History and Overview of the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education is a nonsectarian, coeducational, state-related public research university made up of five campuses located throughout Western Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh campus, located in the cultural and medical center of the city of Pittsburgh, is within a one-hour commuting distance of the metropolitan area’s 2.4 million people. The Johnstown campus, a four-year undergraduate college in Cambria County, serves the region at the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. The Bradford campus, a four-year undergraduate college located in the Allegheny Mountains at the Pennsylvania/New York border, serves the predominantly rural areas of Western Pennsylvania and Western New York. The Greensburg campus is a four-year undergraduate college located east of Pittsburgh that serves Westmoreland County and the eastern Pittsburgh areas. The Titusville campus is a two-year college located in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The University was founded in 1787 as a small private school named the Pittsburgh Academy. In 1819, it was renamed the Western University of Pennsylvania and then renamed again, in 1908, as the University of Pittsburgh. The Johnstown campus was established in 1927, while the Bradford, Greensburg, and Titusville campuses were established in 1963. The University of Pittsburgh remained private until 1966, when it became a public state-related institution and was renamed the University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education.

The University is the most comprehensive educational institution in Western Pennsylvania, enrolling approximately 36,000 students. Through its five campuses, the University is able to fulfill its commitment to student access by offering an excellent undergraduate experience across a range of aspirations, abilities, and interests. The Pittsburgh campus, located in Allegheny County, offers certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, first professional, and doctoral programs.The campuses in Johnstown and Bradford offer certificate, associate’s, and baccalaureate programs. The Greensburg campus offers certificate and baccalaureate programs, while the Titusville campus offers certificate and associate’s degree programs. In total, the University offers more than 440 distinct degree programs and numerous dual,  joint, and cooperative degree programs.

The University Board of Trustees is responsible for advancing the purposes of the University; promoting and protecting its independence, academic freedom, and integrity; and enhancing and preserving its assets for the benefit of future generations of students and society at large. The complete membership of the board includes the Chancellor and four categories of trustees—term (17), special (15), alumni (six), and commonwealth (12)—for a total of 51 members. The governor of Pennsylvania, the commonwealth secretary of education, the chief executive of Allegheny County, and the mayor of the City of Pittsburgh serve as ex-officio members without vote.

The Board of Trustees delegates general administrative, academic, and managerial authority to the Chancellor of the University. The Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor isresponsible for general academic policies and standards and for overall academic matters in all schools and colleges, regional campuses, report to the Senior Vice Chancellor for the health sciences. Based on a total enrollment of approximately 36,000 students, more than 25,000 are undergraduate students and approximately 10,000 are graduate and professional students. The University employs a total of more than 4,000 full-time and about  900 part-time faculty members, more than 7,000 staff members, and approximately 1,000 research associates and postdoctoral associates.