Academic Communities

Whether focused on the humanities or sciences, the courses in each community count toward your degree. 

  • Academic Communities are offered only during the fall term.
  • These popular communities fill up quickly. Because space is limited, each Academic Community is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Your Academic Community gives you a partial course load.
  • Each Academic Community includes Introduction to the Arts and Sciences, a one-credit course exploring the importance of the liberal arts, the expectations of being a new student, and strategies for academic success.
  • You can participate in special Academic Community events as well as activities open to all first-year students.
  • There is no residential component to these Academic Communities.
  • There is no additional cost to enroll in an Academic Community.

Benefits of an Academic Community

Academic Communities are an excellent opportunity for you to receive the support you need to excel during your first year at Pitt. By participating in an Academic Community you will:  

  • Meet people. Academic communities offer built-in social opportunities as you quickly develop a sense of community within your small group. It is a network that is sure to serve you well in future classes.
  • Connect with Pitt’s premier faculty. Focused groups allow for more personal interaction with faculty members and teaching assistants.
  • Develop good academic skills. You will have peer support for studying and for writing, and you will develop strategies to attain academic success.
  • Cultivate Leadership Skills. Many Academic Community students go on to serve as undergraduate teaching assistants in First-Year Programs courses.
  • Make the most of your academic experience. We understand that education does not just occur in the classroom. Academic Communities introduce you to real-world experiences and a range of other academic opportunities at Pitt.

Contact Us

For more information on how to participate in an Academic Community, contact the First-Year Programs at or call 412-624-6844.

List of Academic CommunitiesFall Term 2017

  • International Studies: Asian Studies
  • International Studies: European Studies
  • International Studies: Global Studies
  • International Studies: Quebec
  • How to Make a Movie
  • Inside the Theater
  • Who Are You?
  • Politics and Public Life
  • The Beautiful Mind
  • Biology and the Brain
  • Cells and Society
  • Health Care Communication
  • Health Related Careers
  • Molecules and Morals
  • Neurons and Chemicals
  • Gods and Androids
Class information for each Academic Communtiy can be found here.

Next Year's FAFSA Available Now

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available on October 1, 2016 for the 2017-18 academic year. This is the most important form to complete in order to qualify for almost all types of financial aid. Visit the Federal Student Aid Web site to access the online application and find many helpful tips.