University of Pittsburgh

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#T-58, overall score 58.83/100

Fun Fact:

At 42 stories, Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning is the tallest university building in the Western Hemisphere and second-tallest in the world.

Why should Jewish students attend the University of Pittsburgh? The Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh is a uniquely warm and welcoming environment. We provide students with the opportunity to explore their Jewish identity in a vibrant, meaningful and fun environment. Our Hillel is large enough to offer a diverse array of student communities and opportunities (Israel, social justice, leadership, Shabbat, arts and culture, learning, travel, networking and more) while still having a family atmosphere where every student feels personally connected. — Dan Marcus, executive director, Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh


  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Campus type: Big city
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 19,123
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,600
  • Jewish population share: 8%
  • Student origin: 72% in-state / 28% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Pitt News, 70 Faces Magazine
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Panthers
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: En Sabah Nur / Danger

What Students Say:

“The size is large enough to have tons of resources and opportunities, but small enough that if something needs to be changed it can be taken on by students”…“There could be more focus on individual needs of students”…“The size of the school is really what you make of it. If you want a big school with spirit, Greek life, tons of organizations — Pitt is for you! If you want a smaller community where you take discussion-based classes with your peers and have time and space to relax and hang out with friends — Pitt is still for you!”

COST & AID Score: 1.67/15

  • Score: 1.67/15
  • In-state tuition: $19,080
  • Out-of-state tuition: $30,642
  • Room & board costs: $10,950
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $10,945
  • Average loan debt: $38,322
  • Starting median salary: $52,100
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 6.67/20

  • Score: 6.67/20
  • Acceptance rate: 60%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Median SAT range: 1240-1418
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Minor
  • Hebrew major: No

What Students Say:

“Everyone appreciates one another and what they are doing with their time here.”

ISRAEL Score: 14/20

  • Score: 14/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 155
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: Panthers for Israel, TAMID
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: Yes
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 9.67/11

  • Score: 9.67/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 1.57/1,000 students (low)
  • City crime rate: 40.45/1,000 people (medium high)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 26.83/34

  • Score: 26.83/34
  • Hillel: Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh
  • Chabad: Chabad at Pitt
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Other Jewish outreach group: Aish
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ΣAM, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SigAEPi
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 25
  • Hillel Friday night services: 2
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 130
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 12 (6 Orthodox, 2 Conservative, 4 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Michael Chabon
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: 70 Faces Magazine is a student literary magazine with a Jewish twist, accepting art, poetry, fiction, nonfiction and music submissions. Students can get involved with writing, designing or advertising.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? The majority are from the Northeast, Midwest or Mid-Atlantic, but there are students from all over the world, including California, Florida, Texas and Israel.
  • Kosher food details: Pitt offers a kosher dining option that is centrally located in the most popular university food court. In addition, all food served at Hillel JUC programs and events is kosher.

What Students Say:

“The Jewish community is tight knit and accepting, there are plentiful opportunities for leadership and programs are welcoming and exciting”…“The Jewish community could do more outreach to new members and keep the old ones there”…“One of the best parts of the Jewish community at Pitt is that it is actually a collaboration between a bunch of schools in the Pittsburgh area”…“Chabad and Hillel get along with each other and commonly work together, and neither is seen as lesser than the other.”

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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