Philadelphia, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 931 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Junior

Majors: I am in the Huntsman Program. It is a specialized dual degree program between a B.S. in Economics from Wharton and a B.A. in International Studies from the college of arts and sciences. Note that all undergrad Wharton students receive a B.S. in Economics with concentrations in Finance, Accounting, Marketing, or whatever else it is you choose to specialize in. The are a bunch of bonuses to being in the program. One of my favorites is your a part of a small group with a specialized advisor who treats you like a mother. You must apply directly to the program for admittance.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: As a freshman at Penn you can choose from hundreds of clubs. All of these clubs have parties or at least BYOs. There is never a lack of possible fun to go to, especially as a freshman since all the fraternities are looking for new dudes (official rush, however, is in the Spring). Frat parties exist as if Penn were a state school; more refined events happen as well (but the average Penn part tends to involve plenty of drink and shenanigans).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Parking: Who drives? Undergrads live on campus and off-campus housing is functionally on campus. Parking garages are available at a price for on campus housing. Free parking comes with many of the off-campus houses.

5 College Junior

Academics: What do you rate academics by? Enthusiasm and fame of professors? The number of hours students spend studying on average? Whatever the metric is, Penn scores highly when it comes to academics. The workload is stressful and professors tend to really like the students that get excited about what they teach (they see teaching Penn kids as a privilege). There are many professors that focus on doing research, but that's just another opportunity! Most are happy to take undergraduate research assistants. Go win that Nobel Prize!

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: You should know the majority of students live on campus (about 63%), and even those that live off campus are only a block or two away. As for grading the off-campus housing, I wish I could assign three different grades to off-campus housing. An A+ would go to the Radian (a private apartment building but is really just another Penn dorm). Rooms have quality kitchens, living rooms, etc. though it is reflected in the price. Almost all the other off-campus houses are owned by Campus Apartments and its one competitor. A B+ or A- would go to the more newly renovated buildings but there aren't many. A C+ would go to the rest of the available housing. And a quick shout out to on campus housing: once you are pasted freshman year, the High Rises are quite nice, at least a B+.

1 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There is no food for freshmen on weekends because of hours, and poor choice in dining. All grocers and convenience stores are overpriced and have poor selection. Food choice repeats over and over every day and is usually tasteless. The pizza is often still doughy. Sometimes they serve breakfast at dinner. Dining halls close way too early. 1st year students are forced onto the dining plan. Staff varies from detached to openly hostile to students. Sometimes the dining hall serve completely random food for dinner. For example, sometimes you go into a dining hall for dinner and they are serving breakfast instead.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Everything is close by,conventional,and healthy choices.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Transportation: The Penn transit bus makes it really easy to travel around campus. My house is a mile from my classes and at night its really nice to ride a bus instead of walking the mile. Septa is also readily available on campus and that can take you anywhere in Philadelphia.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Majors: I had a paid internship last year. I did have a concern about finding an internship but it was extremely easy with the help of career services. I plan to have another internship this summer.

3 College Senior

Majors: I'm in the Computer Science program in the engineering school. The program is very difficult and there is a lot of work involved but there are so many job opportunities it's almost overwhelming.

4 College Senior

Majors: The only real requirements were to have taken Calculus in high school in order to get into my program versus other programs at Penn. The process was easy but getting into Penn is not easy. My tip is to make sure your essays are true to yourself and try to make them stand out.

4 College Senior

Majors: I am very happy with Penn. I know I will get a job in my field once I graduate and I would definitely do it all over again. I am so lucky to be here. My career goal is to be an actuarial analyst for insurance firms.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Dining: I would say the dining halls are slightly below average. They have improved the quality of food a lot over the past few years but the price of a dining plan for a freshmen (which is required) is really high. The plans are split into dining dollars, where there are many places with good food to eat, and dining swipes, which are for the dining halls. You have the option of how to balance your account between those two options.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Off campus housing is pretty great here if you know what you are doing. Freshmen should ask upperclassmen friends for help in deciding. What I think is best is the variety. If you want to live in a fancy high rise apartment Penn has it. If you want to live in a nice big house with friends Penn has it. The only difference is that it can cost you. The houses are often much much cheaper and very reasonable while the high rises can be quite expensive.

4 College Senior

Nightlife: A great thing is that you can walk anywhere on campus. You never have to worry about accidents driving. There are two major bars on campus while you are only a few minutes from a huge city that has tons of them. Frats also have a ton of parties, which make underage nightlife very easy and fun.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: With the entire city of Philadelphia at your finger tips, there is so much available for Penn students to explore. From bars to restaurants to museums, Philly has almost everything a college student could want, and public transportation makes it easy to get around. Living in the city obviously requires some patience and intelligence; expect a lot of noise and construction, which is not always beautiful to look at, and more importantly, be careful when you're out late at night.

5 College Junior

Facilities: The Wharton and Van Pelt Library facilities are second to none. Campus life is what you make it. I think overall there may be less participation in campus events because of the seriousness of most of the students.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life here at Penn exists but everything here takes a backseat to academic study.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Transportation: Public transportation in and around the city of Philadelphia is excellent. Penn is in Center City, which is in close proximity to downtown. Late at night taxis are an inexpensive option if you out past 2 am.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are sooooo many places to eat off campus ranging from restaurants to food trucks to fast food places! Also, different price ranges are available.

5 College Sophomore

Greek Life: The greek life here is excellent, especially amongst the Black frats.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: It's not bad and there's some selection. Plus because of the surrounding colleges there's even more selection.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Diversity: Tons of diversity here. It is totally a liberal campus, accepting LGBTQ and many races. We have a lot of international students here.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Drug Safety: There is not really a party scene on campus. There may be parties at the frats and sororities, but most of those are "off campus". Walking through campus on a Friday or Saturday night does not entail seeing parties.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: For the most part the weather is pretty nice. It's usually pretty cool, although it can get a little hot in summer and really cold in winter. It rains fairly often, but with an umbrella, rain boots, or other rain gear it really isn't that bad. Snow isn't ever really a problem, the school and city do a pretty good job of keeping roads clear. For me the grade is an A+, but for those not as inclined to cooler weather it's probably a B or C.

1 person found this useful Report

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Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad Outside of the Quad So pretty!
Photo by annieshin

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Perry Petra-Wong
Pasadena, Calif.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
View all previous student authors

Students seem to be extremely content and do not regret their decision to come to Penn, even though the school definitely has a pre-professional feel. Despite this fact, it is extremely common to find yourself in an intellectual conversation, and the students really do work hard, while remembering that college is about fun as well. The opportunities provided at Penn are astounding; in fact there is almost too much to do. Most students base the reasons for their happiness around the people, the academics, the urban environment, and the endless opportunities. People who enjoy their experience at Penn tend to appreciate city life, socializing, and a busy schedule. Usually, students do not hesitate to endorse Penn, and many feel that everyone should love the school as much as they do.

Many adults call their years as an undergraduate the best four years of their lives. Penn students certainly can not make that prediction so soon, but most would agree that their time at Penn has been the best years of their life so far. Obviously, Penn is not the school for everyone, but the student body consists of interesting, intelligent, and well-rounded people, which creates a stimulating and fun environment for most. If you come to Penn, I can almost guarantee that you will meet fascinating people, find something to be passionate about, and enjoy the benefits of living in a vibrant city. You can also feel confident that an education from Penn will prepare you for what lies beyond your undergraduate years. The Penn Overall Experience is defined by the combination of the rich history and academic rigor of an Ivy League school and the school spirit and propensity for socializing of many other schools. This "work hard, play hard" mentality is what many Quakers, and prospective Quakers, find so appealing.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At University of Pennsylvania

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