How to Get Into University of Pittsburgh: Admissions Stats + Tips
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- How Hard Is It to Get Into University of Pittsburgh?
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted University of Pittsburgh Students
- What is the University of Pittsburgh Looking for?
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into the University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh (fondly referred to as “Pitt”) is a public research university with five campuses, with the main campus in urban Pittsburgh housing 17 schools and colleges and over 28,000 students. An impactful center for research and innovation, Pitt integrates research experience into the undergraduate experience, and is an excellent choice for those who have their eyes set on being trailblazers in an industry. On the other hand, Pitt is proud of its vibrant and diverse study body, and there is a major and place for every kind of student.
Interested in being a part of the University of Pittsburgh community? Read on to see how you can stand out as an applicant.
How Hard Is It to Get Into University of Pittsburgh?
For the 2019–2020 admissions cycle, the University of Pittsburgh received 32,549 applicants, of which 20,791 were accepted. This means that last year, Pitt’s acceptance rate was 63.9%, making it a least-selective school. The University of Pittsburgh does not have a binding early decision application option nor an early action option.
Want to get a better idea of your personal chances of admission into the University of Pittsburgh? Our free chancing calculator can help you better understand your chances of acceptance into any college. By taking into account multiple elements of your profile, including your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile!
Average Academic Profile of Accepted University of Pittsburgh Students
The average high school GPA of University of Pittsburgh’s Class of 2024 was 4.11. 65% had a GPA of 4.0, 17% had a GPA between 3.75 and 3.99, and 10% had a GPA between 3.5 and 3.74.
Of the 42% of University of Pittsburgh’s class of 2024 who submitted class rank, 54% graduated in the top 10% of their high school class, and 86% graduated in the top 25%. 99% graduated in the top half.
While standardized test scores are normally required for applicants, University of Pittsburgh is test-optional for students applying for 2022 and 2023 enrollment. Of the students who enrolled in Fall 2020, the top 25% of students scored above a 1420 on the SAT. For the students who submitted ACT scores, the top 25% scored above a 32.
What is the University of Pittsburgh Looking for?
With more than 100 majors and five undergraduate schools, Pitt wants students who are eager to seize the opportunities both in the classroom and those offered by the bustling environment of Pittsburgh. With faculty in departments from big data analytics to early childhood education, Pitt can open up possibilities for any student.
How the University of Pittsburgh Evaluates Applications
According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, the University of Pittsburgh considers the following factors “very important”:
- Course rigor
- Academic GPA
- Standardized test scores
These factors are “important”:
- Application essay
These are “considered”:
- Class rank
- Recommendation letters
- Extracurricular activities
- Character/personal qualities
- First generation
- Alumni/ae relation
- State residency
- Geographical residence
- Racial/ethnic status
- Volunteer work
- Work experience
- Level of applicant’s interest
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into the University of Pittsburgh
1. Aim for all A’s while taking the most challenging classes available
As the average GPA of newly enrolled University of Pittsburgh students last year was a 4.11, in order to be a competitive candidate, you should aim to get all A’s. Though a 4.1 GPA may be intimidating, many of these students are likely taking advanced honors, AP, or IB classes, which gives them a weighted GPA. Taking honors classes will show admissions officers that you’ve challenged yourself, while also giving your overall GPA a boost. However, do not take such challenging classes that your grades suffer.
If your GPA is lower, and you’re still a freshman or sophomore in your high school, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.
2. Report your SAT scores if above 1400, and ACT if above 32
While standardized test scores are optional for students applying for 2022 and 2023 enrollment, University of Pittsburgh will still consider your test scores if you submit them. For the next two years, students who do not submit test scores won’t be at a disadvantage from those who do. That being said, a high standardized test score is a valuable way to display your academic aptitude in addition to your transcript. If you do take the SAT or ACT and score above average for Pitt students, which is roughly 1400 on the SAT or a 32 on the ACT, reporting your scores will give you a boost.
If you’re trying to improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:
- How to Get a Perfect 1600 Score on the SAT
- How to Get a Perfect 36 Score on the ACT
- More SAT Info and Tips
- More ACT Info and Tips
3. Write engaging essays
Depending on whether you’re a domestic or international applicant, University of Pittsburgh will have different essay requirements. If you’re a domestic applicant, you’ll need to write the personal statement that’s part of your general Common or Coalition application. If you’re an international applicant, you’ll need to write a 250-word short essay instead of a personal statement. Additionally, applicants to Pitt Honors will be required to write a separate short essay.
Pitt wants students to use their essay as a means of communicating in a personal and direct way with the admissions committee. They want to see information that doesn’t appear in another part of your application, and they want to hear your story in your own words. The essay is the perfect place for you to show your strengths, character, authentic voice, and written eloquence.
For tips on how to approach the supplemental questions, take a look at our guide on how to write the University of Pittsburgh essays 2021–2022.
4. Apply as early as possible
As Pitt operates on a rolling admissions policy, the later you submit your application, the fewer spots for each incoming class there are. While the flexibility to apply whenever you want may be liberating, especially in the face of tight deadlines from other schools, Pitt encourages students to apply earlier than later. Not only will you be automatically considered for merit scholarships if you apply by the December 1 deadline, you’ll also be competing for a larger number of spots in the class.
How to Apply to the University of Pittsburgh
Unlike many other schools, the University of Pittsburgh does not have application deadlines for first-year students. Pitt operates on a rolling admissions policy, reviewing and making admissions decisions throughout the year. However, there are deadlines for scholarships and Pitt Honors. Students who wish to be considered for Pitt’s merit scholarships need to apply by December 1. If you apply by December 1, you will automatically be considered for merit scholarships. Additionally, students applying for Pitt’s Honors College also need to apply by December 1.
The University of Pittsburgh accepts applications through the Common Application and the Coalition Application, as well as the University of Pittsburgh Application. There’s no preference for one form of application over another. To apply, you will need the following materials:
- All parts of your Common, Coalition, or Pittsburgh Application, including the non-refundable application fee
- Personal statement or short-answer question for international applicants
- Self-reported academic record
- SAT or ACT scores (optional for 2022 and 2023 enrollment)
- Pitt Honors essay (for applicants to Pitt Honors only)
Learn more about the University of Pittsburgh