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 Junior

Academics: International Relations – I love my major--perhaps because it's something I'm really interested in. But more than that, if you get to know the faculty on a personal level, then you not only meet great professionals in the field, but gain wonderful advisers. They have extensive connections and love to help out their favorites in the major (normally those who participate in the major's extra programs and clubs). So be involved and work hard, and you will be rewarded--often in the form of an internship or job offer.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: Best nightlife is for those who are 21 and older, as many bars/restaurants are wary of underage drinkers. There are a few 18+ clubs, and how much fun you have really depends on who your with. Many fraternities hold open parties, but again, depends on who you're width and whether or no you enjoy the Greek scene. It really depends on your friends, and what your idea of a good time is.

1 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Ditch the Meal Plan ASAP – The dining halls are a horrible value. You're charged $16/meal unless you get unlimited and half the time you end up eating a sandwich because everything else they have is too gross to eat. Houston Market and the cafes that take dining dollars are good though. You're better off just using dining dollars than getting a full meal plan.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Parking: There are parking meters everywhere around campus. It costs too much to park. It's just horrible.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Sports Are Average – Varsity sports at Penn are average because students usually are busy doing work. On weekends and rivalry games (Harvard or Princeton), the crowd is ridiculous (in a good way)!

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: Bizarre Year – This year was kind of odd in terms of weather. There was a lot of fluctuation from season to season, dry spells to thunderstorms, calm to windy. It can get to you, especially on long walks to class.

5 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: WONDERFUL Experience – My parents had a wonderful experience with the financial aid department when I was an undergrad (1994-1997), and I have had the same excellent experience now in grad school. UPenn had a very easy to use online system for loan applications, Student Financial Services is always available, and they really do try to find you as much aid as possible. I could not be more pleased with my experiences here.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Majors: Nursing School Unparalleled – I LOVE the nursing school. They really do prepare you to be a leader in the nursing field. You can learn the skills of nursing in other programs, but UPenn Nursing really helps you to excel in the field. The workload is heavy, the curriculum challenging, and the facilities top notch. It all adds up to a terrific experience that prepares you to succeed.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Computers: Great Availability – Computer labs can get crowded near finals, but there any many computer labs. The wireless access is what I love! Easy to connect and a VERY wide range. Very reliable network with excellent speed. It's just a shame that you have to pay for printing, but I guess you can't have everything.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Getting Better but Expensive – Lots of options, but the better the apartment the more expensive. It's also very hard to find something late in the season.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Everything Is in Walking Distance – You can walk anywhere you need to go on campus and if you decide that walking isn't fast enough, get a subscription to Penn's rent a cycle program or just bring you're on bus. Other than that you can septa, zipcar, train, fly or taxi wherever you need to go.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Weather: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia – It's always sunny in Philly. But in all seriousness, the weather is definitely manageable.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Great Place to Live – Philly has a ton of history and a lot of culture. You really get a feeling like you're in a place that changed the fate of the U.S. Beyond that, the night life is a lot of fun. Septa is a cheap way to get downtown and enjoy the city life. I love it here

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Parking: There is free street parking available and I have never not been able to find a spot

5 College Freshman

Computers: Plenty of Labs – Plenty of labs and computers all around campus. Its never an issue if you dont have your own laptop

4 College Student

Overall Experience: More Than Your School's City – Philadelphia is a great city, it is the city of brotherly love. It is really easy to get caught up socially here, there is so much culture and history in this city, as well as events throughout the year. I wouldn't choose any other place to live and go to school.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Academics: I chose to attend the University of Pennsylvania because it is an Ivy league school, offering excellent education within all programs at the university. Most of the professors that I have are wonderful, they are full of knowledge and are great educators. They are able to answer question and give you extra help with coursework when needed. The classroom setting encourages you to ask questions and participate in class discussion.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Transportation: Public transportation is great in the city of Philadelphia. The city has buses that run at all hours of the day, and access to schedules and routes are available at all stations as well as via the web. There are also university shuttle buses that you can catch on campus that travel on and around campus.

4 College Student

Academics: I'm in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies as a non-traditional student at the University of Pennsylvania and will begin attending May 21, 2012. Although I am not able to explain what it is like to be my specific major at my school, I am very hopeful about my program; it has offered me the possibility to start all over with my education; given me the opportunity to start a new GPA, given me options as far as classes and curriculum that I may participate in. The faculty that I have been in contact with are very helpful; they have been more than a resource within the academic scope for me; they are wonderful leaders in their respect and they truly care about the livelihood of their students. Although I am not eligible for work study this summer semester, I have been directed on how I might go about taking the steps for internships/job opportunities for fall semester.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: I would have never thought an Ivy had so many beautiful girls from all around the world. God Bless America.

23 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: As Safe as You'd Feel in West Philly – Penn is right in West Philadelphia. I feel extremely safe on campus, but be careful wandering around off campus. Especially at night.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The Penn police are completely understanding of all partying. All you need to do is listen to their requests, for example "turn the music down", etc. and they are fine. Just be respectful, they deal with intoxicated people a lot and are good at it. Also like most schools there is the amnesty policy.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Drug Safety: Obviously there are many different social scenes, but if you intend on being involved in the fraternity scene, be prepared to witness a heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. Cocaine use is very prevalent at Penn and to say it's not would be a total lie. At any frat party, if you manage to get upstairs and open a closed door, chances are there will be cocaine. Molly and ecstasy were also big highlights of this years spring fling, and there is widespread criticism of the school's open stance towards drug use.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: Great Community Feel (Especially in the Nursing School) – One of the reasons why I chose Penn in the first place was because I loved the sense of community. Your professors want you to succeed, and they want you to reach out to them if you need any help (or even if you don't need it).

3 College Freshman

Weather: As a California girl by heart, I personally am not a fan of east coast weather... But living in a dorm without air conditioner is totally do-able (just get a nice fan and you'll be fine), and wear layers in the winter because the buildings tend to crank up the heat. Hanging out on College Green is common when the weather is nice outside.

1 person found this useful Report

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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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