Just The Facts

You’re living, learning, and working in an increasingly diverse and complex world. And more than ever before, employers and graduate program admissions officers are looking for candidates who are flexible and strategic. Who can understand data and intuition. Who are fluent in formulas and foreign languages.

There’s never been a better and smarter time to embrace all of who you are and to take advantage of everything that Pitt has to offer.

  

To innovate is to introduce change. While STEM workers can certainly drive innovation through science alone, imagine how much more innovative students and employees could be if the pool of knowledge from which they draw is wider and deeper. That occurs as the result of a liberal arts education.

“We don't need more STEM majors.  We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training.”

The Washington Post
February 9, 2015

American adults and employers want colleges to produce graduates who can think critically and creatively, and can communicate orally and in writing, according to the results of a public-opinion survey released by Northeastern University.

"Employers and Public Favor Graduates Who Can Communicate, Survey Finds"
The Chronicle of Higher Education
September 2013

While the tech boom is partly responsible for the spike in students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math, many tech CEOs still believe employees trained in the liberal arts add value to their companies.

"Why Top Tech CEOs Want Employees with Liberal Arts Degrees"
Fast Company
August 2014

Public health is multidisciplinary. It spans everything from basic scientific discovery to translating research into practice and providing health education to communities and populations. Students from almost any discipline—be it the physical sciences, the social sciences, communication, the list goes on—have a role to play in public health.

Cindy Bryce, PhD

Associate Dean for Student Affairs
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Our more than 13,000 alumni worldwide solve challenging problems in government, industry, and education, and they have backgrounds ranging from the arts and humanities to engineering and computer science. They advance society through their understanding of the complex relationships between people, information, and technology—three terms that distinguish an iSchool from other academic programs on campus.

Ronald Larsen, PhD

Dean and Professor
University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is looking for creative individuals who will make great physicians. Therefore, the admissions committee looks favorably on candidates who have taken a variety of courses in the humanities, thus diversifying their education.

Beth Piraino, MD

Professor of Medicine
Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Imagine running across an applicant with a major in history or philosophy. Most likely, you will immediately transfer that applicant’s name to memory and take a decidedly curious interest in that application. This is what happens with admissions deans, and this explains why humanities majors have a higher chance of admission.

Your college major is probably the most obvious and outright opportunity for you to distance yourself from the standard premed stereotype.

Major Anxiety: If You Think Biochemistry Is Your Ticket into Medical School, Think Again.

Paul Jung, MD
American Medical Student Association

The Association of American Medical Colleges has data to suggest that your major simply does not matter when it comes to getting accepted to medical school. According to their data, only 51 percent of students who enrolled in medical school in 2012 majored in biological sciences. That means the remaining medical school matriculants majored in humanities, math or statistics, physical sciences, social sciences or specialized health sciences.

In a sense, medical schools do not really care what major you choose, as long as you finish your prerequisites and do well in school overall.

“Choose the Right Undergraduate Major for Medical School

U.S. News & World Report
September 2013

An increasing proportion of the world’s jobs, the ones that can’t be outsourced overseas, are the ones that require interaction with people. Humanities majors, usually people- and word-friendly, have something of an advantage over many math and engineering majors.

11 Reasons to Ignore the Haters and Major in the Humanities

Business Insider

 

A new report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, which was also produced by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, refutes what it calls “assaults” on the humanities and social sciences, using Census Bureau data to show that the income gap between humanities and social-science graduates and others narrows over their careers.

Humanities majors may earn an average of $5,000 less than professionals and preprofessionals right out of college, it says, but they make an average of $2,000 more by the time they reach their 40s.

Humanities Majors Don’t Fare As Badly As Portrayed, New Earnings Report Says”

Huffington Post
January 2014

 

Many openings for college graduates are expected in occupations that relate directly to writing and the arts. Communications technology and the expansion of media outlets are driving job growth in these areas, and the need to replace retiring workers is expected to create additional opportunities for new graduates.

The 2004–14 Job Outlook for College Graduates

 

Judgment/decision-making, communications, analysis, and administration will be the four most in-demand competencies in the labor market.

Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020

Center on Education and the Workforce
Georgetown University
June 2013