University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

#39 of 151 in Things to do in Pittsburgh
Educational Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a state-related public research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The university is composed of 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges at its urban Pittsburgh campus, home to the university's central administration and 28,391 undergraduate and graduate students. The 132-acre Pittsburgh campus includes various historic buildings that are part of the Schenley Farms Historic District, most notably its 42-story Gothic revival centerpiece, the Cathedral of Learning. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities, a selective group of major research universities in North America, and is classified as an R1 University, meaning that it engages in a very high level of research activity. Pitt was the third-largest recipient of federally sponsored health research funding among U.S. universities in 2018 and it is a major recipient of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. According to the National Science Foundation, Pitt spent $1.0 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 14th in the nation. It is the second-largest non-government employer in the Pittsburgh metropolitian area. The university also operates four undergraduate branch campuses in Western Pennsylvania, located in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville.

The campus is situated adjacent to the flagship medical facilities of its closely affiliated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and its flagship hospital, UPMC Presbyterian, as well as the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Schenley Park, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Pitt was founded by Hugh Henry Brackenridge in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy. While the city was still on the edge of the American frontier at the time, Pittsburgh's rapid growth meant that a proper university was soon needed, and Pitt's charter was altered in 1819 to confer university status on it as the Western University of Pennsylvania. After surviving two devastating fires and several relocations, the university moved to its current location in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, and by act of the state legislature was renamed the University of Pittsburgh in 1908. Pitt was a private institution until 1966, when it became part of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.

Pitt has produced eight Rhodes Scholars, ten Marshall Scholars, and 297 Fulbright Scholars. Past and present faculty and alumni at Pitt include six Nobel Prize laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, three Academy Award winners, various members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, seven United States senators, three United States cabinet officials, and five U.S. state governors.

In athletics, Pitt competes in Division I of the NCAA as the Pittsburgh Panthers, primarily as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Pitt athletes have received a total of five Olympic medals.

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  • Such a beautiful campus! We were visiting Pittsburgh and decided to stroll around the U Pitt grounds. Entering the Cathedral Of Learning was worth it on its own... exquisite!  more »
  • Make sure you go through the Cathedral and check out as many international rooms as you can. The weekend is a good time to go as there are less students and more opportunities to look around. Also.....  more »

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