Location
Philadelphia, PA
Undergrads
10,324
Tuition
$43,738
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 920 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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.

5 College Junior

Academics: Ivy League School – As an Ivy League school, Penn obviously has awesome academics. Because it is a big school, with different school for both undergrads and graduate students, there is a huge variety of classes. Take advantage of all the school has to offer.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Nightlife: So Many Options – Most bars and clubs are easy to get into with a decent fake ID, so invest in one - usually the more you buy, the cheaper, so get some friends to order them together. Frats are fun for a short period of time. BYOs (bring your own) are everywhere in the city and everyone loves mixing cheap alcohol and amazing food!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Philly Is Awesome! Philadelphia is a huge city with a lot of stuff to do. There are tons of museums and other historical stuff to do. Shopping and sports are also available everywhere. Food and drinks are an integral part of the city too.

3 College Junior

Computers: Depends on Your School – Penn is divided into four main undergraduate schools: Wharton, Nursing, College, Engineering.

If you are in Wharton, you need regular access to a computer but there are certainly not enough computers, printers, copiers, scanners available. Avoid using public facilities if possible during exam periods. A better alternative is a reasonably-sized laptop or netbook which can link to the wi-fi printing. Try to find free places to print such as the LGBT center because printing at any school is expensive. I print at my work-study job. However, if you are turning in the printed item, print at Wharton because the paper is more professional.

Nursing does not require too much printing so you don't necessarily need to be in the computer lab too often. Also, computer intensive classes usually have computers in the room or teachers allow laptops so not much of an access problem here.

I can't speak to the labs in the other schools but of the campus libraries (about 12), have computers that anyone can access.

For all schools, printing/copying can be done with Penn Cash. The bonus in Wharton is that you automatically get a $20 credit per semester from Wharton for Wharton printing. So use it (if applicable) before using Penn Cash.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Not Enough Local Options – While all the off-campus food I have tried is good, you have to go downtown (center city) to get more variety. Locally, there are a couple of each of these types of food: Thai, Indian, Mexican-American, and hoagie/gyro. There is only one well-known fast food chain: McDonald's. All others are part of the on-campus network.
If you go to center city and old town, there is every type of food you can imagine. So as long as you have the money and time to hop on the train/trolley or catch a cab, you can eat whatever you want.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Nice, at First – If you need to be able to grab a quick bite, go dining hall. There are vegan/vegetarian options and different purchase options (meal plan, penn cash, cash, credit/debit). However, you soon realize that the variety, is repeated and after about two years it's no longer interesting. Thus it is also important to explore vendor/restaurant options on weekends so when you are ready to make the switch from campus dining, you know what's out there.

4 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: With Buses, Trains, and Subway Options, Travel to/Around Campus Is Easy – There are many public transit options available in the area surrounding Penn (buses, subway, and train), as well as campus buses at certain times of the day.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Many Options Available, Big Class Size – Penn is a large research institution, so there are many opportunities for engagement in research, but many professors appear to be more engaged in their research than they are in the classes they are teaching.

2 Recent Alumnus

Parking: I Would Advise Against Driving to Class – There are relatively few parking spots near campus and many cost money and are limited-time parking. There are places you can park near to campus (that then require a walk) if you live far-away, but in general, it's better to plan to walk to class. The campus is pretty accessible on foot.

3 Recent Alumnus

Computers: There are enough computer labs at Penn if you find yourself in need of a computer on campus, but for many classes, it is useful to have a computer as many professors have PowerPoints that are too long to print out (especially given the printing quota).

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: The Social Ivy – The social scene is amazing. If you want academics and a social life, Penn is the place to be. There are a lot of different people from diverse backgrounds who are a lot of fun and can offer really rich knowledge in academic settings. The facilities are really nice, campus life is good, and the opportunities are endless (there is always someone there to recommend something or help you out).

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Typical College Green...Except MORE – Everything is really beautiful and the layout of campus is easy. Centers are clean and everything leads to Campus Green.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are so many options around the school off campus. It's all convenient and close and much cheaper than on campus dining.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Parking: Do Not Park Here – Expensive parking coupled with inconvenience on campus makes parking a terrible choice.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: There are numerous subway stations on campus. Taxis are plenty. You can even get to where you want to go by walking.

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Typical Northeast – Last year there was not much snow, but the two previous years had record levels. You experience all four seasons here, so that is a plus. My only concern is that many of the houses and older apartment buildings do not have central air conditioning, so be prepared to buy a window unit to make it through the Summer months and early Fall comfortably.

5 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Always Something to Do – University City is amazing. There is always something to do, and Center City is so close with numerous other options for entertainment, food, etc.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Very Diverse – Penn has a very diverse student body. This means that there is no excuse for you to not make a wonderful group of friends. Penn has a huge international student population. I've met people from all over the world here. Also, penn is very gay-friendly. This means that people of all sexual orientation are free to express themselves and not feel ostracized. Basically, you will definitely meet awesome, interesting people of diverse sexual, religious, ethic backgrounds at Penn.

5 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: The process was simple and straightforward. It really just matters whether or not you demonstrate passion in the subject matter. Before I declared my anthropology major, I took two requirement courses for the major and did really well in them, which showed that I was capable of academic success in the discipline. I also has to meet with the undergrad major advisor and major chair for brief personal interviews. During the interviews I had to explain my reasons for choosing the major and present an acamedic plan basically outlining my academic plan (courses, research projects, etc.).

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: For the area that Penn is in (West Philadelphia), the DPS at Penn does a very good job. Occasionally we have robberies on and off campus. However, when we do, students are quickly notified and measures are taken to resolve the matter.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Rainy and Unpredictable – Coming from Michigan, this weather is not too bad as it does not get THAT cold in the winter. However, it does rain a lot and the temperatures can swing a lot from day to day.

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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
Hometown
Pasadena, Calif.
Major
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 . . .

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