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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4 College Sophomore

Academics: The Biology Major – The medical school at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the best in the country, so it follows that its pre-professional major is also outstanding. The biology courses are taught by extremely knowledgeable professors and entail tons of work. The exams are challenging and the labs are very thorough and can be difficult. There are plenty of job opportunities in the labs around campus. Even though I haven't looked into it, I'm sure that the hospital at UPenn also offers internships and job opportunities as well.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Weather: It's great to finally experience seasons! Fall is beautiful. On locust walk, there are so many beautiful trees that leaves change colors. You can hear the locusts chirping away. Spring is gorgeous. Weather is warm just like California. During winter you get to experience snow. It isn't too cold if you bundle up and dress in layers. Earmuffs are great winter accessories. Classes get cancelled too!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: It's very easy to find an apartment that's close to campus. The great thing is that they are much cheaper than living on campus.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Libraries, Art, Gym – The major gym at Penn is called Pottruck. It has four floors of exercise equipment. It is HUGE and a great place to work out. There is also a pool and a basketball court. After working out, they have a nice cafe where you can buy refreshments like smoothies to cool off.

Penn also has a lot of libraries that are great to study at. Fisher Fine Arts Library is very quiet and a great place to do some hard core studying. Van Pelt is another major library many kids go to. There is a cafe in the ground floor that's open until 2 AM for students that will be studying all night. There are 6 floors of resources - music library, digital media lab, etc.

Art galleries like Fisher Fine Arts Gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Art are great ways to keep in touch with the art scene in Philadelphia.

4 College Sophomore

Weather: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia! it really does have amazing weather, and we even got 2 snow days as part of the package (which never happens though so don't expect it). It doesn't get that cold compared to most parts of the Midwest or north. It can be pretty hot early fall or late spring, but most people welcome the sun's rays

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: It's There – While drinking is far more prevalent and more part of the student culture, it's pot and academic performance enhancing drugs that are the popular drugs of choice.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: While there is a definite difference between the technology offered in Wharton building versus every other building, I can't complain about the quality of the computers. Network can be sketchy, but there's readily available computers almost everywhere so it's not a problem. I don't like having to pay to print, but that's unavoidable in most schools.

3 College Junior

Parking: It's pretty unnecessary to have a car on campus, as there are cabs, trolleys and subways that can take you anywhere you need to go. However, if you do have one, there are many parking garages and lots of off campus housing has parking spots

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Lots to Do – A lot of people have a great time at Penn as far as nightlife. There's always a frat party to attend within walking distance, and frats also frequently hold parties downtown in clubs. There's also a huge music scene in Philadelphia, with tons of bars and other venues hosting singers and bands.

3 College Junior

Athletics: Fun for Some, but Not Too Important – Sports aren't too huge at Penn, but for those who do participate they can be great. We have great facilities, a lot of options (including intramural and club sports) and some great traditions, including throwing toast at football halftimes. The Penn Relays are also at Penn. The grade is somewhat low, though, because sports aren't a huge part of most students' college experience here.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Grey Hound – Public transportation is fare. There are shuttles that run around campus along with other buses that take you off campus that also run on campus. Getting home Greyhound and an Airport is accessible.

5 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Fantastic Facilities and Faculty – I was impressed with the levels of dedication of everyone involved. A serious campus, and somewhat underrated.

5 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Don't Have Time – I don't have time to pay attention to greek life. It seems to be respectable and fun for those that participate.

5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Penn provides all the amenities of a city within a city. The age of the campus adds a great deal of charm without compromising the quality of the technologies of the interiors. The libraries and museums on campus are very well curated and maintained!

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Not Strict at All – Campus life has its rules, but at the end of the day, I think that campus personnel realize that it is college, and they try not to be too hard on everyone. Just don't do anything blatantly wrong, such as engaging in illegal activity in plain sight.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: It's a Pretty Diverse Place – While it would be unreasonable to expect a perfectly blended mixture of races in a school, I do find that diversity at Penn is pretty good. There are a lot of white people, but there is a very decent number of people minority groups as well. I find that its relative diversity makes it a very comfortable place to go to school.

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Not Really Sure – I'm not exactly sure how off campus housing works at Penn, as I am still living on campus. However, from what I hear it's a rather easy process and it works out to be cheaper than on-campus living

2 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Long Lines – It is over priced and has long lines. Few options.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Typically Good, but Be Careful – The school is capable of throwing a lot of money your way, but you have to be careful. I had to switch dorms mid-semester because of a bad housing situation, and my new dorm ended up costing more than the school would allot me for financial aid, and I was forced to take out loans. Additionally, I had to take a leave during a semester and the school mislead me into thinking that my financial aid would not be affected. It was almost a year ago, and the bill still hasn't been resolved! The financial aid department is very very slow, but they do give out a lot of money to those who need it. Just be very careful and persistent.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: It's Complicated – There is definitely going to be some town-gown relationship issues arising when a school is in Philadelphia. Overall, however, there are a number of parks bars and museums throughout the city, and public transportation to downtown is pretty smooth, although the late night buses take forever!

2 College Freshman

Facilities: My honest opinion of UPenn is that it felt like a Vocational school for suits. The pre-professional feel is very dominant and seems to detract from the normal feel of undergraduate life. While socially the school is nice because it is big enough to find different niches, the population is large and it is easy to get lost in the crowd. It is hard to find guidance and I would recommend UPenn more for graduate students than for a true undergraduate college experience.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Eating Out Is Expensive, but Nice – The Philadelphia area is great for dining. There are some nicer restaurants and some fast food places and food trucks as well. It can get expensive, but there are plenty of great options around. Your best bet in the long run, however, is to buy groceries and start to learn to cook to save up for the occasional restaurant fling. You are in college after all. :)

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Not Bad – I was very surprised by the turnout of the girls at UPenn. I transferred from another college and the girls here were a definite upgrade, despite my fears. The women aren't as attractive as those you find at a state school, but in general there were a lot of cute girls. As far as the bars I've been to, I haven't seen a lot of attractive women, but New York is not far away... As far as style, there is a range of how people dress. My first semester I literally had a schedule with a Spanish class of preppy-dressed underclassmen, a class with a bunch of formally dressed suited-up Whartonites, a couple of social science classes with urban-dressed students, and a film class with all sorts of different styles.

6 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The teachers are absolutely fantastic! Every single one I've ever had was very approachable, and office hours are usually right after class. I've only had one who I would call boring, but I've had many who I would call exceptional. Learning something like your econ teacher worked on the Federal Reserve Board or your physics professor has a few constants named after him is commonplace. The quality of the professors here is positively unparalleled. Penn's workload varies by school, but it's always rigorous. One of the main selling points for me was that Penn is known as the "Social Ivy," so work is always accompanied by play. Don't let that fool you, though, because there is always plenty of work to go around.

2 people found this useful Report
High School Student

Overall Experience: Penn was the best choice I ever made. As a prospective student, I got into several other Ivy League schools, but I ultimately chose Penn for its strong academics, as well as the context in which these academics are placed. At Penn, school can be a full-time 9-to-5 affair, or it can be a portion of your day. I love academics, but having academia forced down my throat at all hours of the day is not at all what four whole years of your life should be like. Instead, Penn allows students to have a discussion with their interests. All you have to do is speak up, and somebody will want to talk about your interests with you. Another aspect of life at Penn that I find especially preparatory for life as a college graduate is the city environment. At Penn, I feel wholly responsible for all of my actions, and the close availability of important institutions within walking distance that only the city can allow for has really helped me enjoy the skills I know I have built during college.

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Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad Outside of the Quad So pretty!
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Perry Petra-Wong
Hometown
Pasadena, Calif.
Major
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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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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