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 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.

5 College Freshman

Academics: The professors challenge you to think outside the box and don't just settle for one answer, while still helping you along the way

4 College Freshman

Academics: The selection of classes and diversity are great!

5 College Freshman

Academics: Pitt has rightfully earned a reputation of excellence. The classes here are challenging without being overwhelming. We have a huge curriculum it is very easy for students to find courses suited for their skill set. The science classes, especially bio, are particularly challenging. Many people come in pre-med and leave somewhere in the business school. First semester is a wakeup call for many, but it is not hard to transition and get used to the challenge.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Academic opportunities easily surpass even some of the highest regarded private schools...

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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 20 responses

  • 16% Gene Kelly - famous American actor and dancer
  • 15% Dan Marino - hall-of-fame NFL quarterback
  • 11% Andrew W. Mellon - banker, philanthropist
  • 8% Michael Chabon - Pulitzer Prize-winning author
  • 6% Tony Dorsett - NFL hall of famer
  • 6% Mike Ditka - NFL hall of famer
  • 5% Lap-Chee Tsui - genetic scientist
  • 3% 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
  • 2% Leo Robin - American composer and songwriter
  • 2% James Traficant - U.S. congressman
  • 2% Gene Kelly
  • 2% Tony Dorsett
  • 2% Larry Fitzerald - NFL receiver
  • 2% Harry Reems - pornstar

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 105 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 106 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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