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| I applied to 13 schools, and got in to every single one. I came from 10 hours away to Pittsburgh, so I didn't know a single person before coming to school here. Pitt was kind of a haphazard decision, and I was pretty worried I wouldn't like it. But honestly, the first day I was here for orientation, I was positive I made the right decision. Pitt kept us more informed and involved over the summer/through orientation than most of my friends at other "better" universities. I immediately made tons of friends and felt comfortable here. Take advantage of the freshman programs office and office of experiential learning!! Because Pitt is a big school, you can easily slide by simply going to about 50 percent of your classes and doing nothing else but fulfilling a major. But if you want more out of your education than that, Pitt has every opportunity you could ever want. Oakland is cool too, but let's be honest..it's really not that safe. Don't go anywhere by yourself at night, especially if you're a girl. Even with a group of girls, guys are pretty gross towards us in Oakland, but we've never felt seriously uncomfortable or in danger. I LOVE Pitt overall though, this was one of the best decisions I ever made. |
|Dec 08 2010|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2014 |
| Coming from out-of-state, I turned down several more "prestigious" schools, but that was absolutely the best decision. Having been interested in medical and biomedical research fields, there simply isn't a better place to be with all of the resources at your fingertips. The vast majority of the professors take their teaching quite seriously, and are approachable and helpful, but they are also involved in great research so they are on top of their field. Of course, every school has one or two bad professors, but those can usually be scheduled around. It does take some self-determination to take advantage of what is here, it isn't spoon-fed to you, but I don't know how or where you would get a better preparation for med/graduate school. I just had a great time at Pitt, and feel it certainly lived up to, and well beyond, my expectations. The combination of the city, social scenes, academics, sports, research opportunities...it just all came together for me perfectly at Pitt. |
|Dec 06 2010|| 4th Year Male --
Class 2011 |
| The University of Pittsburgh has its good and it's bad. For me it was just not a good fit at all. It is a very large school and if you aren't prepared to swim with the masses from the day you get here you won't enjoy it. The social scene can be overwhelming if you're not used to a large school. The advising is awful. I lost a good semester of education to poor advising. I was told I had to take classes I didn't have to, not to take classes I did, and as an undecided student received no advice or guidance at all. I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of students in my intro classes and in general. After changing to the sciences I found that instructors are a mixed batch. The classes are pretty large so when you get a bad teacher you're on your own. Many of the professors and TAs are foreign and difficult to understand. My TA for one class this year had just come to the US from China and the prof was foreign too. The tutoring centers need more employees. They are really unreliable (the physics dept. tutors seem to come and go when they please & sometimes no one is even there) and way too small of rooms for the number of students in the lectures (for intros you can get 300-400 students/class).|
On the plus side I think the price is fair for what you get. It's a good education and there's lots of options. If you can find your own way then coming here undecided isn't so bad since you have lots of choices and don't have to worry so much about changing your mind. Some instructors are very good and are well worth the tuition. I thought Russell Clark was one of the best instructors I've ever had, too bad he doesn't seem to be teaching intros anymore. In terms of social activities there's a good balance party-wise. Not too much, but not to little. There's always something to do on the weekends but it's not the only thing to do. There are lots of clubs and sororities and frats are active, but not overbearing. The transportation is wonderful, not to mention free. The health center is great and generally helpful. UPMC is a good source of internships if you are in the sciences.
All in all the university is worth the tuition, but you have to be prepared for the large classes, potentially foreign instructors, poor advising and limited academic resources. If you are a real go getter and you're okay with dealing with a little overpopulation then you should be fine. You'll pretty much have to go after your own internships (many of the times) and find your own way. Look up info for yourself because no one knows anything here. If you're more like me and you like a little more one-on-one attention and might even need some guidance then you might look into a smaller school. I've got a double major in Physical Anthro and Bio and it's no light load, but I've made it through. It has been a real struggle to get through, though, and I spent plenty of nights unhappy. I wouldn't call this the worst experience of my life, but it certainly was not nearly as good as it should have been. I am burnt out and cannot wait to leave.
|Dec 05 2010|| 3rd Year Female --
Class 2012 |