The University of Pittsburgh (commonly referred to as Pitt) is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.
It was founded on the edge of the American frontier as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, and evolved into the Western University of Pennsylvania by alteration of its charter in 1819. After surviving two devastating fires and various relocations within the area, the school moved to its current location in the Oakland neighborhood of the city and was renamed to the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. For most of its history Pitt was a private institution, until it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education in 1966.
The university comprises 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges located at its urban Pittsburgh campus, home to the university's central administration and 28,766 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The university also includes four additional undergraduate schools located at campuses within Western Pennsylvania: Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. The 132-acre Pittsburgh campus comprises multiple historic buildings of the Schenley Farms Historic District, most notably its 42-story gothic revival centerpiece, the Cathedral of Learning. The campus is situated adjacent to the flagship medical facilities of its closely affiliated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), as well as the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Schenley Park, and Carnegie Mellon University.
The university has an annual operating budget of approximately $2 billion that includes nearly $900 million in research and development expenditures. A member of the Association of American Universities, Pitt is the fifth largest recipient of federally sponsored research funding among U.S. universities and is a major recipient of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is the second largest non-government employer in the Pittsburgh region behind UPMC. Pitt has been placed among the top public universities in the United States in both domestic and international rankings, and has been listed as a "best value" in higher education by multiple publications.
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Undergraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Advanced Diplomas
The University of Pittsburgh's athletic teams, referred to as the "Pittsburgh Panthers" or "Pitt Panthers," include 19 university-sponsored varsity teams at the highest level of competitive collegiate athletics in the United States: the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for american football).
Varsity men's sports sponsored by the university are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, soccer, swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and wrestling; while sponsored women's varsity sports include basketball, cross country, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball.All varsity sports teams compete as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) since the 2013-14 season, with the exception of the gymnastics team competing in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL).The university also maintains membership in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
Scholastically, during 2012 calendar year, out of approximately 450 Pitt varsity student athletes, 350 had term grade point averages exceeding 3.0, including 16 that had a perfect average of 4.0, and 174 were named Big East Conference Academic All-Stars or placed on the all-academic Big East football team.
There are also approximately 28 additional athletic teams that compete at the non-varsity club sports level.
Pitt’s highest-profile athletic programs, American football and men’s basketball, are consistently competitive. Pitt has been regularly ranked as having one of the best combinations of football and basketball programs by multiple sports media outlets, including CBS Sports, ESPN,and Sports Illustrated.
In the fall of 1909, the University of Pittsburgh was the first college or university to adopt the panther (Puma concolor) as its mascot. Popular as photo sites, there are ten representations of Panthers in and about Pitt's campus, and ten more painted fiberglass panthers placed around the campus by the Pitt Student Government. These fiberglass panther structures are given to a campus group for a year and painted by the group to reflect their interests.The oldest representations are four panthers that guard each corner of the Panther Hollow bridge.Other Oakland locations include both inside and in front of the William Pitt Union,outside the Petersen Events Center,"Pitt the Panther" on the carousel in Schenley Plaza, the Panther head fountain on the front of the Cathedral of Learning, and the Pitt Panther statue outside Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side.
Traditionally the most popular sport at the University of Pittsburgh, football has been played at the highest levels at the University since 1890. During the more than 100 years of competitive football at Pitt, the University has helped pioneer the sport by, among other things, instituting the use of numbers on jerseys and desegregating the Sugar Bowl. Some of college football's all-time greatest coaches and players have plied their trade at Pitt, including Pop Warner, Jock Sutherland, Marshall Goldberg, Joe Schmidt, Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Hugh Green, Mark May, Dan Marino, Bill Fralic, Curtis Martin, Darrelle Revis, Russ Grimm, LeSean McCoy and Larry Fitzgerald. Among the top schools in terms of all-time wins, Pitt teams have claimed nine National Championships and boast 88 players that have been chosen as first-team All-Americans.
Pitt first sponsored varsity men's basketball in 1905 and became an early national power after winning two Helms Foundation National Championships in 1927–28 and 1929–30. Those teams, coached by the innovative and legendary Naismith Hall of Fame inductee "Doc" Carlson, were led by National Player of the Year and Hall of Famer Charlie Hyatt. Following a Final Four appearance in 1941, Pitt appeared in a handful of NCAA tournaments throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, including an Elite Eight appearance in 1974 led by All-American Billy Knight. Pitt joined the Big East Conference in 1982, and by the end of the decade had secured a pair of Big East regular season championships led by All-Americans Charles Smith and Jerome Lane. In the 2000s (decade), led by coach Jamie Dixon, an era of consistent national and conference competitiveness has been achieved, including reaching the number one ranking in various national polls. Since 2002, Pitt has appeared in eleven NCAA tournaments advancing to five Sweet Sixteens and an Elite Eight. During this time, prior to joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013, Pitt and has won three Big East regular season championships, two Big East Tournament Championships, and has advanced to six Big East Tournament Championship games.
The Pittsburgh Panthers women's varsity basketball program started during the 1914–1915 school year and lasted until 1927 before going on hiatus until 1970. Pitt's women's team has posted several NCAA, NWIT, and EAIAW tournament appearances. Led head coach Agnus Berenato, Pitt has played in post-season tournaments each of the last five seasons, including three NCAA Tournaments appearances where it advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in 2008 and 2009.
Pitt has had a long history of success in other intercollegiate athletic events. In Track and Field, Pitt has produced several Olympic and NCAA champions such as 800 m Olympic gold medalist John Woodruff, two-time 110 m hurdle Olympic gold medalist Roger Kingdom, and seven-time NCAA champion and 2005 World Champion triple jumper Trecia-Kaye Smith. The wrestling program has a rich history and is among the leaders in producing individual national champions with 16.Pitt's women's volleyball team, one of the winningest program in the nation,won 11 conference championships while a member of the Big East, and appeared in 11 NCAA tournaments since the program began in 1974.Pitt's swimming and diving teams have produced several Olympians and won 19 men's and nine women's Big East Championships while a member of that conference. Pitt women's gymnastics is a regular qualifier for the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship. Baseball, Pitt's oldest varsity sport, has produced several major league players and has reached the national 25 repeatedly, including in 2013. Other varsity sports have also competed at national and conference championships and include cross country, soccer, softball, and tennis.
The University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band was founded in 1911 and performs at athletic and other events. The Pitt cheerleading squad has won multiple cheerleading national championships, including three straight from 1992–1994. The Pitt dance team also has been competitive in national competitions.
The Mission of the Student Health Service is to provide high quality prevention, health education, and primary health care and pharmacy services to enhance student living and learning.
The Student Health Service will serve as the primary advocate for the health of the University of Pittsburgh students, linking the critical role of college health and mission of higher education with national health priorities.
Several traditions have become part of student life at Pitt over the years. The Annual Bonfire and Pep Rally is hosted by the Pitt Program Council is held prior to or during some football games. Held on the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning, it often involves the band, cheerleaders, football team, visiting dignitaries, and giveaways.The Bigelow Bash is a spring festival held by the Pitt Program Council between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning, involving a range of activities, novelties, and bands. E-Week is a spring celebration organized by the Engineer Student Council for a week-long, fun-filled series of activities and competitions to demonstrate engineering skills and foster a spirit of camaraderie. Activities include games such as Monopoly, Ingenuity, Jeopardy, Assassins, and include a talent show, relay race, mini-Olympics, and blood drive. The festivities reach climax with a parade on Friday, a soapbox derby on Saturday, and the "e-ball finale" on Saturday evening. Each year, a unique theme is chosen. Each engineering department competes against the others, while some smaller departments join forces. Fall Fest is an annual fall festival held by the Pitt Program Council between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning, also involving a range of activities, novelties, and bands.Lantern Night, an annual ceremony that serves as a formal induction for freshman women to university life. Rubbing the Panther Nose, a good luck tradition in which students rub the nose of the Millennium Panther outside the William Pitt Union prior to exams. This tradition has further grown into one that is used by the wider university community when seeking general good fortune and was featured in a national television advertisement for the 2012 Hyundai Tucson automobile.
Traditions related to athletics include the Football Tunnel, where student organizations, carrying standards, form a tunnel for the football players to run through as they enter the football field from the locker room;Forbes Field Home Plate Slide, where students slide into or step on a former home plate from Forbes Field for good luck; Homecoming, which revolves around one home football game each year and includes fireworks and a laser-light display between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning. This is followed by Casino Night in the union, the football game, and a homecoming cruise on a Gateway Clipper Party Liner.Victory Lights, where golden flood lights illuminate the top of the Cathedral of Learning after every football victory; and Varsity Walk, a walkway between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Memorial Chapel on which is carved the names of former Pitt athletes (each year since 1950) who have promoted the University through their athletic (Panther Award) or academic (Blue-Gold Award) achievements.
Greek Week is a yearlong initiative for the Greek organizations on campus to raise money for different charitable organizations through different events. The two biggest events each year are the Pitt Dance Marathon and Greek Sing. The Pitt Greeks have signed a contract with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to raise $500,000 over the next five years. Yearlong fundraising activities are also held to support other charitable organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Make a Wish Foundation, and the Pittsburgh Food Bank. Omicron Delta Kappa Walk is a stone walkway between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Memorial Chapel that contains the engraved names of Pitt's Omicron Delta Kappa Senior of the Year award winners. The walk is the only one of its kind in the country.
Related to graduation, there is Honors Convocation, where awards and recognition are bestowed upon students, faculty, alumni, and staff throughout the schools and departments of the university;thePanther Sendoff, a free annual reception typically held in Alumni Hall to congratulate each year's graduating class and wish them well.
Pitt's Stephen Foster Memorial contains two theaters.
Pitt Arts is a program founded by the University in 1997 to encourage students to explore and connect to the art and cultural opportunities of the City of Pittsburgh via three programs. Art Encounters provides trips to arts events for undergrads that include free tickets, transportation, a catered reception, and encounters with international artists and thinkers. Free Visits grants undergrad and grad students free admission using their Pitt IDs to the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Senator John Heinz History Center, Phipps Conservatory, Mattress Factory, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Cheap Seats is a program that everyone at Pitt can use to take advantage of deeply-discounted tickets to the most sought-after arts events in the area, including the Pittsburgh ballet, opera, symphony, theater, concerts, and other cultural district activities.
Various student theater groups convene at Pitt. University of Pittsburgh Stages is the production company of the Department of Theatre Arts which puts public student performances of classic masterpieces, contemporary productions, and student-directed labs. It also runs the Shakespeare-in-the-Schools which tours classic theater for K-12 students throughout the Pittsburgh area.Friday Nite Improvs, Pittsburgh's longest-running theatre show, was started in 1989 by graduate theatre students. It takes place weekly inside the Cathedral of Learning's studio theatre. The Redeye Theatre Project is a festival of one-act plays cast, written, and rehearsed in 24 hours. Additionally, Pitt Musical Theater Club provides undergraduates the opportunity to perform in student directed variety shows and musicals. The club was founded in 2009.
The Music Building once served as home to the original studio for Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
The Pitt Men's Glee Club, founded in 1890, is the oldest extracurricular club on campus.The club includes both undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the university. Traditionally, the Glee Club has sung for a variety of campus-wide and community functions, including graduations, receptions, alumni gatherings, sporting events, and chancellor's events. The Glee Club has also participated in national Collegiate Men's Choir festivals and international music festivals aside from seasonal concerts. Heinz Chapel Choir is an accomplished and internationally-known a cappella choir consisting entirely of Pitt students that has been performing for over 70 years. The University of Pittsburgh Women's Choral Ensemble, founded in 1927, is open to all women of the University including undergraduates, graduate students, and staff. The ensemble leads the traditional lamplighter processional each fall and performs repertory ranging from traditional sacred and secular classics to international folk songs, popular music, and show tunes. Pitt Pendulums, founded in 1996, is a co-ed a cappella group. The group performs at a variety of on- and off- campus events, including tours of the United States and Canada. The Pendulums are annual competitors in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and were most recently featured on WQED's OnQ.Sounds of Pleasure, founded in 1997, is an all-female a cappella group.The University Gamelan, established in 1995, is the largest Sundanese gamelan program in the U.S. and has sponsored an artist-in-residency program each year since 1998. VoKols, founded in 2006, is a co-ed a cappella group that sings a combination of American and Hebrew pop music.Carpathian Ensemble, founded within the Department of music in 2008, the ensemble performs Gypsy, Klezmer, Armenian, Moldavian, Ukrainian, and Macedonian music.
University of Pittsburgh Orchestra performs several concerts and consists of music students, students from the University at large, faculty, staff, and members of the metropolitan community. The orchestra performs not only works of the standard art music literature, but also new works of student composers. Pitt Jazz Ensemble, founded in 1969 by saxophonist Dr. Davis, has performed internationally. Pitt African Music and Dance Ensemble, founded in 1983 by a Ghanaian ethnomusicologist Dr. Willie O. Anku, specializes in music and dances from Africa. Under the direction of J. S. Kofi Gbolonyo, it presents a range of African artistic expressions including music, dance, drama and visual arts. Pitt Band, founded in 1911, is the varsity marching band of the University of Pittsburgh and performs at various athletic and other University events.
Student media and other organizations are largely headquartered within the William Pitt Union, seen here with the Millennium Panther
There are over 350 student clubs and organizations at the University of Pittsburgh all sizes and covering all manner of interests.Some of the larger ones include the following, presented in alphabetical order.
Behavioral Economics Club is one of the first student organizations in a major university devoted entirely to the topic of behavioral economics. The group is composed of undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines such as economics, finance, psychology, actuarial mathematics, statistics, and marketing.
Black Action Society is the recognized student organization for promoting the cultural, educational, political, and social needs of black students at the university. It comprises nine committees including the publication of the student-run publicationBlackLine as well as community outreach, political action, and programing.In the past the BAS has hosted lectures by such figures as Cornel West, Spike Lee, and Carol Mosley-Braun.
Blue and Gold Society, founded in 1991, is a group of undergraduate student leaders chosen as liaisons between the student community and the Pitt Alumni Association.Blue and Gold Society
Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) is the student government that represents the interests of all graduate and professional student at the University of Pittsburgh and serves as the umbrella organization for all of the graduate/professional school student governments. GPSG's mission is to ensure that the concerns of these students are heard and also provides services and programs such travel grants, legal and financial consulting, and social functions.
Hillel: Jewish Student Union (JSU), is a pluralistic Jewish community that serves all Pitt undergraduates. Programs take place on campus and at the Hillel Jewish University Center at 4607 Forbes Avenue. Events include holiday, interfaith, Jewish education, social action, arts and cultural programming as well as no-fee weekly Shabbat services and dinner every Friday night.
Student Government Board (SGB) is the governing body that provides undergraduate students with representation to the university administration, presenting their needs, interests, and concerns. Another important aspect of the SGB is allocation of the student activities fee, which provides money to over 350 student organizations at the University of Pittsburgh. The SGB also has ten standing committees who address various aspects of campus life, including diversity, freshman involvement, and governmental relations.
Oakland Zoo is the student athletic cheering section, and is an officially recognized student club by the University of Pittsburgh. At over 2,000 members, it is the largest such group at the University. The group helps participate with the Athletic Department and Pitt Student Government Board in setting student ticket policy as well as organizing special student events.
The Pitt Pathfinders are student recruiters employed by the Office of Admissions of Financial Aid. They recruit prospective students by giving campus tours, attending on-and-off campus recruitment programs, and by contacting admitted students through phone and the Internet. While Pathfinder is a paid position, it is also a student organization.
Pitt Program Council is the all-campus programming organization at the university. Comprising eight student committees, a variety of programs and festivities are planned and sponsored including Fall Fest, Bigelow Bash, Homecoming Laser and Fireworks Show, as well as trips to New York City, Cedar Point, Spring break in Panama City Beach, FL. Other activities include art gallery exhibits, films, horseback riding, sports tournaments, lectures, fitness and dance classes, and Black and White Ball.
Quo Vadis is a student organization that conducts guided tours and interpretations of the Cathedral of Learning's 29 Nationality Rooms.
Rainbow Alliance is a student advocacy group for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Allied students. Among other activities, Pitt Rainbow Alliance holds an Annual Drag Show to raise money for Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force.
University of Pittsburgh Mock Trial is a yearlong extracurricular activity open to Pitt undergraduates that provides an opportunity to learn about the practice of litigation through a series of team-based mock trial competitions. Pitt Mock Trial has qualified for American Mock Trial Association post-season tournaments each of the last six years, finishing in the fifth overall place at the 2008 National Championship Tournament.
William Pitt Debating Union is a co-curricular program and hub for a wide range of debating activities, including intercollegiate policy debate, public debate, and debate outreach. 1981 National Debate Tournament champions, it has qualified for the National Debate Tournament forty times and is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the nation, growing from the University’s Division of Public Speaking in 1912.