Philadelphia, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 985 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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.

6 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.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: I have not had much experience myself with parking so my review is based on my parents' experience with it when they drop me off and pick me up. Parking is difficult as is to be expected in a big city like Philadelphia.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: A Police Force Focused on the Protection of Students – The police force is not really concerned about the presence of underage drinking . Its members are mainly concerned that students engaging in this behavior do so safely.

2 College Senior

Parking: I live off campus and public transportation is the way to go around Philadelphia. However, I like the fact that if I'm running late, I'm able to jump into my car and grab a metered space. The caveat to this is that it's $2 for every hour with usually a max of three hours. Don't even think about just 'winging' it because the parking authority loves their job.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Greek Life: Gender Inequity – I don't like how all of the sororities are off campus while the frats are in the center of campus. I understand that women have not always been allowed to attend here, but some things need to change. Its all about location.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Great. It's included with tuition and easy to make an appointment.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Great College Town – University City in Philadelphia is fantastic! There are so many different cafe's, restaurants, and historical sights to visit. There are many fraternities, clubs and groups to get involved with on campus.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Philadelphia, Little Italy or French Quarter – Restaurants native to Philadelphia come with food from around the country and the world. There are plenty of international options to pick from. There is a Thai place right on campus, which is outstanding. There is also an amazing pizza place in center city (walking distance) known as Giovanni's (right by a huge Five Guys).

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Academics: Biochemistry and Biophysics – I highly recommend these majors here at Penn. I'm in a biochemistry honors group that is heavy on all of the sciences and really enthusiastic about research, so I came to college and was immediately immersed in everything. It has definitely been a challenge, but the professors, curricula, and the amount of knowledge are topic quality.

4 College Junior

Academics: Great All Around – I have found the professors, for the most part, engaging, helpful, incredibly knowledge, and interesting people. I have taken 24 courses up to this point, and I would only rate 1 or 2 as not-so-great, but definitely not bad. Penn allows excelling students to excel and for more normal students to also find their place. One amazing thing that I have found is that, no matter what subject you take a class in, you are sure to be challenged and thoroughly engaged by everything about the course.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Good for West Philly – I feel totally safe on campus, but there is semi-regular crime right around campus. Considering that we live in West Philadelphia, I think that security does a fine job in maintaining safety. There is petty theft as always, so you have to be careful, but I have always been comfortable enough here.


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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 . . .

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