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Pitt: Any impressions from people "in the know"?

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Hello to the board,

I have my list of programs pretty much tied up, but my conscience is nagging. My interests are, generally speaking, political sociology, social change, and social movements. I'm currently applying to all of the "obvious choices" for those topics, but I have decided not to apply to Pitt, simply because it is ranked below my profile's "punching weight," or so I like to believe. USNWR has Pitt at 54.

From trolling this board, I have gleaned the advice that one should not apply to a program one has no intention of attending and rank is decisive in the hiring process. At the same time, people in the know recognize Pitt as having a highly notable faculty, at least for its contingent of social movement scholars, and that having a well-connected advisor can take you far if you produce quality work. At the same time, Pitt's placement record does not seem to be too stellar, at least from my neophyte perspective.

Does anyone care to weigh in on Pitt, its faculty, the quality of its training, or the marketability of its graduates?

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