University of Pittsburgh

Ah, Summer!

Find Your Place

One adventure gives way to another—so you’ve decided to make Pitt your academic home for the next several years! Now you’ve got to make Pittsburgh your hometown. And luckily, it’s easier than you think.

We’ve Done the Research Already!

This site is full of great information about Pittsburgh neighborhoods and the graduate students who live there—but don’t take our word for it. You should visit to enjoy the city for yourself and see the possibilities of this place. Every neighborhood and every street possesses variety, charm, and convenience—all at a price that makes living affordable for grad students.

Summer Lovin’, Lovin’ Summer

Summer also brings outstanding opportunities for fun: seeing a Bucs (the nickname of the Pirates) game at PNC Park, one of the most outstanding ballparks in the country, and following the Mon all the way to Kennywood, one of the few old-time amusement parks left and a National Historic Landmark.

Since 1898 Pittsburghers have been flocking to Kennywood, first by trolley and then by bus and car, to enjoy the breezes on the bluff above the Monongahela River. Now that bluff above the river is crammed with all you’d expect in a major amusement park, but without the relentless studio branding. Those clever roller-coaster designers know how to take advantage of the unique topography—they bolt the coasters to the sides of the mountains and send you plummeting over the cliff towards the river. It’s breathtaking—as long as you can stand the shock! Kennywood also has one of the oldest wooden coasters in the East—a ride not for worriers, I can tell you.

At PNC Park, you can watch the sun set over the waters of the three rivers while you drink beer and cheer on the Pirates—or the Mets, or the Cubs, or whatever team holds your allegiance. Luckily for you, baseball fans aren’t nearly as fanatic as Steelers fans—cheering for the visiting team at Heinz Field could be hazardous to your health. But at PNC Park, a lot of people buy tickets to see other teams play. And they still let you watch the sunset and buy beer. Play ball!

More than Baseball and Funnel Cake

Since Pittsburgh is such a big university town—the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is the #1 employer in the state, and the University itself is #6—summertime sees the traffic in Oakland relax and the cultural activities explode. Many of the professors and graduate students spend their summers working outside of the university, and everybody benefits. If you love outdoor festivals, live theatre (outdoors and in), and music concerts of all types, summertime is synonymous with satisfaction.

Finding a Place of One’s Own

Sure that sounds great—but how do you get here?  First you need to find a place to live. Your department might be a great place to start—often, graduate secretaries will play matchmaker, helping new students wanting to share a house to find one another. Or current students may be your best source of information. Driving or walking through the neighborhoods you’re considering is one of the best ways of finding good deals on nice places, but if you’re too far away for that to be a real option, you can find places online at Craig’s List or City Paper. Here’s a link to the latest rental survey, conducted by grad students at Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences. It divides out rents by neighborhood, giving you a range as well as the top and bottom.

Summertime in Pittsburgh is the perfect time to find your place—where you can belong. Good luck with moving—remember to buy extra packing tape. I always run out. Hope to see you soon.