Founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) enrolls more than 18,000 undergraduates. Located in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh, the school offers students easy access to cultural events, professional sports, and other kinds of entertainment. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities, which consists of the top 63 leading research universities across North America. It offers students opportunities to pursue undergraduate research, as well as degree programs across its 16 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Other academic options include the University Honors College, the University Center for International Studies certificate programs, and study abroad opportunities. A lively sports scene exists on campus, as the Pittsburgh Panthers teams compete in the NCAA Division I Big East Conference. Pitt ranks 58th in the 2012 edition of “Best Colleges” published by U.S. News & World Report.
The campus is a three-mile trip from downtown Pittsburgh, and students appreciate the nearness of the city. Pittsburgh is home to professional sports teams, such as the Steelers and the Penguins, and dozens of unique cultural centers, such as the Andy Warhol Museum and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Pittsburgh is bordered by three rivers, so students also enjoy kayaking, sailing, and fishing opportunities.
Pitt offers a wide variety of high-quality programs in the arts and sciences and professional fields. Undergraduates can select programs within schools of social work, engineering, education, business, and more. The most popular undergraduate majors at Pitt are in the fields of business, marketing, social sciences, and English. Pitt also has 14 graduate and professional schools that offer more than 200 degree programs. The school earns acclaim for its highly ranked School of Medicine, School of Education, and Swanson School of Engineering. The School of Medicine is recognized for its research, in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Together, they receive the highest amounts of funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Pitt also offers courses in a variety of formats, including online, blended, and self-paced programs. These are offered within the Katz Graduate School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Informational Sciences, the School of Nursing, the University Center for Social & Urban Research, and the College of General Studies.
The University of Pittsburgh has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1921. It has also received specialized accreditation for its programs from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the Council on Education for Public Health, the Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and 12 other accrediting agencies.
First-time freshmen applicants should submit an online or paper application, an official high school transcript, official SAT or ACT test scores, and the non-refundable $45 application fee. Pitt also suggests that students submit 1-3 letters of recommendation, which may strengthen an application. In addition to these documents, transfer students must submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions. Transfer students should also note that the schools of education; health and rehabilitation sciences; and social work require that transfer students submit additional information. Transfer applicants should check for specific requirements, including school deadlines. Penn accepts applications on a rolling basis for first-time college entrants. This means that Pitt offers admission to qualified students on an ongoing basis until the class is full. Students should plan ahead and apply as early as possible. Pitt’s acceptance rate is 57.8%, according to the College Navigator.