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Get a PhD Carrel

The purpose of this room is to provide a place for students who have passed their comprehensive exams, are currently taking dissertation credits, and are pursuing dissertation research and/or the writing phase of their program to work in a QUIET environment

Dissertation Writing Carrels are available to University of Pittsburgh PhD program candidates with a valid Pitt ID Card, who are currently taking dissertation credits, on a first come, first served basis

How to Request

  1. Review the requirements, below
  2. Read and sign the Dissertation Writing Room Carrel Assignments document. Complete, and have your school’s Graduate Program Director sign the Dissertation Writing Room Eligibility Form, both of which are part of the Full Carrel Information Packet (PDF)
  3. Return these two completed forms to the Information Service Desk, G2 Hillman Library

The fine print

  • Dissertation Writing Carrels are available to University of Pittsburgh PhD program candidates with a valid Pitt ID Card, and a signed authorization from their School’s Graduate Program Director, on a first come first serve basis by contacting the Information Service Desk Manager: Caroline Brown (
  • Carrels are assigned for the academic year, September 1 through the last day of the summer term in August. All carrel keys must be turned in by the last day of summer term in August. After that date, the library is authorized to dispose of any personal material stored in the carrel. A waiting list for the upcoming year will begin May 1
  • Access to the PhD Dissertaton Writing Room requires a valid Pitt ID. A key for the assigned carrel will be provided. There will be a $40 charge for any lost keys to your assigned carrel. Failure to turn in a key by the date specified will result in a $40 charge
  • The Dissertation Writing Room is for use only by students with carrels. You are not permitted to give access to the Dissertation Writing Room main door to anyone.  Visitors are not permitted. The Dissertation Writing Room carrels are to be used by the assigned student only
  • Please respect your fellow PhD candidates and do not hold conversations in this room. If you disturb others you will forfeit your use of this room
  • Only personal materials and checked out library materials may be stored in carrels. Do not store valuable property such as laptops, iPads, etc. in the carrel as the library is not responsible for any items stored
  • Non-circulating and uncharged library materials are not to be stored in the carrel at any time. Library materials in the carrel must be checked out to a Pitt ID Card
  • Food, drinks, weapons, or hazardous materials are not permitted to be stored in the carrels
  • You may be assigned either a carrel or a locker but not both
  • The back door is for emergencies only. It cannot be used as an exit or propped open for any reason except library emergencies
  • Students may receive a carrel for no more than 2 years
  • Inspections of assigned carrels are conducted regularly by Library staff authorized by the renter to remove materials that violate regulations
  • Fines may be applied to a subscriber’s library account for the following: uncharged and non-circulating materials and food items or inappropriately stored beverage items. If violations are found on two (2) inspection tours, your PhD Dissertaton Writing Room assignment will be permanently revoked
  • Due to high demand, subscriptions to the Dissertation Writing Room are not available to students from the Medical Schools, Law, Fine Arts, Music, Engineering, or Biology
Contact the Information Service Desk: 412-648-7800 with any questions or e-mail Information Service Desk Manager: Caroline Brown (