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Reviews 3013 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Senior

Majors: Pretty Easy – Declaring a major is easy, its getting into the school first that can be tricky. The largest school is arts and sciences, and that one is no problem. If later you decide to change your major and need to change schools, you have to apply, like for example to the school of rehab health science. This requires a bunch of prereqs and a good gpa, but if you have that, you should be okay

3 College Senior

Greek Life: Fraternities have most of their houses on the hill on upper campus. A few are located elsewhere in oakland. 9 of the sororities are located in a single dorm building, with each floor belonging to a different house. One sorority has a house off campus, and the remaining sorority is located in a different dorm. Greek life makes up only about 10% of the campus, but if you pay attention, you'll notice that that 10% actually runs the campus. Nearly every major organization on campus is run by Greeks. If Greek life is not for you, You'll still be perfectly happy and can ignore the entire scene. If it is for you, it opens a lot of doors on campus. Greeks do not act like they are better than non-Greeks, and most non-Greeks enjoy attending the fraternity parties.

4 College Senior

Campus Food: Market Central is the main dining facility on lower campus. For school food, its decent, though could be more varied. There is a similar facility on upper campus, as well as a few other options in the Peterson Events center on upper campus. Among those is a burger king and an excellent pasta place. There is also a taco bell next to market central, as well as Bruegger's bagels in another one of the academic buildings. I recommend buying as small a meal plan as possible, with more dining dollars than meal plans. Dining dollars are more convenient, especially to buy snacks and at quick zone

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Dining Dollars Vs. Dining Passes – At Pitt you have two ways of paying for your meals. There are Dining Passes and Dining Dollars. The Passes are used at the cafeterias/dining halls which are pretty good, but inconvenient. Dining Dollars are used at fast food like places. They are more convenient, but much lower in quality.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Not Too Visible – I have a friend who was President of his frat, and it was a great experience for him. But if I didn't know him, I wouldn't be much aware of the presence of Greeks on campus.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Hard Working Students – There are a variety of guys and girls at Pitt, ranging from the extremely studious to the more social. However, the admissions requirements result in fewer "party school" type students. Many international students, both male and female from both the medical focused programs and others. Heavy presence of graduate students and with Carnegie Mellon right next door, there are lots of techie students. People are nice, friendly, and attractive. Not much of a pick up place.

5 College Junior

Academics: I came to Pitt because it has an outstanding reputation for its Emergency Medicine bachelors program, which combines incredible practical experience with intense academic rigor. I was admitted as a transfer Junior; the program does not begin until the Junior year and requires that all your general education requirements be met, as well as specific science courses. The program is awesome! Junior year includes four shifts a week in both UPMC emergency rooms and ambulance based emergency services in addition to 18 credits of practical (Patient Assessment) and scientific (Pathophysiology) classes, including labs. Payoff includes a Parmedic certification after junior year and a bachelors after senior year (which involves more clinical experience plus management, leadership and legal courses focusing on emergency medicine). This program sets you up very well for a focused career in patient care or as a step toward medical or PA school. Top notch!

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3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Alcohol Mostly, and Some Marijuana – There are drugs around. There's a lot of weed, but psychedelics are hard to come by. Most Pitt students are alcoholics, it seems. Alcohol is literally everywhere.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Forbes Avenue Is Heaven – The off campus dining at Pitt is pretty great. There are a TON of places right on Forbes Avenue, and more places all over. For breakfast, there's Pamela's (World's best pancakes), and for other meals I recommend: Pizza Sola, Pizza Romano, Sorrento's, Qdoba, Chipoltle, Primanti Brothers (A Pittsburgh classic), and just about anything else. McDonalds is a fun place to go in the late night/early morning on weekends. It's always packed.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Pretty Safe, Even for an Urban Campus – Oakland is a really nice neighborhood. I've never felt unsafe anywhere, and the university has quite a bit of security in the dorms: swipe in to get inside, swipe your ID and enter a pin number to unlock your door, all doors lock automatically, etc. Even if you do feel unsafe, you can use safe rider, campus shuttles, or city busses.
Even though I'm a freshman, I've been around the city, especially at night, and never once felt unsafe.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Could Be Better – Getting financial help from the University is not as easy as a private college due to budget cuts. Also, being a large school makes it hard to get time with a real counselor, but there are plenty of online links to help students with what they need.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Off Campus Living in the City Is Rough. Pittsburgh is not a city which you want to be caught walking around alone at night in when leaving late from the library. However, transportation is free to students, and it is a city so finding an apartment is realatively easy.

5 College Freshman

Local Area: Attractions and Transportation – The University of Pittsburgh is full of beautiful attractions. With a Pitt ID any student can get into the Natural History museum, art museums, and conservatory. Plenty of shopping centers and even the outdoor mall known as the water front is within a short bus ride of the university. Bus fare is also free to all students.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Pittsburgh is known for some crazy weather, so be prepared for anything. I grew up in the area, so it doesn't seem as strange to me, but one day it will be warm and sunny and the next it will be snowing. Winter are rough because we get a good amount of snow and ice, but the city is pretty good at keeping things clear.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drugs and Alcohol – Most students at Pitt drink alcohol. Even if one is underage, alcohol is easy to get. Some students use drugs, usually weed, but it is not obviously visible around campus.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: History/History of Art and Architecture – I havve been fairly satisfied with my academic experience so far at the University of Pittsburgh. The professors are both knowledgeable and helpful. Particularly, my professors in for History of Art and Architecture have really inspired me to pursue a career that is in some way related to this field of study.

4 College Freshman

Party Scene: Nightlife is the same old same old. House parties are the best for underage and cops don't come to bust things often. There is a saferider option to get out of a scary area, but it takes half an hour to get there, so it's not always convenient.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: When applying for housing, you never get your first pick. The dorms are okay, not great. They are in the process of building some new ones. The options are better for upperclassmen, but not all off-campus housing is safe.

4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: The Pitt facilities are pretty good. The Union is huge and has a lot of stuff to offer from great food, endless space for club meetings, activity rooms, and places to hang out or study. The dining halls are clean and nice, but don't always have the best food. The Petersen events center athletic center has a ton of great machines, aerobics rooms, and racquetball courts. There are also fast food places and an amzaing basketball court. The libraries are nice, but not very quiet.

2 College Freshman

Weather: In the beginning, the weather is unbelievable hot. Then the rain comes. From September - December, you never know whether it will rain or be sunny. December-March, SNOW. February is bad. April, is rainy. Overall, its a bit depressing but very easy to get used long as you're prepared!

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: We Dress Better Than Average. People here are pretty decent looking. Typical dress for girls is a little better than your classic sweats and pony-tail college look, but no one is too high-maintenance. Feel free to wear sweats if you want to, but just know it won't be an everyday thing here. Most girls wear a lot of leggings or skinny jeans with boots (rain boots are a must, since it rains practically every day) and a normal shirt. Be sure to get a nice jacket, since it's pretty chilly and you'll be walking outside a lot to get from class to class.

Most guys wear khaki shorts in August/September, and jeans the rest of the year, with a decent-looking shirt. There are a number of really-well dressed men about campus, though, and they tend to mix it up.

Looks-wise, you're going to find pretty girls and good-looking guys. You'll occasionally see someone extraordinarily beautiful, but don't expect it to be an everyday occurrence.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Typical College Food – Pitt has the typical college cafeteria, full of fried and processed food. However, there's also a decent variety of healthier, more fresh options. The best thing is how there's a Starbucks pretty much everywhere on campus.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: Great for College Students, but Not TOO College-Oriented. The scene in Oakland is great-you get the feel of being in a city while still being surrounded by fellow college kids. There are plenty of places to eat, both take-out and sit-in, with any type of ethnic food you can think of. The great thing about living in Pittsburgh is that it's not ALL about college there. It's a big city, so there are lots of other things going on not related to the school that you can get involved in if you want to.

The people here are also REALLY nice. I came from DC, and was shocked by how much more polite everyone is. You barely ever hear people honking their horns, every car stops for pedestrians, and people will give you directions to wherever you want to go.

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Not Too Bad – There are a lot of places to use Dining Dollars but only a few more swipes. Get more dollars than swipes. Food at Market is really exciting the first few weeks but gets boring, however it is still pretty good.

5 College Student

Campus Quality: We are one of the ONLY schools with the Philosophy of Science major option. We are well-known for our science and research programs. We are very involved with UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) and offer TONS of student opportunites. Research experience is easily accessible. The campus is right outside the city, but is a "city" in itself. We have free public transportation via school IDs, reduced-price or free admittance to local art centers, museums, professional games and attractions. Our basketball team is #11 in the national this season. Life is good.


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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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