• College Quest Advising

Virtual Visit with the University of Pittsburgh


· Barry Duerr- Associate Director of Admissions

o He has been with the University of Pittsburgh for 22 years.

o Proud three-time dad

o @pitadmissions on social media

Mascot: Panthers


· Founded in 1787 when the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

· Level one research institution

· 19,000 undergraduates

· Freshmen applications around 30,000 each year

· Offer 57% admits of the 30,000 applications

· Freshmen class is around 4250 students

· Of those 4250, 3000 are in the Arts and Sciences school, 500 are in Engineering, 275 in Business, 200 in nursing & CS(?)

· 200 of freshmen class are international

· 42% of students are out of state students

· 58% are from Pennsylvania


· 10 different undergraduate schools

· 5 schools are available for freshmen entry

o Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

o College of Business Administration

o Swanson School of Engineering

o School of Computing and Information

o School of Nursing

· The upper-level division schools, student gain admissions to after sophomore year:

o Schools of Education

o School of Social Work

o School of Pharmacy

o School of Health and Rehabilitation

o College of General Studies

o School of Computing and Information

Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences:

· The largest of Pitt’s schools

· This is where undecided students go

· Houses the largest number of majors: 60+ academic majors

· Looking for A/B student, 1200 SAT range for this school

· Pop majors in

o Biology sciences

o Psychology

o Pre-Med – known for this track because of their connection with the medical center.

o Pre-Dental

o Pre-Vet

o Pre-Law

§ All have pre-professional advisors for the pre-majors – including a pre-health center for advising, help with research, testing, and everything needed for applications to med school.

Two-tiered academic advising system:

1. Freshmen/sophomore year, general advising for general classes

2. Advisor in the specific department after sophomore year

College of Business Administration:

· Experience-based learning philosophy

· Proximity to Pittsburgh-very close for internships/job shadowing – 3 miles to downtown

o More than 90% of Business students do internships.

o Students do an average of 2.5 internships during their four years at Pitt.

o Students want to have international details and more than 50% have an international experience like with study abroad

· Have an internship guarantee that the career center assists with.

· Five majors in School of Business

· Many students take a minor outside of business

· Solid A/B student - admissions look close at high school mathematics, pre-calculus, etc.

· the Mid 1200s and look closely at the math score

· Expect them to have at least pre-cal.

School of Computing and Information:

· Newest school at Pitt

· Computer Science

· Information Sciences

· Interdisciplinary program associated with Arts and Sciences - two new programs:

· Computational Biology

· Digital Narrative and Interactive Design – this will help with gaming

· Scores/GPA for admits to the School of Computing and Information Sciences for the fall of 2019: the average SCI admissible applicant had between 1330-1470 on the SATs and a weighted GPA between 3.76-4.31.

· There is a co-op program for students part of the School of Computing and Information Sciences, specifically for students in the computer science and information and network security departments.

· Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. PSC provides university, government, and industrial researchers with access to several of the most powerful systems for high-performance computing, communications, and data storage available to scientists and engineers nationwide for unclassified research. The PSC offers internship and research opportunities to students at Pitt and CMU.

Swanson School of Engineering

· 10 different majors

o Bioengineering

o Chemical

o Petroleum

o Civil

o Environmental

o Electrical

o Computer

o Industrial

o Mechanical and Materials

o Sichuan University Pittsburgh Institute

· 1st-year students take a general curriculum and exposed to all 10 disciplines

· End of freshmen year, they declare an engineering major

· Co-op opportunities-50% of the engineering students do a co-op at Pitt. Tends to increase salary offers for first jobs.

· There are also internships opportunities for engineering.

· Solid A students who have taken physics, chemistry, math thru calculus with Bs or better in those classes.

· SATs: low to mid-1300s and higher

· The average class size for engineering during freshman year is around 80 students.

o Once students go to their department this number varies greatly. While an average Mechanical Engineering class size maybe around 60, the average class size for an Environmental Engineering student maybe around 20.

o The average class sizes also vary greatly by year so during their junior and senior year the class sizes will get smaller.

o The engineering school’s student to faculty ratio is 17:1.

o The freshman engineering class will enroll about 575 students, in total.

· Pitts’ admissions review for engineering school, though holistic, is largely academic. While previous experience or a demonstrated interest in the engineering field may help an applicant, an absence of it wouldn’t hurt an applicant.

School of Nursing:

· Direct entry program

· Most competitive school at Pitt

· Taking nursing classes during the first year

· Clinicals start 2nd year in hospitals in the area, lots of options, and easy access to them.

· 2500 apps 1/5 of applications get accepted = freshmen class of 200

· Strong A/B with chemistry, at least 3 years of lab science, and 4 years of math.

· Mid 1200s+

Physician Assistant Program:

· The Physician Assistant program is a graduate-level program that is housed in our School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS).

· SHRS is also home to programs in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs.

· You can learn about the application requirements for PA and all of the SHRS programs at https://www.shrs.pitt.edu/.

· Pitt also offers guaranteed admissions to freshmen for several SHRS programs, including the PA program.

· To be considered eligible for the Physician’s Assistant Guaranteed Admissions Program, a student must be in the top 10% of the high school graduating class and have a minimum score of 1450 on the SATs or 33 on the ACTs.

o Candidates meeting these criteria will receive initial notification of their eligibility to apply for the guarantee by the undergraduate Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

o A letter from the Dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences will be sent asking for the candidate to submit additional information directly to the PA Program in support of their candidacy with a deadline. Students selected on the basis of their submissions will be notified by the PA Program if they are awarded the guarantee.

Pitt Honors:

· Students are offered Honors College if they have intellectual curiosity and desire to serve the community.

· There are two essays on the application.

· They are not required to take certain classes.

· There is honors housing but offers space for around 400 students

· Not all honors students go into housing

· Advisors help students apply for international scholarships like Rhodes, etc.

· Can pursue the Bachelor of Philosophy-crafts a masters level thesis at the undergrad level. Open to any major

· Honor’s College students have priority registration for the spring semester of freshman year and every following semester for students a part of the Honors College.

Guaranteed Admissions Programs

· Freshmen, if they meet certain academic and test score requirements and meet the 18 graduate program requirements.

· There is a box to check on the application if interested in this option.

· They are not binding programs but can be offered a spot in the graduating class to some of the schools.

· School of Med-most competitive. About 450 students apply who meet the initial academic and test score requirements. This past year; SAT 1490/GPA was straight A’s. Student has taken a very challenging curriculum and finished in the top 1-2 % of their class. Around 40 of them will be interviewed and then around 14-8 will be selected: last year there were 20 students. The students must show research, shadowing or other related activity in the supplemental piece.

· Also available through the School of Dentistry and the School of Law


· 94% of graduates are working within 6 months of graduation.

· There is an observatory on campus, as well as an astrology department

· Internship guarantee for all students if they work with the Career Center in any area of interest tailored to their career goals.

· Each school has a Career Center located at each school

· Career Center meets students during freshmen orientation

· 19 different D1 sports

· In a neighborhood area much like TCU

· 40 minutes from the airport and there is a free bus

· Less than 10% in Greek life

· 3-year housing guarantee

o Living learning communities: 18 of them academically segmented

o Some are non-academic like community service and music.

Nationality Rooms:

· The Nationality Rooms are located on the first and third floors of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.

· The rooms were designed to represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County and are supported by these cultural groups and governments. Tours are conducted year-round.

· The public is invited to experience their ethnic identity and ancestral roots. The rooms are also in use as University classrooms.


· Best 385 colleges

· #4 top 25 NIH funded institutions genetic engineering and biological tech news

· #43 of 1250 global universities


· Pittsburgh

· An Andy Warhol museum is located there

· Bus and trains are all for free with student IDs

· Campus is in Oakland

· Lots of culture and food.

· Downtown Pittsburgh is not too far – 3 miles

· University of Pittsburgh Medical Clinic sports complex is close

· American Eagle Headquarters is located there as well

The Application Process:

· 5 first-year entry schools (students can only apply to 1 school only but may be able to change it later-apply to the more competitive schools first)

· There are four other campuses in addition to the Pittsburgh campus

· Students can apply to Pitt's campus and if not admissible, they may be admitted to the other locations.

· Many students can relocate to Pittsburgh after a certain amount of time

o Bradford

§ 800 students up near the NY/PA borders

§ Very woodsy with an associate degree in nursing.

§ Smaller campus, unique program in Criminology and it has a CSI house on campus

o Greensburg

§ 1500 students-closest to U Pitt, around 50 minutes

§ Greensburg students belong to Pitt organizations, like marching band, etc.

§ Nursing is also offered there as well

o Johnstown

§ Largest of satellite campuses with 3000 students

§ It was a ski lodge/ski resort at one time

§ There are engineering and nursing programs

· Three ways to apply

· Only superscore the SAT (not the ACT)

· Only self-reported academic record

· Short answer questions, say optional, but it does show them demonstrated interest.

· Different questions for next year.

· Merit Scholarships:

o 25% receive university merit scholarships-straight A student with a challenging curriculum

o SAT mid-1400 and higher

o ACT 33 or higher

o Typically, the top 5% of applying class

· Pitt Honors deadline November 1st

· Medical School guarantee November 1st

· Scholarship considerations by November 1st

· Physician Assistant guarantee Jan 15

· Pitt Honors regular consideration Jan 15th

Other Information:

· Admissions criteria do not differ by in-state vs out-of-state. Pitt reviews every student holistically and admits candidates who we feel will be successful at Pitt.

o In recent years, the freshmen class has included about 42-44% of out-of-state students.

o Regardless of a student’s location, merit-based aid in the form of university scholarships are awarded primarily based on academic performance in high school. Criteria include weighted grade point average, the strength of curriculum, class rank (if applicable), and results of the SAT or ACT. Candidates for scholarship should also complete the short answer essays.

o Pitt gives institutional need-based aid to out-of-state students.

Demonstrated interest:

· Is tracked with attendance at on-campus admission presentations, programs, open houses, campus tours, or any other official on-campus event. However, interactions with territory managers, including HS visits and college fairs, are also noted on a student’s file.

· Demonstrated interest can certainly help a borderline candidate but the absence of it will not penalize a candidate.


· Pitt is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and offers 19 Division I Sports for men and women.

· Pitts most heavily attended sports games are football and basketball. Our home football games are played in downtown Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, the same stadium where the Pittsburgh Steelers play their home games.

o Pitt provides free buses to transport students downtown on game days and student season tickets for football are only $25 for the entire home schedule.

· Basketball is also popular; Pitts’ student section is called the Oakland Zoo and it is one of the largest student organizations on campus.

o Tickets to these games work on a lottery system but are only $5 per game for students.

Pitts 2021 Essays:

Students are now asked to respond to two of the four questions posed to them.

1. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to the Pitt community. Please identify and describe one element of your personal identity and explain how that element would positively impact and/or progress Pitt’s community.

2. Resumes and lists of activities provide the Admissions Committee with an overview of your accomplishments. Please use this opportunity to provide more information by identifying one of your accomplishments and explaining how it has prepared you for a transition into collegiate life.

3. If you could create a new product, process, business, or organization, what would it be? Please describe its purpose and how it would function. (We especially encourage applicants interested in the College of Business Administration or the Swanson School of Engineering to respond to this question.)

4. With thousands of colleges and universities in the United States alone, discuss why the University of Pittsburgh is a good fit for you.


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