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Where Do I Sit?: What Pitt Students Have to Say About Study Spaces

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

I graduated from an overwhelmingly overcrowded high school, the hallways were, in fact, so crowded that we had a makeshift roundabout in one of the hallways. I thought that when I left for college, I would leave behind the overcrowdedness of people trying to get places but having no place to move, or sit, or walk in a timely manner, however this hasn’t proved to be entirely true. Finding study spaces at Pitt has proved to be a challenge, due to construction and the ever growing size of the student body population. I talked with a couple Pitt students about some of their difficulties studying on campus, as well as their favorite spots to study. 

Hillman Library

The main library on campus, Hillman library, is large and technologically advanced, with multiple reservable study rooms, a Saxby’s, and work spaces where students can go and use machines like a 3D printer. However, Hillman library is also undergoing construction, very loud construction. This has led to closure of multiple spaces, and also loud noises throughout the whole building. One student, citing the third floor of Hillman as her go to place to study, said that this noise has interfered with her study habits and her choice of place to study. Overall, Hillman Library is a wonderful building with incredible resources, but the quality of study there is being tampered by the current construction. 

Cathedral of Learning (cathy)

Cathy is a gorgeous space and an architectural wonder; multiple students cited its ambience as being a key factor in why they choose to study there. However, these same students were also quick to note that Cathy is often very crowded, and perhaps could benefit from having more tables. Cathy is the central building on campus, headquartering many offices and classrooms for many humanities courses. As a result, there is a constant flow of students, professors and prospective students on tours, in and out of the building all day long. Cathy is a great place to study, if you can find a table that is. 


A less common favorite, but a favorite of some nonetheless, Posvar is a huge building with lots of tables and chairs that you can tuck yourself into to study. There’s also an Einstein’s within Posvar so you can get a little snack when you’re studying! However, Posvar also quickly becomes very crowded and it can be hard to find seating. 

Frick Fine Arts Library

My personal favorite Pitt library (I also work there so I’m very biased), the Frick has some of the academia vibes of Cathy without being completely overcrowded. Located inside the Frick Fine Arts Building, the library also features incredible art, both within its doors and in the gallery outside. The Frick is smaller and cozier, but is a great place to study, with little trouble finding a comfortable place to work. 

Carneige Library-Main

Located directly adjacent to Pitt’s campus (and directly next to Dippy the Dinosaur!), the Carnegie Library is an incredible place to study. The second floor boasts long study tables, and there is lots of other seating throughout the rest of the library and within the stacks. With its proximity to campus, one student said she will often choose the Carnegie over Hillman, since it’s not as crazy inside. The Carnegie is an awesome place to study, and one of my personal favorites.

Overall, there are lots of study spaces around Pitt’s campus, and it really is up to you and your studying preferences to determine where is best for you! If you’re a frequent late-night studier, Hillman might be best as it’s open 24 hours. If you prefer to curl up in a cozy spot as you work, the Carnegie might be better. The Frick and the Carnegie are my personal favorites, but so many people I talked to love all of the other study spaces. Individual preferences and needs differ and that’s okay! Additionally, many of the overcrowding issues vary by time of day–it’s very easy to find seats basically anywhere earlier in the morning, but as the day goes on it will become increasingly difficult to find a seat in some of the most popular study spaces like Hillman, Posvar and Cathy. Afternoon studying can then be done most easily in places like the Frick or the Carnegie. Pitt offers so many incredible spaces; they all have their own unique charms and issues, but I hope this helps you find the best study spot for you!

Lauren Deaton is a second-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, she is currently serving both as Chapter Chair and Writer. She most frequently writes about entertainment topics– including music recommendations, topics of representation, and anticipated movie lists. Lauren is double majoring in English Literature and Media and Professional Communications with a focus on Public and Professional Writing. She is also pursuing a Film and Media Studies minor and is a member of the Honors College. She recently completed a communications internship with the Fletcher Free Library and will be beginning a research position with the Language and Literacy Division at Pitt during the Fall 2023 semester. In the future, she hopes to work in publishing helping to increase access to representation. She is also a writer for Studio 412 a creative outlet on Pitt’s campus and is a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. Lauren loves her dog, her friends, her family, and everything reading, coming of age and cold brew related.