The University of Pittsburgh (also known as Pitt) is a public state-related research university that was established in 1787. It is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was founded as the Pittsburgh Academy. In the first quarter of the 1800s, the university began growing into a full-fledged academic institution: both in size and vision. It was renamed the Western University of Pennsylvania in 1830.

Unfortunately, in the ‘Great fire of Pittsburgh’ of 1845–which destroyed around one-third of the city–many of Pitt’s buildings and resources were lost. After multiple moves to different locations, the university settled in its current location in the late 1880s and began expanding. Now, a 132-acre campus, Pitt houses several historic buildings such as The Cathedral of Learning (which is the tallest educational building in the western hemisphere), Heinz Memorial Chapel, and Allegheny Observatory, among others.

An important feather in the University of Pittsburgh’s cap is that it is categorised as an ‘R1: Doctoral University – Very high research activity’ in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This classification is granted only to institutions that are engaged in extensive research activities and invest significant financial resources in them. Matching up to this status, Pitt’s research budget in the year 2020 was $893 million.

University of Pittsburgh’s World Ranking was 43rd in the US News and World Report 2022. Some of Pitt’s notable alumni include Jane A Cauley, a leading epidemiologist; Paul Lauterbur, Nobel prize winner for the invention of MRI; and Gerald Stern, an award-winning poet, among others. Let us learn more about the university in this article.


Pitt offers over 645 programs through its 12 schools and colleges that are spread across its main and four regional campuses (Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville). Some of the most sought-after graduate programs at the university are mentioned in the table: 

Undergraduate coursesGraduate courses
Bachelor of Arts in AnthropologyMaster of Science in Applied Statistics
Bachelor of Arts in English WritingMaster of Science in Biomedical Science
Bachelor of Arts in EconomicsMaster of Science in Cellular and Molecular Pathology
Bachelor of Arts in FrenchMaster of Education in Early Childhood Education
Bachelor of Science in PsychologyMaster of Arts East Asian Studies
Bachelor of Science in Public HealthMaster of Arts English
Bachelor of Science in StatisticsMaster of Arts Film and Media Studies
Bachelor of Science in GeologyMaster of Science Genetic Counselling
Bachelor of Science in Information ScienceMaster of Science Human Genetics

The faculty at the university consists of recipients of prestigious awards such as the National Medal of Science. They also serve in premier academic bodies such as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and so on. 

Additionally, Pitt’s research programs rank among the top universities in the world for their focus on areas of societal importance. The university’s research team is led by Rob Rutenbar, Senior Vice Chancellor, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of computer engineering and has made numerous contributions to the field. Among its faculty and researchers, Pitt boasts of numerous honours: four MacArthur Genius Awards, five National Medal of Science Winners, and eight National Academy of Science Members

A few of the research offices in Pittsburgh include – 

  • Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Office of Research Protection
  • Office of Industry and Economic Partnerships
  • Office of Sponsored Programs


For international students who wish to pursue their undergraduate degree the admissions process is as follows:

  • Online Application: Complete the online application form available on the website of university.
  • Short Answer Question: The answer to this question–which is found on the admissions page of the university’s official website–is crucial for international applicants. Your answer can increase the likelihood of receiving special consideration. The response to the question given must be under 1500 characters. Honours candidates will have to submit an additional response for an essay prompt. 
  • Academic Records: Submit all your relevant academic transcripts (high school and secondary school records, and so on). 
  • Standardized Test Scores: Students must submit scores obtained on standardised tests such as SAT or ACT. 
  • Proof of English Proficiency: International students are required to submit their scores secured on English proficiency tests such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Application Fee: Aspirants must remit a fee of US $55 in order to complete the process of application.

International students who intend to apply for graduate school admissions must directly contact the department they wish to study in order to learn more about program-specific admissions requirements.  

A few important facts about the 2022 batch of students at the university are as follows: 

  • There were about 34, 656 first-year applicants
  • The total enrollment including graduate and undergraduate schools was 28,234.
  • The full-time undergraduate students were 18,274

Campus Life 

There are several organizations at the University of Pittsburgh for students to be a part of. The university has over 600 plus student organizations such as Feminist Empowerment Movement, the Asian Student Alliance, and much more. Also, there are programs that help nurture leadership skills in students such as the Student Government Board, Emerging Leaders, and Panther leadership Summit, among others. 

Pitt’s students are encouraged to participate in the Student Government Board and take up positions of leadership. Similarly, the Panther Leadership Program offers a 20-week intensive course to help students develop their leadership capacity in an effective manner through group discussions, role-playing,  and community engagement.

You also have career preparation and internship programs such as The Internship Prep Program (IPP) and workshops that assist students in securing employment opportunities. Pitt’s career services platform acts as a one-stop for all your career-related requirements (career fairs, jobs, and internships, among others). 

Life on campus also provides students with an enriching experience. You can participate in numerous sports such as baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and softball, among others. Also, if you are someone who is interested in learning more about broadcasting and journalism, then you will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in student media activities such as volunteering for The Pitt News, the student newspaper on campus. 

Tuition fees and financial aid

The tuition fee for Undergraduate and Graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh is US $34,124 and US $40, 894, respectively. You can contact the office of Admissions and Financial aid for more information on scholarships and other modes of funding for your tuition. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of the student’s academic performance and potential for contributions to the university.  A few of them are as follows: 

  • Donald Henderson Scholarship
  • Adena Davis Scholarship
  • Robert Lavelle Scholarship
  • Helen Faison Scholarship

Some of the other popular financial aid for students is Loan programs, Federal and State grants, and so on. We hope that this article has provided you with all the essential information required to make an informed decision about applying to the University of Pittsburgh. All the best! 


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