University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration Reputation

Hi All,
I've seen some discussions on good state schools to target and was curious about how employers are viewing/sizing up Pitt CBA graduates. Overall, Pitt has ranked well in recent years (as far as public schools go) but I never considered the business school to be anything special. In my experience the recruiting efforts (OCR, job fairs) for roles outside of the western PA were lacking.

That being said, I feel as though Pitt is generally viewed positively although probably not as strong as Penn State or Villanova from an alumni engagement perspective.

Any input is greatly appreciated! :)

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (25)

Jan 29, 2021 - 6:29pm

Apologies for the confusion. I meant the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration. It's the undergrad business school at Pitt (graduate school of business is Katz).

Jan 29, 2021 - 6:51pm

Hate to break it to you but I think that school is probably a complete non-target. That is not to say that you are dumb as others in this forum may claim. What you can do is (1) retake ACT/SAT. boost your scores up substantially and transfer to a semi-target. If you are a POC/URM apply for diversity programs (SEO, MLT). 

On-paper, it's still possible to break into most groups from any school, but you are going to have an exponentially harder time doing so from a non-target. 

Jan 29, 2021 - 7:42pm

Exactly the answer I was expecting - LOL. The brutal honesty on this forum has been a breath of fresh air, I have to say. Although I don't appreciate the knock on my intelligence - not cool, man.

I went there for undergrad and was pretty much on my own when applying to jobs - definitely not worth the money. I was able to get into a F50 FLDP though and ended up at a much better school for my MBA. Paying an arm and leg for undergrad seems unnecessary as long as you target a good graduate school (Top 20 MBA program).

I'm in the Philly area and simply didn't have the money to attend a private school or go out of state (also, not POC/URM). I am biased but I think Villanova and Penn State are a tad overhyped. Pitt students are just as capable but Pittsburgh isn't normally on the radar of most people. It is what it is, I guess. Hindsight is 20/20

  • 3
Feb 21, 2021 - 5:50am

Education wise maybe they are but the whole notion behind semi target schools is either schools within the location of these bank and easily recognizable e.g rutgers, Cult like alumni that are willing to push for students e.g Villanova and certain clubs that distinguish certain students from other in a school which allows alumni to take notice e,g Penn state N.L.F or Indiana IBW.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Sep 29, 2021 - 6:04pm

Not trying to knock on you can but you can just look up the target schools lists on WSO. UPitt is never mentioned.

Sep 29, 2021 - 7:37pm

Honestly, I could care less about the whole target/non-target thing. My goal with this post is to get a wholistic view of how recruiters and employers view Pitt Business students. There is more to someone than what school they went to. Plenty of F500 executives got undergrad and grad degrees from schools considered non-targets in this forum. It obviously didn't stop them from getting to the c-suite and it won't stop me.

I didn't join WSO until after I was done undergrad and I'm glad I did because there is way too much emphasis on the whole target/non-target thing. It just causes more stress for high schoolers. High school is stressful enough, no need to add to it.

For me, I did not have the money to attend private school or go out of state. I may not have had the most exciting career but I hustle and do my best. In my experience, as long as you do your best the right people will notice.

  • 4
  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Sep 29, 2021 - 7:59pm

You kinda answered your own question there. There's a reason for target/non targets. The top schools are considered targets. I'm not saying Pitt is a bad school but there are better options. This is just how most of WSO classifies schools.

Most Helpful
Sep 29, 2021 - 9:42pm

Really? Because I don't think so. I just made a general statement. When someone applies for something (grad school or job) the reviewer (admissions office or HR) looks at the whole picture of the candidate, not just the school they went to. 

Yes, I realize the top schools are considered targets. That's like saying the top accounting firms are considered the Big 4.

I agree, Pitt is not a bad school. It is a good school for the money you pay (for PA residents, at least). I consider it a "value school", and it has been ranked fairly high as far as public universities go. Some people can't afford the best schools and aren't eligible for scholarships due to their gender and/or ethnicity, no matter how hard they try in high school. That's life. We have to make do with the cards we're dealt. I can't even imagine what the price of college will be like in 20 years. The cost of private universities will be astronomical. I can only hope more folks go into the trades. Plumbers can make six figures too and with way less debt than a four-year college degree. I wish I had given the trades more of a shot in high school - very underrated.

  • 5
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jan 31, 2021 - 1:13pm

I'm from PA and would agree that Villanova and Penn State(particularly one of their fund clubs) place about semi-target level while Pitt I would call a non-target. This is for banking so if you're looking at more "regular" finance jobs, I'm sure Pitt is a fine choice. I'd classify it as a good state school but nothing special. 

Feb 1, 2021 - 12:57pm

I can see that being the case from a geography perspective and because I don't even remember if there was a student fund at Pitt when I was there.

Pitt recruiting is mostly F500 CF roles and Big 4 Accounting. Totally agree with it being a non-target for IB and that is probably the case for HF, VC, PE, and AM as well.

I took part in OCR when I was there and interviewed with some good companies (Bayer and Siemens come to mind). Outside of CF and Public Accounting I don't think Pitt has much of a presence. A good state school but nothing special. 

  • 2
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Feb 1, 2021 - 8:40pm

I was referring to Penn State's fund club placing particularly well compared to the rest of its school.

Jan 31, 2021 - 8:53pm

Pittsburgh is not a complete non target but it certainly isn't a semi-target either. I have come across my fair share of people who have gone to Pittsburgh in the industry, but the opportunities coming out of the school seem to have been created by those kids being extra on top of their game, not from OCR. As you mentioned, PSU/Nova seem to have better placement in the industry. Not sure it's for good reason. I think they just do a better job of helping their kids get into the industry (I'm guessing)

Feb 1, 2021 - 1:04pm

Totally agree - You definitely have to hustle in order to get opportunities, especially if you do not want to be in Pittsburgh long-term.

The OCR was not great - I found my first job on SimplyHired, I think. 

The careers services for undergrads was abysmal at Pitt when I was there so I definitely believe Penn State and Nova probably do a better job getting their kids into the industry. Pitt's alumni network is not that strong IMO. Penn State and Nova probably have much stronger alumni networks.

  • 2
Feb 1, 2021 - 8:17pm

It's funny you mention that - I'm finishing up an MBA at CMU this spring :)

Feb 20, 2021 - 10:23pm

Totally agree! It's very underrated. I have a cousin whose girlfriend went there. I would have loved to go there if I had the money. :)

Feb 21, 2021 - 1:42am

Yeah so I know Jefferies, bank of bank(every once in awhile from what I hear), goldman, stifel, ubs, and hsbc all recruit on campus. I'm not sure if there are more though....I've mostly heard about the connections that the school sets you up with. Like for example, if your interested in IB at lets say JP Morgan, then they'll put you into contact with those alumni. This is also for just IB. There are many other companies that recruit for other roles.

  • Summer Associate in S&T - Equities
Sep 29, 2021 - 4:59pm

Current Pitt CBA Upperclassmen here, just came across this thread and thought I would give some insight from my personal experiences:

The University will NOT help you get into wall street and its true, Pitt is a non-target for most high finance roles.

With that being said, I recently accepted an offer for S&T at a BB, and pretty much everybody I know who really worked their tail off and hustled also got good roles. I have friends from Pitt across the street (GS, JPM, BofA, CS, Jefferies, Barclays, Rothschild, just from my year). Will recruiters from GS and MS come knocking on Pitt's door, or care about you if you don't network? No, they're not. You have to go above and beyond to get looks, but if you aren't willing to go above and beyond in college will you really be able to work 100 hour weeks in IB?

Because it can be difficult to break into major roles from Pitt, those who have are VERY receptive to helping current Pitt students. When networking, every Pitt grad I reached out to was more than happy to help me. Regarding someone's comment above, there is an investment club at Pitt with a bit under 1 mil AUM. Quite a few of the Pitt alum on the street were members of it, and now come back to talk with current members.

Last thing, PNC, BNY Mellon, and Big 4 all recruit HEAVILY from Pitt, so you have some solid options if you aren't dead set on wall street. JPM does recruit a decent amt but for private bank roles, mainly through their Chicago office. So for freshman coming across this thread and panicking by the remarks made above by mainly non-Pitt grads, don't be discouraged, just step up your networking grind!

Sep 29, 2021 - 7:25pm

Numquam quis architecto nostrum rerum accusamus. Aut itaque possimus nesciunt facilis excepturi. Commodi necessitatibus est ipsam exercitationem aperiam maiores.

Quia molestias est est animi ea veritatis. Nisi possimus aperiam consequatur consectetur et. Praesentium repellat placeat voluptatem commodi doloremque amet.

  • Prospect in IB - CB
Sep 29, 2021 - 11:14pm

Quasi eaque consectetur quam velit accusantium. Occaecati quod atque optio sit. Eum placeat quod alias placeat. Occaecati iste quod non iste velit repudiandae.

Veniam quas sapiente optio dolor natus. Dolorum et praesentium minima est consequatur. Ipsa consequatur recusandae dolores odio nihil aut dolore. Consequatur ut voluptatem qui dolore eum expedita. Voluptatem quas aut id ea sapiente voluptatem. Est ut ut voluptatem sequi est quos.

Ea et nihil quae sequi exercitationem delectus. Facilis eligendi sint consequuntur delectus et. Sunt non delectus velit expedita. Id porro quos ratione.

Qui aperiam quia molestiae. Et velit rerum est. Fugiat aspernatur impedit id deleniti ratione neque nobis commodi.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

October 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (39) $363
  • Associates (228) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (137) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (103) $143
  • 1st Year Analyst (499) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (385) $83