University of Pittsburgh

College review by Beth Cassie * update*

The University of Pittsburgh campus is concentrated within a quarter square mile of the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Oakland is the educational, medical and cultural center of Pittsburgh with four hospitals, Carnegie’s two museums and library, and a music hall. You can easily transverse the campus in 15 to 20 minutes. Carnegie Mellon University is right up the street. Oakland is filled with restaurants and shops catering to an upscale college and city clientele. Schenley Park is nearby, and students take advantage of the running and biking trails as well as the open green space to just hang out. Downtown Pittsburgh is three miles away, easily accessible by bus in fifteen minutes. There are deals on tickets to almost everything (except Steelers tickets!), and Pitt students have free access to buses and light rails with their student ID which helps them take advantage of the numerous athletic and performing arts events available. Public transportation can even get you to the airport for free.

Pitt guarantees three years of on-campus housing, and many nearby off-campus apartments are available.[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×225.jpg” width=”300″ align=”right” title=”UPitt” frame=”true” icon=”image”] We toured a recently opened new dorm, Nordenberg Hall, which is centrally located across the street from the imposing Towers housing complex. Nordenberg Hall has air conditioned traditional style double and triple rooms, which are outfitted with a refrigerators, microwaves and TVs!  The entire campus is wireless, due to a big tech initiative completed during the summer of 2013.

The University is divided into ten undergraduate colleges and schools and applicants must select one of the four entry schools when applying (Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Nursing). Arts and Sciences is the largest entry college. All engineering freshmen take the same classes regardless of the type of engineering they want to study. They enter their specific programs sophomore year. 50% of engineering students do a coop. Nursing is the smallest and most structured program. Students begin clinicals their sophomore year. Students can transfer from Arts and Sciences to engineering, business or nursing (though transfer numbers are very low). If a candidate has been denied admission to Engineering, they are not automatically considered for the college of Arts and Sciences. The student can ask for reconsideration to another college during the application process.

There are many freshman guarantee programs (pharmacy is one) where top applicants are guaranteed a spot in one of the University’s most competitive graduate and professional programs. Merit scholarships are awarded, and the University offers more merit money to out-of-state candidates.

The city of Pittsburgh has redefined itself from a steel town to a thriving city with many large technological and medical initiatives happening. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is the largest employer in the area, with many National Institute of Health grants.

Pitt is a great school for students who want an urban college experience. Similar in layout to Boston University, more concentrated than NYU, Pitt is a great place for students –  especially those who are interested in the medical or technology fields.

College review by Lisa Bleich

We did not do a formal tour of Pitt, but we got a sense of the very urban campus.  Students were everywhere, walking to class, hanging out in the student center, and browsing through posters to decorate their dorms.  Students were extremely diverse and fit seamlessly into the city.  It has a similar feel to Boston University or Northeastern.

The campus is quite large and pretty, but it is not contained, rather it weaves throughout the city.  There are a number of restaurants, shops, etc. that cater to the students.  We also saw a Red Bull Van with very cute coeds passing out samples.

University of Pittsburgh has strong programs in business, science, and English among others.  The medical school is top notch, which offers opportunities for students to get involved in research.

Pitt is a great school for a student looking for a thriving, urban environment with a diverse student body.

University of Pittsburgh
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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