, English, Mathematics, Neuroscience and Psychology. For more information visit:​

For Questions Regarding Outreach Contact:

Mackenzie Ball | Outreach Coordinator |