Pitt is has a great reputation academically and is getting better every year. If I had to do it all over again I would certainly come back. Here is certainly the most accurate college advice I have heard: CHOOSING A MAJOR: If you want to get a good job, make good money, and not work too hard in college, major in business. If you want to make a ton of money and are willing to work your butt off in college, study engineering, law, or medicine (but not nursing). If you want to love what you do and coast through college, (but always be on the hunt for a job after graduating, while having to work your butt off just to make ends meet): study writing, journalism, religion, fine art, theater, or broadcasting. This is also an excellent road to travel if you eventually want to become a sad, broken down college professor some day. If you're just in it for the tail and want to meet lots of hot babes, study nutrition, fitness, or broadcast journalism. You won't make a ton of money, but you'll always work with a lot of women with hot bodies in the industry.
When living on campus, you're always near a great network of people and physical resources. I didn't need to buy a printer, because I was always near computer labs, which are open 24/7. The food is excellent. Pitt spent a whole lotta money on their new Market Central dining facility, and the money was well spent. Come and visit the campus, just for the food there. Don't come here because you love the football and/or basketball team, and want to hang out with the players. The only time you'll see them is between the first and fourth quarters. Sutherland Hall is wonderful. It's high up on campus, and a little far from classes; but the Pitt shuttles will take you to class, and the rooms are bigger, newer, and better than most on campus.
The pitt program council is one of the biggest organizations on campus, yet they do a disservice to the university each year. They program large, yet unsuccessful events with performers and speakers who most people do not care to see. The best 2 concerts in the past 8 years were Lupe Fiasco and Ben Folds. Lupe Fiasco was held at the Fitzgerald Fieldhouse because the director of the Pitt Program council was afraid to have a black performer do a show outside. Each year they host Bigelow Bash (spring) and Fall Fest (fall) which features a singer or band who has either passed their prime (Jason Mraz, Live, the Clarks) or bands that people do not have any interest in to begin with (SR-71, some female singer who i can't even remember the name).
The school itself is not particularly hands on in terms of the students academics and career. The school won't hold your hand and walk you through doing well in class or monitoring your social events. If you need a lot of structure, Pitt may not be the best school for you. You really need to be independent and self-driven in order to get the most out of your education. If you self-driven and willing to seek out help or services, the school has a ton of money to throw at you. I had a friend create a snowboard team from the ground up. If you like someone checking over your shoulder to make sure you're getting good grades and having a good time, Pitt probably isn't your school.
University of Pittsburgh Main Campus offers much more in the way of social and cultural interactions. Since it's located in a city, I have access to numerous shopping areas, theatres, concert halls, and sports events. There are also many museums, libraries, career opportunities, and a greater variety of classes that can be accomodated since Pitt has so many resources in its surroundings. City life makes Pitt a more active and diverse campus than the other schools I considered, and I'm glad I have so much to experience in such close proximity to where I learn and live.
Come to Pittsburgh! College here is so much fun and the opportunities for a career are growing even with this terrible economy. Casinos and a new hockey stadium are bringing many more jobs to our community. They will be in operation by 2010 and the facilities are going to be unreal. Pittsburgh is constantly growing and does not seem to be slowing down at all. Come check it out and if you need someone to take you around and show you what I feel Pittsburgh is all about (not what a school tour will show you) let me know. I've been here for a while and truly love it.
The best thing about the University of Pittsburgh is its location in the city. Your ID works as a city bus pass and allows you to travel anywhere in the city for free. There's always something going on, and there's a lot of Pitt Pride (especially for football and basketball). The city is so historical and diverse there is never nothing to do on the weekends, or even during the week. Pitt has a program called Pitt Arts that allows students (for free) to attend ballets, orchestras, plays, on Pitt's dollar and they even feed you! Awesome.
People have the misconception that a big school in the city such as Pitt makes it hard to draw close to professors and other students. The truth is that is just the opposite. Many of my professors had office hours in which they just sat there. Going to office hours doesn't neccessarily mean that you have a question on the material, you could simply need advice. In fact, office hours at Pitt are the key to earning a good grade. Visit your professor and see how you're doing. They'll remember that effort come final grades time.
Pitt is very unique in the sense that it provides its students the opportunity to have all the advantages of both a small campus as well as a large research university. Although, there are approximately 16,000 undergraduate students it is easy to get to know your professors, but it is up to you to do so. In addition to the academics, Pitt offers a great campus in the city of Oakland. Almost anything you could want to do is just a short walk or bus ride away.
Lets talk about market central. It looks so enticing and so promising when you first see it. And when you get there, eating there is awesome for about a week. Then they start making the same food over and over again and you learn when you're eating leftovers and it takes forever to get food. Basically once all the parents are gone, they stop caring. Do not make market central a large part of your decision making when choosing a college. It's not worth it.