Local Atmosphere

Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Undergrads
6,178
Tuition
$43,160
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Pittsburgh an awesome town besides the weather which is extraordinarily gray.

College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Have not experiences late night or much of day time activities, but hear it's fantastic!

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It's a great city to settle in.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It's pretty nice but not too exciting.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Pittsburgh is a very cultural city. There's many museums around and there's always a show, whether it be a ballet or an opera. Shopping is hard to access, in my opinion, coming from a large city like New York. There's many parks around and it's a good place to get a lot of walking. Many places are very hard to access without a car. There's no real mall to shop at. There's Walnut Street, with a little selection of stores, that is easy to access by walking or by bus. The Waterfront, which is an hour away, can be accessed by bus as well. Shopping in general seems to be a day trip without a car in Pittsburgh.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Raina Bradford-Jennings
Hometown
Brookfield, CT
Major
Professional Writing
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

While officially located in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Oakland, Carnegie Mellon is in fact bordered by three very different local neighborhoods and is a short bus or cab ride away from dozens more. Oakland is sort of known as the "college neighborhood," at the center of which are Forbes and Fifth avenues. Oakland stays awake until the wee hours of the morning to cater to the thousands of college students that spill onto the streets at around 2 a.m., after the parties are broken up, and the bars are closed. Shadyside is the more residential of the three neighborhoods bordering Carnegie Mellon's campus. Take a 15- or 20-minute walk down Fifth Avenue, and you arrive at Walnut Street, which is a popular section of Shadyside among CMU students. During the day, students frequent the mix of middle- and upper-class shops, like J.Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, American Apparel, Coach, and more. At night, Walnut Street turns into an entertaining, yet relatively laid-back environment—the bars open, and some restaurants transform into bars peppered with CMU students (and the residents of Shadyside, who range from mid-20s to those creepy old men that love to buy students drinks). 

If you are looking to get most of your daily shopping and chores done, it's best to make the quick trip on a 61 bus up to Squirrel Hill. Located just up Forbes Avenue,  this is the place to find record shops, ice cream and frozen yogurt shops, the grocery store, and more! While Pittsburgh has dozens of other interesting neighborhoods, some CMU students manage to live four years without leaving these main three.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The Duquesne Incline and the Monongahela Incline are cable cars that run up the side of Mt. Washington and provide riders with a fantastic view of the city.
  2. If you like nice stadiums, Pittsburgh has two of them. Both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Steelers have two state-of-the-art facilities on the North Shore.
  3. In addition to being called one of America's most livable cities, Pittsburgh is also known as the City of Champions, thanks to its legendary sports teams.
  4. The Mothman Prophecies, Dogma, Silence of the Lambs, The Wonder Boys, Kingpin, Night of the Living Dead, Inspector Gadget, Smart People, Adventureland, and many more movies were filmed here.
  5. Pittsburgh is a beer town. Home to a number of breweries, the city makes its local favorite, Iron City, right here.
Notable Natives
  • Christina Aguilera
  • George Benson
  • Rachel Carson
  • Perry Como
  • Stephen Foster
  • Jeff Goldblum
  • Ahmad Jamal
  • Michael Keaton
  • Gene Kelly
  • Henry Mancini
  • Dennis Miller
  • Mr. Rogers
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Andy Warhol
  • August Wilson
Local Slang
  • Gumband: Rubber band
  • Pop: What a Pittsburgher calls soda
  • Redd up: Clean up
  • Yinz/yunz: Rumored to have originated from "you ones"; similar meaning as "y'all"
Points of Interest
  • The Andy Warhol Museum
  • Carnegie Museum of Art
  • Consol Energy Center
  • Heinz Field
  • Kennywood Park
  • The Mattress Factory
  • Mr. Small's (concert venue)
  • Oakland
  • PNC Park
  • Point State Park (The Point)
  • Schenley Park
  • Shadyside (Walnut Street)
  • South Side (Carson Street)
  • Squirrel Hill (Murray Avenue)
  • Stage AE
  • The Waterfront
Shopping Centers
  • Monroeville Mall
  • Ross Park Mall
  • Southside Works
  • The Waterfront
Movie Theaters
AMC Loews Waterfront 22
300 W. Waterfront Drive
Homestead
(412) 462-6550
Movie Theaters
Cinemagic Manor Theatre
1729 Murray Ave.
Squirrel Hill
(412) 422-9851
Movie Theaters
SouthSide Works Cinema
425 Cinema Drive
South Side
(412) 381-1681
Major Sports Teams
  • Pittsburgh Penguins: NHL
  • Pittsburgh Pirates: MLB
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: NFL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Baltimore: : 4 hours
  • Cleveland: : 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Washington, D.C.: : 4 hours
Did You Know?
  • Pittsburgh is actually comprised of 89 different neighborhoods, so there is no possible way to ever be bored when going to school at CMU, unless you just aren't getting out there.
  • You can drive around Pittsburgh by signing up with Zipcar. For a $60 annual fee, plus hourly rates for whenever you actually use the car, you can reserve a Zipcar from different places around the city. There are understandably lower rates during the week and higher rates on weekends, but it can be extremely convenient when you simply need to drive some place and don't want to spend money on a taxi. There is one Zipcar port in CMU's East Campus Garage and another just down Forbes Avenue.

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 81 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 84 responses

  • 1% Painfully remote.
  • 30% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 1% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 18% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 50% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 86 responses

  • 1% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 40% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 59% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 86 responses

  • 19% No way.
  • 57% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 24% Totally.

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