Academics

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Academics

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4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Registration process was a pain, but otherwise great classes and great professors.

4 College Junior

Academics: I feel the quality of the teaching is pretty good, but I need to work hard to achieve better academic performance.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Academics: Many gen eds I took were interesting, but many were taught directly to a syllabus where as long as you checked off a bunch of boxes, you got an A. This was frustrating because even if I had a good idea, it had to conform to someone else's conception of what a good idea looks like.

My actual major's classes were terribly taught. There were no practical skills taught because professors thought they distracted from learning material, so most students came out vastly underprepared for the real world. Additionally, the material itself was often old, with no teaching of important contemporary topics because of the view that teaching undergrads is pointless.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: The professors that I've had were all very professional and had much experience in the topics they were teaching. I really enjoyed learning from all of them.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: The professors I have taken classes from seem to be very invested in their work and care whether the students are learning from the course.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The University of Pittsburgh is over 16,000 students strong, which can seem like a scary number, at first. In reality, what you get in classes isn't a reflection of this size. Some classes are large, especially the introductory classes that you have to take for the first year or two, yet once you get heavily focused on your major, the whole university seems to shrink. Variety is the spice of life, and one of the great things about a liberal arts school is that you will find just enough variety to allow you to go in any direction you choose. From a strong medical program based on UMPC's massive resources, to a well-known business program, to a distinguished philosophy department, Pitt has plenty of options for any sort of education you're looking for. Although some programs are stronger than others, and some are smaller (and therefore more personal), Pitt can meet the needs of nearly any student.

Professors and teaching assistants are known for being approachable. The rule at Pitt is that you can find help in any subject-you just have to be willing to go after it. In many cases, you'll find the best professors teaching the highest level courses. Students have complained that some courses, (particularly those in science-related fields), are staffed with foreign teaching assistants that are difficult to understand; while this can sometimes make classes more difficult, there are always other resources available. As the years go by, and the standards for entrance get higher, Pitt is becoming more and more distinguished. The University's strong academic programs are only getting stronger, and students can rest assured that the hard work of earning a degree will pay off.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
14:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,744
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
733
Total FT Faculty
4,977
Faculty with Terminal Degree
94%
Average Faculty Salary
$85,860
Full-Time Retention Rate
93%
Part-Time Retention Rate
82%
Graduation Rate
79%
Programs/Majors Offered
174
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 43%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 41%
  • 50 or More Students: 15%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: Yes
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: Yes
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of General Studies
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • School of Information Sciences
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Social Work
  • Swanson School of Engineering
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 2%
  • Foundations of Education: 2%
  • Psychology: 2%
  • Social Work: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Cathedral Lawn
  • Cathedral of Learning Commons
  • Hillman Library
  • Residence hall lounges
  • Schenley Plaza
Tips to Succeed
  • Ask questions in class.
  • Ask upperclassmen about classes or professors you're thinking about taking-they are one of the best resources for steering you in the right direction.
  • Be outgoing-there's a lot to get involved in.
  • Seek out your professors and TAs during office hours.
  • Stick with classes you're interested in.
  • Work hard, but take time to relax.
Did You Know?
  • The University of Pittsburgh's Posvar Hall is built on the site of the old Forbes Field, where the Pirates used to play. Babe Ruth hit the last two homeruns of his career at that field, and in commemoration, the home plate is still in the floor of the building. Students slide across home plate for luck, especially during midterms and finals!
  • Pitt requires you to meet with your academic advisor at least twice a term to make sure that you're on top of things.
  • If you're struggling with classes, Pitt has multiple tutoring groups, mentoring groups, and a Writing Center to help you with any problems you may have. Also, at various times throughout the week, TAs set up help desks at tables in the Cathedral, so anyone who has a question or a problem in that particular subject can feel free to walk up and ask!

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 190 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 106 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 105 responses

  • 20% This was my dream school.
  • 66% This was one of my top choices.
  • 14% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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