January 19, 2019
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School Profile: University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh was founded all the way back in the 1780s. The total number of undergraduates is around 19,000 per year. The campus is located in an urban setting of 145 acres. The University of Pittsburgh uses a flexible admissions process that accepts around half of students who apply. The University of Pittsburgh is consistently ranked among the top 100 best colleges in the country. The university has earned national recognition for their Schools of Medicine, Education and Engineering. For example, the School of Medicine conduct top notch medical research through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. This institution receives one of the largest amounts of government funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is partially because they are an active member of the Association of American Universities and because they contribute to scientific advancements. The university’s total annual budget is around two billion, but $900 million goes to research and development costs.

Other popular majors at the University of Pittsburgh include business, marketing, management, engineering, psychology, information technology, health professions and social sciences. These degrees are popular through the School of Nursing, Swanson School of Engineering, School of Education, School of Social Work, School of Information Sciences and the College of Business Administration. The School of Medicine’s two most popular degrees are the Master of Science in Nursing and the Doctor of Science in Nursing. The average freshman retention rate is consistently over 90 percent. The University of Pittsburgh has four undergraduate campuses located in the nearby towns. The university has a strong sustainability program that extends to environmentally friendly solutions for the local neighborhood. Some of the most famous sports alumni include Mike Ditka and Dan Marino. Academy award winning Actor Gene Kelly, father of television Vladimir Zworykin and MRI pioneer Paul Lauterbur all graduated from this university.

University of Pittsburgh Accreditation Details

-The University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

University of Pittsburgh Application Requirements

Many students want to attend this university because the student-faculty ratio is 15 to one and the four-year graduation rate is over 60 percent. The admissions committee recommends that high school students take as many AP, Honors, college and International Baccalaureate classes as feasible. Advanced level classes indicate a candidate with a well-rounded curriculum history. Students are encouraged to go beyond the basic academic requirements. Junior and senior high school students are recommended to take the SAT or ACT just once a year. The admissions committee will generate a composite score for each student. High school students who earn lower than a ‘C’ grade should retake the class during the summer.

In order to apply, students must complete an online admission application. The Self-Reported Academic Record section allows students to submit high school transcripts. There is a short answer section that is required instead of a personal essay or statement. These questions relate to overcoming failure, community leadership and academic goals. Submitting an application automatically results in students being reviewed for merit-based scholarships. Letters of recommendation are appreciated, but only in certain circumstances. For instance, explaining a temporary poor academic performance or desperate need for institutional financial aid.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Depending on the degree program, the tuition rate for out of school students is approximately $28,000 to $36,000 per year. For example, degrees through the College of Business Administration usually come with a tuition rate of $32,000, but School of Nursing degrees cost around $36,000. All tuition rates mentioned are for out-of-state students only. Grants are provided by the university and government organizations. Students must submit a FAFSA application to apply for any government or institutional aid. The Panther Pride Award is an institutional grant based on need that is available for up to four years. Federal Pell Grants are reserved for undergraduate students with low expected family contribution rates. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are first come, first serve for undergraduates.

PHEAA Grants are only for local residents who must be enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree program. The PHEAA Gratuity Program is financial aid for local residents whose relatives died while serving as police officers, firefighters, corrections staff of members of the National Guard. Scholarships are based on academic achievement. Some of these are actually departmental scholarships exclusively available through a School or College. For example, nursing and health professions students may apply for special low-interest loans. Graduate students tend to apply for loans, such as Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. These are the most widely used student loan program for graduate students. Federal Perkins Loans offer low-interest loans to students with dire financial need. Every year, the available fund amount for these loans changes.

Popular Graduate Degrees

Two of the most popular graduate degrees are the Master of Science in Nursing and the Doctor of Science in Nursing. The former is designed to help students become nursing leaders and specialized professionals. Most graduates are preparing for roles as advanced practice nurses (APNs) like nurse anesthetists and neonatal nurses. For example, students who select a Nurse Specialty major may choose either a clinical nurse leader or a nursing informatics concentration. The clinical nurse leader concentration can be completed on-campus and online, but the nursing informatics specialization is only offered online. Some graduates go on to conduct nursing research or skill teaching. The number of credits required to graduate from the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree depends on the concentration. These degree programs may be completed through either full- or part-time study. The degree curriculum will include core, electives, specialty and role development courses. Some students choose to add a minor in nursing research, education, informatics, genetics or administration. RNs who do not yet have a four-year degree may enter the MSN program through a special RN early admission option.

The University of Pittsburgh is just a few miles outside downtown Pittsburgh. Students enjoy the city’s professional sports teams, such as the Penguins and the Steelers, as well as local cultural centers. Due to the fact that Pittsburgh is near three rivers, many students learn how to kayak, sail and fish.


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