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Reviews 3265 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Junior

Scholarships: Could Offer More – My financial aid experience at Pitt has been dificult. My first year i did not recieve financial aid though my father had just lost his job. My second year i received alot of financial aid but this was after a very difficult process where the school lost most of my forms and claimed that I never turned them in. Your best bet for financial aid is to find one person in the department who wil look out for you and contact them if you have any problems.

4 College Junior

Campus Quality: There are several things that set my school apart from the others. One thing I really like is how much my school has to offere outside of classes. We have several activities that do not require academic work and that help to keep student life more interesting. My school also offers lots of options outside of partying. We always have free events hosted by our school and friday night alternatives for those who do not drink. My school does a good job of appealing to the needs of several different types of students not just one group as I have sen in other schools.

3 College Junior

Academics: I am an enlglish major with a minor in chemistry and womens studies. Because my course load is so heavy, it requires a lot of time and self discipline to do well. The writing community at Pitt is very well connected. Often our faculty are Pitt graduates and write the materials which we use for class. there are also lots of opputunities for meeting together outside of class. The writing community at Pitt is very supportive.
The science community is a little different. because the majority of those at pitt majoring in science and planning to become doctors the science program is very competative. The introductory classes act as a weed out for those who think they may have what it takes to be qa doctor. because of this the program is very difficult. What I have found regarding the science program is that after you get past the introductory classes the classes are very enjoyable and doable but it depeneds on your professor. Ecah professor has different personalities and quirks that you will see in class. Its just about learning what you must do in order to be successful in your class.

5 College Sophomore

Transportation: The campus is located just outside the city, and with free Port Authority bus service for all Pitt students, getting from point A to point B is convenient and easy.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Students from all over the world congregate on this urban campus. All races, nationalities, religious beliefs, and economic situations are well represented.

2 College Senior

Academics: Summer Classes – So right now I just completed my first six week semester. Oh my goodness are those things are hard. I literally had a quiz every time I walked into class.I had a minimum of 70 pages to read each night, per class. The mid term and final were absolutly insane I had to write two five paragraph essays on top of answering 4 disscussion questions (a paragraph each),and 10 short answer questions (2-3 sentences). That all had to be completed in an hour and half. I think the class average after the midterm was a C. So long story short stay on top of your homework and make sure you know whats going on. The classes go by too fast to procrastinate.

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3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Great Assortment of Dorms – As a freshman at Pitt, you will most likely live in the Litchfield Towers (A, B, & C). The rooms are pretty small, and there are close to 40 people on each floor. However, living in towers was one of the best experiences I've had at Pitt. You meet so many people it's ridiculous. As a sophomore/upperclassman, you have the choice of a huge variety of dorms. These range from apartment style living in the heart of campus to suite style living in less-urban upper campus. The pricing is pretty average for room and board.

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3 College Junior

Health & Safety: I have heard stories about how unsafe Pitt's location (Oakland) is from many people - all of whom are parents. If you are in that same position, forget what you've heard. Pitt has its own police force (that really doesn't bother students) in addition to Pittsburgh's city police. Pitt also has many, many "safety boxes" around campus in case you need to contact police immediately. There is literally one in sight everywhere you go on campus. Now I'm not saying it's completely safe in Oakland, but if you take really basic precautions (like not walking home alone at 2am) you will be safe. Even if someone tries to mug you in that situation, just look around for the blue safety box!

4 College Junior

Academics: Excellent Business Program Inside and Outside the Classroom – The University of Pittsburgh's College of Business Administration (CBA) provides its students with an abundance of opportunities for achievement both inside and outside of the classroom. From my experience, the professors are very accessible and also excited about helping their students. If you succeed academically you are rewarded with opportunities. Pitt's CBA also has an outside of the classroom program called SIMON. Through SIMON I have been able to attend multiple career fairs, meet business executives, and even job shadow with companies such as Northwestern Mutual and PwC. I am only going into my junior year and I have had the opportunity to be a research assistant for a professor within the business school. I also already received my first finance internship from a local business started by a Pitt alumni.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: The weather might just be the one thing that I dislike most about Pitt. Although it is warm for the first few weeks of the school year, and maybe a week or two at the end of it, most of the time it is just plain cold... It also rains quite a bit, so bring an umbrella! Snow boots are probably a good investment as well, especially because classes are rarely canceled due to snow. The only good thing about the weather is that it changes in an instant. You could go to class in the pouring rain, and leave 50 minutes later with the sun shining. But it could also happen the other way around!

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Since Pitt is in the middle of the city, parking can be hard to find...or costly. But most (if not all) classes are within walking distance, and the use of the public buses is free for students. Because of this, most kids who live on campus choose not to bring a car to school anyway. For those that do want to bring a car though, parking is usually available in the Soldiers and Sailors parking garage (if street parking is not available).

3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Take It or Leave It – Greek life is definitely there for parties and events but other than that it doesn't have a huge presence. There are certainly some that have reputations that are better than others but joining or not, and to a large extent which one you join doesn't have a huge impact on social life.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: Generally speaking, Pitt is a great place to go to school. If I could do it again, I would choose it again and again. There are tons of things to do (museums, plays, gardens, night life, sports, etc) both for those people who are under and over 21. Even better, however, is that many of the attractions are at a discounted price for students.

Just like in any medium to large city, there is going to be a certain amount of uneasiness when it comes to safety but if you know what your doing, and keep an keen eye there is no reason that anyone shouldn't be able to get through 4 years without a single incident. I did.

Cost of LIving is also reasonable, though the nice apartments go fast and you have to do your research to find them.

Really only two real problems spring to mind when thinking of Pittsburgh: the weather and transportation. Its more than possible to live there without a car, (there are buses which are free to Pitt students) but be ready for long waits in the freezing cold and sweltering hot. There are approximately 2 weeks are truly wonderful weather and they generally come during spring finals. If you choose to have a car the parking is both lacking and expensive, and driving in Pittsburgh is no picnic.

But, if you can get past the transport and the weather, it is really a great place to live.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Okay Dorms – I stayed in Lothrop Hall, which is primarily composed of single rooms (not roommates). I wanted it that way, but some of the guys on my floor were upset as they had wanted to live elsewhere. I liked Lothrop. Each room came with a sink, which is far more useful than I had expected. Unfortunately, it's somewhat far from the major areas of campus, so I felt psychologically disconnected at times.

3 College Senior

Technology: Great at Certain Times During the Day – The computer/printing labs are well-staffed and printouts come quickly. The internet is fast for the most part and wireless access is available anywhere on campus and many places off-campus. The best time to go to the computer labs is in the morning before 11 AM or in the evening after 5. In the meantime, you'll have to wait in line. Some students will use the computers quickly but quite a few will waste time on facebook or twitter even though there's a huge line waiting. Also, the computer lab in the Cathedral of Learning is often used by classes, which means that the door is closed. It doesn't happen that often, but it's quite irritating when it does because it cuts the number of available computers in the building in half.

3 College Senior

Scholarships: I did get a few scholarships for which I never applied...but the monetary amount is negligible. Most students use a combination of government and private loans to get by. The financial aid office is helpful through email, but going there in person is terrible. When I visited to ask a routine question, the secretary looked at me like I was crazy and spent 10 minutes trying to find someone for me to talk to.

1 College Senior

Diversity: Unfortunate Amount of Segregation – White students mainly hang out with white students, black students with black students, Asian with Asian, gay with gay, etc. There are a few clubs with nice mixtures, but for the most part you see large groups of similar looking/acting people together. I know that Pitt has black and Asian students, but I have seen very few in my classes--perhaps classes are voluntarily segregated too? Economic background doesn't seem like much of a factor--most students come from the middle class. On the plus side, I have never actually seen someone harassed for his/her race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious, or political beliefs.

5 College Senior

Campus Quality: Professors Are Great – If you go to office hours, you'll find that many professors take an active interest in both your academic work and your personal/professional goals. It would not be uncommon for professors to ask about your family, where you grew up, how you like the school, what your academic interests outside the class are, etc. They are also extremely helpful when it comes to extracurricular activities--such as writing recommendations, serving as internship supervisors, or overseeing undergraduate research. College is what you make of it, so take advantage of these people. (One issue, though: many professors, especially those who teach lower level classes, only work on campus part time so scheduling appointments with them can be difficult. It's not their fault, though. The university likes to exploit professors, so many are forced to take multiple jobs at different universities.)

4 College Senior

Drug Safety: Some but You Can Avoid Drugs If You Want – Partying is definitely a big part of student life, although primarily just alcohol and pot. I only know a few people who are into harder drugs and, for the most part, they do their speed and coke in isolation and are thus not part of a larger campus trend. The beauty of Pitt is that it's large enough to accommodate all types of students. If you don't want to drink or do drugs, you'll be able to find like-minded people easily. I didn't drink at all during my freshman year and I never once felt pressured.

3 College Senior

Campus Quality: Interesting Architecture – Some of the buildings are great, like the Cathedral of Learning and the William Pitt Union. Others are really bad/annoying/ugly, like Posvar Hall. The library system is huge and the librarians, for the most part, are really helpful. I was once unable to find a book and they managed to find it less than an hour later even though it had been shelved incorrectly. Considering that the library has somewhere around 4 million volumes, I was impressed. Campus activities are okay, but I'd stay away from the massive events open to all students--they're too busy because Pitt has so many students. You'd be better off joining a few clubs and going to events with those clubs rather than the general population.

4 Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: Awesome Bars – If you're under 21, there are a few frat and house parties to choose from. The fun really starts once you're legal. The bars in Oakland are awesome (and cheap!). If you get sick of the Oakland scene, the South Side is a short bus ride or walk. Carson Street gets absolutely crazy on the weekends.

2 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: If you drive through Oakland without knowing it's mainly inhabited by college students, you would think you were in a ghetto. The landlords charge high rent (compared to the rest of the city) and don't take care of their properties.

1 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Don't Bother With a Car – Parking at Pitt is pretty awful. The lots accessible to students are far away from campus. Parking permits are also very expensive. You definitely don't need a car at Pitt. Taking the Bus is free and everything you'd need is accessible from the dorms.

3 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Pretty Safe – Pitt has the Pitt police everywhere as well as emergency call stations located all over campus. Campus itself feels quite safe. I've also lived a bit off campus and that felt safe as well. There's also a SafeRider program that rides students back to campus at night if they do not feel safe. I would not depend on SafeRider though, it is a very inconsistent system and goes to only a small radius around campus.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Certainly Possible to Do Well – It is not too difficult to succeed at the University of Pittsburgh. I found the semesters I went to class and did all the work I got very good grades. The workload is not bad at all. Getting to know your professors also never hurts!

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Cathedral of Learning
Cathedral of Learning

Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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.

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