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Intercollegiate Speech and Debate

Intercollegiate Speech and Debate

The University of Pittsburgh has a distinguished record of competitive success in intercollegiate speech and debate competition, having won the National Debate Tournament, finished first in the American Debate Association’s varsity rankings, won hundreds of individual speaking awards, and placed teams frequently in the elimination rounds at a wide variety of tournaments. 


Located in the heart of the University’s academic environment, the WPDU’s “squad room” is on the fourteenth floor of the Cathedral of Learning. Loaded with plenty of filing space, computers, scanners, audio production equipment, and other amenities, the Union’s squad room is a magnet for hard-working speech and debate team members to hone their skills. 

Hillman Library, in the shadow of the Cathedral, houses the University’s more than six-million volume collection. Researching in the Oakland area, our students also have easy access to 24 specialty libraries, the famous Carnegie Library (also across the street from the Cathedral), the University of Pittsburgh’s law school library, as well as library systems maintained by nearby Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, Carlow College, and Chatham College. Altogether, this adds up to one of the finest networks of library systems in any setting of higher education. 


The Union covers virtually all expenses associated with participation in intercollegiate policy debate, including supplies, photocopying, transportation, and lodging at tournaments. In addition, the Union offers scholarships to well qualified candidates. Some WPDU scholarships are renewable, contingent on strong academic performance and full participation in speech and debate activities. 

Travel Opportunities

The WPDU offers a mindful travel schedule, with numerous travel opportunities throughout the academic year along with plenty of online tournament participation.  


For more information regarding Intercollegiate Policy Debate, please contact Dr. Alvin Primack