Academics

Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Undergrads
17,256
Tuition (in-state)
$26,280 ($16,590)
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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5 College Sophomore

Academics: Most of the professors are very friendly and there are a lot of available courses that can range from really challenging to kind of a breeze. Workload is pretty average.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a business and environmental studies double major and so far it's not too difficult as far as workload goes...it's just a matter of being able to take all of the appropriate classes to graduate.

5 College Junior

Academics: Professors are very helpful and most are willing to meet during office hours or outside of office ours if you set up an appointment

4 College Junior

Academics: There aren't many sociology majors at Pitt but it is a great program in and out of the classroom. In addition to the excellent curriculum there are numerous opportunities for outside hands on experience

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Academics are taken very seriously at the University of Pittsburgh, especially in the field of engineering. It is because of this that the university is held to such a high standard and maintains a respected reputation.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 17th
    Best Course Variety
  • 79th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 165th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 698th
    Best Registration Process
  • 742nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

The University of Pittsburgh is over 16,000 students strong, which can seem like a scary number, at first. In reality, what you get in classes isn't a reflection of this size. Some classes are large, especially the introductory classes that you have to take for the first year or two, yet once you get heavily focused on your major, the whole university seems to shrink. Variety is the spice of life, and one of the great things about a liberal arts school is that you will find just enough variety to allow you to go in any direction you choose. From a strong medical program based on UMPC's massive resources, to a well-known business program, to a distinguished philosophy department, Pitt has plenty of options for any sort of education you're looking for. Although some programs are stronger than others, and some are smaller (and therefore more personal), Pitt can meet the needs of nearly any student.

Professors and teaching assistants are known for being approachable. The rule at Pitt is that you can find help in any subject-you just have to be willing to go after it. In many cases, you'll find the best professors teaching the highest level courses. Students have complained that some courses, (particularly those in science-related fields), are staffed with foreign teaching assistants that are difficult to understand; while this can sometimes make classes more difficult, there are always other resources available. As the years go by, and the standards for entrance get higher, Pitt is becoming more and more distinguished. The University's strong academic programs are only getting stronger, and students can rest assured that the hard work of earning a degree will pay off.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
14:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,744
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
733
Total FT Faculty
4,977
Faculty with Terminal Degree
94%
Average Faculty Salary
$85,860
Full-Time Retention Rate
93%
Part-Time Retention Rate
82%
Graduation Rate
79%
Programs/Majors Offered
174
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 43%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 41%
  • 50 or More Students: 15%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: Yes
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: Yes
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of General Studies
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • School of Information Sciences
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Social Work
  • Swanson School of Engineering
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 2%
  • Foundations of Education: 2%
  • Psychology: 2%
  • Social Work: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Cathedral Lawn
  • Cathedral of Learning Commons
  • Hillman Library
  • Residence hall lounges
  • Schenley Plaza
Tips to Succeed
  • Ask questions in class.
  • Ask upperclassmen about classes or professors you're thinking about taking-they are one of the best resources for steering you in the right direction.
  • Be outgoing-there's a lot to get involved in.
  • Seek out your professors and TAs during office hours.
  • Stick with classes you're interested in.
  • Work hard, but take time to relax.
Did You Know?
  • The University of Pittsburgh's Posvar Hall is built on the site of the old Forbes Field, where the Pirates used to play. Babe Ruth hit the last two homeruns of his career at that field, and in commemoration, the home plate is still in the floor of the building. Students slide across home plate for luck, especially during midterms and finals!
  • Pitt requires you to meet with your academic advisor at least twice a term to make sure that you're on top of things.
  • If you're struggling with classes, Pitt has multiple tutoring groups, mentoring groups, and a Writing Center to help you with any problems you may have. Also, at various times throughout the week, TAs set up help desks at tables in the Cathedral, so anyone who has a question or a problem in that particular subject can feel free to walk up and ask!

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 24 responses

  • 16% Gene Kelly - famous American actor and dancer
  • 16% Dan Marino - hall-of-fame NFL quarterback
  • 13% Andrew W. Mellon - banker, philanthropist
  • 9% Mike Ditka - NFL hall of famer
  • 8% Michael Chabon - Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • 6% Tony Dorsett - NFL hall of famer
  • 5% Lap-Chee Tsui - genetic scientist
  • 4% Dick Thornburgh (JD) - U.S. attorney general
  • 3% Freddie Fu - expert in sport medicine
  • 3% Dan Marino
  • 3% Andrew Mellon
  • 3% Mike Ditka
  • 3% Edgar Snyder
  • 3% Larry Fitzgerald- NFL
  • 1% Leo Robin - American composer and songwriter
  • 1% James Traficant - U.S. congressman
  • 1% Gene Kelly
  • 1% Tony Dorsett
  • 1% Larry Fitzerald - NFL receiver
  • 1% Harry Reems - pornstar

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 107 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 108 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

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