Pitt students have access to various arts programs throughout the campus and city, and can participate in over 400 student clubs and organizations all sizes and covering all manner of interests.
Several romantic traditions have become part of student life at Pitt over the years. One of the oldest traditions is "Lantern Night", an annual ceremony that serves as a formal induction for freshman women to university life. Besides, annual traditional events include "Fall Fest", and in the spring, "Bigelow Bash". These festivals are held by the Pitt Program Council between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning and involve a range of activities, novelties, and bands.
Undergraduate student housing comprises both traditional residence halls and apartment style housing. On the lower campus, the three cylindrical towers of the Litchfield Towers complex houses the most students on campus and contains the primary dining facility for the university.
Many students, especially upperclassmen, also choose to live off campus in the nearby South Oakland neighborhood in both university and non-university owned apartments.
The 132-acre Pittsburgh campus has multiple contributing historic buildings of the Schenley Farms Historic District. The campus is situated adjacent to the flagship medical facilities of its closely affiliated University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The University of Pittsburgh's main campus comprises approximately 0.53 km2 located in Pittsburgh's historic Oakland neighborhood. Much of the campus, including its centerpiece 42-story Cathedral of Learning, falls within the Oakland Civic Center. The campus has been noted for its impressive architecture, and contains an eclectic mix of architecture that includes Greek revival, Neogothic, Italian Renaissance, and modern. It has been termed "a theme park of replica buildings, representing the architecture of the past speaking to the present.
The main campus is within walking distance of many recreational, cultural, and educational institutions in the Oakland neighborhood. The campus is adjacent to Schenley Plaza, the main branch of the Carnegie Public Library, the Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art and the Carnegie Music Hall, as well as portions of Carnegie Mellon University. Carlow University is just west of campus, adjacent to the university's medical center complexes. The main quad of Carnegie Mellon University, Central Catholic High School, and historic Schenley Park, site of the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, lie across Junction Hollow on the east end.
In addition to its academic rankings, Pitt has also been recognized for its positive campus atmosphere, with The Princeton Review rating Pitt as having the 8th happiest student body and the 11th best quality of life in the nation in 2010.
In 2016, 93% of students are employed, freelancing, or pursuing further study within one year of graduation continuing their education six months after graduation in 2016.
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.