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Reviews 3356 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: The city of Pittsburgh is very passionate about its sports, and it is no different at the university. Students love attending football and basketball games, and these events are fun even for non sports fans. Nearly everyone goes to these events.

3 Recent Alumnus

Administration: Certain issues are dealt with very strictly, but in general these are related to safety. For instance, it is a hassle to have visitors to your dorm, but in an urban campus I appreciate the focus on student safety.

3 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: The process of applying for and recieving financial aid was simple and straightforward, and the folks at the finiancial aid office are very helpful. However, Pitt is a bit stingy with their scholarships, and I dislike the fact that athletes are highly favored.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: There are a ton of options for any kind of socialization, both on and off campus. The greek life parties are popular and well liked, and house parties are common in Oakland and surrounding neighborhoods. Generally there is a wide range of party atmospheres, whether you like a chill place to kick back or a raging dance party, or anything in between.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I haven't been on campus too long but from what I have seen there are university cops everywhere. I would say that campus is pretty safe for being in a city.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I live in Tower B, which is one of the main freshman dorms. It's pretty much what you'd expect- not beautiful, communal bathrooms, small dorm rooms, not enough closet space. The tower itself is actually a cylinder, so each room is kind of wedge-shaped. Sutherland, which is way on upper campus, is much nicer, but the walk is so significant that it's kind of not worth it. Nordenberg is like this beautiful building and each room comes with a flat screen TV. Whatever.

6 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Area: I'm native to Pittsburgh, so naturally I love the city. However, I truly think that there's always something to do. We have a LOT of bars if you're of age, and we have a few really nice concert venues. Most of the time stars like Beyonce do not tour in Pittsburgh, but smaller bands come, and Coldplay has been here before. We have an Irish festival every year, and a Greek festival, and the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which is fantastic. There are other things like that that I'm forgetting. If you're feeling touristy you can go on the Incline or something. Also, our sports teams are awesome and Pittsburghers get really into our local teams. There is definitely a lot of spirit.

7 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Oakland is not the safest area of Pittsburgh, but Pitt takes every possible step to keep its students safe. There is a university police force and a Saferider service, which is a shuttle that you can call if you need to travel (for class or work or some other legitimate reason- this is not for if you're just drunk and need to get home from a bar) around campus in the evening or early morning. There are emergency phones throughout the campus and most areas are well lit. Unless you are walking around at an absurd time, Fifth and Forbes and the areas around the residence halls and hospitals are usually busy enough to be safe. You need your Pitt ID to enter the residence halls, and guests must present a photo ID and be signed in. Dorm room doors require your Pitt ID and a PIN to enter. Because Pitt is a bit of a party school, alcohol-related sexual assault is a problem, but the administration tries their best to prevent it. There are counseling and medical services readily available at all times- after all, there are like five hospitals on campus, including Magee, which is specifically a women's hospital. If walking around the outlying areas at night- such as South Oakland, which is a big party spot- make sure you're in a group, especially if you're a girl. I generally feel safe on campus, however, because of all the measures put in place and because most of the places I have to go to alone are in the main, busier part of campus.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are hundreds of restaurants, food kiosks, and food trucks in Oakland. There are many cheap options that fit into a college student's budget, and 95% of the places are within a reasonable walking distance (like everything on campus.) The best places are Lulu's Noodles, Pamela's Diner (pancakes are to die for), and, if you're feeling adventurous, Conflict Kitchen, which is a food stand run by Carnegie Melon University students. They serve authentic food from countries that the United States is in conflict with and provide pamphlets with information about the conflict. The food sometimes isn't delicious (try being an average American college student attempting to cook traditional Iranian food in a 10x10 food stand) but it's definitely an experience.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Scholarships: My mother is a university employee so I received a full tuition remission. Combined with my federal student aid awards (loans, grants), I had enough money to cover my expenses. The financial aid process went smoothly for me.

4 College Senior

Athletics: football and basketball games are fun but mostly for tailgating

3 College Senior

Scholarships: It's frustrating that the only time to be eligible for scholarship is as an incoming freshman.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Party Scene: being greek definitely gives you more party opportunities

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Greek Life: Because Pitt is in a city, greek life is not essential for fun/partying. However, the greek community is very active and noticeable on campus

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Local Area: Pittsburgh and Oakland more specifically have great atmospheres.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: there are many different apartments with varying prices/quality. On campus housing is expensive and hard to get so living off campus is common

3 College Senior

Administration: some areas have more "red tape" than others

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Some of the houses are disgusting because the students who used to live there rarely cleaned them and there is no maid service. Some of them are smaller than the dorm rooms and very over priced while others are the exact opposite.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Local Area: Pitt is not by any means an unfriendly environment, but the mid-Atlantic homogeneity of the student population means that the area has very little character.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Diversity: Pitt is an overwhelmingly white, middle-class, brown-haired, jeans-wearing, Columbia-sporting, hockey-watching, STEM-studying school. This rating conflicts with most of the ratings on this page, so let me account for that. Most students at Pitt are from suburbs of Philadelphia or small towns in middle Pennsylvania or small towns in the outskirts of Pittsburgh or small towns in eastern Ohio. They generally come from these middle-American backgrounds where 98% of the population is white. At Pitt, 80% of the population is white people like them. But from their perspective that's a 1000% increase in the amount of non-white peers they are exposed to in their daily lives. So that, I think, is where all this "wow Pitt is so diverse" nonsense comes from. If you come from a background of even moderate diversity, Pitt students get very samey and predictable very fast.

11 people found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Scholarships: If you're out of state, like me, tuition is going to be very expensive and financial aid will be close to non-existent.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Administration: Pitt is a party school (no matter how much people try to tell you it's not), but it's a drinking school even more fundamentally than it's a party school. So enforcement of alcohol laws/rules is close to nonexistent - despite the official regulations, anybody can drink whenever they want and makes as much noise as they please, so long as they don't make a flagrant scene and end up hurting themselves or others. And even then, sometimes there are no consequences. It is a wonder that a school that saw one of the most senseless, excessively violent police crackdowns in the recent history of student protests is so willfully negligent about drinking.

3 College Senior

Health & Safety: Pitt is, I believe, a perfectly safe place to attend school, but that's not as simple an assessment as it first appears. We had the massive bomb threat crisis during my freshman year - Google it if you've never heard of it, but it's unlikely to happen again. There was a shooting at the mental hospital on campus during my time here as well, but that was a basically random incident and the Pitt Police were all over it, students were never in danger. South Oakland is a "sketchy" neighborhood only if you're a sheltered rural middle-class Pennsylvania kid who's never seen a homeless person before - crime happens (ranging from petty thievery to drunken brawls between dudebros) but it can mostly be avoided with basic street smarts.

However, I believe that Pitt is precisely as bad as most other school of its ilk when it comes to sexual assault - which is pretty damn bad. Drinking is extremely widespread, and besides the health threat that poses by itself (I've had multiple friends end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning) that also entails an ever-present threat of sexual violence, which is exacerbated by the dude-tacular, bros-before-hoes mentality of many of the guys on campus.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Athletics: I love sports, and that's a big part of why I applied to Pitt, and that turned out to be a godawful way of choosing schools I mean holy crap was that stupid. But we do have some fun at football games, and basketball games are a legitimate blast. They just don't amount to much in terms of life experience during your formative years, as it turns out.

2 College Senior

Greek Life: I have a grudge against Greek life in general, but so do most people at Pitt, inexplicably. Pitt students like to party in exactly the same way Greek students like to party but they just like to do it in somewhat smaller, less polo-shirt-inclined groups. Sororities still exist but don't get their own houses for some bizarre sexist reason, and are filled almost completely with shrieking white girls who LOVE their big/little. Fraternities have houses and sometimes people go to them and from what I can tell they don't rape people QUITE as much as they do at a place like UCLA or something.

3 people found this useful Report
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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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Applicant Status At University of Pittsburgh

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