<p>Hey everyone, I just found this forum and I must say it's one of the most helpful I've seen. I was hoping somebody could help me out. I've narrowed down my colleges to two choices, Pitt and Penn St. and I need to make a decision within the next week. I just missed getting into the honors college at both schools, but they are both offering me significant money. I would like to study Political Science and History, and would like to work someday in Washington, D.C. for Homeland Security or the State Department or something like that. I have visited both schools several times, and I just can't make a decision. Right now I would say I'm leaning towards Pitt because I love the atmosphere of the city; and to me, the program there seemed stronger, with better faculty and better opportunities. Could anyone tell me their opinions on the two schools? Which one has the better reputation in poli sci and history? Which one has the better reputation overall? Which one seems to have the happier students? Which one would give me the best chance to get a job in DC? Thank you.</p>
<p>I live in an area that sends well over half the graduates to Penn State and Pitt. Both are good schools. Penn State from what I know tends to attract much more fratboy types. I know some VERY smart kids who are going to Pitt next year over much more prestigious schools.</p>
<p>That said, I think both have an equal rep. I would certainly choose Pitt because it has the bigtime sports Penn State has and is in (well just outside) an actual city and not the middle of nowhere. You're golden either way, but I'd pick Pitt for sure.</p>
<p>i have heard that the penn state honors program is really unbelievable, if you do a search in this forum for it, you should find at least one thread talking about how great it is</p>
<p>Thanks, loslobos, that really makes sense. I definately want a place with good sports, but I am not the "fratboy" type. I wouldn't consider myself a nerd, but I would much rather be around more intellectual students. And I do want the culture and entertainment that comes with being in a city. Anyone else have an opinion either way?</p>
<p>I didn't get into either honors program, but I did look at both of them. Actually, I liked Pitt's program better; it was a lot more flexible and I liked the Dean better.</p>
<p>Pitt is still kind of a commuter school and not as well rounded as PSU despite having a few outstanding depts. PSU is more a traditional college experience and not everyone is fratty but they are smart.</p>
<p>How involved are Pitt students? Like in community service and student organizations? I really want a school where students are involved in the world.</p>
<p>Have you looked into American U?</p>
<p>Depends on what you want.
PSU: Beautiful campus. Great college town. Student pride is off the charts. Kids are happy. Awesome football. Not sure about the strength of the history/poly sci program. Do some detailed research on the program and professors. Downsides are the drinking culture and greek scene (if you don't like frats). Here's something to look at to get a sense of what's going on in the spring. My son is a business student at PSU and loves it.<br>
Also, if you're into making a difference - you can get involved in THON. They raised over 5 million for pediatric cancer last year - I believe it's one of biggest college fundraising events. </p>
<p>Pitt: I know less about this school but its seems comparable academically. If you really like an urban environment, it might be a better choice. Kids seem happy there too. Pitt, as a city, seems to be on the way up. There are greeks and drinkers there too - but not as visible as PSU.</p>
<p>One last suggestion. To get a feel for each school, check out the archives of the daily newspapers. Lots of info there and it's not all sugar-coated marketing. </p>
<p>Thanks toneranger, will do!</p>
<p>dudedad, I did look at American. Not really the type of school I want. I really want a school that I feel connected to, and I just didn't get that feeling with American.</p>
Like in community service and student organizations? I really want a school where students are involved in the world.
dudedad, I did look at American. Not really the type of school I want. I really want a school that I feel connected to, and I just didn't get that feeling with American.
<p>Funny, I found American to be exactly what you're looking for. It wasn't for me though.</p>
<p>As I said, I would choose Pitt for sure. It seems like exactly what you want.</p>
<p>I liked American; it was in my top 4 (along with Syracuse) before I narrowed it down to Pitt and PSU. But I decided that I wanted D-I school with good athletics and school spirit, and American just doesn't have that.</p>
<p>Since the academics are similiar, can anyone tell me about which school has the better reputation/offers better opportunities in DC? Or is that not really a big factor?</p>