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University of Pittsburgh

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260
(412) 624-4141
Email address
School Information
"The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 63 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America." The university enrolls over 30,700 students, employers over 5,300 faculty, and offers multiple academic programs across its four campuses (Source:
General Information
The University of Pittsburgh has finalized the development of PITT 0211, “Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance.” The course will use “intersectional analysis” and show how anti-Black racism functions in U.S. society. This course is now required of all first-year students. Additionally, the PittEd Justice Collective introduced an initiative for ‘justice teaching’ in public schools. In 2021, numerous events such as the Diversity Dialogue series of 80 workshops took place in order to involve the student body in discussions of subjects such as anti-racism. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On July 6, 2023, UPitt News reported that the university's outgoing Provost, in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action, stated the following: "'The University of Pittsburgh’s mission is to improve lives through education and knowledge. We believe that all of our students can and should benefit from this mission, and that diversity, in all its forms, enhances our individual and shared success and improves the educational experience. In the wake of today’s ruling, these guiding principles remain unchanged, and we are evaluating our admission practices to ensure that they continue to be inclusive, fair, and fully compliant with the law'.”
  • One of Pitt's strategies to promote diversity and inclusion is to "[h]elp to attract and retain a diverse regional population and University community through the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body, faculty and staff."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Department of Psychology hosted an optional Anti-Racist Teaching Pedagogy Workshop for graduate students and faculty. Numerous other departments have joined in providing diversity programming.
  • Pitt's Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion offers a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program to UP faculty and staff. The Program is "designed to reinforce the University’s core values of diversity and inclusion through a series of six introductory-level workshops" which include "Microaggression: Recognizing and Challenging a Subtle Form of Bias" and "Identity, Power, and Privilege."
  • UPitt faculty, staff, and students can request a workshop from the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in order to "advance the University’s efforts to embed diversity as a transformational force in academic excellence and professional growth through education."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • First-year students are required to take PITT-0210, “Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance.” The course will use “intersectional analysis” and show how anti-Black racism functions in U.S. society.
  • On February 2, 2023, University Times reported that five Pitt faculty members were honored with the 2022 Provost’s Award for Diversity in the Curriculum. The award "formally recognizes faculty’s efforts in integrating equity, diversity and inclusion concepts into their courses and curricula.." The article goes on to describe the courses that were either reframed or created with diversity concepts in mind.
  • University Center for Teaching and Learning announced the 2023 Diversity Award Recipients and described all the ways in which the recipients (across several schools) have embedded diversity, equity, and inclusion into their respective curriculums. The Diversity Award "formally recognizes faculty’s efforts in integrating equity, diversity, and inclusion concepts into their courses and curricula."
Disciplinary Measures
  • Pitt's Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion links to "Pitt Concern Connection" where students and faculty can report incidents of bias and discrimination.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The School of Arts and Sciences asks faculty applicants to "submit a statement about their past, present, and future contributions to promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity in their professional careers."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • Pitt introduces initiative for ‘justice teaching’ in public schools through a three-year working group called the PittEd Justice Collective.
Program and Research Funding
  • The Andrew M. Mellon Foundation funded the University of Pittsburgh numerous times for the Summer Institutes for Advanced Study in the Information Sciences, which is a diversity program. These grants include a $856,000 grant awarded in 2019.
  • Pitt's Center for Urban Education offers programs to "scholars and leaders who want to address how national, global, social, and technological change impacts urban education." The Center engages "students, faculty, and colleagues through research, community events, and initiatives that seek to improve urban education in all its forms." Additionally, one of the Center's principles is to "Refuse systems and praxes of domination."
  • The mission of Pitt's Center for Civil Rights and Racial Justice is to "facilitate community-engaged teaching, research, and service and will serve as a hub and visible manifestation of the Law School’s commitment to legal issues regarding these issues." The Center was established in 2021 and "aims to address systemic disparities through a legal contextual lens."
  • The Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Curriculum's mission is to "equip faculty with research-based resources to develop curricula that infuses diversity, equity and inclusion perspectives to create dynamic, relevant and culturally responsive pedagogy." In addition, the Center states that "The current social justice concerns and racial climate provides curricula opportunities for faculty to incorporate timely content and discussions in a welcoming environment."
  • The mission of the Center of Race and Social Problems at Pitt is to "conduct applied social-science research on race, color, and ethnicity and their influence on the quality of life for all Americans."
  • The university is offering a virtual seminar entitled, "Ethical, Anti-Racist, and Decolonial Approaches to Engaged Scholarship," as part of its Engaged Scholarship Development Initiative (ESDI).
  • The university has recently been holding numerous events centered on anti-racism, diversity, and social justice. This includes, but is not limited to, the 2021 Diversity Dialogue series which consisted of 80 workshops.
  • The School of Social Work named James Huguley as the new Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Huguley will be "collaborating to facilitate equity and inclusion in the curriculum and academic endeavors."
  • The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Bioethics and Health Law provides numerous resources for racism and bioethics.
  • In September 2021, Pitt's Center for Urban Education hosted an event titled "Censorship and the Attack on Critical Race Theory" which featured the Center's Executive Director, Dr. T. Elon Dancy.
  • Pitt's Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion offers an extensive list of antiracism resources which includes: education/initiatives, events, guides, Town Hall programs, bias reporting, and several other categories.
  • The PittEd Justice Collective is a three-year working group at the School of Education that is "engaged in anti-racist, justice-directed initiatives with students, staff, faculty, alumni, families, youth, and district and community partners."
  • Pitt's "Black Lives in Focus" initiative launched in the fall of 2021 with four "inaugural" projects that included the “'Say Her Name' Memorial Gown project" and "Black Built Pitt, a multi-media tour of historically important sites of Black history on the University's Pittsburgh campus."
  • Pitt's "Radical Teacher" journal, founded in 1975, is a "socialist, feminist, and anti-racist journal dedicated to the theory and practice of teaching" and "examines the root causes of inequality and promotes progressive social change." The journal also links to a complete archive of past issues and includes such topics as Black Lives Matter, Socialism, and food justice.
  • The Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion's education section features the subject of "Racial Equity Consciousness." The office summarizes the topic as follows: "Systemic racism is a public health crisis in the United States. It has a profoundly negative impact on the mental and physical health of millions of people—focally, people of color—and is structurally perpetuated through normative, habituated, and often unconscious biases and behaviors."
Symbolic Actions
  • On June 2, 2020, the university responded to the death of George Floyd by stating, "It is impossible to forget the image of George Floyd, gasping for air as a police officer who is sworn to protect and defend calmly kneels on his neck until he dies. It is both a shocking scene of violence that should never happen and a potent reminder that it continues to happen all the time."
  • Pitt's Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion published the following statement on antiracism: "The OEDI seeks to empower students, colleagues, and our community members toward the goal of ending racial and ethnic discrimination with focused attention on confronting anti-Black racism." In addition, the Office stated that it is committed to "Acknowledging that racism is embedded into our organizational structures, policies, and systems and we must audit these structures utilizing an anti-racist lens."
Last updated April 15th, 2024
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