Information for Visitors

The University of Pittsburgh is proud to be an intellectual destination for visiting scientists, scholars, researchers, and employees from industry, government, nonprofit organizations, and other academic institutions. The University regularly welcomes domestic and international Visitors who wish to participate in research, educational, and other scholarly activities. As an Academic Visitor, you enrich our campus environment and provide unique skills and perspectives through your activities with both faculty members and students.

The sections below provide information on the Academic Visitor Hosting Process, the University of Pittsburgh, and the City of Pittsburgh that may be helpful to Visitors before and during their visits.

The Academic Visitor Hosting Process

The University of Pittsburgh's Hosting Visitor guidelines provide information to University hosts and administrators on the Academic Visitor process. The process includes the following five steps: determining the visit category, conducting research-security reviews, acquiring signed visitor-agreement documents, onboarding Visitors, and terminating Visitors. Please consult these guidelines to become familiar with the procedures that University hosts must complete to bring you to campus.

The University is the official host for all Visitors, while University departments and schools are responsible for the day-to-day and administrative oversight of a Visitor. The initial term for any visit cannot exceed one year, but visits can be extended for a second year with the appropriate approvals. Academic Visitors cannot be employees of the University; nor can they conduct their visits virtually. Additional information on the Visitor process, including Visitor eligibility, is available on the Visitor Process Overview page.

The University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh has grown tremendously since its early days and is now an internationally recognized institution of higher learning. Founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, the University is among a select group of universities and colleges established in the 18th century in the United States. It is the oldest continuously chartered institution of higher learning in the U.S. west of the Allegheny Mountains. Additional information on the University’s history is located at its 225th anniversary timeline and on the Documenting Pitt website.

The University’s main campus is located on a 132-acre site in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, and its four regional campuses are located in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. Oakland is the academic and healthcare center of Pittsburgh, one of the city's major cultural centers, and is Pennsylvania's third largest “Downtown.” Only Center City Philadelphia and downtown Pittsburgh can claim more economic and social activity than Oakland.

The University is one of the top research universities in the United States. It regularly ranks in the top 10 overall in the U.S. National Science Foundation’s rankings of federally funded research at universities and colleges and among the top 10 overall recipients of National Institutes of Health research funding. It also is consistently recognized for its research and academic achievements by the U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and The Princeton Review, among other organizations and publications.

The City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania, with a population of approximately 300,000, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. The city is known as “the Steel City” for its more than 300 steel-related businesses as well as “the City of Bridges” for its 446 bridges. For much of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was third to New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment, second to New York in bank assets, and first in the country with the most stockholders per capita. This heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, parks, research centers, libraries, and a diverse cultural district.

America's 1980s deindustrialization devastated the city, when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters of Gulf Oil, Sunbeam, Rockwell, and Westinghouse moved elsewhere. The city has since reclaimed much of its former luster, and is now a center for education, health, and technological innovation. Additional information on the Pittsburgh region's history can be found on the University of Pittsburgh Library System's Historic Pittsburgh website and on the Visit Pittsburgh website. The Visit Pittsburgh website also is an excellent place to explore Southwestern Pennsylvania's cultural, recreational, culinary, shopping, and other offerings.