Academics

Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Undergrads
629
Tuition
$31,532
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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5 College Senior

Academics: Because Chatham is so small, one unique opportunity Biology students get is access to cadaver labs during their time as undergraduates. Also, the tutorial allows students to get a whole years worth of individual research experience.

5 College Senior

Academics: There are activities that are interrelated to my major, which reinforces my understanding on my course topics and the assignment of my own personal liberian helps me to acquire additional help with my reports

4 College Senior

Academics: Its set up for students to gain access to any area of instruction from the professor hours to after class interactions.

3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: The Physician Assistant program was mostly problem based learning. That was definitely unique.

3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: As a Physician Assistant studies student the best professor was Dr. Laird. He cared the most about the students and wanted to see everyone do well.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 229th
    Most Manageable Workloads
  • 241st
    Most Caring Professors
  • 255th
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 291st
    Best Online Course Options
  • 571st
    Best Academic Advisers

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Elizabeth Dorssom
Hometown
Redondo Beach, CA
Major
Women's Studies
Grad Year
2012
View all previous student authors

Whether it's 8 in the morning or 6:30 at night, Chatham classes keep students busy. Students say Chatham classes challenge them and make them work to earn their grades, and there is help for those who need it. If a student falls behind, she can ask for tutoring at the PACE Center or talk to a professor for extra help or feedback. Chatham classes are small, and class sessions are rarely just lectures. The professors keep energy flowing through the room, and students are expected to participate, discussing and thinking about what they're learning from several viewpoints. The reward is that they start to see the world in a unique way and think about how they engage it as a woman, a student, and a human being. The classes aren't easy, but the professors are understanding—they will give students an extension if there is an emergency or recommend tutors to help them. Whether a student is a science major or studying English, Chatham gives them the fuel to think and the tools to succeed.

The dark side of a small, personal campus is limited class offerings, which can make the scheduling process difficult. Students either have to schedule very carefully or take advantage of cross-registration at several of the surrounding universities, which is nice when you need to fulfill a requirement that isn’t being offered at a convenient time at Chatham. Faculty advisers within each major are assigned to help students with these and other scheduling and class issues. Chatham's academic reputation is highly regarded within the Pittsburgh region and rightly so because students mention that each grade is earned due to hard work on their part.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
10:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
100
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
219
Total FT Faculty
100
Faculty with Terminal Degree
94%
Average Faculty Salary
$64,317
Full-Time Retention Rate
76%
Part-Time Retention Rate
100%
Transfer-Out Rate
31%
Graduation Rate
59%
Programs/Majors Offered
53
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 77%
  • 20 to 49 students: 22%
  • 50 or more students: 1%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: Yes
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Chatham College for Women
  • School of Sustainability & the Environment
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Counseling Psychology: 4%
  • Physical Therapy: 4%
  • Physician Assistant: 4%
  • Registered Nursing (RN): 8%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Double major
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Semester at sea
  • Student-designed major
  • Washington semester
Online Courses
Chatham offers online courses in a variety of subjects, including business, nursing/healthcare professions, and professional writing, but the class offerings change each semester. Online courses at Chatham are usually offered in a read-discussion format. This means students read a lecture, a section of course text, or a linked article or Web page, and then "participate in class" by posting a response to the text or answers to questions on the class discussion board. Several classes also ask that students read and comment on other students' postings. These courses require students to use their laptop computers, a course shell called Moodle, and outside Web resources. Student-teacher relationships in online courses are not as close as they are in regular courses; however, professors do, for the most part, attempt to leave meaningful feedback on online postings and are generally responsive to student emails regarding the course. Relationships with other students in the class are not usually highly fostered in the online setting, but students interact by commenting on one another's postings, as well as participating in informal discussions outside of class.
Best Places to Study
  • Basement of the library-it's quieter than anywhere else in the library, with fewer interruptions.
  • Café Rachel-there's always coffee available.
  • The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh-it's a cool building with tons of study space, and it's relatively quiet. The only downside is there's no wireless Internet, but that could be an upside, too.
  • Third floor of the Athletic & Fitness Center-it's quiet, and the scenery is a little different.
Tips to Succeed
  • Bring an umbrella! Pittsburgh gets more rain than you think.
  • Find out when street cleaning days are if you intend to park off campus.
  • Follow up on your financial aid paperwork in person.
  • For every hour you're in class, you should spend approximately three hours studying.
  • Get to know the Public Safety officers because they're always available whenever you need help!
  • Join at least one sport, club, or organization. It helps you to meet people, become connected to the University, and gives you something to help manage your time.
  • Learn to navigate the bus system as soon as you can. Whenever possible, bring a native Pittsburgher with you.
  • Make sure you get off campus sometimes. Chatham's size can be a benefit and a curse.
  • Spend just as much time at the Athletic & Fitness Center as you spend at the all-you-can-eat dessert table in the dining hall.
  • Take advantage of professors' open door policies. If you need help with an assignment, ask for it.
  • The bookstore provides the ISBN numbers to required textbooks so students can research cheaper prices and decide whether to buy their books from the campus bookstore.
  • There are various meal plan options available. Research all of your options before picking a meal plan because after the add/drop deadline, you cannot change your meal plan until the next semester.
  • Try to avoid as much Chatham drama as possible. In order to do so, be very careful who you confide in-Chatham is very small.
  • When packing to come to school, Space Bags save a ton of space.
Did You Know?
  • Chatham has an "SAT Optional" policy. Students who choose not to take the SAT or who do not wish to use their scores may instead submit a portfolio of work, including a graded writing sample, along with an interview with an admissions counselor.
  • In fall 2011, Chatham University changed its graduation requirements for those entering in 2011 and beyond. First-year students will now be required to complete classes related to each of Chatham's initiatives: "Global Understanding," "Women's Leadership," and "Sustainability & the Environment," among others.
  • According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, students at women's colleges reported higher levels of academic challenge and were more likely to engage in higher level thinking and integrative activities that lead to deep learning than their counterparts at coed institutions.

Student Polls

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 46 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 45 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants

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