Who are the Pitt Pathfinders?
We are an organization of student ambassadors, over 180 members strong. We will be here to welcome
you to campus when you come to visit Pitt! The Pathfinders work for the Office of Admissions and
Financial Aid, giving tours and connecting with students and parents via phone, email and at on campus
The following is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear. And while
conducting about 4,200 walking tours annually, we answer a lot of questions! Please feel free to
if there is anything else we can help you with.
How does advising work at Pitt?
Every Pitt student has their own academic advisor to guide them when selecting courses, finding
internships, and preparing for graduation, graduate school, and/or a career. Students will start their
academic plan with a general advisor. Then, after Arts and Sciences students select their major, they
are assigned a specific academic advisor within their major. Every Pitt student meets one-on-one with
their advisor at least once every semester, and most students work very closely with their advisor
throughout the semester and their entire collegiate career. Advisors are an invaluable resource for
academic success at Pitt, and they’re always ready to help Pitt students at a moment’s notice!
What kind of academic assistance is available to Pitt students?
There are many academic resource programs in place here on campus for those students requiring some
additional support in their studies. One of the best ways to find extra academic support is to visit
your professor’s office hours. Each professor holds at least three hours per week where students are
free to drop in with any questions about their classwork. Office hours are a great way to get extra
help with a class, and they also are a great time to get to know your professor better outside of the
Students can also find academic support at Pitt’s
Academic Resource Center (ARC).
The ARC provides one-on-one peer tutoring. Students can also come to the ARC to hone their study and
personal finance skills. Pitt’s Math Assistance Center provides students with one on one support for
Mathematics courses. For the Natural Sciences, students can visit the science “fishbowl”, where they
can meet with graduate students for one on one science tutoring, and Pitt’s Writing Center will help
students craft strong papers, from the first draft to the final copy.
What kinds of internship opportunities are available at Pitt?
There are many great internships available at Pitt to students of all majors! A great place to start
your internship search is a meeting with your academic advisor. The Career Services office can also
help you find a great internship. Since Pitt offers students free public transportation throughout the
City of Pittsburgh, internships are not just limited to opportunities based in Oakland. The entire city
is yours to explore when looking for an internship, and the opportunities for learning outside the
classroom are vast!
What is the University Honors College like?
The University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College
has a unique philosophy. The Honors College provides support for any student, regardless of major or
GPA, who wishes to go above and beyond with their academic work. Students interested in taking their
academic life to the next level may be interested in honors courses, specialized research, leadership
seminars, and honors living communities. The Honors College provides all these opportunities and more.
With Pitt’s Honors College, the opportunities for enhancing academic and leadership skill are almost
limitless. High achieving students will find the extra support they need to excel at Pitt through our
Does Pitt have opportunities for undergraduate research?
Pitt is well known nationally for its
undergraduate research programs.
Students interested in seeking research as an undergraduate will have no problem finding a project that
fits their interests at any time of the year. You can even get involved with research as early as your
freshman year! With the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center combined with tremendous variety of
companies in the area, the possibilities are endless. One of the best ways to begin your undergraduate
research is to get to know a professor. Making a connection with a professor you admire can open many
doors to research and other opportunities at Pitt. Pitt’s Office of Experiential Learning is also a
great resource for students of any major to find ways to begin working as a researcher at Pitt!
What is the food like?
Pitt’s Dining Services is absolutely fantastic!
There are a wide variety of places to eat and menu options to choose from for everyone. Here are just a
few of our favorite things to eat on campus:
There are many off campus places to eat as well, many of which are located conveniently on Forbes Ave,
just a few blocks away from our lower campus! A student favorite is the “half-off” menu offered by many
local restaurants for lunch and late night meals 50% off.
- Subs, Pizza, Burgers, and Smoothies at the Schenley Café in the William Pitt Union,
- Sushi, Bistro Salads and Deli selections in the Cathedral Café,
- Delicious pasta dishes, made to order in the Peterson Events Center,
- Vegetarian, Kosher, Gluten Free, Comfort Food, Pan-Asian and much more in Market Central in the
heart of the Towers.
With so many great options to choose from, the hardest part about dining at Pitt isn’t finding
somewhere to eat, but choosing what to eat from the huge selection of delicious options on campus!
How safe do you feel on campus?
Pittsburgh is considered one of the nation’s safest cities and the Pitt campus has the same excellent
safety of our city. Our campus police have a strong presence on campus. The Pitt Police make rounds 24
hours a day on foot, in cars and on bicycles. More than 500 police call boxes are located throughout
campus and connect directly to the
Our residence halls have 24/7 security and access to the residence halls is restricted to the residents
and their guests, with a security guard verifying student IDS at the entrance 24 hours a day. Pitt also
offers convenient shuttle services and
which makes getting around campus convenient and safe.
What kinds of study abroad opportunities are there for Pitt students?
Lots. Roughly 20% of Pitt students participate in a
study abroad program
before graduation. This is almost double the national average! Study abroad is highly encouraged here
regardless of your major and our programs span the globe. They include programs in Mongolia, China,
Brazil, Germany, and India to name a few. Many scholarships are available for studying abroad; all you
have to do is ask and apply. International opportunities range in duration anywhere from two weeks to a
full semester and even a year abroad. The possibilities are endless!
What are Living/Learning Communities?
Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)
provide students with an academically integrated living environment. Everyone living in one of these
communities will be surrounded by peers within their community’s theme. This allows students a great
opportunity to work together on projects and homework throughout the year. Also, many social events are
planned on the floor geared towards the LLCs subject. These communities are available for engineers,
the Honors College, nursing, business, and various languages just to name a few.
How easy is it to get home during the semester and over breaks?
Visiting home during the semester is a great chance for students to take a break, see family and old
friends, and get refreshed during the busy semester. Since Pitt is located in a city, there are many
ways to travel home. The Pittsburgh Amtrak Train Station and the Greyhound bus terminal are easily
accessible from Pitt’s campus. The Pittsburgh International Airport is about a 45-minute bus ride away,
and the bus ride there is free for students with a Pitt ID. All three offer great reduced fare programs
for students. If your family lives in the greater Pittsburgh area, remember that students can ride the
PAT public transportation system free of charge with their Pitt ID.
For the Thanksgiving, winter and spring recesses, the University of Pittsburgh offers the Buses Home
for the Holidays option to 14 select destinations in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Washington,
D.C. Greatly reduced fares for one way and round trip are available. See the
Buses Home for the Holidays
webpage for more information.
There is also an informal ride-sharing network for travel home. Students can check the campus bulletin
boards for travel info, or post their own request. Pitt students often make new friends from areas near
their hometown, and then ride-share with these friends. We have students from all over the country here
and ride-sharing can be a great cost saving option. You can split fuel and toll costs with someone who
is already heading your direction, and the trip home is often lots of fun when you ride-share!
Should my son/daughter bring a car to school?
Parking is available to students of all years if necessary. However, Pitt’s campus is small enough to
be traversed on foot, and Pitt also operates a fantastic inter-campus shuttle network. For travel
outside the campus, Pitt students can access the excellent Pittsburgh public transportation free of
charge. The city busses run frequently through our campus in Oakland, and you can catch a bus right in
Oakland to travel to almost any destination in the city! Pittsburgh is also bike-friendly, and many
students bring bicycles to campus. Between all of these transportation options, most Pitt students find
that having a car on campus isn’t necessary.
Do students tend to bring laptops or desktop computers?
Choosing a computer is all about personal preference. Pitt supports Macs and PCs, and some students
prefer laptops, while others choose desktops. The portability of a laptop can be really useful for
trips to library, writing in coffee shops, and research. However, desktop computers often can be found
in more powerful configurations for less money than a laptop equally configured. It really comes down
to your personal preference. Pitt offers free technical support and some free software, including
Microsoft Office for your computer during your time as a student.
How long does it take to get from class to class?
The campus is actually quite compact, only 132 acres, so getting from one end of campus to another is
quite simple, maybe no more than a 10-12 minute walk apart. Of course, the university shuttles can get
you where you need to go in case you don’t feel like walking. Take a look at this
How long are the classes?
Classes typically meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 50 minutes per session. Other classes meet
Tuesdays and Thursdays for 75 minutes each. Evening classes usually meet once per week for
How many credits do students typically take?
Depending on the curriculum, a full-time student usually enrolls in between 12-15 credit hours per
semester. More ambitious students sometimes take 16-18 hours. Enrollment beyond 18 credits is less
frequent and also carries a surcharge per credit.
What do students do on weekends?
There are so many activities happening on campus each and every weekend that it’s difficult to begin to
scratch the surface of your options when describing what you can do here on weekends! On campus, there
are activities ranging from free movies, guest speakers, improv comedy shows every Friday night,
ice-skating in the winter, live music, open mic nights, and of course, Panther athletic events! Off
campus, you can find live theater, baseball games, volunteer opportunities, concerts, free trips to
museums with your Pitt ID, shopping, and lots of great dining options. With your student ID for free
transportation, the city is yours to explore on the weekends. The
Program does an excellent job of connecting students to events that are going on in and around the
city. Also, in the Residence Halls, a weekend calendar is updated weekly with all of the options for
the coming weekend for you to choose from!
What clubs do you belong to?
At Pitt, there are literally hundreds of clubs to explore and join. There are volunteer organizations,
newspapers, academic organizations, Greek Life, social clubs, arts based clubs. . . . the list of
student organizations is practically endless! And to top it off, if Pitt does NOT offer something to
your liking, it’s really easy to start your own club! With so many clubs to choose from, the best place
to start is at the bi-annual Student Activity Fair, traditionally held the Sunday before classes start
for the term. Representatives from almost all clubs on campus (about 455) attend this fair, so you
can meet them and find the perfect organization based on your interests. You can learn more about
student organizations by visiting
(Student Organization Resource Center). Getting involved on campus is one of the best ways to make your
Pitt experience an incredible time of your life; through student organizations, you can meet some of
your best friends, and hone your leadership skills as well! We encourage everyone to join at least one
organization during their time here at Pitt!
What’s your favorite part about Pitt?
Choosing just one favorite is difficult! But one of the best things about Pitt is that the
opportunities for students are practically endless here. There is so much to learn and experience
between academics, student organizations, internships, study abroad, and more. Going to school in a
major city also opens many doors for learning outside the classroom! The best part is that no matter
what your goals are, there are opportunities at Pitt and so many great people here to support you in
achieving your dreams. Pitt really is a great place to learn and grow- we’re excited about all that
lies ahead for us at Pitt, and hope you join us on campus soon!
Rose McKinley- President of Pitt Pathfinders-
Kaitlyn Suber- Director of Tour Coordination-
Kyle Stelmach- Director of Recruitment Programs-
Elizabeth Joyce- Director of PittStart & Tele-Recruiting-
Kristen Stein- Director of Recruitment, Hiring and Training-