Location
Philadelphia, PA
Undergrads
10,324
Tuition
$43,738
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 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.

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.

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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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