How to Get Into Pitt – Acceptance Rate & Admissions Strategies

July 27, 2022

Like Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh is a top-flight public option for residents of the Keystone State. However, standout programs in the disciplines of engineering, nursing, business, and computer science have led students from around the globe to target Pitt. Admittance into one of these programs involves an even more impressive academic profile. We’ll examine the Pitt acceptance rate and strategies to help you in the admissions process.

With the admissions landscape at Pitt changing in recent decades, it’s important for applicants to have an up-to-date understanding of what they are up against. To help, the College Transitions team will present the:

  • Pitt acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, Class Rank and GPAs of Pitt applicants
  • Admissions trends
  • The demographics of current  undergraduates
  • Pitt’s yield rate
  • How Pitt’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying
  • How to assess whether applying to Pitt is even worth the $55 application fee (for you)

Students applying to Pitt may also find the following “How to Get Into” blogs to be of interest:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Pitt: Acceptance Rate – Class of 2025

Pitt admitted 23,109 of the 34,656 applicants who sought admission into the Class of 2025. This means that the Pitt acceptance rate is 64%. The university has not released their acceptance rate by in-state vs. out-of-state.

Pitt Admissions – SAT, ACT, Class Rank, and GPA

Among those who enrolled in the Class of 2025, the average weighted GPA range was 4.10. An incredible 81% of 2021-22 freshmen possessed a high school GPA above a 3.75. Further, 45% of newcomers placed in the top decile of their high school class. All told, 80% placed within the top 25%.

In terms of SAT/ACT, Pitt boasted the average mid-50th percentile scores by college:

Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

  • SAT: 1250-1440
  • ACT: 28-33

Swanson School of Engineering

  • SAT: 1300-1490
  • ACT: 29-34

College of Business Administration

  • SAT: 1260-1410
  • ACT: 27-32

School of Computing and Information

  • SAT: 1320-1470
  • ACT: 31-33

School of Nursing  

  • SAT: 1290-1390
  • ACT: 28-31

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • Firstly, the Class of 2025 was made up of 1,556 minority students.
  • Pitt was test-optional for the Class of 2025.
  • Additionally, only 49% submitted SAT scores and 16% included ACT results with their application.
  • The Class of 2025 included 1,838 non-residents including 192 international students.
  • Lastly, with 4,927 members, the Class of 2025 was the largest class in school history.

Who Gets Into Pitt?

Let’s look at the demographics of Pitt undergraduates:

The majority of Pitt students hailed from the Keystone State and paid in-state tuition. The split was:

  • In-state: 65%
  • Out-of-state: 32%
  • International: 4%

Looking at ethnic identity among the Panther undergraduate student body, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Asian American: 12%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • African American: 5%
  • International: 4%
  • Caucasian: 67%
  • Two or more races: 5%

International students hail from 54 countries with the greatest representation from the following nations:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Canada
  4. Korea
  5. Taiwan

The breakdown by gender of undergraduate student body class shows more men than women presently on campus:

  • Male: 46%
  • Female: 54%

Pitt’s Yield Rate

Pitt’s yield rate—the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted was only 21%. To compare this school to other flagship public institutions, Penn State has a 19% yield, UGA comes in at 41%, and Ohio State’s is 30%.

How Pitt Rates Applicants

There are just factors that Pitt ranks as being “very important” to their admissions process. Those are: the rigor of one’s coursework and an applicant’s GPA. The only categories ranked as “important” are the essays and character/personal qualities. Just about every other factor is “considered” in the admissions process.

Pitt went test-optional due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020-21 admissions cycle. They will remain test-optional through Fall 2023.

In the words of the Pitt admissions office:

“We look for a solid senior year curriculum as part of our university admissions review, so, while applying for college you also should make sure to keep up the good work during your senior year of high school. Every university application receives a holistic review by taking traditional measures of academic achievement into account, while also looking for what makes you unique and a good fit to attend college at Pitt.”

Tips for Applying to Pitt

If you plan on joining the 34,000+ Panther hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Firstly, Pitt does not offer interviews. Therefore, the best way to personalize the admissions process is through your essays and recommendations.
  • Pitt does consider “demonstrated interest” in the admissions process. This means you will gain an advantage by visiting campus, connecting through social media, emailing an admissions officer, etc.
  • “The University Of Pittsburgh operates on a rolling admission policy, which means that for our first-year students and undergraduate programs, there’s no set deadline for applying to Pitt.”
  • Lastly, make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essay offered by Pitt. There is only one “optional” prompt that reads as follows:

The personal statement is your opportunity to communicate directly with the Admissions Committee. Applicants are welcome to submit anything that helps tell their story, being mindful and thoughtful about the quantity and quality of information shared. Share information not included elsewhere in your application.

For serious applicants, “optional” essays such as this one at Pitt are not really optional. This is an important opportunity to let the committee know about the unique personality traits, skills, and passions that you will bring to the university.

Should I Apply?

Successful Pitt applicants generally sport A-/B+ averages and possess average standardized test scores right around the 85th-90th percentile of all test-takers. Remember, Pitt has a 64% acceptance rate, so they accept more students than they reject. If you fall below these numbers, there is still a good chance that you could gain acceptance to one of Pitt’s 4 branch campuses located throughout Western Pennsylvania.

In conclusion, we want to stress that all college-bound high school students should formulate an appropriate college list, containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. This can be done in collaboration with an admissions professional who is aware of the latest trends and strategies associated with your prospective colleges.