University of Pittsburgh Admissions Statistics

Learn About Pitt and GPA, SAT Score, and ACT Score Data for Admission

University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning. gam9551 / Flickr

With an acceptance rate of 60 percent, the University of Pittsburgh is a selective school. Successful applicants will need to have strong grades and standardized test scores as well as demonstrate accomplishments outside of the classroom. Students interested in the school will need to submit an application that includes SAT or ACT scores. The university does not require an essay or letters or recommendation. 

For its many strengths, the University of Pittsburgh ranks among the top Pennsylvania colleges and universitiestop Middle Atlantic colleges and universities, and top national public universities.

Why the University of Pittsburgh

  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Campus Features: The 132-acre campus of the University of Pittsburgh is easily recognized by the towering Cathedral of Learning, the tallest educational building in the U.S. The campus enjoys proximity to other highly regarded institutions including Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Athletics: The Pitt Panthers compete in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference.
  • Highlights: Pitt was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, and the university also has strengths in medicine, engineering, and business.

Pitt Admissions Statistics 2017-18

For students who entered the University of Pittsburgh in the 2017-18 academic year, the school had a 60 percent acceptance rate. Below is SAT score and ACT score data for admitted students organized by score percentile.

SAT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 620 700
Math 620 718
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

An average SAT score is a little over 500 for each section, so you can see that Pitt students typically score well above average. If you compare SAT scores for top Pennsylvania colleges, you'll see that Pitt is right in the middle of the mix when it comes to selectivity.

ACT Score Percentiles
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 26 33
Math 26 31
Composite 27 32

More students submit SAT scores than ACT scores to Pitt, but the university is happy to accept either (or both). An average ACT score is 21, so as with the SAT, Pitt students typically score significantly above average.

University of Pittsburgh GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

University of Pittsburgh GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission
University of Pittsburgh GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for admission.

Graph courtesy of Cappex 

The​ GPA, SAT score, and ACT score data for the University of Pittsburgh was self-reported by applicants to the university. You can see a real-time graph and calculate your own chances of getting into Pitt with a free account at Cappex.

Discussion of Pitt's Admissions Standards

Admission to the University of Pittsburgh is selective—just a little over half of students who apply get accepted. In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. As you can see, the majority of students who got in had "B+" or higher averages, SAT scores of about 1150 or higher, and ACT composite scores of 24 or higher. The higher the numbers, the more likely you are to get accepted. Behind the blue and green in the middle of the graph is some red (rejected students) and yellow (waitlisted students), so it's important to keep in mind that some students with strong GPAs and test scores still get rejected by Pitt.

However, Pitt does have holistic admissions, so students who shine in other areas can get accepted even if their grades or test scores are a little less than ideal. For one, the University of Pittsburgh wants to see not just a good GPA, but also challenging courses such as AP, IB and Honors. Also, Pitt will consider optional supplemental materials, so strong short answer essays and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen an application. Finally, as with most selective schools, demonstrating depth and leadership in your extracurricular activities will work in your favor.

Pitt has rolling admissions, but it is certainly to your advantage to apply early before spaces and scholarship dollars are used up.

More University of Pittsburgh Information

Even if your academic measures are on target for the University of Pittsburgh, be sure to consider other factors such as retention and graduation rates, costs, financial aid, and academic offerings. Be aware that some Pitt students end up with significant debt from loans.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 28,642 (19,326 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 49 percent male / 51 percent female
  • 95 percent full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $19,080 (in-state); $30,642 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $773
  • Room and Board: $10,950
  • Other Expenses: $2,447
  • Total Cost: $33,250 (in-state); $44,812 (out-of-state)

University of Pittsburgh Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of Students Receiving Aid: 77 percent
  • Percentage of Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 53 percent
    • Loans: 53 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid​
    • Grants: $12,484
    • Loans: $10,033

Academic Programs

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 93 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 65 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 82 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Track & Field, Wrestling
  • Women's Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field Volleyball

If You Like the University of Pittsburgh, You May Also Like These Schools

Applicants to Pitt often apply to other strong public universities within a day's drive including Penn State, Ohio State, and UConn. All three schools have an acceptance rate that is similar to Pitt, although the academic measures for admission are highest for Ohio State.

Pitt applicants also tend to look at private universities such as Boston University, Syracuse University, and Northeastern University. Highly selective schools such as Duke University and Johns Hopkins University are also popular choices, but keep in mind that these schools will require an even stronger academic record and extracurricular record than Pitt.

Data Sources: Graph courtesy of Cappex; all other data from the National Center for Education Statistics