Philadelphia, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1007 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Sophomore

Academics: The professors at Penn are some of the most brilliant people on the planet, and are some of the greatest teachers I have ever had. All of the professors that I have personally had have invariably been friendly and open to meet outside of class. Only at Penn would I have the opportunity to shoot the breeze on enlightenment thought with a National Humanities Medal winner or have multiple Pulitzer Prize winners come to talk in my English seminar just because they can.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: The stats all say that it's a 30-70 split between Greeks and Non-Greeks, but in the end, it feels more like 40-60. I joined a fraternity and I couldn't be happier, as my brothers have been the best friends I have ever made. There's a house for literally everyone, so don't be afraid that you won't get a bid. At the same time, social doors don't necessarily close to you if you don't rush, as there's no Greek vs. Non-Greek antagonism at Penn.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: SEPTA is primarily used, and it can get rather expensive to use without any student discounts available.

3 College Freshman

Parking: Parking can be quite difficult, but it really only becomes an issue with visitors as all classes are easily within a 15 minute walk from any dorm.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Policies are generally very lenient and have never prevented me from doing anything I would have otherwise liked to do.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Campus is very safe, I have only ever had one uncomfortable situation and nothing bad has ever come of it.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: It's pretty hit-or-miss. Some of the nicer options cost a lot more. If you're in Hill, you'll survive, but it's pretty much a fact that you're getting ripped off. Sorry.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Diversity: I'd say that the University makes a very good effort at attracting students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, in all senses, as well as trying to support and promote programming to actually highlight this diversity. However, I think that there is still some work to be done in terms of actually being successful in breaking down self- and societally-imposed barriers that cause students to form "bubbles" around themselves.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Majors: There is so much diversity at the University of Pennsylvania in terms of the majors offered. There's something out there that suits the interests of anyone applying. Whether you're of the engineering mindset or the artsy kind, there's a major for you.

5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: They are very generous with scholarships on a need based student. They work with you and answer all of your questions. They try to help make your education affordable.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: some of the dorms are outdated. I had to move this year and moved to a great housing dorm. The staff are so friendly and go beyond to help you. The security people are the best. The housing staff varies in friendliness from dorm to dorm. The housing selection process is not the best.

4 College Student

Transportation: The city of Philadelphia has a great public transportation system with many stops and stations nears campus.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Students can do almost anything - controlled at a distance

3 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: The drug scene at U Penn is not big and not very visible because generally speaking students study a lot and spend a lot of time in the libraries

4 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of off-campus dining options. Restaurants tend to be more pricey in the downtown area. Students sometimes walk there or by a short ride in public transportation

4 College Senior

Facilities: Penn's student life is vibrant. There are people from all across the globe and we have awesome classes. Penn's campus is in Philadelphia so you have access to all the culture that the city provides. Van Pelt, our biggest library, is amazing and there are so many organizations and clubs to join. There's no way to do it all!

2 College Senior

Weather: The weather is unpredictable at best. It has a mind of its own. It can snow, hail, rain, and shine in the same day.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Nightlife: It's fine for those who are 21 or older. There are a lot of frat clubs, events, and cool things happening in the city. Your best bet is at Temple or other neighboring schools.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I don't leave campus to eat because of the unlimited dining plan.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The food is fairly decent. However, they force freshman to have a food plan and a lot of people don't like that.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Currently, I live in Hill which is known as the worst possible dorm on campus. However, if it weren't for this dormitory I would never have met so many incredible people. It is a hub for freshman and it is definitely one of the best places to meet people. Unfortunately, it doesn't have A/C so it is a rough couple of weeks in the beginning of the school year. The quad is also a great option for freshman. The high-rises are the most desired place on campus but hardly any freshman get in there so I wouldn't recommend applying there (as a freshman). Plus the high-rises don't offer a great social environment for freshman trying to meet people.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Underage drinking for example is enforced very much so throughout campus.

3 College Junior

Transportation: buses available to classes often on a regular schedule

5 College Freshman

Academics: Academics are great. Professors are all highly qualified, and most classes have plenty of teaching assistants with office hours where you can get extra help. The course work is pretty heavy, though it varies depending on your classes and major. It's definitely worth it though; you do learn a lot.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There's enough to do in Philly that you'll never get bored. There's plenty of shopping, museums, eating, and dining if you have the time and money for it. Even if you're not much of a city person, the main parts of campus have beautiful, old architecture and park-like atmospheres. The only issue I've found with this city is that if you stray too far it's pretty unsafe, but as long as you stay on campus or in the bustling parts of the city, it's very safe.

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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