University of Pittsburgh Review

The University of Pittsburgh offers two types of online nursing degrees through their Pitt Online platform. The well-ranked program offers both a master's degree and a doctorate degree that includes access to numerous concentrations.

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The Good

Doctorate in nursing offers 10 concentrations

The online doctorate of nurse practitioner (DNP) degree at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a practice-focused program and offers a comparatively high number of concentrations relative to other top nursing programs. The 10 different specialities include six different nurse practitioner options, two clinical nurse specialist options, a nursing administration focus, and a rare offering of a nurse anesthesia concentration. The program is made up of 11 core courses and all additional courses are dependent on the concentration you select.

Master's in nursing degree offers three specialty options

Pitt offers a fully online master’s in science nursing (MSN) degree with the choice of three specialities including nursing administration, clinical nurse leader, and nursing informatics. The nursing administration focus prepares you for leadership and management roles at the department or director level. While the clinical nurse leader focus prepares you to be an advanced generalist in a variety of health care settings. Finally, nursing informatics is a burgeoning field with a growing demand, and Pitt’s degree program will prepare you to be a high-tech specialist that bridges technical staff and clinicians. Coursework for in-demand specializations can all be completed online, and practicums are completed in your own area of residence.

No campus components

You will not have to make any campus visits or attend any on-campus class sessions as an online nursing student at Pitt. Both the master’s in nursing degree and the doctorate in nursing practice degree can be completed entirely online, aside from clinical hours that can be completed at a location that is convenient to you. Almost every other online nursing program requires some type of campus session, and while some schools keep the visits to a minimum, it may be an extra convenience to you that Pitt does not require you to travel at all. However, if you live close to the campus and find yourself wanting some face-to-face interaction, as an online student you are still able to take courses at the University of Pittsburgh main campus.

Full set of online resources

The University of Pittsburgh offers an array of online graduate degrees via their online education platform, Pitt Online, which includes their online nursing degrees. Earning an online nursing degree that is part of a larger system of online education gives you access to a full range of resources that you might not find at other schools. With Pitt Online you can live chat with the technology help desk, and technical support is available 24/7. As an online nursing student you have access to the digital health sciences library system, and there are webinar sessions that train you how use the research tools and databases that are available. Additionally, the school has a mobile app where you can get access to school news, information, and videos all in one place.

The Bad

High tuition rates

Pitt is one of the few online nursing programs that has tuition rates significantly above the average estimated cost compared with other top online nursing programs. Pitt is a state university which often means there are different tuition rates for in-state students and out-of-state students. Pennsylvania residents only pay slightly less than what nonresidents pay, but overall both types of students pay a total cost estimated cost that is much higher than other online nursing degree programs. With an online master’s degree program, time and geography are eliminated as barriers, so it may be wise for you to consider a different online nursing program that offers a more economical price tag, such as the University of Michigan-Flint.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2009-2010
  • Application Deadline: February 15
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Location: PA
  • Number of Graduate Nursing Programs: 4
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Public
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (per Credit)

  • In-State: $955
  • Out-of-State: $1,103


  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice
  • PhD in Nursing


  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist/Adult Medical Surgical
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist/Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Nursing Research
  • Nursing Education
  • Nurse Anesthesia


  • Genetics
  • Health Care Genetics
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Certificate Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Nursing Research
  • School Nurse

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Average Student Age: 41
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.72
  • Gender Ratio: 88% female, 12% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 30
  • Total Enrollment: 92


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 3 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 25
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 0

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): N/A
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 90%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 95%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 95%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 43%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 2
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 99/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 77
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 76/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 78
  • Student Engagement Score: 53/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 116
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 28/100

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