StudentsReview - The University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Campus - Life at UPhttp://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html Life at UP - Comments en StudentsReview: Advice Review about UP for Computer Sciencehttp://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html Pitt is the sort of school where if you're proactive, and are willing to put yourself out there, you will have a great experience. Pitt is the sort of school where the students are smart enough, the t... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 12:54:24 GMT StudentsReview 1213-157493 Copyright 2015 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1213-157493 1213 12 Computer Science Male Undergraduate Class 2017 1st Year Advice Pitt is the sort of school where if you're proactive, and are willing to put yourself out there, you will have a great experience. Pitt is the sort of school where the students are smart enough, the teaching is good enough, and there's enough around you, that if you want to be academically and socially successful, you can make it happen.

I transferred in as a sophomore (I'm an International student from an English-speaking country), after a gap of a few years in my education. If I applied as a freshman, I'd probably be attending a higher ranked school (I got 2240 SAT, 4.0 GPA and IB), but Pitt was the best school that took all my credit.

For those who felt 'overlooked' in some of their college applications, and have Pitt as a safety school, there's not a lot of ambition going around here. People do their work, go to class, and hang out with their friends.

But that being said, students here are very friendly, approachable, and the school is big enough that you can find your niche socially. People tend to stick with their own groups, some locals of Pittsburgh stick with their troupe of high school friends. But I have made a ton of friends here. From all different backgrounds, and from all different academic and non-academic interests.

Pitt is the sort of school where, if you're willing to work on being academically and socially successful, you'll have a great time. Yes, I kick myself a little for never applying to an Ivy / top ranked school, but I believe this school has everything I need for my own success.

If you're thinking about coming to Pitt and want to succeed socially (I'm a guy by the way), this is my advice:
-Join clubs. Pitt has heaps of them. Whether it's Greek Life, performing arts, club sports, volunteering, academic interest groups, gaming, or Model UN, these are great ways to make new friends.
-Live on campus your first year. Even if you transfer in, putting yourself in a dorm gets you in with a bunch of people.
-Diversify your friendship groups. Get food with everyone you meet, especially around orientation time. People are looking to make new connections. It's a good life skill anyway.
-If you're into partying, go Greek, or buddy yourself up with someone who knows where all the parties are at.
-Put yourself out there. Most people aren't super chatty, so be proactive in trying to get to know people. Talk to everyone.
-Do the RA / group activities. They may seem silly, but you do get to know people that way.
-There are a fair few people here, who just want to hang with their group of friends and talk to no-one else. That's okay, just find people that want to make new friends.

So that's my little guide to succeeding socially at Pitt. It's a good school, it has everything you need. It doesn't have the Ivy prestige but if you're willing to really put yourself out there, it's a super fun experience.
Sun, 22 Feb 2015 12:54:24 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html
StudentsReview: Negative Review about UP for Computer Engineeringhttp://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html LOW QUALITY UNIVERSITY. Lecturers seem to be "researchers first, lecturers second". Some lecturers are pretty good, but most of them are absolutely terrible. Some stand there and read off slides, ... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:15:06 GMT StudentsReview 1213-116703 Copyright 2015 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1213-116703 1213 11 Computer Engineering Male Undergraduate Class 2014 4th Year Negative LOW QUALITY UNIVERSITY.

Lecturers seem to be "researchers first, lecturers second". Some lecturers are pretty good, but most of them are absolutely terrible. Some stand there and read off slides, and then can't answer questions in class without fumbling over the question for at least 5 minutes. Some just can NOT speak English. Most classes are worthless: in some classes I probably could have gotten by just reading the textbook and doing the assigned work, and never even attending class; in fact, I've gone to entire courses never paying attention to the lecturer at all and gotten decent grades. I'm still not sure why I went to those classes.

Speaking of textbooks, most of the required textbooks are the newest, most expensive edition, while reviews on amazon and elsewhere for these books are very poor. It seems Pitt has partnerships and doesn't care much for the quality of your education - as long as you pay them money, they don't care. For example: one of the books listed as 'required' for me for a class starting one month from now is the 10th edition of a book that currently only has 9 editions, and the 9th edition got terrible reviews on amazon ("Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists" by Walpole).

The course content seems passable, at best. It's not amazing or anything. My friends who went to Case, Penn State, and CMU seem to have come out with much more knowledge than I did from their curriculum. There are very obvious holes in the computer engineering curriculum. Students are taught things like Java and C, which is fine for 2000's era "enterprisey" businesses, but aren't taught newer languages like Python or Ruby; web technology isn't required, databases aren't required, security isn't required, and I'm not sure if we even offer anything related to functional programming (not even LISP, which seems to be REQUIRED, FIRST SEMESTER for any computer science major elsewhere), no mention of design patterns. In fact, to me, it seems like I didn't learn either computer science theory OR the "engineering" side of computer engineering. It seems like I just learned a bunch of basic topics in computer technology.

Dorms are good; apartments around Oakland are generally shady as ****. I generally don't feel safe in South Oakland at night. School cafeteria is mediocre at best. Peers are generally very friendly - I had a lot of fun in the marching band. Some places on campus are beautiful, once you get past Pitt's awful Brutalist architecture.

Overall, especially for computer engineers: go somewhere else if you can. Pitt should probably be a "backup school" for you.
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:15:06 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html
StudentsReview: Positive Review about UP for Philosophyhttp://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html This is a great University. I would recommend it to anyone considering.... Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:48:49 GMT StudentsReview 1213-102501 Copyright 2015 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1213-102501 1213 32 Philosophy Male Undergraduate Class 2011 4th Year Positive This is a great University. I would recommend it to anyone considering. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:48:49 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html StudentsReview: Neutral Review about UP for Political Sciencehttp://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html Social scene could be a lot better, being a fraternity member I have a lot to do every weekend but I don't know what everyone else whose under 21 does every weekend, study lots, tests are hard and you... Thu, 02 Jan 2014 02:29:36 GMT StudentsReview 1213-99492 Copyright 2015 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1213-99492 1213 58 Political Science Male Undergraduate Class 2017 1st Year Neutral Social scene could be a lot better, being a fraternity member I have a lot to do every weekend but I don't know what everyone else whose under 21 does every weekend, study lots, tests are hard and youre not always prepared for them, great school though! Hail to Pitt Thu, 02 Jan 2014 02:29:36 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html StudentsReview: Positive Review about UP for Mechanical Engineeringhttp://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html I absolutely love this school and I would simply not think to go anywhere else. I was originally rejected to my top choice so I applied here very last minute. I committed without actually seeing any o... Wed, 18 Dec 2013 04:11:57 GMT StudentsReview 1213-98617 Copyright 2015 StudentsReview, Ecliptical Technologies, Inc. 1213-98617 1213 24 Mechanical Engineering Female Undergraduate Class 2017 1st Year Positive I absolutely love this school and I would simply not think to go anywhere else. I was originally rejected to my top choice so I applied here very last minute. I committed without actually seeing any of the campus (including the amazing Cathedral of Learning) and I am so glad that I did, because I really think I bargained right.
The academics here (at least in my major) are challenging, but definitely manageable. This school has taught me that you NEED to study AHEAD OF TIME, and that there is simply no easy way out when it comes to a good education. I was easily able to find multiple tutors for my most difficult classes and I have learned so much more in this first semester of being here than I have during any other time in my life. The exams were hard, but the professor will curve if the class average is below a 75. Most professors are helpful for the most part, and if you happen to have one that isn't much so, form a study group and take your studies into your own hands. YOU'RE here to learn, and definitely shouldn't let one bad professor turn you off from a class.
If you love to party/like a big social scene, Pitt is the place to go. I know countless students from other universities (like CMU and Duquesne) that come to Pitt on the weekends to party. I have never really had any trouble finding a party, especially if you explore South Oakland. I haven't been to the Frats, so I really can't speak for them, but the house parties that take place are pretty good and consistent. Most of the time, you won't have to pay to get in. I personally have never had any trouble finding parties on the weekends, but that's because I am on a sports team. If you aren't a partier, there are probably more things for you to do around campus and the city. Since students get Port Authority bus access for free (and they're clean, safe, and reliable), anyone can take a short ride to downtown or to Southside, where there's a TON of shopping. I have NEVER been bored at Pitt.
Dorms for the most part are pretty standard, you have your shambly dorms (specifically Holland) and your nice ones (Nordenburg, Sutherland). Freshmen are placed in a lottery and will randomly get their dorm assignments, and although you can fill out a preference, some students may not get what they want (a TON of girls specifically get placed in the all-girls dorm Holland even though it wasn't in their top three at all) but all of the dorms are completely sufficient and most students end up liking where they end up.
Overall, I am so glad I came to Pitt and it's a wonderful school to learn lots, make friends, and grow as an individual. H2P!
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 04:11:57 GMT http://www.studentsreview.com/PA/UPP_comments.html