Panther Central

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions for University-owned Housing for the 2020-2021 academic year.

General Questions:


What does dedensification mean?

A decrease in the density or concentration of something. To de-densify student housing, we will spread out the number of people per square foot to support a safer environment. This plan allows the university to provide housing placements to all students who have fall housing guarantees following required CDC and university safety protocols. We are doing this in our communal bathroom buildings that have doubles, triples, and quads.  

What hotels will be used for student housing in the 2020-2021 academic year? 

Pitt will partner with three hotels: Residence Inn Pittsburgh University Medical Center on Bigelow Blvd., Residence Inn Pittsburgh University Place on Forbes Ave., and Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center on Lytton Ave., utilizing the entire hotel at each location only for Pitt students.

Are hotels for students only?

Yes, the University will utilize the entire hotel at each location for Pitt students, providing a dedicated housing experience just like traditional residence halls with a Resident Assistant and a Resident Director.

What are the advantages of living in a Pitt Experience partner property?

Most students who reside in a partner hotel will have a roommate. They will also have a private bathroom for their residence vs. communal bathrooms found in most residence halls and enjoy quality accommodations. Most importantly, the same commitment, care and attention given to students in residence halls will be provided to students who reside in a Pitt Experience partner property to ensure a positive, fully integrated student experience. This support will include a Resident Assistant, Resident Director, student life activities, 24/7 security, and campus shuttle.

Will hotel properties be on or near campus?

All hotels are within a 15-minute walk of the Cathedral of Learning, comparable to many other residence halls including Forbes, Lothrop, and Sutherland Halls. Students residing in hotels will also have access to campus shuttle services for transportation to/from campus for classes, dining and student activities. 

What will be in place to support student safety in hotel properties? 

All properties will have 24/7 security in place, along with a Resident Assistant and Resident Director. Campus shuttles, as well as after-hours SafeRider services, will be available to provide transportation services to/from campus. 

Will students who reside in hotel properties have a different academic experience?

No, the experience will be just like living in a traditional residence hall with a Resident Assistant on each floor. The Flex@Pitt academic experience will be available to all students, regardless of where they live on campus or off campus, which allows for in-person, remote, synchronous and asynchronous learning approaches. 

How do lock outs/lost keys work at the hotels? 

Each partner property will have 24/7 University security assistance and the ability to help if you are locked out of your room or lost your key. Learn more about what you can expect at your housing location.

Will I receive a refund on housing/dining if the University closes?

We do not intend to close University operations and have comprehensive plans in place to support the health and safety of the Pitt community. With this in mind, in the event of extraordinary circumstances that require the closure of residence and dining halls, we will make every effort to work with students and families on housing/dining pro-rata reductions as completed in spring 2020.

Will these hotel leases carry into the Spring semester or will students be expected to relocate at that time? 

We anticipate that these arrangements will continue throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

Guests in University Housing:

Am I allowed to have guests in my assigned University housing room?

Yes, but students are urged to limit the number of close contacts, and are required to limit guests per our Occupancies for Guests in University Housing Chart. In addition, permitted guests only include those students who are residents of your assigned building. Pitt affiliates living in other locations (on or off campus) are not permitted to enter your assigned building or your assigned room. Likewise, non-Pitt affiliates are not permitted to enter your assigned building or assigned room.  

How many guests am I permitted to have in my assigned room?

The number of guests permitted in an assigned room varies by building and room size, please refer to our Occupancies for Guests in University Housing Chart for more detail.  

Are my guests required to wear a face covering while in my assigned room?

Yes, our health and safety standards require that guests always wear a face covering. Face coverings should only be removed while eating. 

What are the consequences for failing to abide by the University's health and safety standard and protocols generally and specifically related to guests in assigned University housing? 

Failing to comply with guidance set forth by the University, federal, state and/or local authorities regarding public health and/or safety is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Potential sanctions include a written reprimand up to and including dismissal from the University.

Where can I find the University's health and safety guidelines, as well as other information related to housing, dining, etc.? 

Visit Pitt's coronavirus site for the most up-to-date information regarding the University's ongoing response to the current pandemic. 

Where can I report a concern regarding coronavirus on campus or refer a student to the Office of Student Conduct?

You can report a concern regarding coronavirus on campus or refer a student to the Office of Student Conduct via Pitt's coronavirus site

What are the maximum occupancy limits at given time in individual student rooms?

Provided guests can maintain social distancing and wear a face covering, the following Occupancies for Guests in University Housing Chart lists the maximum occupancies for all of our on-campus accommodations.


Dining Services:

What locations allow dine-in seating?

The Eatery, The Perch, Schenley Café, Cathedral Café, Einstein’s at Benedum and Posvar, and The Petersen Event Center Food Court will have available seating. Dining halls will require a reservation to dine in and retail locations are available on a first come, first serve basis.

What locations require a reservation?

Reservations can be made through or the Dine on Campus Mobile App. 

How often are reservations available?

Reservations are available in 20-minute intervals during hours of operation. 

How will I know my reservation was successfully created?

Once a location, day, and time are selected, a confirmation email will be sent or reservation will populate in the "My Reservation" tab on the app.

Can I make a reservation for my friends and I?

Confirmation of reservation is per person. how do you track the reservations? Either the confirmation email or app must be shown to employee at entrance of dine-in seating section to verify your reservation confirmation. *Everyone is required to show a confirmation in order to dine-in.

How often can I make a reservation?

You can make up to 1 reservation per meal period with a one-hour break in between each reservation.

How long does my reservation last?

While dining-in, you will have 30 minutes and can have unlimited portions. 

Do I have to wear a face covering while seated?

Face coverings do not have to be worn while consuming food and beverage, but are required while walking around facility and not consuming food or beverage. It is important that while sitting at the location, you must have your face covering on at all other times. 

Can I sit with friends?

You can sit with friends, but we ask that you restrict group dining to members of your close social circle, given it is important to keep the number of people you are in close contact with your mask off small. Four-top and Two-top tables are available in the dining halls and four-top, two-top, and single seats are available in retail locations. Students may sit up to four per table. We ask that tables and chairs are not moved around. 

How often are tables sanitized?

At dining halls, tables are sanitized after each seating and at retail locations, tables are sanitized every 30 minutes. If you would like to sit at a table that has not been sanitized, please ask an employee or manager to assist you. 

Housing Policies:

Will the same Pitt housing policies apply to the hotels as the residence halls?

Yes, students will be required to follow all policies and protocols whether living in a residence hall or Pitt Experience partner property.

Can I have guests in my residence hall or my hotel?

Guest visitation rules will follow CDC, ACHD and University guidelines. All requirements are subject to change based on safety protocols.

Will students have to share a residence hall or hotel room?

This will vary by accommodation, based on required health and safety protocols for each space. 

What other steps are being taken to de-densify housing areas, including study lounges and laundry rooms?

Access to these spaces will be modified to follow current required health and safety protocols throughout residence halls and Pitt Experience partner properties. Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks.

If I am unable to attend the fall 2020 semester, will I be able to keep my housing guarantee?

If you will be a guaranteed First-Year student or Sophomore for the 2020-2021 academic year and you meet the applicable housing deadlines, you will have a housing guarantee for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

If I take the 2020-2021 academic year off, will I be able to keep my housing guarantee?

If you remain a registered student for the 2020-2021 academic year, you will retain your housing guarantee.

If I take the fall semester off, will I keep my selected room for the spring semester?

No. Housing will be available for you, but you may be assigned to a new bed space for the spring semester. 

I was planning to study abroad for the 2020-2021 academic year. Is housing available for me?

If you were given a housing guarantee in January 2020, you will have housing for the 2020-2021 academic year.  



What will be in place to support student safety in hotel properties? 

All properties will have 24/7 security in place, along with a dedicated Resident Assistant. Campus shuttles, as well as after-hours SafeRider services, will be available to provide transportation services to/from campus. 

Will security oversee the entire hotel?  

24/7 welcome attendants will be accessible in each hotel lobby, as they are in each residence hall lobby. 

Who can I contact if I see any irresponsible activity happening in my neighborhood, including excessive noise or litter?

Students are required to follow the University’s Code of Conduct at all campus locations, including all residence halls and Pitt hotel properties. Should you observe a violation, please use the “Report a Concern” button at the top of the Environmental Health and Safety website, or submit a tip using the RAVE Guardian mobile safety app. 



Will shuttle routes be adjusted to reflect the new housing?

Yes. University shuttles will be available to/from all Pitt Experience partner properties as needed, with fall schedules to be determined soon.