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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College Freshman

Health & Safety: Though the school is in West Philadelphia, the security at Penn is phenomenal. There is security at the entrance of every dorm, and you can't walk a block without seeing a guard on a bike. Blue light phone are all over campus, and students have to walk quite a few blocks to get into a bad area.

High School Student

Health & Safety: If anyone is worried about security, there is 24-hour access to Penn security escorts, and they will take you anywhere in University City. The incidences that occur are almost always a result of overconsumption of alcohol or plain stupidity. I feel 99 percent safe anywhere on campus at all times. Only when you go out into West Philly does it start to get sketchy.

High School Student

Off-Campus Dining: Wow! Philly has so much to offer in terms of food. From your street cart cheesesteaks to the gourmet Starr restaurants, there is an amazing place for any occasion. Couldn't have asked for more!

Niche User

Academics: Most professors are highly-accessible and passionate about their respective fields. They welcome questions and are able to effectively stimulate student interest in their courses.

Niche User

Academics: Penn stands out among most universities in that it has great teachers available. In effort to generalize, I'd say that not all the teachers are great at teaching (are professors supposed to be good at teaching?!), but it's clear that most are pretty brilliant in their field. My classes are always interesting because I take classes dealing with subject matter that I'm interested in.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Professors vary by subject. The three big lectures I was in-PoliSci001, Microeconomics, and Introduction to Experimental Psychology-were all taught by amazing professors. All of them knew their subjects, but some could hold my attention and some couldn't. I never felt that any of them were under-qualified by any means.

Niche User

Academics: The teachers are varied in personality and toughness. Some just lecture the material and are boring, while others are really dramatic, have great poise, and captivate the students. Those teachers that employ hands-on activities and other methods of getting attention make their classes interesting.

Niche User

Academics: It's a gamble. You get your great teachers and your bad ones, although I've had more excellent ones than bad. I was in the business school and in the College, so that applies to both places.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: All the humanities classes are fantastic. The professor will usually focus on a general subject and take a really interesting angle on it, which allows the class to examine the subject from many different perspectives. That way, it is much easier to relate to the coursework. The professors I've had so far have been exciting, lively, and really passionate about their work, which makes it easier for the students to be, too. The only advice I have about choosing humanities courses is to try to pick a professor that other students have enjoyed working with. Boring ones can be deadly, and opinionated ones are even worse if your ideas ever diverge from theirs.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The professors range from uniquely dynamic to mind-numbingly intellectual individuals. Each has his own view of the importance of his field and the contributions that he and his students can provide to society.

Niche User

Academics: Like always, teachers can be hit or miss. There are some teachers and classes you absolutely can not stay awake for and are less helpful than the book. Other teachers are great in small groups but are awful at large lectures, and some are just great all-around. Classes are as interesting as the professors make them. Generally, falling asleep in the class indicates a poor and uninteresting teacher.

Niche User

Academics: There are both big lecture courses-which I never had a problem in-and courses with a small number of students, so don't let people tell you that you'll get lost in the system.

Niche User

Academics: After the intro classes, everything becomes a lot better, classes become smaller, professors become better, and TAs become obsolete.

Niche User

Academics: You must go to office hours. I would definitely recommend getting to know your professors. They're pretty amazing people in their accomplishments and really nice, as well.

Niche User

Academics: The professors at Penn are amazing. They're all extremely knowledgeable, and all of the professors that I have had have been really easy to talk to. Usually, there's no problem meeting with them during office hours, communicating through e-mails, etc. They're all pretty fair, too. There are, of course, difficult ones, but even they are usually rational.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The teachers are so-so. A lot of them pretty much give their lectures and assign textbook problems. The only problem is that once you get to the exam, it's about a million times harder than the basic material covered in class. Students learn to survive though. Study groups are a must! I'd say I learn the most from late-night cramming with a group of friends where we explain different sections to one another.

Niche User

Academics: The great thing about Penn, compared to a lot of the other Ivies, is that the freshman classes are all actually taught by professors and not just teaching assistants (TAs). All my professors, so far, have been great (with those couple exceptions that you are going to find anywhere). The good ones are amazing, and those on the lower end are, at worst, very intelligent but boring.

Niche User

Academics: It all depends on the school you're in. In Wharton, the professors are world-class, but the class is structured in such a way that you're always competing, and sometimes a 95 percent means a `B-.' Engineering kids have it tough; their classes are really hard. Their professors are pretty good, but not to the caliber of the other professors in the other schools. The College is a mixed bag of tricks-you'll get your good ones, and you'll get you bad ones-more good than bad. The College professors, in my opinion, are the best.

Niche User

Academics: I have enjoyed both the breadth and depth of the classes made available to me. The requirements are flexible enough to permit a wide range of study.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: It's definitely a city atmosphere, and everything you need is within walking distance. There isn't much to do uptown, but downtown there are a lot of clubs, stores, theaters, and museums.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: It's a city atmosphere, but at the same time, one could be in the middle of campus, standing on a green, and not know he or she was in a city. There are a few universities present-Drexel being the closest, with Temple, La Salle, St. Joseph's, and Villanova relatively close by. As far as stuff to stay away from, I'd say that it's probably a good idea to steer clear of the most western part of West Philly. As far as things to do, I'd personally bypass Independence Hall for Pat's Cheesesteaks, but that's just me. It's Philly; there are a lot of historical places to visit and cheesesteaks to eat.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: The city of Philadelphia is awesome; almost everything is there for a young person: restaurants, sports, clubs, etc. It is like a college town, too, because of students from other schools such as Drexel and Temple always stop by the Penn campus. Even though we are told to stay away from the dangerous parts such as West and North Philly, there is a ton of stuff to visit, such as the Philadelphia Zoo, South Street, sports complexes, the Franklin Institute, and Old City.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Penn probably has the most amazing campus and location I have ever seen. The campus, itself, is a very warm and cozy environment. Best of all, unlike most colleges in the city, it actually has a campus. University City, itself, is great because there are so many stores, restaurants, and other schools within walking distance. There is certainly always something interesting to do. As for Philly, enough said. For those already accustomed to city life, it is great; Philly has everything a city-dweller would need. But it is not so shocking and intimidating for those who come from smaller towns or rural backgrounds. Like Penn, it's rich, vast, but not unbearably overwhelming.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Philadelphia thrives as a big city during the day, although during the night, the options for younger students dwindle considerably. The historical buildings, parks, museums, and other attractions are great places to visit, but when these are closed, being over 21 helps. Of course, there are always activities to find and do, but the variety is much greater during the daytime hours.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Philly is great. It's very diverse, and there is a lot to do. The most notable university presence is Drexel because it is right next to Hill College House, where I lived, so I walked across it a lot. It's the closest school to Penn. Stay away from people on the street who ask for money, potholes, construction areas, and scary parts of town. Visit most of the city east of campus, sporting events, and definitely eat cheesesteaks.

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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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