Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

June 26, 2014

Pitt’s medical students by the numbers

Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine. said 4,982 students applied for 162 positions in Pitt’s medical school class of 2017.

Students in the class of 2017 hail from 31 states and two foreign countries and represent 74 different undergraduate colleges and universities. The class is 59 percent men, 41 percent women and 17 percent are underrepresented minorities.

Levine said that 94 percent of the accepted applicants have relevant experience in research; 89 percent have experience in medical and clinical community service and 71 percent have non-medical community service or volunteer experience.


Medical school tuition for the 2013-14 academic year is $46,962 for in-state students, $48,138 for out-of-state students.

Levine noted the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition is only about $1,000 because “we get so little money from the state to support our medical students that there cannot be a larger distinction than that.”

Student debt

The medical school awarded $5.1 million in need-based scholarships in fiscal year 2013, up 24 percent from FY12, with an average award of $20,405. Levine said 87 percent of the medical school’s student body (517 of 593) received some form of financial assistance.

Pitt medical students who graduated in the class of 2014 owed an average of $134,564, with debt ranging up to $300,000, Levine said.

Research output

Pitt’s medical school requires all students to engage in research. “I want all of our students to master the scientific method and to do so with emerging independence and to their full creative potential,” Levine said, adding that the 2013 graduating class had 39 fellowships, grants and national awards and 39 School of Medicine awards to show for those research efforts.

Class members’ research resulted in more than 234 national presentations and abstracts and 134 peer-reviewed papers with more still in review, Levine said.


In 2014, 36 percent of the class matched for residencies in primary care specialties (compared with 35 percent in 2013); 18 percent matched in surgical specialties (compared with 14 percent a year ago) and 29 percent matched in hospital-based specialties (compared with 38 percent a year ago).

Levine said 29 percent matched for residencies in UPMC programs (compared with 19 percent in the prior year) and 68 percent matched with top-level residencies (compared with 67 percent last year.)

Pitt’s medical students increasingly are hailing from out of state — about 75 percent of them —  “so the idea of staying in Pittsburgh is not as foreign to them as for people who were born in Pittsburgh,” Levine said. And UPMC residencies have become more competitive and attractive. “The students hope they can stay here for those residencies,” he said. For those who don’t match with UPMC residencies, “if they don’t stay here almost 70 percent of the class goes to one of the top 12 or 15 academic medical centers in the country with which we compete.”

The dean said that not only are Pitt medical school graduates going to the top-tier schools, but “this year for the first time” now are being matched with top residencies within those top schools.  “Historically they might have gone to top-tier hospitals but not necessarily to one of the best residencies in the country in that field,” Levine said.

“We’re doing very well despite the fact that our tuition is high; that we have a smaller endowment than many of our competitors; that we can therefore give less financial aid than many of our competitors. The fact is that this is an extremely competitive school now for the medical student body.”

Graduate programs

Levine said 80 students were enrolled in the MD/PhD medical scientist training program, with 265 students in the school’s PhD programs.

—Kimberly K. Barlow