Pitt reaches number 42 on U.S. News & World Report for best global universities

By Kathy Zhao / Staff Writer

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Aside from being two digits in the local area code, the numbers “four” and “two” are a newfound source of pride for Pitt students.

The U.S. News & World Report released its inaugural “Best Global Universities” list last week, with Pitt at spot No. 42 out of a total 500 universities. 

The report used data from Thomson Reuters’ Academic Reputation Survey, giving each university a score based on factors such as global research reputation, number of highly cited papers and number of Ph.D.s awarded. The report did not consider universities as separate undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, but rather as whole institutions.

Within subcategories, Pitt also ranked seventh in psychiatry/psychology, 16th in clinical medicine and 20th in pharmacology and toxicology.

The ranking is a sign of Pitt’s flourishing international reputation and research, according to Ken Service, vice chancellor for communication..

“This is another indication of the outstanding research and scholarship being conducted here at Pitt,” Service said. 

Brittany Dey said she decided to come to Pitt because she knew it placed a high priority on research.

“I knew that opportunities to get involved were more available to undergraduates here than at other universities,” said Dey, a sophomore microbiology major. “I was attracted to Pitt because it has a good health science program, and there’s a lot of hospital resources.”

Dey said she got involved in research through the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences’ First Experiences in Research Program, which placed her in Dr. Graham Hatfull’s lab in the biology department. She is still active in research as part of his lab and is currently working on a project involving the expression of a specific protein within bacteriophages.

Lia Petrose also participated in research, both in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and in the Department of Political Science.

Petrose, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience, economics and international and area studies, said one of her research projects studied hospital lab turnaround time, specifically doing a qualitative work-flow analysis of each step a test would have to go through after a physician ordered it. 

Her other project was under Dr. Laura Paler, an assistant professor in the political science department, who was taking a survey concerning the discovery of oil in Uganda, and the finances and public opinion surrounding that event. 

Petrose said she compiled literature for Dr. Paler to use in creating her survey.

Petrose, who works on non-STEM projects, said Pitt’s focus on STEM research is a product of the location and Pittsburgh’s health network.

“I think that these opportunities seem a little less available for non-STEM fields, but the research that I helped with was definitely very involved and in-depth,” Petrose said. “I’ve been involved in it enough to see that it exists and that it’s high quality, but it’s just not conducted at the same volume that STEM research is conducted here.”

Since Petrose is also involved with research in STEM fields, she is able to reap the benefits from both academic areas. 

“It’s great that we have such high involvement in research,” Petrose said. “I think that’s reflected in our student body, and it’s worked out particularly great for all the science majors.”

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