Study Away Pittsburgh

Student Application Procedures

Study Away Pittsburgh: An Urban Immersion Program

The Study Away Pittsburgh Program is a semester-long residential program in Pittsburgh intended to provide students with an immersive and rewarding experience in an urban setting. The 15-credit program emphasizes involvement of students in collaborative projects with community-based organizations, non-profits, social service agencies, health care providers, multidisciplinary design firms- businesses, and government in Pittsburgh’s and its suburbs.  Through their research and learning projects, students are active participants in Penn State University’s efforts to address a wide array of sustainability issues in order to improve quality of life in metropolitan areas.  Pittsburgh is one of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global 100 Resilient Cities and is recognized internationally for its leadership in addressing issues of urban sustainability and resiliency.

The program is designed with sufficient flexibility to meet the needs of a variety of majors and minors at Penn State.

Students will:

  • Learn about Pittsburgh’s communities and the efforts of groups and individuals to improve their neighborhoods;
  • Learn about a wide array of sustainability challenges in urban settings including energy, water, waste, transportation, human health, economic vitality, and social justice issues;
  • Participate in university/community projects that address community needs;
  • Collaborate closely with a community partner in an embedded practicum.


  • Recipients will be undergraduates in good standing at Penn State University.
  • This program is open to students from any major who will have achieved junior standing or above by Fall 2017.
  • Applications must be received by April 3, 2017.

To apply, Penn State undergraduate students must submit the following by the application deadline:

  • A personal statement (2 pp.) outlining your area(s) of study and your career interests.  You should explain (a) which practicum you’re interested in working with, (b) which qualifications you possess  to match with this practicum, (c) how your academic work would benefit from the Study Away Pittsburgh program, as well as (d) the contributions you feel that you could make to the program.
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member in your major or minor.
  • Your resume (PDF) including prior work experience, previous community experience, skills (research skills, web design, analytical skills, foreign language, etc.).
  • Completed application form.

Apply now

Pepsi Urban Sustainability Fellowships

The Sustainability Institute and Penn State Center Pittsburgh invite undergraduate students in good standing to apply for Pepsi Urban Sustainability Fellowships.  Pepsi Urban Sustainability Fellows receive a stipend of $2,500 for one semester of study in the Study Away Pittsburgh Program.  Ten fellowships will be awarded for Fall 2017. To apply, simply check the fellowship box on the program application form.