Pitt Facts

Issue Date: 
May 2, 2016

Founded in 1787, Pitt is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States.

Pitt’s signature tower, the Cathedral of Learning, is the tallest educational building in the nation and the second tallest in the world.

More than 2 million people set foot in Pitt libraries last year.  

The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs has 8,000 alumni working in more than 100 countries around the globe.

Victor David Brenner, the artist who sculpted the portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the U.S. penny, designed the Frick Fine Arts Building fountain. 

There are 30 Nationality and Heritage Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning, representing the region’s many ethnic groups. Each is built by master craftspeople from those cultures. Used as classrooms, these architectural rarities attract visitors from around the world. 

Pitt was named the nation’s top-ranked public “Best Neighbor” educational institution in the most recent edition of Saviors of Our Cities: A Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships. 

The Dietrich School’s philosophy program is ranked second in the world, behind only New York University and ahead of Oxford, Harvard, and Cambridge. 

William H. Dammond, the first African American to graduate from Pitt, earned his degree in civil engineering in 1893. Pitt has been named a Military Friendly School by Victory Media, an honor that has placed the University of Pittsburgh in the top 15 percent of all schools nationwide.

The Swanson School of Engineering has produced CEOs/presidents of more than 100 companies, including AT&T Labs, U.S. Steel, ANSYS, Respironics, Westinghouse, Duquesne Light, Dominion Resources, Alcoa, and PPG.

The Katz Graduate School of Business is ranked 1st for job placement by Bloomberg Businessweek.

John James Audubon’s Birds of America, one of only 120 existing sets, is the most valuable collection in the University Library System’s archives. 

Heinz Memorial Chapel contains 23 stained-glass windows depicting 391 celebrated figures from religion, history, medicine, science, and the arts. The chapel’s 73-foot transept windows are among the tallest in the world. 

Pitt’s Graduate School of Nursing ranks 5th in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report, and its Nursing Anesthesia Program ranks 1st.

Built in 1971 in the then-popular “brutalist” architectural style, the Swanson School’s Benedum Hall has more recently won awards for its transformation to a sustainable LEED Gold building, one of nine sustainable certified campus buildings, with more to come.