Achievements & Honors

Achievements Top

Cathedral of Learning

In the Very Top

A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Pitt ranks in the very top cluster of U.S. public research universities, according to The Center for Measuring University Performance.

Reputational Rankings

In 2018, for the second consecutive year, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings named Pitt as the best public university in the Northeastern United States.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance named Pitt to the magazine's list of 100 best-value public colleges nationwide. The list, released in December 2017, marked the 13th consecutive year that Pitt was ranked as the top value among all public colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.

Pitt rose from 15th to 12th among U.S. public universities and from 47th to 43rd internationally in the 2017 Center for World University Rankings, based on quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, influence, patents, scholarly citations, broad impact, and publications.

The School of Nursing, School of Education, and School of Medicine were among the Pitt schools highlighted in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Oline Programs" and "Best Graduate Schools" rankings for 2017.

Pitt received INSIGHT Into Diversity's 2017 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization that identifies LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities, awarded Pitt a Campus Pride Index score of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pitt is included in the Princeton Review's 2017 listing of The Best 381 Colleges, which features the top 15 percent of the nation's four-year colleges.

The Princeton Review also included Pitt in the 2018 edition of its book, Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck, a guide to the nation's academically best and more affordable colleges that also have excellent records of alumni employment. And Pitt was among the institutions profiled in The Princeton Review's Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers By Going Beyond the Classroom.

Pitt is the world's top university for philosophy, according to the 2016 QS World University Rankings. Pitt also was highly rated for nursing (No. 12) and medicine (No. 46).

Thomson Reuters ranked Pitt 30th on its list of the world's 100 most innovative universities, based on such criteria as research output and patent filings.

College Factual has ranked Pitt as the best U.S. school to study health professions, based on graduates' earnings, strength of academic majors, and the number and quality of other closely related majors on campus, program accredications, and overall institutional quality.

In its Guide to 353 Green Colleges, The Princeton Review has ranked Pitt among the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada. Also, Sierra magazine named Pitt as one of America's "Cool Schools" for its commitment to environmentalism.

Calling Pitt "a world class research university" with an "unwavering commitment to excellence," a Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation report in September 2012 reaccredited the University for a 10-year period, without qualification, the maximum permissible time for an extension of accreditation.

Funded Research

Pitt ranks ninth nationally in federal science and engineering funding, according to a report from the National Science Foundation. Pitt ranks fifth among U.S. universities in terms of the competitive grants awarded to members of its faculty by the National Institutes of Health.

Pittsburgh skyline

Good Neighbor

Pitt has been ranked as the top public university in the publication Saviors of Our Cities: A Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships, which measured schools' economic and developmental impacts on neighboring regions.

Academic caps

U.S. News' Views

U.S. News & World Report ranks Pitt 47th on its list of the best global research universities. The publication collected data from 750 universities worldwide.

Pitt consistently ranks in the top 20 among U.S. public universities in U.S. News' annual "America's Best Colleges" listing, and Pitt graduate schools and programs perennially earn high grades in U.S. News' "Best Graduate School" rankings.

U.S. News ranks Pitt's Bradford, Greensburg, and Johnstown campuses among the best baccalaureate colleges in the Northern United States.



Victory Media named Pitt a Military Friendly School, a designation that recognizes the top 15 percent of U.S. colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to ensure the success of veterans, both in the classroom and after graduation.


Recent Highlights

Pitt School of Medicine professors Yuan Chang and Patrick S. Moore, received one of medicine's most prestigious awards in 2017, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, given annually to researchers who have made significant contributions in immunology, cancer research, microbiology, and chemotherapy. The Chang-Moore Laboratory is credited with discovering two of the seven known human viruses that directly cause cancer.

With 17 patents and more than 40 invention disclosures to his credit, Pitt professor William Wagner was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in December 2016. Wagner directs the University's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Charles F. Reynolds III, UPMC Endowed Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry and director of the Aging Institute at Pitt and UPMC, was one of two winners of the 2016 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health given by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. The award recognizes Reynolds' pioneering work in geriatric psychiatry and the prevention and treatment of late-life depression.

Stockholm University awarded an honorary doctorate to Distinguished Professor Emerita Marcia Landy in September 2016 in appreciation of her outstanding contributions to the humanities.

In 2016, three Pitt School of Medicine faculty members were inducted into the Association of American Physicians (AAP), an association of the nation's most accomplished physician-scientists, and three have been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) for early-career accomplishments. The AAP inductees include David A. Brent, professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and epidemiology; Anne B. Newman, the Katherine M. Detre Professor of Population Health Sciences, chair of the Department of Epidemiology, and director of Pitt's Center for Aging and Population Health; and Brian Zuckerbraun, the Henry T. Bahnson Professor of Surgery. ASCI inductees include Caterina Rosano, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology; Bernhard Kühn, a scholar at the Richard King Mellon Institute for Pediatric Research and director of research, Division of Pediatric Cardiology; and Stephen Chan, associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Pulmonary Vascular Biology and Medicine in Pitt's Vascular Medicine Institute.

In June 2016, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities presented Distinguished University Professor Nicholas Rescher with its highest scholarly award, the Helmholtz Medal, in recognition of his lifetime contributions to philosophy.

Two researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) have been awarded the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award: Patrick Moore in 2016 and Thomas Kensler in 2015. Moore holds The Pittsburgh Foundation Chair in Innovative Cancer Research at Pitt and leads the UPCI Cancer Virology Program. Kensler is a Pitt professor of pharmacology and chemical biiology and co-leader of UPCI's Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program.

Three Pitt professors have been awarded the Association for Psychological Science's "Rising Star" designation in 2016 for early-career accomplishments and potential for achievements and contributions: Melissa-Evelyn Libertus, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology within the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC); Rebecca B. Price, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry; and Ming-Te Wang, an associate professor in the School of Education and Department of Psychology and a research scientist at LRDC.

Two Pitt professors were inducted as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016: Patricia Kroboth, dean and Dr. Gordon J. Vanscoy Distinguished Service Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Sandra Mitchell, professor and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. Two other Pitt faculty members—David Waldeck, professor in the Department of Chemistry, and Hrvoje Petek, the Richard King Mellon Professor of Physics and Astronomy—will be inducted in 2017.

Nancy E. Davidson, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC CancerCenter, was elected in 2016 as president of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The American Physical Society awarded Anna Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, the 2016 Polymer Physics Prize for outstanding accomplishment in, and excellence of contributions to, polymer physics research. Balazs is the first woman to win the prize.

Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences

Election to the IOM, one of the highest honors in health and medicine, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Pitt's current IOM members include:

Yoel Sadovsky, director of the Magee-Womens Research Institute and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, School of Medicine, elected in 2013

Michael Boninger, professor and chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2012

Jennifer R. Grandis, Distinguished Professor and vice chair for research, Department of Otolaryngology, 2012

Nancy E. Davidson, professor of medicine, Hillman Professor of Oncology, associate vice chancellor for cancer research, and director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers, 2011

Jeannette E. South-Paul, UPMC Andrew W. Mathieson Professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine, 2011

Jeremy Berg, associate senior vice chancellor for science strategy and planning for the schools of the health sciences, 2010

Donald S. Burke, dean of the Graduate School of Public Health and UPMC-Jonas Salk Chair in Global Health, 2009

David H. Perlmutter, Vira I. Heinz Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, 2008.

David A. Lewis, professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and director of the Translational Neuroscience Program, 2007

Timothy R. Billiar, George Vance Foster Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, 2006

David Brent, professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and epidemiology in the School of Medicine and academic chief,adolescent psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 2005

James M. Roberts, professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, 2002

Karen A. Matthews, professor of psychiatry, epidemiology, and psychology and director of the cardiovascular behavioral medicine research training program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and of the Pittsburgh Mind-Body Center, 2002

Ellen Frank, professor of psychiatry and psychology, 1999

Bruce G. Buchanan, professor of computer science, philosophy, and medicine, 1997

Richard L. Simmons, distinguished service professor in the Department of Surgery, 1994

Bernard D. Goldstein, professor emeritus and former dean of the Graduate School of Public Health, 1991

Savio L-Y Woo, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center, 1991

David J. Kupfer, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and professor of neuroscience in the School of Medicine, 1990

Judith R. Lave, codirector of the Center for Research on Health Care and professor of health economics, business administration, economics, and psychiatry, 1990

Bernard Fisher, Distinguished Service Professor, 1985

National Academy of Sciences

NAS is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research. An Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, calls upon the NAS to provide independent advice to the government on matters related to science and technology. Pitt's current NAS members include:

Yuan Chang, Distinguished Professor and American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Pathology, 2012

Patrick S. Moore, Distinguished Professor and American Cancer Society Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, 2012

Peter Strick, Distinguished Professor, Departments of Neurobiology and Psychiatry, 2012

Angela M. Gronenborn, UPMC Rosalind Franklin Professor and Chair, Department of Structural Biology, 2007

Susan Amara, Thomas Detre Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology, and Codirector of Pitt's Center for Neuroscience, 2004

Robert D. Drennan, professor, Department of Anthropology, 2004

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Founded in 1780, AAAS is an independent policy research center that conducts interdisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. AAAS Fellows currently on the Pitt faculty include:

Terrance A. Hayes, professor, Department of English, elected in 2016

James F. Woodward, Distinguished Professor, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 2016

Lauren B. Resnick, University Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, 2013.

Bruce A. Freeman, professor and chair, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, 2012

Peyman Givi, James T. MacLeod Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, 2012

Valerian E. Kagan, professor and vice chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, 2012

Allan R. Sampson, professor, Department of Statistics and Department of Biostatistics, 2012

Nuel D. Belnap Jr., Alan Ross Anderson Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, 2008

Mark L. Wilson, professor of philosophy, director of graduate studies, and a fellow of Pitt's Center for Philosophy of Science, 2007

Anil K. Gupta, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, professor of history and philosophy of science, and a fellow of Pitt's Center for Philosophy of Science, 2006

Peter L. Strick, Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Psychiatry and codirector of Pitt's Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, 2004

Robert Brandom, Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy, 2000

John S. Earman, University Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science, 1993

John McDowell, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, 1992

Adolf Grünbaum, Andrew Mellon Professor of Philosophy and cochair of Pitt's Center for Philosophy of Science, 1976

World-Class Achievers

The University of Pittsburgh History of Award Winners (PDF) is a record of Pitt undergraduate student and alumni recipients of nationally competitive awards. The University Honors College relies on Pitt students, alumni, faculty, and staff to share news of successes in national competitions. Please contact Shannon Mischler,, with updates for the list.

Honors College National Scholarship Advising provides guidance and support to undergraduate students and alumni who are interested in pursuing national and international scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

Cory J RogersCory J. Rodgers

Rhodes Scholarship

Seven Pitt students have won Rhodes Scholarships, the world's oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards. The scholarship provides full financial support to pursue a degree or degrees at Britain's University of Oxford.

Pitt's most recent (2012) Rhodes recipient, Cory J. Rodgers, went on to earn a Master of Philosophy degree in medical anthropology at Oxford, where he is currently a postgraduate student performing an ethnographic study of the everyday tactics by which Turkana herders negotiate the challenges of drought, disease, conflict, and regional development.

In 2011, Rodgers became the first Pitt student to win a Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, for a project benefiting people with HIV and AIDS in Tanzania.

Lia PetroseLia Petrose

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Established by the U.S. Congress, the Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive, merit-based federal award to college juniors who wish to attend graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, or elsewhere in public service.

Twelve Pitt students have won Truman Scholarships, including Lia Petrose in 2016. Next fall, she will begin a full academic year of studying the natural sciences at the University of Cambridge's Jesus College through the program Pitt Honors: Cambridge, which offers one Pitt student per year the opportunity to study at Jesus College. Petrose is just the third student to take part in the program. Following her undergraduate career, Petrose plans to enroll in a medical degree program that provides training in clinical practice, scholarly research, and public health policy. She hopes to devote her career to creating sustainable health care systems for underserved populations in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Anna QuiderAnna Quider

Marshall Scholarship

The Marshall Scholarship, created by the British Parliament in honor of U.S. Army General George C. Marshall, provides access and funding at any university in the United Kingdom for two years of study toward a degree. Nine Pitt students have won the Marshall, including Anna Quider in 2007. Quider also won the Goldwater Scholarship (2005) and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2008). She earned a PhD in astronomy from the University of Cambridge and currently is the Director of Federal Relations at Northern Illinois University. Previously, she worked to improve local and global communities through international cooperation by supporting U.S. Department of State policies and programming at the intersection of science, innovation, and diplomacy.

David PalmDavid Palm

Winston Churchill Scholarship

Two Pitt students, David Palm and Clayton Magill, have won Churchill Foundation Scholarships—Palm in 2014, and Magill in 2006, the first year Pitt was invited to participate in the competition. The scholarship program provides American students full support for one year of graduate studies in engineering, mathematics, and the sciences at the University of Cambridge's Churchill College. Palm earned his Master of Philosophy degree in chemistry while working to optimize a photoelectrochemical device design for efficient solar-driven water splitting for the production of hydrogen gas. He currently is a PhD student at Stanford University, and he has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

For the sixth consecutive year (2016), The Chronicle of Higher Education named Pitt a top producer of Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant winners. The flagship international educational exchange program for the U.S. government, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or English teaching assistantships.

More than 120 Pitt students and alumni have received Fulbright grants since 2006, including Katherine "Nikki" Luke, who earned a master's degree in environmental governance at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom on the Fulbright U.S. Student Grant in 2014. Luke is a policy analyst at the Don Vial Center on the Green Economy at UC Berkeley, examining the overlapping concerns that arise in environmental policy of job quality and creation, environmental justice, and just transition for industrial workers.

Patrick A. AsingerPatrick A. Asinger

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Fifty-six Pitt students have won Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, which are awarded to college sophomores and juniors who plan to be scientists, mathematicians, or engineers. Pitt's latest Goldwater Scholars are Patrick A. Asinger, Natalie R. Dall, and Charles J. Hansen (2016). Upon their anticipated graduation from Pitt in spring 2017, Asinger and Hansen plan to pursue doctoral degrees in chemical engineering, while Dall plans to pursue a doctoral degree in biology.

Ying Chen LienYing Chen Lien

Udall Scholarship

Nine Pitt students have been awarded Udall Undergraduate Scholarships for their leadership, public service, and commitment to careers related to the advancement of American Indian nations or the environment. The scholarships are awarded by the Udall Foundation, established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 and named for Congressmen Morris King Udall and Stewart Lee Udall, both of Arizona, for their exemplary public service. Ying Chen "Bailey" Lien, an aspiring physician who plans to focus her career on public health and environmental affairs, won the Udall in 2016.

Katherine MacCordKatherine MacCord

Gates Cambridge Scholarship

In 2009, Pitt student Katherine MacCord won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, awarded to students from outside the United Kingdom for graduate-level study at the University of Cambridge. MacCord is pursuing her PhD in history and philosophy of science at Arizona State University.

Simon BrownSimon Brown

Beinecke Scholarship

The Beinecke Scholarship is awarded to juniors who demonstrate financial need and exceptional academic promise and wish to attend graduate school in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. Simon Brown won the Beinecke in 2014 and is now pursuing a PhD in history at the University of California at Berkeley.

Viveka MandavaViveka Mandava

Boren Awards for International Study

Boren Awards provide funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests; 45 Pitt students and alumni have received Boren Awards, including four in 2017. Viveka Mandava won the Boren Scholarship in 2012 to study Kiswahili, East African history, and international relations in Dar es Salaam, where she also interned at the Tanzania Breast Cancer Foundation. Currently, she works at 270 Strategies, helping clients build modern grassroots campaigns that change the world.

Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes

Pitt undergraduate and graduate students, including eight in 2016, have won U.S. Department of State-sponsored scholarships to study Arabic, Bengla, Hinki, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu, and other critical-need foreign languages. Stephen Sloto won the Critical Language Scholarship in 2013 and 2014 to study Turkish. Currently, he is an English Teaching Assistant in Turkey on a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant.

Jann GrovoguiJann Grovogui

GEM/National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science Fellowship

GEM is a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, and top universities and research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering. Pitt's Jann Grovogui won the GEM Fellowship in 2015. Currently, he is a PhD student in materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, and he has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.


Cadijah WalcottCadijah Walcott

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships

More than 80 Pitt students since 2001 have been awarded the Gilman Scholarship to participate in study-abroad programs worldwide. The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad, and the regions where they go, by providing awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. Cadijah Walcott won the Gilman Scholarship in summer 2015 to study renewable energy systems at the Danish Institute in Copenhagen.

Humanity in Action Fellowship

The Humanity in Action Fellowship brings together international groups of university students and recent graduates to explore topics related to discrimination and social resistance as well as issues affecting underrepresented groups around the world. Programs are held over the summer in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Copenhagen, Detroit, Sarajevo, and Warsaw. Twenty Pitt students have been awarded Humanity in Action Fellowships since 2006, including Mehrgol Tiv in 2016.

LaVonda BaldwinLaVonda Baldwin

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships

Five Pitt students — most recently David Leftwich, in 2017 —have won Pickering Fellowships, which provide financial and professional support for undergraduate students preparing to enter the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service.

Lisa VolpattiLisa Volpatti

Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program

The Whitaker International Program sends emerging leaders in U.S. biomedical engineering overseas to undertake self-designed projects that will enhance their careers within the field. Ten Pitt students have received Whitaker Program grants, including Daniel Freer and Drake Pedersen in 2015. Lisa Volpatti was a Whitaker International Fellow at the University of Cambridge, where she earned a MPhil in chemistry in 2014. She is currently a PhD candidate in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Changing the World

From launching the biotech industry to winning Nobel Prizes, University of Pittsburgh graduates have made their marks on the world—and changed it for the better.

Arts and Entertainment

Pitt graduates have excelled on stage and on the page. The following are some of the University's A&E high achievers.

Bebe Moore CampbellBebe Moore Campbell

Daniel Borzutsky, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry

Bebe Moore Campbell, author of three New York Times bestsellers

Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist

Gene Kelly, Oscar-winning actor, choreographer, dancer, and director

Lorin Maazel, symphony conductor

Gerald Stern, poet and author


For many Pitt student-athletes, the glory doesn't stop after graduation. Pitt alumni have medaled at the Olympics, coached teams to championships, and shared their sports knowledge with fans via TV, radio, print, and the Web.

Mike Ditka, Pro Football Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl-winning coach

Tony Dorsett, the first player to win a college football national championship (plus the Heisman Trophy) and the Super Bowl in back-to-back years

Roger Kingdom, two-time Olympic gold medal-winning hurdler

Billy Knight, NBA player and general manager

Dan MarinoDan Marino

Dan Marino, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and TV analyst

Mark May, Outland Trophy-winning Pitt lineman, Super Bowl-winning NFL player, and ESPN analyst

Art Rooney II, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Trecia-Kaye Smith, triple jump world champion

John Bain "Jock" Sutherland, who coached Pitt to five national college football championships

John Woodruff, Olympic gold medal winner in the 800-meter run

Business and Entrepreneurship

Graduates of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, College of Business Administration, and other Pitt units are among the nation's leaders in business and entrepreneurship.

Bibiana Boerio, finance and strategy director for Ford's International Operations and former managing director of Jaguar Cars Ltd.

Sam Colella, venture capitalist who specializes in life-science investing

Robert Colwell, chief architect of four generations of the Pentium chip

William S. Dietrich IIWilliam S. Dietrich II William S. Dietrich II, business leader, investor, author, and philanthropist who gave Pitt the largest individual gift in its history, a $125 million fund

Frances Hesselbein, former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

Thomas A. Mellon, founder of the Mellon banking dynasty, and his sons Andrew W. and Richard B. Mellon, bankers, industrialists, and philanthropists who served Pitt as trustees and donors. Andrew Mellon also served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health

Kevin Sharer, board chair and CEO of Amgen Inc.

Ray Smith, retired board chair and CEO, Bell Atlantic

John Swanson, engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of ANSYS Inc.

Burt Tansky, retired president and CEO, Neiman Marcus

Thomas Usher, board chair of Marathon Oil, formerly CEO and COO of U.S. Steel


Pitt has long been an international leader in education, preparing students to be teachers, researchers, public policy experts, and administrators.

Lap-Chee TsuiLap-Chee Tsui

Steven Beering, president emeritus, Purdue University

Catherine DeAngelis, medical educator and editor-in-chief, Journal of the American Medical Association

Lap-Chee Tsui, Chinese-Canadian geneticist and vice chancellor and president of the University of Hong Kong

Community Service and Human Rights

Along with teaching and research, public service is a core mission of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt students continue that legacy of service after they graduate.

C. Scott Harrison, orthopaedic surgeon who cofounded CURE International to treat disabled children

Abul Hussam, inventor of a simple, inexpensive filter that removes arsenic from drinking water and is saving lives in developing countries

Wangari MaathaiWangari Maathai Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmentalist, political activist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Holmes Rolston III, "father of environmental ethics" and winner of the Templeton Prize for advancing peace, social justice, and human knowledge

Bill Strickland, founder and CEO of the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, author, and MacArthur "Genuis" Fellow


Generations of Pitt alumni have informed the public as reporters, editors, broadcasters, and bloggers, including the following individuals.

Frank Bolden, pioneering African American newspaper reporter

Lynette Clemetson, director of StateImpact (a reporting project between NPR and member stations) and a former reporter for The New York Times and Newsweek

Myron CopeMyron Cope Myron Cope, award-winning sportswriter and broadcast voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Al Primo, broadcast journalist who created the "Eyewitness News" format

Law, Politics, and the Military

The following are among the national, state, and foreign leaders who earned Pitt degrees.

Ralph J. Cappy, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Orrin Hatch, U.S. Senator for Utah

K. Leroy Irvis, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Dick ThornburghDick Thornburgh

Mahmoud Jibril, who served as acting prime minister of the Libyan rebel government during the 2011 civil war that drove Moammar Gadhafi from power

Roscoe Robinson Jr., first African American four-star Army general

Dick Thornburgh, Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Attorney General


Pitt graduates have expanded the boundaries of knowledge, from life-saving medical breakthroughs to searches for signs of Martian life.

Herbert Boyer, genetic engineer whose research on the DNA molecule launched the biotechnology industry

Bernard FisherBernard Fisher Bernard Fisher, pioneering oncologist whose research fundamentally altered understanding of breast cancer

Kevin Guskiewicz, a sports medicine scholar and MacArthur "Genius" Fellow who was among the first to identify the long-term threats to athletes of multiple concussions

Philip Hench, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the hormone cortisone and its effectiveness in treating rheumatoid arthritis

Norman Horowitz, biochemical evolutionist who devised NASA experiments searching for signs of life on Mars

Paul Lauterbur, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research that made magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) possible

Bert W. O'Malley, "father of molecular endocrinology" and National Medical of Science winner

James Theodore, pioneer in heart-lung and lung transplantation

Vladimir Zworykin, Russian-American inventor, engineer, and pioneer of television technology

'Green' Gold

Eight Pitt buildings and renovation projects have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council since 2005: the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (Gold), the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (Gold), the Swanson School of Engineering Benedum Hall Renovation Phase I (Gold), the Chevron Science Center addition (Gold), the Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower 12th-floor renovation (Gold), the Mid-Campus Research Complex Nuclear Physics renovation (Silver), the Greensburg campus's Frank A. Cassell Hall (Gold), and Mark A. Nordenberg Hall (Silver).

Eight additional projects are pursuing LEED certification.

Chevron Science Center

Award-Winning Architecture

The Chevron Science Center and the Greensburg campus's Frank A. Cassell Hall were honored as part of the Master Builders' Association (MBA) of Western Pennsylvania's 2012 MBA Building Excellence Awards competition. Chevron won in the "New Construction Between $10-25 Million" category, and Cassell Hall was the winner in the "New Construction Under $10 Million" category. The MBA Building Excellence Awards are the region's most prestigious awards in the commercial construction industry.

The Chevron Annex within the Chevron Science Center won the 2012 Society for College and University Planning Excellence in Architecture for Building Additions or Adaptive Reuse Honor Award.

Benedum Hall (constructed in 1971) has received an Honor Award as well as a Distinguished Building Award from the Pennsylvania Society of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Biomedical Science TowerThe Biomedical Science Tower 3 (2003-05) has won awards from AIA/New England and AIA/Pittsburgh as well as an Award for Design from the Boston Society of Architects.

The Center for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (1993) won an Award for Excellence in Architectural Design from the Pennsylvania Society of Architects in addition to an Honor Award from AIA/Pittsburgh.

AIA/Pittsburgh honored Hillman Library (1965-68) with a 1996 Timeless Award for Enduring Design.

The Petersen Events Center (2002) won a 2003 Innovative Architecture & Design Honor Award.

The Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower (1990) received a Lab of the Year Award from R&D Magazine.

Cathedral of Learning

Cathedral of LearningThe 42-story Cathedral of Learning is the iconic heart of the University of Pittsburgh. A landmark listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Gothic Revival skyscraper is the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere.

Other Historic Landmarks

Like the Cathedral, Pitt's Allegheny Observatory is designated as a landmark in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Greek Revival astronomy facility was constructed between 1900 and 1912.

Alumni HallFour Pitt buildings have earned Pennsylvania State Historical Designations: the Allegheny Observatory, Salk Hall, the Stephen Foster Memorial, and the William Pitt Union.

The following Pitt buildings are Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation Historic Landmarks: the Allegheny Observatory, Allen Hall, Alumni Hall, Amos Hall, Bellefield Hall, Brackenridge Hall, Bruce Hall, the Cathedral of Learning, the Chancellor's Residence, the Child Development Center, Gardner Steel Conference Center, Holland Hall, McCormick Hall, Salk Hall, the Stephen Foster Memorial, Thaw Hall, and the William Pitt Union.

Championship Legacy

Pitt's 19 varsity teams compete at the highest level of U.S. collegiate athletics. In addition to traditionally fielding competitive football and men's basketball teams, Pitt has produced dominant squads in baseball, women's basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, volleyball, and wrestling.

Scholar Athletes

Among Pitt's 475 student-athletes, 393 earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average in 2015, including 44 who achieved a perfect 4.0. Pitt athletic programs post strong numbers in the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Ratings, with 13 of Pitt's 17 programs performing at or above the national average in 2016.

Gridiron Glory

Mike DitkaPitt has won nine national football championships, the most of any major college program in the Eastern United States and the sixth-highest total ever. The Panthers were the first football team to wear numbered jerseys, travel by plane, and play in a game broadcast on radio. Among the many Panthers who went on to play in the NFL are Pro Football Hall of Famers Mike Ditka, Chris Doleman, Tony Dorsett, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dan Marino, and Curtis Martin.

Winning Round-ball Programs

Pitt basketball playerThe Pitt men's basketball team has made 25 NCAA tournament appearances, advancing to the Final Four once, to the Elite Eight three times, and to the Sweet Sixteen seven times; the team has won 10 conference regular-season championships and four conference tournament championships. In the era preceding national tournaments, the Panthers were ranked as national champions three times. The women's basketball team has made four NCAA tournament appearances, twice advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

Olympic Medalists

John WoodruffPitt students and alumni who have medaled in the Olympics include John Woodruff (gold medal, 800-meter run, 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin), Herbert Douglas Jr. (bronze, long jump, London 1948), Dick Rydze (silver, 10-meter diving, Munich 1972), and Roger Kingdom (gold, 110-meter hurdles, Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988). Marisa Pedulla took fourth place in women's judo in Atlanta in 1996. Pitt Professor Savio Woo is the only engineer to win an Olympic Gold Medal—for sports medicine.