The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is an urban state-related research university located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with four regional campuses throughout Western Pennsylvania. Founded in 1787, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of higher education in the United States.
Pitt is ranked as one of the top public research universities in the nation by the Center for Measuring University Performance (top cluster of 7) and U.S. News & World Report (top 20), has been named as a "best value" by various publications, and has appeared in multiple rankings of the world's top universities. Pitt has also been recognized for its positive campus atmosphere, with The Princeton Review ranking Pitt as having the 8th happiest student body and the 11th best quality of life in the nation in 2010.
Pitt is among the world's most active research institutions with over $700 million in annual research expenditures. Pitt and its medical school are also closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a leading international academic medical center that has been consistently ranked in U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the approximately 15 to 20 best hospitals in America over the last decade.
Pitt is popularly recognized for its centerpiece building, the Cathedral of Learning at 535 feet (163 m), the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere; for its central role in developing the first polio vaccine; and for fielding nationally competitive NCAA Division I athletic programs.