Philadelphia, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 916 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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1 College Freshman

Weather: I am not from this area, but honestlty, I hate the weather here. Summers are hot and humid, winters cold and dry. There are like 6 nice fall weeks, and 6 nice spring weeks. We have airconditioners, dehumidifiers and humifiers in our apartments to keep it bearable inside during the seasons (and I live in a very nice building!)

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: The student health service works perfect. I like all the doctors and nurse practs I've seen there. They do have insane high standards for immunizations, don't know if it is normal, but I had to get at least 3 additional vaccinations, and I believed two of them to be completely unnecessary.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: It's the best place for my personal program, Bioengineering. Academics in general are great. I like the campus, but the problem is the surrounding neighborhood is not that great.

4 Recent Alumnus

Weather: The weather is tytpical Northeastern weather. There are four seasons, and we get quite a bit of rain throughut the year. Fall and Spring are my favorites, because there's a nice breeze!

3 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: It's very easy to make friends at this school, lots of different types of people to get to know.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Very fun to live in Philly, Great people, great atmosphere! Lots of places to eat!

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: It's Definitely Visible – While the frats and sororities arent to be ignored, you definitely dont have to be involved in one to have a good time. Granted, most people who arent involved in greek life are on sports teams or really involved in clubs, but there are still a large number of people who arent into any of that and still manage to have fun and go out on weekends. The frats offer a nice selection for people who aren't yet 21 to hang out, drink, and just chill without really worrying about getting in trouble for underage drinking (As they would if they were to, say, drink in the dorms).

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: They Understand – While the Penn police dont treat anything like a joke, the general idea about underage drinking is that they know it's happening, but as long as they dont see it and as long as no one gets hurt / gets into a dangerous situation, they let it go. The medical amnesty policy on campus says that when someone calls for medical attention for a friend who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, neither the friend nor the sick person can get in trouble for consumption. This is a great policy, in my opinion, because it allows people to feel free to get medical help when they need it, but not worry about getting into trouble.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Prepare Yourself for the Frats – Penn always tells students that Greek life isnt a major part of campus - while it's true that you dont need to be IN a sorority or fraternity to have fun, you will absolutely end up partying in them. Before you're 21, there arent as many options for you, so most people head to the frats. While they're the "typical college experience", just be sure to prepare yourself for the dirtyness, stickyness, and sweatyness of everyone and everything inside those houses. That said, you can always find a drink and a good time when you head to 40th street and beyond to hit up the frats.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Anything You Could Desire! You have Philadelphia at your fingertips! Whether you are underage, don't drink or love to booze - there are plenty of options for you and public transportation makes it very easy for you to get around.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Quick and Easy – As a Veterinary Student the process was very simple. You still had to fill out the tedious FASFA form, but once that was complete the rest fell into place. I was able to receive the amount needed and was also provided an additional scholarship from Penn.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Parking: Great...If You Don't Mind Walking – First thing to consider - we are an urban campus, so a car really isn't necessary. There are permits for parking, which can be costly. You can also rent parking from some locations surrounding campus, that can also be costly. If you don't mind a short walk, parking is free further off campus - past 44th and Spruce / in that general area.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Greek Life: As someone who attended PSU-Main Campus as an undergrad, a campus where Greeks dominate, my experience with Greek Life has been fairly extensive. From what I have seen at Penn, the frats and sororities are small, well-kept houses and they are not too rowdy. From what I have heard from others, you can either choose to do it or not - it makes no difference.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Lots to Do, but Stay Safe! Philadelphia is great city for students because everything is so accessible. You could easy walk across the city within an hour, but if you don't want to, there's lots of easy-to-use public transportation available. The art scene is great. We have tons of museums, theaters, and concert halls. There are lots of free events year-round. Grocery shopping can be a bit pricey, but there are plenty of cheap dining-out options.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Drugs Here and There – Drinking is fairly visible at Penn. It's easy to get your hands on alcohol and there are a lot of unregulated parties. Smoking is less common, but you see it from time to time. Weed is also popular at parties and in the confines of dorm rooms. There aren't that many people who use harder drugs, but those that do use it recreationally, like during big concerts (ex. Spring Fling).

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: A Learning Experience – I've had a pretty good time at Penn. Academics can be rigorous or lax depending on your program/major, but expect some competition. People here work hard and party hard. There is a fair amount of crime around campus, but the Penn Police are everywhere and I've never felt unsafe. Students tend to be very career-oriented, which can put pressure on you if you don't already know what you want to do after graduation. There are a ton of resources for just about anything you might need help with, but there's a lot of room for individual exploration.

4 College Junior

Computers: It can be hard to find a computer during midterms or finals. However, the quality of the technology is very high.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Generally Safe – Penn has done a good job of increasing its security in recent years, but there are still occasional shootings or muggings on/near campus.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Low Quality, Low Price – For the most part, housing in West Philly is low in quality but also relatively low in price. Expect to pay around 50-70% of what on-campus housing costs for a place that's a couple blocks farther from main buildings.

College Senior

Campus Housing: Off Campus – My time when I did live on campus pretty much sucked except for living in the Quad. Since then Penn has totally spruced up all on campus housing, and it looks great so far!!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Health & Safety: No Worries – When I'm on campus, I don't worry about being out. Lots of security and fairly well lit. Of course, I'm not staggering home at 4a by myself in a tight mini dress....

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are TONS of great places to eat around University City. If you want to go fancy, try Pod. Or if you want some bar food, head up to Local 44. There's always something open SOMEWHERE, and it's always good!

College Senior

Weather: Not on Campus – I live off campus in my own home, so weather on campus doesn't affect me so much. Sure I love the occasional snow day, but I don't love making up the work that day puts the school behind.

1 College Senior

Overall Experience: Sage Advice – Urban. UPenn pushes their liberal agenda really hard. Professors are unattached to the undergrads. A lot of engineers and nurses in the College classes. Classes are HUGE despite what the "faculty to student ratio" might tell you.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Greek Life: Doesn't Dominate – Heavy Greek life - a good percentage of people, but mostly for parties.


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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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