New Parent/Family Member Guide



It’s the summer before your student begins their adventure at Pitt, and you should be celebrating this time! However we are sure there are questions you may have, and below are some popular ones we have heard! We will update this list as more questions come in, so if you do not see your question here please email us at!

Online Orientation and Panther Connect

Has your student logged on yet?
Your student should have received instructions on how to access the new Online Orientation. If not, have them go to and they can access it by clicking “Online Orientation” on the top of the page.


Does your student have issues with log in or any other technical issues?
So far the new Online Orientation has gone smoothly, but we recognize there will be issues with the first time. If you or your student is having technical issues please report them to or by calling 412.648.2172.


Can I as a parent or family member go through the Online Orientation?
Of course! There are some sections that will be restricted like the academic section, but yes, you can definitely make a Guest account and go through it!


What happens after they complete it?
Once your student completes the Online Orientation and all of its modules, their Panther Card will be mailed to them! This is their Pitt ID that gives them campus access and perks of being a Pitt student!


What are Panther Connects?
Panther Connect is the student's chance to come explore campus, connect with Pitt, serve the community, and develop friendships. Six sessions will be offered throughout the summer–each session is optional and open to 350 incoming first-year students. The experiences and activities focus on Pitt pride, navigating campus, and exploring Pittsburgh.

This is their opportunity to connect with the First Year Mentors (FYMs) and gain insights from upper-class student leaders about their Pitt experience. Panther Connect is not mandatory, but it is a great option for incoming students to network and prepare for their first year of college.


Can my student still register for a Panther Connect?
Of course! Please have them go to this site to fill out the registration form.


Is there a cost to this program?
The registration cost is $155 and includes 1 night and 2 days of on-campus lodging in a residence hall, meals, activities, and transportation during the program.


Are there things for parents and family members to do during this time?
Panther Connects are for first-year students only, but this is a great time to explore Pittsburgh! Here is a list of things to do that can help you see the city, no matter if you have a few hours in town or plan on staying the full two days.


Where can I find out more information?
You can check out their website at connect, or contact their office at or by phone, 412.648.2172.

Advising and Registering For Fall Classes

Has your student made contact with their advisor?
That’s ok if it’s a “no”! But they don’t want to wait too long. Right now all incoming first-year students are registering so it is best to have them take care of this sooner rather than later. They should have received an email from their advisor. Each student has an academic advisor, a staff member or professor depending on the School, and this person will give them the instructions of how to register for classes.


Is your student having issues getting ahold of their advisor?
Conflicting schedules happen… and it could also just be a bad game of phone tag! Each advisor is housed in some sort of Advising Office, and if your student is having difficulties connecting with their advisor we strongly suggest they contact one of these offices (depending on which School they are in):

Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

College of Business Administration

School of Computing and Information

Swanson School of Engineering

School of Nursing


How do AP or College In High School credits accepted and figured into the schedule?
All Advanced Placement credits and scores are sent to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. Results can then be accessed by the student’s advisor. If at time of advising the scores have not been reported, it is best your student contacts the source to find out their timeline of sending scores/results.


Can I see my student’s schedule?
Unfortunately there is no parent portal for parents and family members to access. Because of FERPA you are limited in what you can see, but this is a great time to sit down and talk to your student about how much access or information they are going to share with you!


If changes are made, such as a class canceled, how will my student find out?
An email will be sent out if there is a class cancellation. Unless your student is completely confident on how to register for a new section or class, we suggest they reach out to their advisor to explore their options!


Packing and Preparing for Arrival Survival (Move In)

What are some essentials we should pack for our student’s residence hall?
Here is a great site that offers a checklist for residence hall packing.
Also it is best to check the Pitt Residence Hall Handbook on what is permitted and prohibited (Pages 5 and 6).


When will they find out about their rooming assignment?
Rooming assignments, including roommate info, building, and move in date will be released mid-July.



Can we order books now?
Yes! Book inventories have been set since around April, and though the Bookstore is continuing to get professor orders in, most books have arrived and are ready to be purchased. Your student can see exactly which books are required by logging into their PeopleSoft and accessing their schedule. If you want to compare prices of books, you can go to to compare Bookstore prices versus other major retailers.


Do we have to come to campus to order books?

Not at all! Books can be purchases online and shipped to you, or picked up when your student comes to campus for Welcome Week. Or your student can purchase books when they come to campus at anytime during the summer or during Welcome Week.


Is it best to order now or wait until we come to Welcome Week?
It’s really personal preference, and there are pros and cons to each side. If you order them now, you can have them mailed to you or available for pick up when you get here for Welcome Week. However there is a chance there is a book or two missing from the list which means your student would have to make sure the list is complete before they go to class. If they wait until Welcome Week there is a better chance the book list is complete, but the Bookstore itself will be very busy with other students and families coming through.

Welcome Week

Is there anything for parents and family members?
Definitely! We have a full list of events on Monday-Wednesday of Welcome Week, and you can find that schedule here!


I heard the College Parenting 101 Session was taped. Where can I find this?

You heard right! Here is the link!


When will we find out when their move in day is?
Rooming assignments, including roommate info, building, and move in date will be released mid-July.


Additional Questions

When is Family Weekend, and what does the schedule look like?
Family Weekend 2019 will be September 27-28, 2019. The schedule will be released in July, but a typical schedule would be check in on Friday, September 27th from 12-8 pm with a reception around 9 pm. Most events happen on Saturday, like Bingo, movie screening, game shows, and of course, the football game! Most families will book a hotel room for both nights, 27th and 28th.


When is Fall Break?
This year's Fall Break will be an extended Thanksgiving Break, now from November 24- December 1. Panther Central will continue with Buses Home For the Holidays, however that schedule has not been released yet.