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Physics & Astronomy, Philosophy, Computer Science

AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
edited June 2011 in University of Pittsburgh
I'm doing my research on each, because in addition to my academic curiosities, departmental strength matters to me. I may double-major if I can get my work done in 3 years (I have a lot of transfer credits), and jobs are also on my mind (a reason why I wouldn't major in Philosophy only).

Physics & Astronomy: I can't find information on the placement of undergrad students who applied to grad school, but the Honor's program appears very thorough/aggressive, and straight from the website: "Students who successfully complete this program are qualified to pursue a graduate degree at any university." I would like to know if they have the data to back this up.

Philosophy: The Philosophical Gourmet, in 2009, ranked this the #5 Philosophy program in the English-speaking world.

Computer Science: I'm wondering if this department takes a hit in strength due to Carnegie Mellon being right around the corner, but I do want to stress that I like what I see--a lot of apt and likeable professors, I think. I requested information on grad schools Pitt CS students have gotten into and did not get a response, and this concerns me.

Anyone else have any input about these 3 majors at Pitt?
edited June 2011
27 replies
Post edited by AmericanDiogenes on
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Replies to: Physics & Astronomy, Philosophy, Computer Science

  • MD MomMD Mom 6644 replies84 threads Senior Member
    Just a little extra: as a Pitt student, you can take a class per semester at CMU, so if there is something intriguing that you would like to take...
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  • AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Ooh, that's enticing. Though I wonder if that means paying higher tuition for the course enrolled at CMU.
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  • DonnaMomDonnaMom 360 replies24 threads Member
    Cross registration at any of the included schools is at no extra charge.

    Cross-Registration - Office of the University Registrar at the University of Pittsburgh
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  • southeastmomsoutheastmom 315 replies2 threads Member
    I would contact Physics and Astronomy directly to get an answer to your question
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  • AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Donna: Ah, it appears you've given me the information I need! Given that CMU is regarded by U.S. News and World Report as the #1 Computer Science graduate institution, I have to imagine taking a couple cross-courses would be a benefit to a grad application in CS. Much thanks.

    SEM: A good idea.
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  • AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Yet to get an answer from the Physics & Astronomy department. That's making me a tad cautious.
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  • DonnaMomDonnaMom 360 replies24 threads Member
    It is summer, probably not a full staff to answer questions.
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  • pamom59pamom59 1233 replies50 threads Senior Member
    you might want to try a more general office like the admissions office or office of the registrar
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  • DonnaMomDonnaMom 360 replies24 threads Member
    My son just finished his freshman year and is mostl likely going to be a CS major. When we went for our last visit we made an appt to meet with the head of the CS department. He spent a lot of time speaking with us, answering his questions, gave us a tour of the dept where my son had the opportunity to speak with other students.

    It was after this meeting that he decided 100% to go to Pitt.

    Purely fwiw
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  • AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Great story. From what I've read/seen, there are many people in Pitt administration who offer time and courtesy--it's the stats that I need to get m' grubby paws on, though (I'm not accusing anybody of dodging obligation... I'm just unsure that the info is compiled and good to go to anyone willing to ask). At one of my old schools, I couldn't find time and courtesy anywhere outside of a half an hour sit-in in which I was given generic optimistic advice. Felt good for sure, but I must concede I was looking for something more practical than "aim for the stars" from that prof. Perhaps that's what I got for going to a smaller liberal arts school at one point.

    I'm an odd candidate--this will be the fourth college I've attended, but I'm also a couple years older than your usual student.
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  • MD MomMD Mom 6644 replies84 threads Senior Member
    DD arranged to meet with the prof who is in charge of undergraduate advising in physics. He met with her, made an appointment with another prof who was in the area she was interestd in, set an appointment with a student to talk with her, and arranged a tour of the physics department. She spent about three hours in the department and it really sold her on Pitt two years ago. This was during the school year. Right now, they are in between spring and summer semesters, so probably everyone is off campus.
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  • AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
    At this point, my biggest curiosity is how the crossover program works. I would love to take a course per semester at CMU, but now I'm curious as to if the program is available my first semester (particularly given that I already have a lengthy history as a college student), if there is a limit on how many students can be enrolled in it, if there is an early deadline to apply for it, etc.
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  • southeastmomsoutheastmom 315 replies2 threads Member
    For cross registering, I was under the impression that, in order to get permission, the course cannot exist at Pitt and it cannot be filled at CMU. If this is the case, it would be difficult to even find a course per semester in CS since undergrad requirements are similar across schools
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  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 threads Senior Member
    ^^^ Yes, you should check that out carefully. I don't have any personal experience with cross registration, but I know I read that somewhere previously.
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  • AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Ah. If so, crossregistering would mean nothing to me.
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  • QuietTypeQuietType 700 replies17 threads Member
    Cross-registration is a wonderful option, but it's overhyped. Two major points - the host schools students have registration priority (i.e., you will be the last to register so if the course is filled, you're not getting into the class) and your dean has to give permission for you to enroll in the first place. Basically, that means if your home school has the equivalent course, you cannot take it at the other institution.

    Having said that, many students do take advantage of this opportunity and it presents a much wider range of course offerings than any one school can offer. Just don't expect that you will be attending CMU at a Pitt tuition price.

    Here's a link to the website listing the guidelines for cross-registration (Remember, each school has their own interpretations of these guidelines!):
    Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education - Handbook
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  • MD MomMD Mom 6644 replies84 threads Senior Member
    I think that you do pay Pitt tuition for the CMU class.
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  • QuietTypeQuietType 700 replies17 threads Member
    ^^^^^^Yes, that is correct - if you take a class through the council, you pay at your home school's tuition rates.

    I just have a pet peeve about this program in that EVERY single Pitt Pathfinder talks about the program and many, many, many people come away thinking that they will be Pitt students but be able to take all their classes at CMU.
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  • AmericanDiogenesAmericanDiogenes 65 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Yeah, I won't deny that I feel "punk'd".
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  • MD MomMD Mom 6644 replies84 threads Senior Member
    ...many, many, many people come away thinking that they will be Pitt students but be able to take all their classes at CMU.

    These many, many, many people are very, very, very dumb. Never did we have the impression that very many classes would be available at CMU. The funny thing is that I read something about a CMU grad who had been given some nice award and he talked about how great it was to be able to take classes at Pitt.
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