Academic Foundations


"The small class sizes in my Academic Community allowed us to discuss the material, express our opinions, and get to know each other well. I like it so much that I applied to be a teaching assistant for the class next year!"

- Renata Mitchell (pictured center), History and Philosophy of Science major, Classics and Administration of Justice minors

Start Smart

Explore more independence. More friendships. More of Pittsburgh. Start mapping your path with the Dietrich School’s first-year programs. We’ll help you see how to reach your destination—and how to get the most out of the journey.

Our expert faculty members and academic advisors are your guides and partners along the way. There will be things about the transition from high school to college that surprise you, such as how much time you need to study, how challenging it can be to manage your time when there are so many activities to choose from, and how much you’re going to miss your annoying younger siblings. But these things won’t surprise us. We know what to expect, which means we know how to help—and based on our experience, we’ve created programs specifically designed to support you.

Academic Communities

In your Academic Community, you'll take up to three classes—all of which focus on an area of study that speaks to your unique interests and goals—with the same small group of students. Explore Academic Communities, and apply now.

Academic Foundations and Other Courses for First-Year Students

Introduction to the Arts and Sciences is your insider’s guide to Pitt, connecting you to valuable academic resources and opportunities, introducing you to the campus and the city, and providing the opportunity to meet other new students in small classes. Discover courses you'll take during your first year at Pitt.

Research for First-year Students

Dietrich School students can gain meaningful, hands-on research experience in their very first year. Learn about first-year research opportunities.