Living in Pittsburgh

Surprising Pittsburgh

Undergraduates can easily distance themselves and “campus life” from the non-collegiate world around them. As a Pitt medical student, you and the Pittsburgh area will be connected. Our person-to-person approach involves a daily immersion in the culture, traditions, economics, and beliefs that surround our school. Even Pitt medical students from Western Pennsylvania gain a deeper appreciation for, and understanding of, the region's people and landscape.

Pittsburgh…Who Knew?

Over the years, we have noticed a pattern among prospective medical students who arrive for their interviews. First, they scan the dramatic skies and dense tree cover. Second, they reflect upon the rivers and rolling hills. Third, they point to Pittsburgh's skyline and bridges (more bridges than in any other city in the world, including Venice). By visit’s end, they are rehearsing their “How I fell in love with Pittsburgh” speech for friends and family members. Surprised? Don't be. Pittsburgh is compact, cultured, safe, neighborly, historic, and very affordable. We could not think of a better setting for four years of medical school.

Pittsburgh - School of Medicine - 2021 Housing Guide

Arts and Culture

The City of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as the Golden Triangle, is rich in art and culture.  Our cultural district includes professional music venues such as Heinz Hall, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater performs at the Benedum Center.

Pittsburgh’s diversity is reflected in its music.  Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues and bluegrass music and has a number of small and mid-sized arts organizations such as the River City Brass BandPittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater, the Quantum Theatre, and the early music ensemble Chatham Baroque.

Pittsburgh has a variety of museums, three of which – the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and Carnegie Science Center – bear the name of 19th-century industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, who made his fortune in steel here.  Other museums include the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center; the Mattress Factory; and the Andy Warhol Museum.


Named the “Best Sports City” in the United States by Sporting News in 2009, Pittsburgh has a rich legacy in sports history.  All of our major professional sports teams – the Steelers, the Penguins, and the Pirates – share the same black and gold team colors, the official colors of the City of Pittsburgh. 

Besides our major professional teams, our own University of Pittsburgh football and basketball teams have large fan bases.

Pittsburgh is also home to a professional soccer team, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and also hosts several annual sporting events including the Pittsburgh Marathon, and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

Parks and Recreation

In addition to the numerous neighborhood parks, Pittsburgh has five large city parks covering hundreds of acres.  Three of these parks are in close proximity to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine – Schenley Park, Frick Park and Highland Park.

Schenley Park, in Oakland and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods, contains Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Highland Park is home to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.  Frick Park contains ideal biking trails and Pittsburgh’s “Rail to Trail” project has converted miles for former railroads to recreational trails. The National Aviary is also within a short driving distance from the school. 

Other Pittsburgh Resources