Founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh is among a select group of universities and colleges established in the 18th century in the United States. It is the oldest continuously chartered institution of learning in the U.S., west of the Allegheny Mountains. The University has grown tremendously since its early days. Its main campus is now located on a 132-acre Pittsburgh site in the city's Oakland neighborhood, and its four regional campuses are located in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. Additional information on the University’s history is located at its 225th anniversary timeline.

Current enrollment in the University’s 16 undergraduate and graduate schools and the four regional campuses is approximately 34,000 students, with almost 10,000 graduate students. The University’s total research portfolio exceeds $800 million, of which more than $700 million is federally funded. And operations of the University of Pittsburgh directly or indirectly affect residents throughout Pennsylvania, generating $4.2 billion annually in overall economic impact. Additional information on the University is located on the University website, the University Tour website and in its Fact Book.

From research achievements to the quality of its academic programs, the University of Pittsburgh’s faculty and students rank among the best in higher education. Faculty members have expanded knowledge in the humanities and sciences, earning such prestigious honors as the National Medal of Science, the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, and election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. The University’s students have earned Rhodes, Goldwater, Marshall, and Truman Scholarships, among other highly competitive national and international scholarships.

The University also is one of the top research universities in the United States, as signified by its membership in the selective Association of American Universities. The University regularly ranks in the top 10 overall in the U.S. National Science Foundation’s rankings of federally funded research at universities and colleges and among the top 10 overall recipients of National Institutes of Health research funding. It also is regularly listed among the top 25 public research universities by the U.S. News & World Report and is consistently recognized by other organizations, such as the Times Higher Education World Reputational Rankings and The Princeton Review.