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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4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: there are University Police on campus. The is a security firm that supplies more officers that surround the campus for a 3 block radius.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: There is good transportation around campus and to some off campus location. I am able to walk to most places but it is nice to know its there if needed.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: I studied architecture. The workload was heavy and I spent a lot of hours in the studios. But the general graduation requirement enabled me to take courses in other disciplines. I felt I had a very well rounded undergraduate education.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: There are lots of opportunities for different majors. Professors are easily reached and registration process is not difficult. There are lots of libraries and private studying areas.

Recent Alumnus

Athletics: I did not participate in athletics events or clubs.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Restaurants everywhere. A bit more expensive than I would like, but overall amazing selection (a two minute walk from my dorm will get you to a variety of Greek, Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese, American, etc. restaurants). The food is all really good and ordering out is really convenient.

3 College Senior

Campus Dining: Everyone is required to sign up for a meal plan freshman year, which is a pretty big rip off as the meals calculate to ~$14 each. People rarely continue dining plans afterward (at least full dining plans) except for the very lazy or busy. There are several dining halls and the food is pretty good though...but most people like to eat from the food trucks and restaurants around campus, of which there is a plethora. Very diverse too!

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Philly has a lot of great restaurants and of course the historic sites, but is not great for much else. Center city is a 20 minute walk away, but other than the high-end shops and restaurants and some cool bars, campus is the only place to hang out. There are however some great art museums-Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, Rodin Museum, etc. It's a great walking city and Center City has some quaint neighborhoods that are nice to walk through, but anywhere West, South, or North of the campus is ghetto-ish.

4 College Senior

Computers: The two main libraries on campus have printers, as do each of the on-campus dorms/apartment buildings. Each dorm and library also has a computer lab with ~20-30 computers, which are a mix of Macs and PCs. The wireless covers the whole campus and is secured. You definitely don't need your own printer, but it is very convenient to have your own laptop. Dorm computer labs always have spots open, but the library computers see a constant turnover of users.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I've never felt like I'm in danger on campus. Theft is a common occurrence, but it's gone down a lot in recent years due to awareness. The campus police are friendly and very helpful if you have any problems or questions.

4 College Freshman

Majors: I am generally happy and would definitely do it over again. My only concern is that since pediatric nursing is a very competitive specialty and the Philadelphia region is oversaturated with nursing professionals due to so many schools, I might have a hard time finding a job in the region after graduation. My advice, going into a career in nursing is to be flexible and open-minded and also make connections to potential employers while still in school (work with them part-time, do research, volunteer, etc.). The Penn name does not guarantee a job in nursing, you still have to work for it.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Majors: Internships are not required, but clinical work experience outside the required academic hours are almost a must for the nursing major in this economy. I worked as a student nurse at a summer camp and was also a nurse extern at a local hospital in Philadelphia. The time committment varies depending on the type of internship. The summer camp work experience is 2 months living there, 60 hrs/week. The externship work was on weekends during the school year. I recommend not to work more than 20 hours/week during the school year as the academic portion of the nursing program is very demanding.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Majors: I getting my Master's in Nursing after graduating with a Bachelor's in nursing a couple of years ago. Being a Penn undergrad or and undergrad of another school with high academic standards definitely helps. Work experience in healthcare counts a lot for grad school in nursing. As for the undergraduate nursing major, strong academics, sincere and genuine personality (based on recommendations and interview), strong extracurricular involvement (leadership is a plus), and volunteer work carry a lot of weight. Freshman are admitted directly into the nursing major from the start. A significant percentage of students also transfer into nursing around sophomore year from other colleges.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: The rain and the snow are just like anywhere else in the Northeast, but Penn facilities do a good job of salting the walkways and clearing excess snow. During the summer, it is hot and humid, but there are plenty of welcoming air-conditioned student places to retreat to.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The quad offers freshman a wonderful college experience, as well as a beautiful little bubble enclosed from the hustle and bustle of the city. I cannot speak for Hill myself, but I have friends who say it is not as bad as some say. The building is hideous to look at from the outside, let's be honest, but the dining hall is convenient and the students living there establish very close-knit relationships. After freshman year, most on-campus housing is apartment style in the three high rises which tower over campus. I have also heard good things overall about the high rises, although a lot of students choose to live off campus or in greek establishments. I hear there are plans for a fourth high rise sometime in the future, since Penn cannot provide all students on-campus housing.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Philly is just an AWESOME place to be. There are tons of places to eat on campus and close to campus, and Center City has everything that you need: museums, shopping, restaurants, shows.

5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Penn is located close to Center City, so it's easy to even walk there. However, there are many options to get to Center City if you don't want to walk: Bus, subway, trolley, and taxi.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Students really are from all over the world at Penn. Most students come from a fairly privileged background, but thanks to Penn's good financial aid, anyone qualified can come. Also, Penn has lots of religious organizations (even a kosher dining hall) and a hugely active LGBTQ center.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Obviously, Penn is in a city. But with the largest private police force in the city and the 3rd largest in the state of PA, security is omnipresent. PennCards are needed to enter most buildings and blue emergency phones cover campus. Friendly security officers are available to walk or drive you home from anywhere in University City at any time of day or night with a quick phone call.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: The southernmost Ivy! The weather here is classic Mid-Atlantic. Nice summers, cold winters. Some rain, some snow. But we are the southernmost Ivy, so keep that in mind!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: There are tons of options for any student. Freshman, if you want a classic college experience, live in the Quad (Fisher-Hassenfeld, Riepe, or Ware College Houses). For apartment-style living, live in a high rise (Harnwell or Harrison, or Rodin as an upperclassman).

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: I decided to attend The University of Pennsylvania mainly for its reputation of having very high academic standards, particularly one of the best nursing programs in the country. As a current student, I now am beyond happy with my decision because I have experienced that Penn has so much more to offer than a highly beneficial educational experience. I continue to be amazed at the professors that Penn has, and have yet to dislike any of the teachers who I have had the pleasure of being in their classes. The opportunities for extracurricular activities are extensive and no areas of interest seem to go unnoticed. Penn is also very involved with the surrounding West Philadelphia community and has many ways to become involved in community outreach. In this sense, Penn is a great school to attend for a well-rounded college experience because a prestigious education is combined with a versatile social life, community interaction, and city living.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The libraries and study areas are awesome. Theres something for everyone whether you need absolute quiet or some friendly chatter. Even during finals you can find somewhere to study. The bathrooms leave something to be desired, but they work for what they are supposed to do.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Majors: The nursing program is awesome. I feel like I have already learned so much vital information and I've only had a semester's worth of learning. The nursing community is very different than any other school at Penn. It is a lot smaller and so you really get to know all of the nurses at Penn. There is a lot of work, but if you study and follow the guidelines your teachers give you for studying the classes are very possible to pass.

2 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Not many people do drugs at Penn, but it does depend on who you hang out with. Usually theres at least one person smoking week and then people take adi, but other than that nothing is too serious. Most people just drink.


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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.

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