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Reviews 3070 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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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!

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Great People, Good Atmosphere – I've met some amazing people and am always amazed at the variety of fun things that the University offers.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: You won't find the best food in Pittsburgh in the Pitt dining hall. There are so many great places to eat in and around Oakland, you just have to explore!

4 College Senior

Campus Food: I used to eat in the dining hall when I lived on campus and loved it. Now that I live off campus, I miss it. However, there are so many cool places around Oakland and all over pittsburgh that offer really great foods.

2 College Junior

Weather: Lots of Snow and Rain – Pittsburgh isn't necessarily known for its sunny warm days. It rains a lot in the spring and snows a lot in the winter. When it is nice out, Pitt's campus is completely GORGEOUS. That doesn't happen often between December and March, though.

3 College Junior

Administration: Just Be Smart – The cops on campus are a kind of strict, but if you get caught on campus, your punishment falls under school jurisdiction. They call your parents after the first time, and if you get caught three times you may get kicked out of your room. There is no legal repercussions, though.
The city cops are definitely not looking to give out underages, but if you are being completely drunk and obnoxious, they will arrest you and give you an underage complete with fines and records. Just don't be completely obvious.

4 College Junior

Local Area: Laid Back College Town – Oakland, where Pitt is located, is a subsection of the city of Pittsburgh and is primarily full of college kids. The South neighborhood has mediocre college living, but is a lot of fun and has a great atmosphere during the school year. Oakland has plenty of restaurants to enjoy and is centrally located to South Side (where there are an abundance of bars and shopping opportunities), Shadyside (an upscale area with great shopping and restaurants), and the Waterfront (a developed shopping area). There are a lot of trails and Schenley Park is directly adjacent for outdoor exercise, biking and activities. Your student ID grants you free transportation on the buses and admission to some museums and Phipps Conservatory. Carnegie Mellon, Carlow, Chatham, and Duquesne are nearby, so there are a lot of college aged kids in town! Steelers games, Pirates, and Penguins games are always options for a fun thing to do, too!

3 College Junior

Transportation: One of the best things about Pitt is that with our student id we can ride any of the public transportation in Pittsburgh for free. This is usually very convenient if you are going somewhere closer to campus like downtown or Shadyside, but can be more of a pain when going somewhere that is further away. The school also provides buses home (for a fee) for Thanksgiving, winter & spring breaks.

4 College Junior

Athletics: Varsity sports at Pitt are really important to campus life. A huge part of the second semester is cheering on the Pitt men's basketball team in our student section, the Oakland Zoo. We have pretty nice athletic facilities too, although I'm not sure about everything that is included because I haven't taken full advantage of them.

3 College Junior

Technology: The computer labs at Pitt are pretty awesome--there are 7 total I think. They can sometimes get crowded but you learn to avoid some at certain times of the day (like the library one on a Sunday night). We get 900 pages of printing per semester, which I have personally never used up. The network is reliable, but can sometimes be pretty slow, especially at the library.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I definately liked going to pitt. it is challenging at times, but there is always something to do if you have free time. the urban campus is great.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: parking passes are $367 per semester and you can only use certain garages at certain times. A lot of the time, these garages are pretty far away on the outskirts of campus. Its inconvenient, but if you are commuting from far away, it is worth it.


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Cathedral of Learning
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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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