Improvements to Applicant Background Check Process

Icon of a document

At Pitt, we value the quality, expertise, and skills that all of our staff employees bring to the University, representing diverse perspectives and experiences that contribute to our reputation as a world-class institution. Due to our commitment to fair and legal recruiting and employment practices, we have implemented a more thorough review process of applicant histories that ends the practice of automatically eliminating job candidates based on prior criminal records. This updated process ensures that the University is making fair, equitable hiring decisions, and that we are finding the best applicants suited for available positions.

Update to the Process

This updated process provides opportunities to applicants for staff positions with past criminal records to be evaluated on their skills and qualifications, as well as their criminal histories. Pitt is committed to the equitable treatment of all potential candidates, and this update not only broadens the pool of applicable candidates, but also give consideration to those with past criminal records who have fully rehabilitated and who are interested in a strong, forward-moving community like ours.

When applying for a staff position at the University, applicants are no longer asked to check a box if they have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. This change eliminates immediate exclusion of applicants with criminal convictions from certain classes of jobs—allowing for those candidates who are qualified for a position to be treated equitably and fairly.

Processing of Background Checks

While the “box” has been removed from the staff employment application, the University continues to process criminal background checks and education verification for all candidates that receive conditional employment offers. These background checks are processed separately from the child protection clearances required for some positions. Criminal background checks are processed internally prior to the candidate’s start date, while child protection clearances are completed by candidates within six-weeks of their start date. Verification of education will be processed should a candidate’s position require a certain degree.

Safety and Well-Being of the University Community

Even more than providing equitable and legal recruiting and hiring practices, the University is dedicated and committed to the safety and well-being of all of its employees and students. This updated process is not geared towards hiring ex-offenders, but towards giving those ex-offenders who have fully rehabilitated themselves an equal chance at gaining employment should they be qualified for a position.

Questions about this process should be directed to our online form at