University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Reviews

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
4.07 Average Rating

Madison from Myerstown, PA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
My favorite thing about Pitt is that you don't just learn in the classroom. I've gained more life experience here in the last year and a half than I have my entire life. The professors are hit or miss at times, but the you will always take something away from each class. I'd recommend it to anyone. I've even convinced my sister to attend.
Am enjoying being here
I lived in the Litchfield Towers my freshman year. Honestly, they aren't terrible. Sometimes they were loud, and I wasn't friends with a lot of people on my floor, but being in the center of campus made it easy to meet new people every day until I found my core group of friends. That, and Market Central is right beneath it, so you can go to dinner in your pj's! I live off-campus now and I enjoy it even more. There's so much to do in South Oakland!
Bang for the buck
This school is a bit pricey, especially considering there are cheaper schools who can offer you just as valuable degrees. The reasons it's worth the money go on. Personally, the experience, the chance to go to all of the fabulous museums, playhouses, and clubs, the opportunity to take any class at the surrounding colleges, and the free city bus fare (love!) make it worth my money.
Tips for prospective students
My biggest tip is to not stress about getting into the honors college. I was really disappointed when the only thing keeping me out was 100 points on my SAT. Honestly, yes the dorm is nice, but you will still have a great experience, a great degree from a prestigious school, and tons of friends when you leave.
Great for these types of students
Psychology (my major), biological sciences, engineering, are all known to be great at Pitt, but I also recommend the business school based on friend and personal reviews.
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Alicia from Kenmore, NY

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
It is never easy transitioning from high school to college, but at Pitt it was fun. The classes so are much more diverse and interesting, and all of my professors challenged me, something I didn't experience too much in high school. It was great being able to fill general requirements with classes that genuinely interested me, because Pitt has a great selection of courses.
Am enjoying being here
One thing I've noticed about Pitt is that its well-rounded. Aside from being academically competitive, it has a great sports program, a lot of clubs, and a good social atmosphere, so there is something for everyone. I also really like the neighborhood, Oakland, which has great restaurants and shops.
Bang for the buck
Pitt is a good deal for Pennsylvania residents, but could be pricey for out of state students if you don't receive a scholarship (but they do give out a good amount of aid). Still, its a better deal than most private schools.
Tips for prospective students
Coming into freshman year, I joined a learning community, which is a group of twenty or so students that generally take 3 themed classes together and meet once a week for discussions. I'd highly suggest joining one- there are a few dozen that cover most majors and are a great way to meet people as a freshman.
Great for these types of students
If you are a big sports fan, you'll love Pitt. If you're an above average student that could use a good scholarship, you're likely to get a good deal for a quality education here. If you want an urban campus that isn't in the middle of downtown, you'll like Pitt's location.
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Student from CHARLOTTE, NC

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The University of Pittsburgh is a wonderful school filled with numerous opportunities and various activities to do. The campus is beautiful and the people are great to be around. I truly enjoy the atmosphere around the school and how safe I feel as well.
Tips for prospective students
Get out and explore! There's tons to do around the city and a lot of it is close to campus. There's also so many options for food you'll never get bored with choices.
Academic Rigor
The class level at the University is pretty balanced, classes are tough but not to the point of being discouraging. Class size can be anywhere from about 10 students to 300 depending on subject and material is usually very focused.
Dorm Life
Dorm life at the University is pretty great, everyone on the floor gets pretty tight and is open to all other floor members. Of course, sometimes situations can get a little tense or people can clique up, but that's how friendships work. You can't expect to get close with everyone!
Food and Dining
Dining is pretty straightforward, the food served in the dining hall is pretty good. My only complaint is the repetitiveness of meals and how crowded it gets at certain times where they run out of silverware and seating. Other than that it's pretty good.
What to do for fun
Run, got to museums, shop, eat, attend sports events, kayak on the river; There's too much to say since I haven't even experienced it all myself!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
This is a bit of an unusual tradition, but whenever midterms and finals come around, students will rub the Panther's nose for good luck. Its pretty interesting
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Joseph from Pittsburgh, PA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
University of Pittsburgh was built in a city of tradition and Culture. I am from Pittsburgh and often feel challenged by the constant mix of people who are all so interesting and the work that I have to complete.I would recommend this school to anyone who wants the ability to let loose every once in a while but also has the resources available to really drill their homework and make progress.
Tips for prospective students
Don't get lost as Pittsburgh is probably one of the hardest cities to navigate in the country. People here are raised to care for one another though, ask someone and you will definitely be pointed in the right direction (via landmarks as no one here knows street names besides the students).
Academic Rigor
I feel that most of the academic rigor comes from the extremely intelligent professors. Some of them admittedly can't teach but have to as it is part of the requirements that they have if they want to research here. That may also provide some of the rigor as they don't care how hard the work is for the students or how much they learn.
Dorm Life
Dorm life on main campus varies but all of it is well kept. There are places on campus that offer only singles so you don't have to have a roommate (Lothrop Hall). Freshman who decide to live on campus have to live in either Tower A, B or C. These towers are a place of history. Every person I know says how much they either loved them or hated them. Regardless of how much they liked it they always had a great story to tell.
Food and Dining
The food here is okay. If you like chicken patties, pizza and burgers this is the place! They serve them every day which can be bland. But there are also vegetarian and vegan options.
What to do for fun
In Oakland there is a lot of good and ethnic cheap food so eating out is also an option any time really. If you have the money to eat off campus, do so. There are plenty of concert halls and theaters in the city, some owned by the university. There are lots of places that are free to Pitt students such as the Fipps Conservatory and Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History. We also get free bus fare with the IDs so we can travel all over the metropolitan area. Mt. Washington is perfect for a date with a significant other as it has view of one of the most beautiful skylines in the country and many high end restaurants. Of course there is the bar scene for older prospects, go to south side and you'll be surprised how many bars are known for their good food and friendly atmosphere.
Bang for the buck
I would say that you get exactly what you pay for at Pitt and you design your experience here more than anyone else.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The Cathedral of Learning is our staple of pride. It was being built during and shortly after the great depression so there wasn't very much money. The first three floors are dedicated to the community as Pitt reached out and told different ethnic groups that if they donated money that a room would be dedication to their heritage. The experience of being in one of these rooms is amazing. You truly feel like you are part of history by walking in. All of them are truly works of craftsmanship. A tradition that I can't take place in is Lantern Night. Truly something special for the girls on campus. It is behind the Cathedral of Learning and all the freshman females on campus are invited to light a lantern and let it float into the sky. If your mother went to Pitt she holds the lantern while you light it. Truly touching.
Great for these types of students
A student who is ready to work and deal with a lot of open professors. All the professors are very blunt but are willing to work with undergrads for research. This is often instrumental in any field of study.
Clubs and Activities
If you are bored on campus its your fault. I joined the Brazilian club and I am not Brazilian at all. I learned how to do many different Brazilian dances and many different things about the culture. I joined rugby and met a group of guys that is always doing something and built friendships I will likely never forget.
Greek Life
Greek life in Pittsburgh is minimal ( about eight percent of students) and has very negative associations. Greek life is also expensive and the stereotyped are basically caricatures on campus. Coming from a working class town like Pittsburgh and a working class family the sense of entitlement that is associated with frats is typically frowned upon. Besides there are much better ways to make friends at Pitt rather than pay for them. All of the clubs are very open minded.
Campus Safety
The safety here is amazing. I didn't even live on campus this year and the Pitt police do an amazing job and I have never seen any racial bias and I hangout with a very diverse group of people. Pitt students peacefully protest something about once a year and the cops are always there to watch but never interfere. As a personal anecdote I had a house fire off campus in South Oakland (where most off campus students live) and Pitt gave me money, temporary housing and clothes from the athletic department. There are also emergency phones all over campus that are used for calling police at any time. They have big blue lights so that you can't ever miss them. They are also in alley ways so that you don't ever feel isolated and unsafe.
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Chuck from Ohio

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Pittsburgh is a city. It has everything you could want: a social scene, amazing academics and professors, museums and movie theaters, literally EVERYTHING. It can be overwhelming if you are not a city person, but if you like life busy and on pace, you should definitely consider the University of Pittsburgh.
Tips for prospective students
1) Get to know your floor ASAP. Especially people from the city so you can get use to how the busing system works and where things are. Also, these people might have cars so... DEFINITELY GET TO KNOW THEM. (Note: downloading the app ride systems keeps track of the university busing as well).
2) Move in is harder if you are at Towers. Sutherland might be far, but you do have to pass the gym every day... Nordenberg is becoming the Honors dorm so there's that. Choosing a dorm is difficult, but you will love and defend your decision for all four years no matter what!
3) Get seriously involved with 1 and only 1 club first semester. Then branch out. It's hard to maintain everything and you might want some free time to actually have a social life, especially if you're an engineer.
4) HAVE FUN AND CALM DOWN EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE FINE.
Academic Rigor
Classes that are advertised as hard (e.g. honors classes) WILL be hard. However, you will learn a lot in those classes. Definitely use ratemyprofessor despite what any adviser tells you. You can learn a lot. Intro classes are meant to weed-out people so expect Bio 1 or Chem 1 to be relatively difficult; in fact, a lot of my friends regretted not using their AP credits, but take that as you will.
Dorm Life
Towers has small dorms but you are in the center of everything.
Nordenberg is also, but the dorms are much nicer (although the state is being hampered a bit by the current class...), the residents tend to be over-confident.
Sutherland West is the current honors dorm, although it will be Nordenberg next year--Westers are very close because they arrive a couple days and have more bonding activities than the other dorms.
Sutherland East is a conglomerate of athletes (who move in and get to know each other very early), business students, international students, and randoms. There isn't a lot of talking between the various cliques.
Holland is an all-girls dorm. It is scary for me (as a guy), but some girls say they like it... Other girls don't. I can't offer a lot of good advice on that one, sorry...
There are a couple other possibilities, but for freshman year, those are the big ones. Dorms are relatively nice, not the nicest, but not the worst.
Food and Dining
Get more dining dollars than swipes. Most of the time a swipe will just get you meh pizza, whereas dining dollars are more flexible. Eating out is also a great option, but can get expensive. Watch your finances when it comes to food.
What to do for fun
http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/April-2011/50-Fun-Things-Every-Pittsburgher-Must-Do/

Can't fit everything here, but Pittsburgh is a city. It might not be New York or L.A., but it's pretty close and has just about everything you'd expect from a city.
Bang for the buck
Depends on if you are in-state or out-of-state. In-state, for sure. It's tuition is insanely low. Out-of-state, only worth it if you get an enormous scholarship, for which you must apply very early (or do ROTC, whatever floats your boat).
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Sorrento's... Awful pizza, but it's open 24 hours?
The Brotel... Ask about it on campus, can't really explain well enough to do it justice here!
Going to the top of the Cathedral is a must; it's one of the largest academic buildings in the world!
There are hundreds more, but I'm only in one semester, the best are yet to come!
Great for these types of students
If you love the city, if you love museums, if you love movies (Perks of Being a Wallflower was filmed here after all...), if you love music, if you love academics, if you love medicine, if you love art, etc., Pitt is for you. If you don't like buses, walking, the city, or lots of people in tiny spaces, well, don't go here?
Clubs and Activities
Just about everything is here. If you want anything specific, check out: http://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/sorchome.
Greek Life
You don't have to be a part of it to have a good time. There are definitely clique-y, overly-confident, typical frat guys here, but they aren't a big issue. Most decent frats have closed parties though, so getting to know upperclassmen is a must if you're about that life.

Sororities are a different story; due to Pennsylvania law, there are no sorority houses, but sorority girls are good at getting the name out there. The sisterhood on campus is sometimes stronger than the brotherhood.
Campus Safety
Safe rider. Safe rider. Safe rider. It's a bus that picks you up nearly 24 hours, anywhere on campus, no questions asked (most of the time). It's a life saver. Save the number in your phone as soon as you get to campus and you'll be fine.
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Lauren from Harrison City, PA

a current student here
39 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors are great, but in order to take advantage of all they have to offer, you have to GO to class!! Also, create a relationship with them - it may come in handy for research or internship opportunities.
Am enjoying being here
There is so much to do... apart from Oakland, the museums, and many parks, you are only a short bus ride away from downtown Pittsburgh, the Southside, the Waterfront, Squirrel Hill and the North Shore.
Bang for the buck
Apart from being able to ride the bus for free (which is awesome), the dorms are very nice in comparison to other colleges'. There are also a lot of options for food, even while staying within your dining plan. You can get free computer software to use too, and there are labs where you can print up to 900 sheets a semester... although I doubt anyone ever has. There are also state of the art gyms and work out centers that are open to everyone.
Tips for prospective students
While living in an exciting area definitely has its perks, the most important thing to remember is that you are there to go to school, and that if you don't focus on your classes, you might not be there much longer! Sure, parties are fun, but make sure you create a balance in your life of work and play. It's important to meet new people too, and to go out into the city to see what it has to offer. Keeping this in mind - be safe! While the campus is extremely safe, don't be stupid! You are still living in an urban area, so use common sense.
Great for these types of students
Anyone who likes a big school, exciting place to live and different types of people. If you like sports, Pitt is a great place to be! If that's not your thing, there are so many other activities you can be involved with, so don't worry!
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Angelica from Pittsburgh, PA

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Pitt literally has something for everyone. There are majors/minors/certificates in nearly anything you could think of, over 400 clubs, and Pittsburgh is a city that offers a wide variety of living arrangements, tons of restaurants, and entertainment/fun events every weekend. There are also endless resources to get you the internships, research, and volunteer experiences that will help you get a good job when you graduate.
Tips for prospective students
-Since Pitt has endless things to do, it will be easy to overestimate your time and overbook yourself. Looking through the list and going to the activities fair, you will want to do everything. Commit to one or two clubs you really care about, and visit the rest whenever they have big events open to everyone.

-Be open to meeting people different than what you're used to. Pitt isn't the most diverse school percentage-wise, but since it has over 15000 kids, it still adds up.

-Take advantage of O-Week! Lots of schools don't offer anything like it, and it's a super easy way to learn about the school, make friends, and get a ton of free stuff, so go to as many events as you can.

-Don't spend the next ~100 days wasting away in Oakland. Pittsburgh is a city known for it's diverse neighborhoods and the bus is free with your Pitt ID, so you should do something in all of them at least once (cultural district, south side, shadyside, squirrel hill, lawrenceville, east liberty, waterfront, north shore).

-Take advantage of the internship/volunteering opportunities of living in a big city. Leadership in Action is a program that gives you experience working on a special project for a local nonprofit. First Experiences in Research is also a great program, and not just for STEM majors. They have projects for everything from bio to psych to history to art.

-PITT ARTS!!! Their events are everything. They take you to a play or musical in the city plus get you dinner at a restaurant, for free. Sign up for their newsletters to get notified so you can sign up.

-Watch your spending. Living in a city, it's easy to lose track of money you spend on random crap. My club's blog, pittpennysavers.blogspot.com , writes articles about how to save on Pitt's campus.

-Study abroad. You can go almost anywhere! Obviously this is a bit down the line for freshman, but you can start looking into it today. They have a good website that details all the programs. There are lots of sch...
Academic Rigor
Rigor can be mixed bag with Pitt. Bio and Chem courses are notoriously hard, and cause lots of pre-med kids to switch majors (free tutoring is available, but if you're not totally in love with science you'll probably just give up). Other than that, you shouldn't be screaming your head off to get good grades, but you will be challenged.
Dorm Life
I never lived in a dorm. For the fact that they allow freshmen to live off-campus in the first place, when many schools don't, I'll rate them a 5/5. Besides that, I never met anybody who had any real problems with their dorms. Most people say it's super easy to make friends in dorms. They're tiny as hell, but that's kind of the idea if you live in the dorm. Still, I would strongly encourage everyone to look into off-campus housing. You will save a lot of money, and the Commuter Student Association is great at Pitt. They sponsor lots of free events for you to get to know other commuters, and I met a lot of my good friends there.
Food and Dining
Again, since I didn't live on campus I can't say much about the cafeteria. I personally didn't really like it, but I know it is a lot better and has way much more variety than most. The meal plans try to scam every freshman, so get the lowest one you can. The great thing about living in the city is that there are so many other options besides cafeteria food. Just don't tie up all your money in Dining Dollars and Swipes, and you'll be able to take advantage of that.
What to do for fun
-Again, Pitt Arts. Their Free Visits program includes free admission to lots of local museums and the Conservatory. Signing up for the Newsletter gives you access to free trips to plays, concerts, dance performances and more, which also include free meals at some of the hottest Pittsburgh restaurants! These events are often worth over $50, but as a Pitt student you get to go for free. Pitt Arts also gives you discounts to other events through their Cheap Seats program.

-Clubs, clubs, clubs. There are over 400. See below.

-Pitt Program Council events. PPC is the event planning club at Pitt, and they get about 200k/year to play around with. In my freshman year, they brought in Hoodie Allen, Kenan Thompson, American Authors (with a free food truck festival), and Lupe Fiasco. They also do lots of other events throughout the year like spa days, open mic nights, trips to theme parks and pro sports games, paintball, and cupcake/cookie decorating. Other big clubs also bring people in, like the Rainbow Alliance brought in Laverne Cox. Read the Pitt News to stay updated on who's coming.

-I definitely wouldn't say Pitt is a party school, but there is partying if you seek it out. There are also a couple cool clubs and bars around the city that students frequent.
Bang for the buck
If you're in-state, you're definitely getting a good deal. Pitt is just as good as private schools that charge twice as much. Obviously the out of state tuition is one of the highest in the country, but I still think it's a pretty decent deal. You get so many opportunities that small schools don't offer. The free bus pass alone retails for over $1600.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Every freshman class breaks an obscure world record - we did most people making an image of the earth by holding up LED lights. Rubbing the Panther's nose for good luck. Saying Let's go Pitt! during the dun dun dun of Sweet Caroline
Great for these types of students
Pre-meds (UPMC), philosophy (#1), social work (#1). Having a great philosophy and good poli-sci also makes it great for pre-laws in general. People who want to do research - there is more to choose from than pretty much and school at this price point and funding through the Brackenridge and other grants is everywhere. Career-focused, academic, city kids (although lots of people come from the middle of nowhere) will thrive at Pitt. It's definitely liberal, but there are a few conservatives - just don't be shocked when you see a gay interracial couple kissing in public.
Clubs and Activities
There are over 400 of them so there's literally something for everyone. There's club sports, debate, newspaper and other publications, model un, political groups, racial/ethnic groups, religious groups, major/career-orientated clubs, greek life (not very popular but the people in it love it), volunteering clubs, a capella groups, bands, poetry and music performance clubs, and pretty much anything else you can think of. It is also extremely easy to start your own club, I did it (started the Pitt Pennysavers, a club centered around couponing and saving money). All you need is 10 people and you can start applying for funding.
Greek Life
Greek life isn't very popular at Pitt, but it's a close knit group that seems to have a lot of fun together. They also have 6 historically black (there are a few white/asian kids) sororities and fraternities.
Campus Safety
Oakland is pretty much the safest place in the city. There are cops everywhere. If you go out and get super wasted, bad things can happen, but as long as you have good friends you should be okay.
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Luke from Pittsburgh, PA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The student atmosphere and faculty here are amazing. You also have the balance of an Urban campus with 456 acres of green space 5 min away. The city is our playground and just enhances your overall education, with plenty of job opportunities and internships.
Tips for prospective students
Get involved! It's a great way to connect to campus and feel like you're part of this great University.
Academic Rigor
It depends what you're looking for! Pitt has hundreds of majors all run and taught by well educated, distinguished facility.
Dorm Life
I loved my residence hall experience. I met some of my closest friends there and being able to live with your best friends is amazing!
Food and Dining
There are a wide range of food options. Not only university dinning but you also have places such as chipotle, Qudoba, Panera, Noodles, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, etc...
What to do for fun
There are a wide range of options! What is so cool about Pittsburgh are the unique neighborhoods each offering something different. There are a TON of restaurants, movie theaters, Musicals, plays, sporting events, and concerts and so much more!
Clubs and Activities
We have over 350 clubs to get involved with! Making your own club is SUPER easy as well. Pitt welcomes all different backgrounds and is open to a wide range of clubs!
Greek Life
Pitt is only 9% Greek so by all means not a go greek or go home school. But our greek life is still heavily involved on campus offering a wide range of events open to all Pitt students.
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Filipe from Philadelphia, PA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Here at Pitt I feel as if I'm apart of the classroom. Sure, huge lectures can be informal and boring but most of the teachers I had were helpful after class to explain any problems I had. There are also many options to help you if you are struggling in any subject such as the Academic centers to help with tough subjects such as biology, chemistry, calculus, physics, etc.
Am enjoying being here
I love it here. You do have your parties, but the university and student groups host various activities such as movie nights, trips, and other things. There are also many different groups you could join that participate in interesting events. For instance, Pitt Make a Difference Day was a school-wide community service project that helped the city out with cleaning and other things. It was very worthwhile.
Bang for the buck
While this is an expensive public university for in-state students and even out-of-state students I think this is a great investment.
Tips for prospective students
Come visit this university, it wasn't even on my radar for prospective schools until I visited and fell in love.
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Batman from Philadelphia, PA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The professors who teach at Pitt are some of the most wonderful, helpful, and amazing people I have met so far. They genuinely care about their students and their well-being. Not only do they teach the material for class, but they are always open to helping students learn outside of the classroom. The OCC (Outside the Classroom Curriculum) program at Pitt is a unique way to learn valuable life skills while also working towards a degree.
Am enjoying being here
I definitely love being at Pitt! The city offers so many interesting opportunities for people of all types. There is ALWAYS something fun happening on and off campus, and it's never hard to look for (no matter what you're interested in).

Everyone I've met so far has been extremely welcoming and open to meeting new friends, so it's never hard to find people to have a good time with.
Bang for the buck
The Pitt experience is priceless. The area is a perfect balance between the rush of the city and the warmth of a small community. I've never felt limited to only a few options, because there are so many different things that Pitt can offer: sports teams, undergraduate research, safe city life, and great food are just a couple of the benefits. Also, Pittsburgh in general is a college town, so you always have the opportunity to meet students from other schools; we also have an affiliation with Carnegie Mellon, so students can cross-register for classes there or even work with professors/other students. It's definitely worth the number on the price tag.
Tips for prospective students
Make a visit so you can get your own feel of the campus to see if it's right for you. Always be open to trying out something new, because you never know where it can take you. Don't get tied down by the way you think college is supposed to be- college is what you make of it. And one more thing: Don't be afraid to meet new people.
Great for these types of students
Anyone who enjoys the city (and even if you're a rural/suburban kind of person, I firmly believe Pitt has something for everyone); sports fan; science major or pre-med (Pitt can offer solid programs for any major, but it's exceptionally strong is the science and medical fields); adventurous (There's always somewhere to explore!)
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