Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

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flcath
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Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby flcath » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:05 pm

It's "Pitt" right? The Big East school?

I'd never heard of the place, and lately I've been seeing some of its programs listed among the TRUE ELITE. Like it's supposedly a tip-top Philosophy program, and has an med school that beats ~half the Ivy league.

Why? Is this one of those things like the LACs (which are apparently great but no one outside of the NE even recognizes their names)? Is Pitt's law school any good? Maybe I'm showing my lawyerly elitism here, but why would someone who could go to HYP (or hell, even places like Vanderbilt have more cachet) choose to go to Pitt?

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pjo
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby pjo » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:13 pm

flcath wrote:It's "Pitt" right? The Big East school?

I'd never heard of the place, and lately I've been seeing some of its programs listed among the TRUE ELITE. Like it's supposedly a tip-top Philosophy program, and has an med school that beats ~half the Ivy league.

Why? Is this one of those things like the LACs (which are apparently great but no one outside of the NE even recognizes their names)? Is Pitt's law school any good? Maybe I'm showing my lawyerly elitism here, but why would someone who could go to HYP (or hell, even places like Vanderbilt have more cachet) choose to go to Pitt?


Pitt's Philosophy *PhD program* and Med schools are elite. If you look at a lot of the other top analytical philosophy schools like Yale, many of the tenured professors there had some stint of teaching at Pitt. But yes, Yale, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and Pitt (probably Harvard and Princeton too) are consdiered the top analytical philosophy schools. Pitt also has a good rep in philosophy because of when/how the program was founded. Something like one of the top ppl in Europe, his students came to Pittsburgh and thereby ended up studying at Pitt. Sorry that's so vague, it's been a while since it was all explained to me and I forget the schools/names.
The medical is tops most likely because of its connection with UPMC (the medical network in Pittsburgh and throughout W.PA). Students often get training from the top people in the medical profession due to this.

Pitt also has an "elite" debate team FWIW lol

To answer the second part of your question though, ppl in thos field would shoose to go to Pitt over Vandy or those other schools for the same reason that many ppl on TLS choose NYU over Georgetown (or any other comparable situation). Lay ppl are def. going to be more impressed by Gtown, but ppl in the industry know which truly has more clout. PPl in medicine recognize Pitt as upper echelon and especially in Philosophy/academia (which I think is actually more elitist/competitive than law when it comes to pedigree) know Pitt philosophy is tops = better job prospects, at least to a degree.
Last edited by pjo on Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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orm518
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby orm518 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:19 pm

pjo wrote: The medical is tops most likely because of its connection with UPMC (the medical network in Pittsburgh and throughout W.PA). Students often get training from the top people in the medical profession due to this.


This piece of evidence isn't reasoned correctly. Pitt = University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Saying the school is good because the school's hospital is good?

But, if I stretch your point, yes Pitt is #12 in the country because it IS Western PA. If you have a disease in the area, you see a Pitt doctor. But, why it's elite traces to its history, it was one of the first transplant centers (look up Thomas Starzl) and still is one of the most prolific centers, for just one example.

Source: In sciences....for now. 0L

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LeDique
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby LeDique » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:23 pm

pjo wrote:Pitt also has an "elite" debate team FWIW lol


You must have a really lax definition of elite then...

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pjo
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby pjo » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:25 pm

orm518 wrote:
pjo wrote: The medical is tops most likely because of its connection with UPMC (the medical network in Pittsburgh and throughout W.PA). Students often get training from the top people in the medical profession due to this.


This piece of evidence isn't reasoned correctly. Pitt = University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Saying the school is good because the school's hospital is good?

But, if I stretch your point, yes Pitt is #12 in the country because it IS Western PA. If you have a disease in the area, you see a Pitt doctor. But, why it's elite traces to its history, it was one of the first transplant centers (look up Thomas Starzl) and still is one of the most prolific centers, for just one example.

Source: In sciences....for now. 0L


Yeah you're absolutely correct, thanks for hashing that out. Obviously a med school isn't it's medical system or else Case would be much higher becuase of the Cleveland Clinic right there.

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orm518
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby orm518 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:33 pm

pjo wrote:Yeah you're absolutely correct, thanks for hashing that out. Obviously a med school isn't it's medical system or else Case would be much higher becuase of the Cleveland Clinic right there.


Getting off topic from Pitt Law, but I can attest personally, through working in a Harvard teaching hospital, Pitt's name is held in high regard.

As for the law school, I have a friend at Pitt Med, her interactions with Pitt Law students are limited, but she's been impressed with them to the extent. Anecdotally, they have related to her (and it seems repeated here on TLS) that if you want to stay in PGH/Central PA/or (be in top 10-15%) and go to Philly, there are career prospects equal ITE to any strong Tier 2 regional school.

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jump_man
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby jump_man » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:40 pm

pjo wrote:To answer the second part of your question though, ppl in thos field would shoose to go to Pitt over Vandy or those other schools for the same reason that many ppl on TLS choose NYU over Georgetown (or any other comparable situation). Lay ppl are def. going to be more impressed by Gtown, but ppl in the industry know which truly has more clout. PPl in medicine recognize Pitt as upper echelon and especially in Philosophy/academia (which I think is actually more elitist/competitive than law when it comes to pedigree) know Pitt philosophy is tops = better job prospects, at least to a degree.


This is an excellent point. Even undergraduate philosophy majors can tell you that Pitt's philosophy program has as much lay-prestige as HYS and Princeton - for whatever reason Pitt has always attracted the best and brightest Philosophy PhDs to teach there. Pitt defintely has a HUGE amount of chache among professional philosophers, but it doesn't look like their law school places too well outside western PA (more info at their TLS profile here:http://www.top-law-schools.com/university-of-pittsburgh-law.html)

PhilEconCS
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby PhilEconCS » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:50 pm

I'm a philosophy major at Pitt. The philosophy rankings are based on the strength of the schools' faculty and some major figures in the discipline work at Pitt. I'm not sure about the particulars but as mentioned in this thread already, Pitt had some important people in philosophy as faculty which ended up attracting more big names to the school who kept the tradition going. I think the two "surprises" in philosophy are Rutgers and Pitt which don't have much lay prestige but are regularly ranked in the top 5 in the philosophy rankings and are thus gold in philosophy circles. When you're talking about PhDs, it's about who you did your dissertation under, not the lay prestige of the school, and Pitt has the people philosophy PhD candidates salivate at the thought of studying under.

I was also pre-med for some time, so I know a bit about Pitt's medical school. I think a similar thing happened with medicine as with philosophy where a few pioneers made their impact at Pittsburgh. Pitt is a major transplant center and was where Salk developed the polio vaccine. There are certain specialties of medicine where Pitt attracts a huge amount of research funding; I recall reading somewhere that Pitt gets the most research funding for psychiatry out of all US medical schools.

PhilEconCS
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby PhilEconCS » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:04 pm

pjo wrote:Yeah you're absolutely correct, thanks for hashing that out. Obviously a med school isn't it's medical system or else Case would be much higher becuase of the Cleveland Clinic right there.


Cleveland Clinic is affiliated with Case Western but it's not really a part of the university. They just happen to be a major hospital system and a university that are in really close proximity so they can share a lot of resources. Not too long ago, Cleveland Clinic was said to be dissatisfied with Case Med and wanted to cut ties with the medical school. On the other hand, UPMC is actually a part of Pitt, or at least is more closely affiliated with Pitt than CC is with Case.

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jump_man
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby jump_man » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:49 am

PhilEconCS wrote:When you're talking about PhDs, it's about who you did your dissertation under, not the lay prestige of the school, and Pitt has the people philosophy PhD candidates salivate at the thought of studying under.


This is an excellent point - Pitt definitely has some of the best and the brightest out there :idea:

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JG Hall
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby JG Hall » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:55 am

1) http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com/overall.asp ... the best at Phil/Sci, but lacking in some of the more traditional disciplines (e.g. metaphysics, epistemology)
2) I think that there was an alum a while back who decided he wanted Pitt to have a good Phil program, so he spent a shitload of money to go out and buy a bunch of prestigious Phil profs.
3) Analytic philosophy is the only philosophy that counts.

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jump_man
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Re: Explain the University of Pittsburgh to me

Postby jump_man » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:01 am

JG Hall wrote:3) Analytic philosophy is the only philosophy that counts.


I don't know about that JG . . . can you logically verify the validity of the proposition you assumed above? :D




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