Pittsburgh, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$26,280 ($16,590)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Facilities: We have a pretty average looking campus. The buildings aren't all too special, just average. Our architectural gem is really the Cathedral of Learning; most everyone studies here at some point, if not all the time, during their college career.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: The atmosphere of the University of Pittsburgh is unparalleled. The city setting is ideal for any college student in that it provides unlimited opportunities to have fun and receive a full education.

2 College Senior

Facilities: I think Pitt wants to maintain more of a science setting and not arts.

3 College Senior

Facilities: Athletic facilities, the library, computer labs, and study locations are all nice but have somewhat restricted hours. There could be more facilities spread around campus, near other dorms, and they should be open later.

College Junior

Facilities: I have not been on campus too often, so I am not sure what the facilities are like.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 52nd
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 210th
    Best Student Centers
  • 437th
    Best Library
  • 470th
    Greenest Campuses
  • 751st
    Best Performance Venues

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

If you're looking for first-rate athletic facilities, you won't be disappointed by what Pitt has to offer. The Petersen Events Center, a state-of-the-art basketball and recreation arena, boasts a number of cardiovascular machines and a large free-weight area, as well as racquetball courts and eateries that work on Pitt's meal plan. This is also where important University ceremonies are held such as, freshman convocation and graduation. The Pete also hosts a number of concerts and athletic tournaments. There are additional athletic facilities that are older but also offer pools, track arenas, and other indoor practice and weight rooms. The main residence halls also have smaller gyms attached, but the equipment is older and can only be accessed by residents of that dorm.

The Hillman Library, the University's primary collection, has four floors and enough hard-copy and online volumes to make research convenient. The library staff is very knowledge and always willing to help. If you need something specific, you can access smaller, subject-orientated libraries that are located around campus. Pittsburgh' Carnegie Library is available to students and is located less than a block from the HIllman. The William Pitt Union, a recently renovated student center, offers a food court and plenty of activities. Unlike at many schools, the Union has not become a hub of student life but is starting to move more in that direction with the renovated "Nordy's Place" which houses a lounge inspired coffee bar, TV area, and the Gig's Game Center that has a number of PC and XBOX 360 games.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
132 acres
Student Centers
William Pitt Union
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
  • Barco Law Library
  • Bevier Engineering Library
  • Business Library
  • Chemistry Library
  • Darlington Memorial Library
  • Dick Thornburgh Papers
  • Frick Fine Arts Library
  • GSPIA/Economics Library
  • Hillman Library
  • Information Sciences Library
  • Langley Library
  • Mathematics Library
  • Music Library
  • Physics Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Cathedral lawn
  • Hillman Library first floor
  • The Schenley Quad
  • Towers lobby
Bar on Campus
No, but there are countless bars located in Oakland.
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Cafe a la Cart in Langley Hall
  • Café Victoria in Victoria Hall
  • Cathedral Café in the Cathedral of Learning
  • Common Grounds in Litchfield Towers
  • Cup and Chaucer in the Hillman Library
  • Hill o' Beans in Sutherland Hall
  • Jazzman's Cafe in the Petersen Events Center
  • The Pennsylvania Perk in Pennsylvania Hall
  • The Side Bar in the law building
  • Thirst & 10 in Panther Hall
Movie Theater on Campus
School Slang
  • The "O": The Original Hot Dog Shop.
  • The Ashtray: The area outside of Towers; popular for students to smoke and hang out.
  • Club Hillman: Nickname for Hillman Library.
  • Hem's: Hemingway's Café.
  • Ho-Land: Nickname for Holland Hall, an all-female residence hall in the Quad.
  • Panther Central: The offices in Towers lobby for the ID service and housing/dining.
  • The Quad: Schenley Quad, where eight of the 11 residence halls are located.
  • Upper Campus: The area with all the athletic facilities, frats, and newer dorms.
  • Hating Penn State: There's been a longstanding rivalry between Pitt and Penn State, the other college football giant of Pennsylvania. Anti-PSU shirts are sold on the streets in Oakland, and anyone who compares the Pitt Panther to a Nittany Lion is asking for trouble.
  • Hating West Virginia University: The rivalry between Pitt and WVU is thanks to the schools close proximity to each other, about an hour's drive. When the schools play each other in basketball or football, the games are known as the "Backyard Brawl." The football teams' rivalry is considered to be the 14th oldest rivalry in the country. After beating WVU, Pitt students can often be heard singing an "edited" version of the famous song, "Take Me Home" by John Denver.
  • The Oakland Zoo: The official student section during basketball games; this is the place to be if you're a rabid fan.
  • The Panther: The panther was officially adopted as a mascot in 1909 for a number of reasons. Among them: The panther wasn't being used as any other school's mascot; its gold color was closest to the University's gold; it was already known as a noble animal; and, of course, the name alliterated quite well.
  • Tailgating: Be sure to get there early-real tailgating can start early on football weekends, (7 a.m. for a noon game), and it often ends long after the game at local house parties or fraternities.
  • The University Seal: Pitt's seal is a variation of William Pitt's coat of arms. William Pitt was the first Earl of Chatham and served as the British Prime Minister in the 18th century. On the seal, the three dots are gold coins, which denote the Pitt family's participation in the Crusades; the castle wall signifies the new city; the blue of the checkerboard represents Pitt's status as an Earl; and the white stands for purity, innocence, and gentleness.
  • The Varsity Walk: Between the Cathedral and the Heinz Chapel, you'll find the sidewalk lined with names, beginning in 1950, and continuing every year. This is the Varsity Walk, a tribute to students who have moved through the University with outstanding athletic and academic achievements.
Urban Legends
  • Playboy ranked Pitt's Hillman Library as one of the top places in the country to meet someone of the opposite sex.
  • The Chancellor's Suite, on the 12th floor of Bruce Hall, is haunted.
Favorite Things To Do
Take in a basketball game or work out at the Petersen Events Center. Play some basketball, volleyball or racquetball at Trees Hall. Throw a Frisbee on the Cathedral lawn. See a play at the Stephen Foster Memorial Theater. Take a walk in Schenley Park. Play some pool or video games at Nordy's Place in the Union. There are always movies being shown in the Union, check the Pitt News and the dorms for more information. Be sure to see at least one Pitt football game and basketball game during your college career. And if sports are your thing, join one of the dozens of intramural teams that are on campus. Also, the free lectures run by the Pitt Program Council usually have a strong showing.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organizations
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 136 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 10 responses

  • 19% Cathedral Commons
  • 19% Schenley Park
  • 14% Cathedral lawn
  • 14% Schenley Plaza
  • 10% Hillman Library first floor
  • 10% I don't.
  • 10% Hillman Library - Quiet Floor
  • 5% Market Central
  • 0% Towers lobby
  • 0% The Schenley Quad

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 11 responses

  • 38% The Oakland Zoo
  • 23% The Panther
  • 19% Hating Penn State
  • 12% The University Seal
  • 4% Hating West Virginia University
  • 4% Tailgating
  • 0% The Varsity Walk

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 11 responses

  • 41% Work Studies
  • 27% Pathfinder
  • 23% Resident Assistant
  • 9% First Year Mentor

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 5 responses

  • 60% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 20% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 20% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 146 responses

  • 0% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 23% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 58% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 19% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 141 responses

  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 1% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 44% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 55% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 7 responses

  • 50% Working for Sodexo
  • 50% Working at Market

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 7 responses

  • 71% I like to attend the Pitt Arts programs.
  • 29% Greek activities

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 5 responses

  • 100% There is a ghost in Bruce Hall.



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