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Sophomore at Pitt - Ask Me Anything

pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
Hey guys! I am currently a second year student at Pitt in the engineering program. Y'all can ask me any questions about Pitt/engineering/life that you might have and I will do my best to answer them!
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Replies to: Sophomore at Pitt - Ask Me Anything

  • stemkidstemkid 26 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Do you have friends in the CS program? If so are they happy they chose Pitt? Why or why not?
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  • jro110jro110 3 replies0 threads New Member
    Is it a good idea to use the credits from taking the AP test for Calc 1 to skip right to Calc 2 or should I retake Calc 1 to ease into the rigor of college classes?
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  • jro110jro110 3 replies0 threads New Member
    How difficult is the work load of the engineering courses to handle? I am planning on being an industrial engineering major, and when I went to admitted students day they said the average engineering student studies around 30 hours a week. Is this true?
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  • jro110jro110 3 replies0 threads New Member
    I am wondering how much I may get for merit scholarships from Pitt. I got a 1400 on my SAT, have a 4.4 GPA, and have gotten straight As in every class in high school (a mix of honors academic and APs)
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  • KrysRN101KrysRN101 20 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Hi StemKid - our son was just accepted to the Swanson School of Engineering and the Honors College. He's very excited - but has a friend that may go with him (not in the Honors program).

    Two questions:
    1. If he chooses to live in Sutherland - can he bring his friend in to room with him?
    2. Where would you recommend living as a freshman?
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  • mommdcmommdc 11907 replies31 threads Senior Member
    In the past you could apply for Honors LLC even if you weren't in honors, but now that all honors students have to live in Sutherland and there is only so much room, I'm not sure if that's possible.
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  • PAdudePAdude 100 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @pittpanther1654 Can you speak to the grading and curve in science classes..maybe you have friends in the sciences, chemistry, physics, biology etc..is maintaining a 3.75 a reasonable expectation? This is the mandated GPA performance level for the gaurantee medical program. I was wondering if this is a reasonable expectation?
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  • stemkidstemkid 26 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Can you speak to anything? Not sure why you posted offering to help....
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  • carachel2carachel2 3049 replies25 threads Senior Member
    @jro110 Pitt publishes the threshold scores for merit on their website. I believe it is SAT 1480. Anything is possible for sure but historically your stats are not in line with getting much merit from Pitt. But remember, just because you don't get merit doesn't mean you won't do well at Pitt! You sound like a solid student.


    As far as the workload for the engineering courses, it will really depend on how well you are prepared for engineering. The ones who do better with less stress are the ones who did well in AP CAlc BC, AP Chem and AP Physics C *and* did well on the AP tests for those classes.

    The average GPA after first year engineering at Pitt is 2.98.

    (sorry to chime in answering here but for the moment the OP appears to not be available).
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I am so sorry for the late reply! This thread began slowly so I stopped checking it for a little bit. I do have a friend in the CS program, she really enjoys it and she actually just got an internship in Silicon Valley for the summer. She is involved in her school but I wouldn't say she is at the top or the bottom of it either. She really likes the opportunities that she got from the CS school, and she loves how she gets along with and has close relationships with her professors. They all seem to care about their students.
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @jro110 I would NOT recommend going into calc 2 right away! I would either retake all of the calculus courses from the beginning, or if you can (this is what I did), go right into calc 3. Calc 2 is notoriously a hard class at Pitt, ESPECIALLY coming into it with the varied education that an AP course gives to you as a foundation.
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @jro110 I am actually an IE at Pitt currently and this is what I can say. First of all, your freshman advisors are trying to scare y'all. Rightfully so and with good reason, but I believe that I ended up doing around 20 hours of work outside of class initially. It is a time commitment, don't underestimate it. You will need to study until you feel comfortable with the material to get good grades, however, your first year is your hardest FOR SURE! My second semester was my worst semester at Pitt grade-wise (I had a 3.2 gpa), but once you get into your departmental classes (especially IE), you are more motivated because the classes actually apply to you, and for IEs, they tend to be a little bit easier to comprehend.
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @jro110 I came from a very similar standing as you did, and I got $20,000 for my entire 4 year career, so $2500 a semester comes off of my bill. Don't expect a lot (I'm sorry), Pitt is notoriously not super generous with merit based scholarships. This is compared to tens of thousands of dollars (I don't remember the exact amounts) that I was offered every year from other state schools.
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @KrysRN101 I am so sorry for the late response.
    1. You can request to pull friends into housing with you. It is done during your housing process, but it is not guaranteed.
    2. I would recommend Sutherland or Nordenberg. Sutherland is beautiful and it is very good housing for freshmen standards. The added perk of a dining hall in the building is especially awesome. Nordenberg is the newest hall, and all of my friends who lived in it loved it. I will say that both of those halls are hard to get into, but the biggest thing to remember with freshmen living is that no matter where your son is placed, he will adjust and the RAs work very hard in EVERY building to create a sense of community and belonging. I lived in Lothrop both years, and I have a single room. I enjoy it a lot, and it is super close to Benedum Hall, but I am not sure if that's the type of environment he is seeking, and I am probably one of the rare students who actually prefers a single living situation.
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @mommdc I don't believe it is possible to apply for Honors if you're not a part of it
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @PAdude I can speak to the grading and curves! I had to take physics and chemistry my freshman year. Physics was on a curve during both semesters (albeit a small one, my grade went up by maybe 3%). Chem, not so much. I don't think there was a curve for either semester. This is what I will say though, most of those classes are designed to reflect the normal performance of the class, and the curves depend largely on the professor. The best way to keep a high GPA is to make sure you are in the top part of the class. Set yourself apart by studying those extra hours, making sure you have an understanding of the concepts that will be tested, go and talk to your professors! A lot of them will bump you up a grade just because you showed them that you cared. So many students come to school and realize that they can party on a Wednesday night, and that's exactly what they begin doing. You can have a social life, but make sure you have priorities for why you are there and set aside time for being social (weekend nights!). I am an engineer and my gpa is just under a 3.5. In high school my GPA was over 4.0. It is possible to maintain a 3.75 for sure, but you need to dedicate yourself to that.
    If you decide that maintaining that is something that you cannot do or it's no longer a goal of yours, Pitt has so many resources to help you decide what you are going to do instead. My friend decided he no longer wanted to pursue a degree after his undergrad, and Pitt and his mentor were super supportive in helping him make that decision for the right reasons and helping him figure out what his new plan is. I hope that helps, but if you have any other comments let me know!
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @carachel2 thank you for chiming in and helping out! To everyone on this, I am so sorry that I went MIA. I promise to check this more frequently and keep posting! It started off slowly so I didn't think that anyone was going to ask me anything, so I didn't check for a while. I am SO glad that I can answer these questions for you guys, and I hope that I am helping and can continue to help y'all! Let me know if you have any more questions at all! The replies will be more timely :)
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  • stemkidstemkid 26 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for your responses, hope I didn't come across as snippy. It's extremely helpful hearing from a student, especially such a current one. I know engineering is hard and the weed out classes for an engineering major are a killer, no matter how well you did in high school. Would you say CS is the same?
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @stemkid CS is not nearly as bad from what I've heard. I can't really directly compare it because I've only ever known engineering and that curriculum, and I don't know anyone who switched or has experience in both, but I don't think it is nearly as hard. I know that CS majors have to take certain math courses, just to ensure that y'all have a solid foundation there, but I also believe that you have more flexibility in your gen eds/electives and professors aren't as tough. I have had the opportunity to work with a few CS professors for other reasons, and as a whole, they seem to have a much more laid back approach compared to most of my engineering professors.

    In general, I think what matters more than how well you did in high school is what your approach was in high school. I could have easily coasted by in certain classes, and in some I did, but I also elected to take very challenging courses because those taught me how I learn best before I actually came to college. Thus, I came into college having that knowledge and experience, and I was ready to work. There are very few college courses that I (or anyone I know) got an easy A in, but I think that as long as you have the mindset of truly desiring to learn and do your best, you will be ABSOLUTELY fine in any class you have to take.
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  • pittpanther1654pittpanther1654 16 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @stemkid My friend just got back to me with more specifics on her classes. She said that her gen eds and electives were not bad, and the "weed out" classes for her would be CS447, 449, and 1501. She also said that the hardest one she took was 1501.
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