The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university. Founded by Hugh Henry Brackenridge as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh is one of the few universities and colleges established in the 18th century in the United States. It is the oldest continuously chartered institution of learning in the U.S. west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The university is composed of 17 undergraduate and graduate schools and colleges located at its urban Pittsburgh campus. The university also includes four undergraduate schools located at campuses within Western Pennsylvania.
In its 2016 rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Pitt 24th in comparison to other public universities in the United States and tied for 66th among all national universities.
Pitt alumni have won awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Prize in medicine, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and many others world-known prizes and medals in the fields of medicine, engineering and sustainability.
Throughout its history, Pitt has been committed to a liberal arts education with a well-rounded curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Pitt has an increasing emphasis on undergraduate research experience and for providing real-world opportunities such as co-ops and internships. Undergraduate degrees can be earned as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Philosophy.
Particularly well regarded programs include Pitt's Department of Philosophy, which has long been renowned in the U.S. and worldwide, and is especially strong in the areas of mathematical and philosophical logic, metaphysics, history and philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mind and psychology, and semantics.
The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, including Medicine, Dental, Nursing, ranked 5th nationally.
Two Pitt buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places: Allegheny Observatory (in Pittsburgh's Riverview Park on the Northside) and the Cathedral of Learning. Twenty-one of Pitt's buildings are contributing properties to the Schenley Farms-Oakland Civic Center Historic District that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.
The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation has designated more than 15 Pitt buildings as Pittsburgh Historic Landmarks.