Tuition (in-state)
$27,106 ($17,100)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 3015 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Some of the houses are disgusting because the students who used to live there rarely cleaned them and there is no maid service. Some of them are smaller than the dorm rooms and very over priced while others are the exact opposite.

2 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Pitt is not by any means an unfriendly environment, but the mid-Atlantic homogeneity of the student population means that the area has very little character.

1 College Senior

Diversity: Pitt is an overwhelmingly white, middle-class, brown-haired, jeans-wearing, Columbia-sporting, hockey-watching, STEM-studying school. This rating conflicts with most of the ratings on this page, so let me account for that. Most students at Pitt are from suburbs of Philadelphia or small towns in middle Pennsylvania or small towns in the outskirts of Pittsburgh or small towns in eastern Ohio. They generally come from these middle-American backgrounds where 98% of the population is white. At Pitt, 80% of the population is white people like them. But from their perspective that's a 1000% increase in the amount of non-white peers they are exposed to in their daily lives. So that, I think, is where all this "wow Pitt is so diverse" nonsense comes from. If you come from a background of even moderate diversity, Pitt students get very samey and predictable very fast.

2 College Senior

Scholarships: If you're out of state, like me, tuition is going to be very expensive and financial aid will be close to non-existent.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Pitt is a party school (no matter how much people try to tell you it's not), but it's a drinking school even more fundamentally than it's a party school. So enforcement of alcohol laws/rules is close to nonexistent - despite the official regulations, anybody can drink whenever they want and makes as much noise as they please, so long as they don't make a flagrant scene and end up hurting themselves or others. And even then, sometimes there are no consequences. It is a wonder that a school that saw one of the most senseless, excessively violent police crackdowns in the recent history of student protests is so willfully negligent about drinking.

3 College Senior

Health & Safety: Pitt is, I believe, a perfectly safe place to attend school, but that's not as simple an assessment as it first appears. We had the massive bomb threat crisis during my freshman year - Google it if you've never heard of it, but it's unlikely to happen again. There was a shooting at the mental hospital on campus during my time here as well, but that was a basically random incident and the Pitt Police were all over it, students were never in danger. South Oakland is a "sketchy" neighborhood only if you're a sheltered rural middle-class Pennsylvania kid who's never seen a homeless person before - crime happens (ranging from petty thievery to drunken brawls between dudebros) but it can mostly be avoided with basic street smarts.

However, I believe that Pitt is precisely as bad as most other school of its ilk when it comes to sexual assault - which is pretty damn bad. Drinking is extremely widespread, and besides the health threat that poses by itself (I've had multiple friends end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning) that also entails an ever-present threat of sexual violence, which is exacerbated by the dude-tacular, bros-before-hoes mentality of many of the guys on campus.

4 College Senior

Athletics: I love sports, and that's a big part of why I applied to Pitt, and that turned out to be a godawful way of choosing schools I mean holy crap was that stupid. But we do have some fun at football games, and basketball games are a legitimate blast. They just don't amount to much in terms of life experience during your formative years, as it turns out.

2 College Senior

Greek Life: I have a grudge against Greek life in general, but so do most people at Pitt, inexplicably. Pitt students like to party in exactly the same way Greek students like to party but they just like to do it in somewhat smaller, less polo-shirt-inclined groups. Sororities still exist but don't get their own houses for some bizarre sexist reason, and are filled almost completely with shrieking white girls who LOVE their big/little. Fraternities have houses and sometimes people go to them and from what I can tell they don't rape people QUITE as much as they do at a place like UCLA or something.

1 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Most people at Pitt LOVE each other! Maybe that's because we all have the same interests in common: hockey, engineering, weight lifting, and (above all) BEER! We are all generically attractive, well-built white people of German and/or English heritage who like to drink a lot and shout at the top of our lungs three nights a week. If this description fits you too, come on in! The water's fine.

2 College Senior

Overall Experience: The title of the question is asking about my "overall experience," which was bad. Then the description asks specifically about my experience with "courses and professors," which was good. This doesn't make any sense.

3 College Senior

Overall Experience: Congratulations, you graduated from a reasonably reputable large public school! You are part of the enormous faceless mass of relatively-educated middle-class Pennsylvanian humanity! I'm sure you'll have no problem finding some well-paying place to do clerical work or mid-level management and live your entire life for the weekends.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are quite a few places to eat in Pitt's immediate vicinity, but they seldom break the glass ceiling of "merely tolerable" and some of them fall well short of even that. Pitt students view many of the following eateries through impossibly rose-colored lenses, but Primanti's is only delicious if you're an insane cole-slaw-n'-cheese-loving lunatic from the immediate Pittsburgh area, Quaker Steak's wings are resoundingly mediocre, and almost everything else is a worldwide chain or generic Chinese place, predictably filling and acceptable without ever once exciting any real interest. Exceptions are Conflict Kitchen, which is often quite good and does its best to singlehandedly make up for the rest of the area's lack of variety, and Spice Island Tea House, a legitimately delicious Thai/Burmese place that most Pitt students avoid because it doesn't involve nearly enough cheese and grilled chicken for them.

2 College Senior

Campus Dining: I suspect that Pitt's campus dining experience is not dramatically worse than it is at most other schools, but that doesn't mean it's any good either. Freshmen are enamored with the apparent all-you-can-eat freedom of the whole arrangement, but the novelty wears off in a couple months as you realize that you're paying larcenous prices to eat the same three or four undercooked buffet-style meals every single time. By the time you're a sophomore, Market Central becomes an object of dread. By the time you're a junior or senior, you've hopefully found a way to have nothing more to do with on-campus dining.

4 College Senior

Academics: In my experience with the English, political science and history departments the professors are engaging, knowledgeable and deeply concerned for their student's development and welfare. Classes can be somewhat unchallenging but if you know which professors to take that's an easy fix. Overall the actual learning that goes on is pretty good.

4 College Senior

Academics: The political science department in particular is for the most part excellent. There are some professors that draw groans and snores but in general the quality of academics in the department is strong. Most students in the department are aspiring lawyers, but despite this most of them are actually much friendlier and slightly more worldly than the average Pitt student.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Housing is not, overall, too objectionable. It is overpriced but that's no surprise at all these days. It is cramped but that's industry standard. There is very little in the way of peace and quiet but that's only to be expected.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Great architecture and labs. Amazing sporting events as well.

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Don't wait around. Be proactive. They will not do it for you.

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Greek Life: Haven't joined one nor have a been at the campus for class or anything yet.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Hard to get and a bit expensive.

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Academics: Haven't taken classes here yet.

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Academics: Haven't taken classes here yet. Begin in the fall.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Strict where they need to be.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: You are minutes from sports stadiums and parks. Great atmosphere.

College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Have not had any classes here yet. The fall is when I will start.


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Cathedral of Learning
Cathedral of Learning

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Courtney Vock
Pittsburgh, PA
Creative Non-Fiction Writing
View all previous student authors

Overall, students agree that they wouldn't trade their Pitt experience for anything. As with most decisions, there are a lot of things to consider. If you don't like living in a city environment, Pittsburgh may not be the place for you. While it doesn't have the feel of New York of Philadelphia, the area is definitely urban. Also, Pitt is a large school—you're in for some big lecture classes and a somewhat overwhelming campus during the first year or so. Everything will seem to get smaller after you've been around awhile, though. Weather can be a concern if you're used to a warmer climate—snow, rain, and wind rule Pittsburgh winters. This is something that you can easily get used to though, unless you're a diehard warm weather fan.

What Pitt does offer is high-caliber academics, plenty of student organizations, and countless opportunities, such as study abroad, cultural activities, and sports. If you're willing to become active on campus, there's a lot more to Pitt than meets the eye. The University's location can also be a great advantage—Pittsburgh itself is a great city that is a positive environment for students to live and learn in, thanks in part to the city being home to a number of colleges and universities. The social scene is always jumping, locals are friendly, and there's always something to do if you explore a little. The best idea is to visit and try to get a feel for the area. You can get the same quality education at Pitt that can be found in many smaller, expensive schools, but here you'll pay less to have a vibrant city right at your doorstep.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At University of Pittsburgh

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