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Textbooks – Frequently Asked Questions

How can I access my textbooks with the switch to online learning?

MARCH 18, 2020 - We realize that in light of the closures on campus many students are unable to access their textbooks at this time. Publishers and digital content providers are working to make digital titles available to students for free immediately. If you are interested in these services, we've provided links to both the RedShelf and VitalSource programs.


Scroll down to "Free eBook Access Program" and click "Access Free Books"



Scroll down to "If You are a Student", on this page products and VitalSource's "Bookshelf Download" are in the menu across the top of the screen.


Instructors, department administrators, and student services should have received information on these programs as well and should be able to assist students who need help. We are also happy to help students. Please call us at 412-268-5591 or email [email protected] if you have any questions.

How can I buy textbooks?

The University Store provides textbooks through our online bookstore. We'll no longer carry physical textbooks in-store. Students can choose to buy books through the University Store, or one of the independent buyers listed through the online bookstore. Most books arrive within 4-5 days of order placement. If students need their textbooks by the first day of class, we encourage them to pre-order. Course Packets will still be available for sale at the University Store.

How do I know what textbooks I need?

Students can find information about their course materials through SIO (Student Information Online), or through their class syllabus. The online textbook store will categorize course materials by course number. If your course number doesn't show up, it could mean your instructor intends to provide your course materials through other means (Canvas, PDFs, course packet, etc)

What’s the best way to save money on textbooks?

We know textbooks costs can be a burden on students. Our online bookstore provides students with used and digital copies when available. It will also provide the price of books across many independent sellers to let students make the best choices for their budget. Textbooks bought through the University Store also have a guaranteed buyback price. Students will be able to see at least how much money they can expect to get back when they resell their books to the store.

Can I resell my textbooks at the end of the semester?

The University Store holds Buyback events at the end of each semester. You can also choose to sell your books back throughout the semester at our online bookstore.

Can I return textbooks?

Most physical textbooks have a two week return period. Unregistered digital copies and access codes can be returned within 14 days of the start of class. For more details about the Return Policy please visit the online bookstore.

Course Packets are non-returnable.

The University Stores
Cohon University Center
5032 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Contact Us

Our store fronts are closed until

further notice. Please order online.

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