Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Undergrads
17,256
Tuition (in-state)
$26,280 ($16,590)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 2688 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Going out to bars has gotten a lot less popular because the police have cracked down on that sort of thing in other parts of the city. But basically Thursday through Sunday are drinking days, when it seems like half the campus is outside drunk.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: In general, no complaints about health and safety. Pitt's double-protected by campus and city police, so I've always felt safe on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Scholarships: If you have a decent academic record in high school, Pitt will give you at least a couple thousand dollars off the bat. From there, you'll have to fight to get any financial aid, though.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Most people move off-campus as early as sophomore year despite Pitt's 3-year housing guarantee.

5 College Freshman

Transportation: One of the best things about Pitt is that you get free rides on any Port Authority bus, the campus shuttle to upper campus, even the T, all completely for free. So maybe it's not exactly campus transportation, but when you have access to the entire city of Pittsburgh, who needs just a campus shuttle?

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Nordenberg Hall, the brand new residence hall, is state of the art and absolutely wonderful to live in. Towers, on the other hand, are pretty much the pits - old, dirty, and constantly having things break down. On average, though, housing doesn't necessarily fall into those two extremes. There are residence halls that are average and above average on both lower (by the academic buildings) and upper (on top of a giant hill by the frats) campuses.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Computers: 24/7 computer labs and a 900 page printing quota are the highlights of Pitt's technical abilities. Getting the wireless to work consistently, well, not so much.

4 College Freshman

Computers: While a computer isn't totally necessary, it would take quite a bit of effort to get by without one. There are many computer labs around campus, but I've often stopped by and seen every computer taken. Printing is pretty easy. There are self service printers in a lot of campus buildings, and the 900 page/semester quota is more than enough. Internet speed can be kind of questionable though. There have been times where watching a Youtube video is nearly impossible because it takes so long to load.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Dorms are about what you would expect. The dorms are pretty pricey for their size, but they are very convenient and close to campus buildings. Signing in guests can sometimes be a bit of a hassle, but I guess that's the tradeoff for secure buildings. The social atmosphere in the dorms can be very different depending on your floormates. I know people who are friends with all the people on their floor and others who only know one or two people on their floor. Overall, the dorms are okay.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Greek Life: I don't know about Greek life first hand, but I know quite a few people who are in fraternities/sororities. I'd say most non-greek students are indifferent to those in greek life and vice versa. I've never felt like I'm missing out on social opportunities by not being involved with greek life.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: You can find different kinds of food along Forbes Avenue. From Asian cuisine to Italian food, you can find it all. With that said, it can be expensive though even with student discounts, which are not a common occurrences. Even so, the variety is extravagant and can be fun to explore. I recommend the Italian place Joe Mama's as a place to try. Any of the other ethical places I also recommend for exploration.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: The University of Pittsburgh is extremely diverse as almost every type of person, from nerd to rock star, is here. People can do whatever their heart desires and different types of people can be friends, but most of the time people tend to hang out with those who they relate to. With that said, people express themselves in how they dress with no shame.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Majors: I am very happy as a chemical engineer. I wouldn't change it because I am going to learn the things that I need to for my major. I want to work for a chemical firm someday to use Earth's minerals to make things that the world can use. I do not worry about finding a job because Pitt has a strong engineering reputation.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Majors: I initially did not get into the school of engineering and will have to transfer in after my freshmen year. The people who made it in had nothing better than me and it was very frustrating to be rejected form them. The criteria for admission into the school is SAT scores and high high school grades, which I had average scores in both. For those who also encounter this problem, I suggest that they push though and prove the school wrong in taking this challenge on.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Pledging for a fraternity can be tough, time demanding, and costly on those who want a hardcore for fraternity. Some though are not so harsh and are more relaxing. There is a whole frat row on upper campus for frats to live and half of the Quad is filled with sororities, so frats have a lot of housing on campus. Non-Greeks can feel inferior to the Greeks but there is a respect towards one another as you don't have to be in a frat to be "cool."

5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics at Pitt are incredible. The professors expect the best out of their students and want them to work. As an engineer, the curriculum is almost set for me already before I even decide on what to pick. Registering for classes can be frustrating because some classes are only offered at one time throughout the semester, but it is pretty easy to sign up for classes. Free tutoring is offered in almost every subject you can think of and there are several places to study. Specifcally, you can go to Hillman Library, the Cathedral or even Market Central.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: The Pete is our basketball court on campus. Inside, there is a gym for students to work out in and during games we have one of the best student sections in the country in the Oakland Zoo. Football games is on the other side of Pittsburgh at Heinz Field so many students don't go/leave early because its a burden for students to leave campus to go to a four hour game. The Fitzgerald Field House is where our nationally ranked wrestling team competes and many people go to that. Also, Trees Hall, where the swimming pool is located, has a gym, racquetball courts and dance studios. Other gyms are locate on campus that promote physical activity. Intramural sports are played by many people but they are often forgotten by those who don't participate in them.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Located in a part of Pittsburgh specifically designed for different colleges to be, you will meet different people from the nearby schools often. As a Pitt student, you can ride the buses and go to museums for free! There are stores along fifth for anything you need. Even so, due to the fact that its located in a city, Pitt does not offer too many parks on campus to play games at. There is Schenley Park but it is a bit of a hike to get to. The parking also is very limited and expensive since it is in a city. There are also expensive and non-expensive places to eat from McDonalds to Joe Mama's, an expensive Italian place. With regards to the professional sports teams, the Penguins offer student rush tickets to any college/high school discounted tix before the game. The Pirates can be relatively cheap, depending on the game you want to go to, but Steelers games are relatively hard depending on how good the team is.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: People party different days of the week, depending upon how they feel. Also, those who are at least 21 can do an "Oakland bar crawl," which is when people go from one bar to another along Forbes Ave. If you feel unsafe going home, you can go use SafeRider, which is a transportation service to take you home. Also, for those under 21, you can go to off-campus parties or frat houses to drink alcohol if you want to.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: No one really judges other religions or ethnicity's because each one has their own type of organizations to be with one another. I am involved with a Christian ministry and my Indian friend is a member of an Indian dance team. Other sorts of clubs like this exist at the convenience of anyone.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Since I am a freshman, I don't know too much about the off-campus process of applying for housing. From what I have seen/understand, Panther Central, the school's information services, has a list of places of campus to apply for. The proximity to campus is almost going to be about a fifteen minute walk from where ever you live. If you live in North Oakland, you can take a bus to campus, but south Oakland you must walk. Both have police patrolling them during the week and on the weekends, but the sidewalks in the winter in South Oakland are extremely dangerous since it is the responsibility of the tenants to take care of it. Also, you can live in apartment or house of some sort that can be nice or not, depending upon your choice.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The strictness at Pitt is relatively average in terms of visitation and doing things like protests. You are allowed people to stay 6 nights in your dorm each month which I think is pretty good because that's almost every weekend each month. One protest the school currently has is the non-use of plastic bags in the market-to-go, which is like a 7-11 to get food. The school allowed this protest so I don't think they are too tough on those sorts of things. With that said, Pitt is very strict about drugs and alcohol in the dorms. If caught with any sort of drugs/alcohol, you are immediately taken into custody. I have seen police in the dorms at different points throughout the semester, so they take this very seriously.

3 College Freshman

Weather: The weather in Pittsburgh is very bi-polar. One day it wil be freezing and the next it will be warm. You never know what to expect from the weather and it sucks to walk across campus blasted with cold wind. With all of this said though, no place is perfect and you must learn to adapt and learn.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The places are all similar

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Off campus housing is certainly convenient, but the more convenient the less quality

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Cathedral of Learning
Cathedral of Learning

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Courtney Vock
Hometown
Pittsburgh, PA
Major
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 . . .

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