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Pitt Junior here, any questions?

JimmyC045JimmyC045 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
edited August 2009 in University of Pittsburgh
Hey there everyone, I recently stumbled onto this site while researching grad schools. I'd thought I'd lend a hand to anyone considering Pitt. I'm a junior-to-be majoring in Finance with an Economics minor. I'm originally from the Boston suburbs. I have friends in just about every major, so feel free to ask me about anything, I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.
Post edited by JimmyC045 on
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Replies to: Pitt Junior here, any questions?

  • Matt313Matt313 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    Hi - thanks for doing this.

    Where is the best place for freshman to live? I saw one of the rooms in the towers on a tour and it seemed pretty nice. I heard Sutherland is even nicer, but farther away from where I'd be going to class. What do you think?
  • JimmyC045JimmyC045 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    As far as freshmen dorms go, both Towers and Sutherland are great compared to other schools I've been to. Sutherland is definitely nicer, plus it has its own food court (which is being renovated this summer) and a computer lab. It's also right across the street from the Pete, which is the largest and nicest gym for students, and Trees hall, another athletic center. Towers is connected to Market Central, the largest food court on campus, and it is right in the midle of campus. The majority of your classes will be under a 10 minute walk away. Basically it depends if you'd rather be close and give up some small amenities or be on top of the hill with some more amenities. (The shuttle system up to Sutherland is pretty good.) A lot of the freshmen atheles stay in Sutherland. I can't really say which is better, some people prefer one, some prefer the other. Hope that helps!
  • Matt313Matt313 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    Sounds good to me.
    Thanks again!
  • americanbeauty23americanbeauty23 Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    1. Is the food really as bad as everyone says it is? What are the best on-campus places to get food, and what's best avoided?

    2. How involved are students in clubs? Beyond numbers, how do you FEEL people's attiudes are towards getting involved, starting clubs, etc?

    3. How helpful is the administration?

    4. Is it difficult to register for the classes you want?

    5. Where is the health center and, if you're sick, will someone come to your room or do you have to go yourself?

    6. How many classes are held in the awesome cultural rooms in the Cathedral?

    7. Are the shuttlebuses reliable? Are cabs easy to come by?

    8. Would you say there are good/great internships and opportunities for film majors? What about LA connections?

    Yay tons of questions! Thank you so much :)
  • JimmyC045JimmyC045 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    1. Food, like housing, is relative. It's not gonna be your grandma's spaghetti and meatballs, but they've put a lot of work into improving the dining halls and they're a lot better than most of the other schools I've visited. For me, the best places are probably any of the sandwich places (there's one at the Pete, at the Union, and at Market Central in Towers.) I also like going to the Pizza Hut in the Union. Nothing is really terrible.

    2. I'm sure you've already heard the numbers about there being "350+ organizations," that there is a "$3 million student activities budget," and that "all you need is ten people to form an official club." You can be as involved as you want to be. There are a lot of active groups. I'm pretty involved on campus, and I really enjoy it. I also have friends who sit around and play Halo all day. It all depends on what you want, but you can find pretty much anything here. It's cool because students are given a lot more freedom over their organizations here compared to other schools.

    3. That's kind of a vague question. I've dealt with different members of the administration a lot through student government, and most of them have been very helpful. Even if we want to do something that can't be done, they are good at explaining exactly why it can't be done.

    4. The one thing that sucks is that we don't have online registration yet (it's supposed to come in the spring.) But it's really not too difficult to schedule, you just look up the courses online, meet with your advisor, and he schedules you. Hopefully with online registration next year, we'll just be able to do it ourselves.

    5. The student health center is right on campus in the Medical Arts Building. I'm honestly not sure if they would go to your room. I'v never been that sick at school.

    6. Haha, I love the nationality rooms. They actually have like 8 more in planning. They use them pretty often for classes, I think I was in two last semester.

    7. The shuttles are reliable. There are a bunch of routes that take you pretty much anywhere on campus. Nobody ever uses taxis to get to class, they're too expensive, and they're unnessecary with the shuttle system already in place. People will call a cab to go off-campus, but never to get around on-campus.

    8. Pittsburgh actually just enacted a tax credit program for filmmakers, so there have been a ton of movies filmed around the city this year. Last month, there was one being filmed on-campus and they took up four or five blocks with all of their trailers and equipment. There was a movie with Ryan Reynolds at the local amusement park, and one with Seth Rogan downtown. So there are plenty of opportunities for hands-on work, I know someone who's a film major at Pitt and was able to do some work on the Ryan Reynolds movie. I'm really not sure what the LA connections are, but I know there are a ton of writers and actors who have gone to Pitt and CMU, so I'm sure you'll have opportunities.

    Keep the questions coming!
  • jsmomjsmom Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    Thanks Jimmy for answering all these questions - I have a few questions. Is there a political leaning one way or the other? Was there a lot of excitement over the primary? Is there a lot of focus on environmental and sustainability issues at Pitt?
  • JimmyC045JimmyC045 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    In general, the campus leans left. But I'm a conservative, and I've never had a problem with a professor. The ones I've had enjoy a good discourse. People were psyched about the primary, especially because PA was so huge. I think Hillary and Obama both came to Pittsburgh about six times each, and were on campus about three times each. Obama spoke at the Pete (the basketball arena) the day before the primary, and the line to get in was the longest I've ever seen for anything. There are a good numbers of conservative on campus, too. I know the College Republicans are pretty active. There is an environmental committee that is part of student government, and they work to improve recycling around campus and things like that. Last month there was a forum on campus that included the mayor of Pittsburgh, the chancellor of Pitt, the CEO of Allegeheny County, a Congressman, and Senator Casey to talk about green initiatives and sustainability issues for the region.
  • lonestar92slonestar92s Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    I'm a prospective student-athlete, and i was wonderin where do the athletes stay? Specifically soccer if u know
  • JimmyC045JimmyC045 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    Most freshmen athletes typically stay in Sutherland. The top basketball and football players usually stay in the on-campus apartments, Boquet Gardens.
  • PlayaX01PlayaX01 Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Are there any parties at pitt and if so r they jumpin...or do students have to like go to clubs to party?
  • llllllll Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    What is Pitt's grading policy. Are assignments based on a C curve, bell curve or neither?
  • JimmyC045JimmyC045 Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    PlayaX01, a lot of student who live in South Oakland have house parties on the weekends. Frat parties also are somewhat popular too, although most guys usually can't get in unless they know someone. Because Pitt is in the city, the party scene isn't as crazy as it is at schools in the middle of nowhere-- there's just so much else to do. But if you're looking for a party, you'll be able to find one.

    llll, all of the above. It varies by professor and department. For example, I have a friend who got a 75 in a bio class and ended up with a B because he was near the top of the class. Some professors don't curve and a 75 is a 75. The GPA scale is standard for the University though-- an A is a 4.0, A- is 3.75, etc. As far as I know, this is how it is at most schools.
  • lkf725lkf725 Registered User Posts: 4,781 Senior Member
    I think that many science and engineering classes have a curve.
  • surftb15surftb15 Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    depends on the teacher.

    for biology and chem they curve to a C. For instance, if you get a 70 and the class average is 65, you will actually get an 80 with the curve.

    in my NRO class, if you averaged a 75 then you received an A. If you got a 60 to 74, then you get a B. If you get any less from a 50 up, you get a C. While that may sound fine and dandy, the class is diffucult. There is a reason for a curve ;)
  • surftb15surftb15 Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    btw - the parties are good and the girls are cute. You can get into fraternity parties even if you DO NOT know people, youll find out where to go when you come.
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