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Graduate Schools in Pittsburgh, PA with Program Overviews

There are over ten schools offering graduate programs within Pittsburgh, PA. See how four of the city's universities stack up against each other to find the school for you.

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School Ranking Overview

Students wanting to further their education by enrolling in graduate classes have multiple options in Pittsburgh, PA, including three seminaries and several universities. Most of the institutions in the city offering graduate certificates, master's degrees and/or doctorates are private non-profit schools. This article focuses on four of Pittsburgh's universities and ranks the top three in these areas:

  • Program Variety
  • Tuition
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Program Variety

Prospective grad students usually know what field they're hoping to gain advanced education in; however, they may have more options for specialization within their chosen fields if they attend a school with a large number of academic programs. The following three institutions have the most programs among the four compared.

1. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus

The only public school among the group, the University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus (Pitt) offers 316 undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to undergraduate certificates and bachelor's degrees, students can pursue master's degrees, doctorates and graduate certificates. Some of the graduate-level fields of study on offer include literature, biostatistics, business administration, artificial intelligence, engineering, educational leadership, national security policy, art history and social work. The university also has schools of medicine, law and dentistry.

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University, a private non-profit institution in Pittsburgh, offers 295 programs that culminate in undergraduate and graduate certificates as well as degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Some of the graduate offerings include information technology, computer systems security, organizational behavior, accounting, finance, biological sciences, architecture, engineering, music, and foreign language.

3. Carlow University

Also located in Pittsburgh is Carlow University, a private non-profit school with 71 programs. Students enrolled in graduate programs study school counseling, education, psychology, business, organizational leadership, nursing, creative writing and financial forensics, among other subjects. Along with master's degrees, doctorates and graduate certificates, the university awards undergraduate certificates and bachelor's degrees.


A college education is a major financial investment, and that's particularly true for those seeking advanced degrees; generally, graduate programs are more pricy in comparison to those offered at the undergraduate level. The universities below had the lowest in-state graduate tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

1. Carlow University

Carlow University had the lowest tuition for graduate students; those with in-state or out-of-state residency paid $14,703 on average.

2. Chatham University

Pittsburgh's Chatham University had the second lowest tuition for the 2013-2014 year. Graduate students regardless of state residency were charged an average of $14,886. Chatham University is a private non-profit school offering undergraduate and graduate education.

3. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus

In-state students enrolled in grad programs at Pitt were charged $19,964 on average for the year, while those with out-of-state residency paid $32,686.

Graduation Rate

According to the NCES, the three schools that follow have the highest graduation rates based on undergrads who entered programs in fall 2007 and completed them within 150% of normal time. Although these stats are based solely on undergraduate data, they can still give potential grad students an idea about the academic effectiveness of the institutions.

1. Carnegie Mellon University

With a graduation rate of 88%, Carnegie Mellon University claims the number one position in this category. Of the full-time students who entered bachelor's degree programs in fall 2012, 94% continued on at the institution the next fall (NCES).

2. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus

Taking the second spot is Pitt with a graduation rate of 80% overall. The school's fall 2012 to fall 2013 retention rate for full-time bachelor's-seeking students was 91%, according to the NCES.

3. Carlow University

Carlow University's overall graduation rate stands at 62%. The NCES reports that 72% of full-time students pursuing bachelor's degrees in fall 2012 continued their enrollment at the university the following year.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Students enrolled in grad programs usually engage in complex research and study, so regular one-on-one interaction with and feedback from professors is essential. The universities below have the lowest student-to-faculty ratios of those compared, which suggests that they may be better able to supply personalized attention to students (NCES).

1. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University comes out on top once again in this category with its student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. The school employed a faculty of 1,298 full-time and 318 part-time professionals in the fall of 2013 (NCES).

2. Chatham University

Chatham University's student-to-faculty ratio is also 10:1. It falls to second place, however, because its student population is smaller than that at Carnegie Mellon. As of 2013, Chatham has 106 full-time and 219 part-time faculty members in instructional roles (NCES).

3. Carlow University

Carlow University has a ratio of 11 students for every one faculty member. According to 2013 information from the NCES, the school has a faculty of nearly 100 full-time educators and 165 that hold adjunct positions.

Pittsburgh Schools: At a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
Carlow University Pittsburgh, PA Private non-profit Undergraduate and graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #3 in Program Variety, #1 in Tuition, #3 in Graduation Rate, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA Private non-profit Undergraduate and graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #2 in Program Variety, #1 in Graduation Rate, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Chatham University Pittsburgh, PA Private non-profit Graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #2 in Tuition, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #1 in Program Variety, #3 in Tuition, #2 in Graduation Rate
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