Helpful Tips for New Students

Getting Your Textbooks

Required and recommended textbooks for School of Nursing courses are available for purchase in The University Store on Fifth, located at 4000 Fifth Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. For book information, you may call 412 648-1455. Hours are typically 8:30 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday,  8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Friday, 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 12:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Purchases can also be made via telephone order, using a credit card account, and then the books can be mailed to you, to avoid making a trip in. Many students wait until the first class to see the course syllabus and learn a bit more about the course expectations before purchasing textbooks, but other students prefer to get their books before the first class. Feel free to make your own decision based on your own needs and comfort level.

Getting Your ID card

We strongly suggest that every student get an ID card from Panther Card, located in the main  lobby that connects all 3 Litchfield Towers, on Fifth Avenue on the University campus. Your ID card is used to access various services in the libraries on campus, will allow you to obtain free computer software from the University, will allow you to obtain discounts on tickets to various sports and cultural events in the city that require proof that you are a student, and will allow you to ride the Port Authority Bus for free 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year.

To obtain an ID card, you must have already registered for classes. You must go in person to Panther Central, and present a photo identification such as a driver's license. There is no charge for the first ID, but if you lose this one and need a replacement, there is a $20.00 fee. Call 412- 648-1100 for more information or assistance.

Parking at Pitt

Evening parking permits are available in the Parking Office, 204 Brackenridge Hall, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Parking permits allow student parking after 3:50 p.m. or 4:50 p.m. (depending on the site) at a number of University sites on both upper and lower campus. Parking permits are $35.00 per term for full-time and part-time students. Valid proof of university registration and a vehicle owner's card or registration card are needed to obtain an evening permit. Permits are available on a first-come basis. Information is available at

There are several university lots that have day parking available for students at a discounted rate (with your ID card). Those lots can be located on the campus map, and are labeled OC, PH, SS, and OH. The SB lot is a student lot only. You must have a valid student parking permit, which can be obtained in the Parking Office. If you park in OC lot, at the top of the hill above Victoria Building, you can ride a shuttle bus to the front door of Victoria (every 20 minutes). The O'Hara lot is 2 blocks away, next to Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

There are hospital-owned parking garages across the street from Victoria Building, on Lothrop Street and on Darragh Street. For short visits to Victoria Building, or if you enter the garage after 5 p.m. and show your ID card, the rate is not too expensive. However, if you need to park for more than 7 hours, these lots are very expensive. Public parking is available off Forbes Avenue, just 2 blocks down the hill from Victoria Building, and the rate is relatively inexpensive for all day parking.

Using your Computer Account

You will pay a computer usage fee as a part of your tuition bill. This fee entitles you to use a Pitt computer account. As soon as you have registered, you will be assigned a computer account user ID and password, and this information will be mailed to you. If you register late, right before your class starts, you may need to activate your computer account before you have received this information in the mail. To get your login ID and password, you will need to go to one of the larger computer labs on campus (Cathedral of Learning or David Lawrence Hall), and show your ID card. If you have received this information in the mail, you will not need to go in person to activate your account.

Many of the courses have web-supported learning activities. This means that you can access class notes, homework assignments, links to helpful websites, and send e-mails to classmates and instructors via the Internet. The university site is To log in, you need to be registered for a course and know your computer account user ID and password. You can access the Internet from home or from any computer at Pitt, including the computer lab on the second floor of Victoria Building. You type in the web address listed above, and when you see the login screen, enter your user ID and password. You will then see a welcome screen, with your name and the course you are registered for. Just double click on that course, and you will enter the CourseWeb materials for that course. There is a help button, if you need it, but many students find that they can navigate around the website after a bit of exploration. Your instructor will also be happy to provide help and answers. The computer help desk phone number is 412-624-HELP if you find you can't get into CourseWeb easily.

Student Affairs & Alumni Relations (SAAR)

The Student Affairs & Alumni Relations located at 240 Victoria Building (at the top of the escalator on the 2nd floor), provides many services and support to nursing students, both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking. The office is open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the fall and spring terms and 8:30 am – 4:30 pm during the summer term. This office is the right place to start if you have questions. The phone number is 412 624-4586 or toll free at 1-888-747-0794

Important Registration Information

When you have registered for courses at the University of Pittsburgh as of July 2005, all billing will be done by electronic bills (ebills) which will replace all paper bills for students at all University of Pittsburgh campuses. Each month you will be sent an e-mail to your official university e-mail account announcing that your eBill is available. eBills will then be available to view and pay in Pitt PAY. You must pay the bill by the deadline indicated (usually 2 to 3 weeks after the bill has been issued) or make arrangements for payment with the Student accounts/Payment Center Office (412-624-7520 ). You must also meet the course requirements during the term. Your registration will not be cancelled unless you complete the paperwork to do so. There are forms to drop or add a course, which can be done the first 2 weeks of the term, and there are also forms to withdraw from a class. There forms can be obtained form the Student Affairs & Alumni Relations Office, Room 239. If you do not complete one of these forms, and you do not meet the course requirements during the term, you will receive a failing grade for the term. Staff in the Student Affairs & Alumni Relations can answer questions about these registrations processes.

When you are a continuing student (you have registered for a least one term in the past year), you must register for the next term by the registration deadline for continuing students, or you will have to pay a late registration fee. Deadlines and other registration information can be found on the school website: There is a link to the university calendar, which also has a list of important dates. Pay particular attention to registration deadlines; add/drop deadlines, and withdrawal deadlines.

For more information regarding eBills and PittPAY go to the following website: