Academic Communities

Make new friends. Explore your intellectual interests. Achieve your academic goals. 

In an Academic Community, in your first term you take up to three classes, including Academic Foundations, with the same small group of students. These classes focus on a specific area of study that speaks to your own unique interests and goals. It’s an unmatched opportunity to meet like-minded students right away, and to explore your interests and possible major with others who share your passion for the subject.

Professor Wells and Joanna Harlacher pose in front of a large map

Professor Wells worked with me from the start to make sure I was prepared for my academic community and enrolled in the necessary courses. Not only did he lead our community on a trip to Montreal, he encouraged us to apply for a summer program in Quebec. He met with me several times to ensure that the program was right for me, explain how study abroad would help my academic journey, and even helped me enroll when I was ready.

–Joanna Harlacher (anthropology major, French and museum studies minors, West European Studies Certificate)

Benefits of Joining an Academic Community

  • Connect with your peers and make friends. Pitt’s a big place. Academic Communities offer built-in opportunities to socialize and connect with like-minded students and find your fit on campus.
  • Connect with Pitt’s premier faculty. Focused groups allow for more personal interaction with our world-class faculty members.
  • Connect with the academic tools you need. College is different than high school, and you need different tools. In an Academic Community, you have peer support for writing and studying, and you’ll receive a comprehensive, robust, and supportive introduction to academic life at Pitt in the Intro to the Arts and Sciences class.
  • Connect your interests to your academic plan. When you register for an Academic Community for your first term, you’re taking on a partial course load catered to your specific interests, helping you build a meaningful and efficient schedule of classes.
  • Connect to the campus and city. You’ll get insider insight from experienced staff and other students into all of the resources and amenities that Pitt’s campus offers. And, you’ll explore the “little big” city of Pittsburgh, from investigating diverse and unique neighborhoods hands on, to attending cultural events, to exploring what opportunities await for internships and career experiences throughout town.

About Academic Communities

  • 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.
  • Each Academic Community includes Introduction to the Arts and Sciences, a one-credit course exploring the importance of the liberal arts, your expectations as a new student, and strategies for academic success.
  • You can participate in exclusive Academic Community events, in addition to 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.

Read more about Academic Communities (PDF)

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Academic Communities