Types of Programs

At Pitt Study Abroad, you have five types of programs that you can choose from.   Most of our students go with Panther Programs – the programs that are led by Pitt faculty – but ultimately, the right program for you will depend on your own goals and desires.  Let’s take a look at the program types below:

Panther Programs

  • These are programs designed by our Study Abroad Office staff along with faculty, composed primarily of Pitt students, and are typically led by someone from Pitt – most likely your faculty member who usually teach at least one the courses during the program.
  • You earn Pitt credit on these programs and the courses show up on your transcript.  Also, your grades factor into your GPA, so if you earn an “A” abroad, it comes back to Pitt as an “A”, a “B” earned abroad comes back to Pitt as a “B”, etc… 
  • Panther Programs are offered every term and have courses which range from niche fields of study (Such as Nursing in Nicaragua, or Tropical Ecology in Ecuador, etc…) to programs that offer a wider variety of courses which may appeal to students seeking to fulfill General Education Requirements abroad (such as Pitt in Sydney or Pitt in London)
  • There are a wide range of Panther Programs in terms of length, subject of study, and learning environment.
  • Many programs offer experiential opportunities such as service learning, internships, or research.
  • The lists of courses offered on these programs can be found on the individual program webpage.
  • Housing details are listed on the individual program webpages. 

Study Away Programs

It may seem like an oxymoron to say that you are studying abroad in the US, but our country offers an incredibly wide range of cultural experiences that you just can’t  get in Pittsburgh. 

  • Study Away programs are design by Pitt Study Abroad staff and are always taught by a Pitt faculty member.
  • You earn Pitt credit on these programs and the courses show up on your transcript.  Also, your coursework factors into your GPA, so if you earn an “A” abroad, it comes back to Pitt as an “A”, a “B” earned abroad comes back to Pitt as a “B”, etc… 
  • Study Away programs tend to be shorter (one to three weeks) and will typically have a niche focus, like Environmental Policy Writing or Bilingual Education.
  • Housing for these programs is typically hotels but details are listed on the individual program webpages.

Partner Programs

  • Pitt has relationships with colleges and universities across that word that offer great study abroad options with plenty of support while you are abroad.  These are our Partner Programs and are a good fit for more independent students who want to experience an academic culture that often differs greatly from that in the US.
  • You earn Pitt credits on these programs and the courses show up on your transcript.  Like Panther Programs, coursework factors into your GPA, so if you earn an “A” abroad, it comes back to Pitt as an “A”, a “B” earned abroad comes back to Pitt as a “B”, etc.  Some courses will show up as general courses (ARTSC 1761 – Trinity College Dublin Elective) or as specific courses (SPAN 1323 – Medical Translation).
  • These programs take place primarily during the semester and will offer a wide range of courses to choose from, including courses in natural sciences.
  • Housing details are listed on the individual program webpages.  

Exchange Programs

  • The programs are offered at some of the best universities in the world.
  • Exchange programs are for students who are a bit more willing to be independent as they often require more work—in the classroom and in navigating host university bureaucracies.  However, it is certainly worth it for the deep immersion opportunities offered.
  • Your credits transfer back as ‘S/NC,’ or Pitt’s way of saying pass/fail.  That means you’ll need to earn the equivalent of a C or better in the local grading system to receive credit.
  • You pay normal Pitt tuition.  Housing and living expenses are paid overseas.
  • Whether courses will be taught in English or the host language will depend on the university and the university’s visa requirements. These programs take place primarily during the semester and will offer a wide range of courses to choose from, including courses in natural sciences.
  • Housing details are listed on the individual exchange program webpages. 
  • For more details, see about the Exchange Programs page.  

Pitt-Recognized Programs and Institutions

  • Pitt- Recognized programs are facilitated by third-party organizations that Pitt has worked with for years; they are vetted to ensure that they meet Pitt’s standards for academics, health, safety, and security. 
  • Examples are CIEE, API, ISA, SIT, etc.
  • The student body of these programs is made up of students from across the U.S. and in some cases include local students at the host institution. You will meet people and make friends not only from across the world, but also across the U.S.
  •  You do earn grades according to your host institution’s grading system;  grades transfer back as ‘S/NC,’ or Pitt’s way of saying pass/fail.  That means you must  earn the equivalent of a C or better in the local grading system to receive credit from Pitt.
  • Pitt Recognized programs offer differing levels of inclusions and amenities, so some may offer multiple tours, excursions, meals, or orientation activities in the cost of the program.
  • Housing options vary by program provider and location.
  • The Pitt-recognized option is as challenging and rewarding as our other study abroad options—it is not “study abroad light”!