Parents of First Year Students

Guess what!?  Your student is going to college!  This fact may make you excited and anxious at the same time.  This office is here to share your excitement and relieve any anxiety. 

College is a transition for many students and their families.  We have included some tips on this page to assist you as you prepare send your student to Pitt.   New and Transfer Students who have submitted all required deposits and documentation will receive information about summer Pitt-Start programs later this spring.  Please encourage your student to monitor their Pitt email account; very little – if any – information will be mailed home.

Most general questions regarding move-in and dining plans can addressed on the Panther Central web site, or by emailing them at or calling 412-648-1100.  You can also access their Chat Line.  

Pitt Starts are the academic orientation that are held throughout the summer.  New and Transfer Student Orientation begins the week before classes start.  International Student Orientation (required) and Panther Connect  (optional) are held a few days before Orientation.  The final Pitt Start overlaps with Orientation on August 20 and 21. 

For questions from a parental perspective, you can always contact Parent and Family Resources at or 412-624-8548 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F.

First year is exciting – and sometimes overwhelming!  Knowing how to help your student through this adjustment is important.  We hope that you find the below tips helpful.


Maintaining Your Academic Scholarship – power point slide from Orientation session

Parents Get to Know Pitt – January 7, 2018, power point from Orientation

Additional tips:

  1. As much as you can, let your student take the lead in packing for school and moving in.  This will make the process less-stressful and your student will appreciate the consideration.
  2. Have any serious conversations during the summer before classes begin so that you can enjoy a more leisurely move-in and Orientation sessions together.
  3. Establish a communications plan that all parties can live with; phone calls, texts, emails, Facebook, how often, etc.
  4. Summer Pitt Starts are the academic orientations and are held throughout the spring and summer.  Fall New and Transfer Student Orientation is the social and program orientation.  Parents are cordially welcomed at both events, but do not feel guilty if your schedule or other family obligations prevent you from attending.
  5. Almost every student goes through an adjustment period, both academically and socially.   Many people at Pitt including Faculty, Teaching Assistants (TAs), Resident Directors, Student Health, Counseling Center, Academic Resource Center, and First Year Mentors are here to help students overcome challenges.  It’s hard, but resist the urge to solve their problems.  Ask clarifying questions and encourage your student to reach out for on-campus help.  Becoming independent and overcoming challenges is part of student development and will help them prepare for life after college!