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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Niche User

Local Atmosphere: It's in a city, but Penn is pretty self-contained. In theory, you could never have to leave, but at the same time, you are so close to museums and other universities such as Temple and Drexel.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Philly is very artsy and historical. There's not much to do outside of that. There are a lot of other universities nearby. I would not say that there is anything to stay away from. I would definitely try to visit the Museum District, Old City, and South Street.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Just something I personally noticed about Philadelphia-they seem to be really into cultural stuff, like jazz music, and poetry reading. If you're into that sort of thing, then you'd definitely love Philly. But there's a little bit of everything, so I'm sure you'd find something to do.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Penn is great. On campus, there are always different activities going on-people playing Frisbee, break-dancing, lounging on the college green, or just sitting and talking. The campus is actually quite beautiful; they did a really good job with the landscaping-there are big grass quads and ivy-covered buildings. You don't even realize that you are right next to the city.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: It is a city, but at the same time, there is a campus atmosphere. You can choose one, the other, or both; I like both. There are other universities around, but they're not worth going to. There's tons of stuff to visit in Philly and the surrounding areas.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: There is an amazing historical district in Philadelphia that I totally recommend visiting. There are loads of museums, fabulous theatre, opera, sports, and South Street. I could go on and on. There's just so much to do, and I've barely touched on it after my first year here.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Believe it or not, the city of Philly has a lot to offer. You can head down to King of Prussia or Liberty Place for some nice shopping, or you can go down to South Street or Penn's Landing to check out some very interesting people and shops. Philly can get a bit rough sometimes, especially in West Philly, but it just seems to add a bit more color to the whole campus.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: If you are going to stay away from any place in Philly, stay away from North and West Philly, which are the high-crime areas. Fairmont Park, which is home to the museum art, is probably the nicest area in the city. South Street is pretty trendy, as are Delaware and Columbus Avenues. Center City has a lot of shopping and restaurants . . . very ritzy, but nice. Lastly, go for King of Prussia, the biggest indoor shopping mall on the East Coast. There are seven or eight department stores plus somewhere between 400 and 500 other stores.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Health & Safety: Penn is very safe; there are guards at every dorm and plenty of Penn police everywhere. There are, however, quite a few homeless people that always wander around and ask you for money.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Security is omnipresent on campus. There are numerous safety precautions, including the need to get swiped into the dorms to obtain access, which limit the likelihood of any trouble. The slow meandering of the campus boundaries to the west has enabled Penn to clean up the area and open several popular restaurants and campus hot spots. For being in a major city, the incidence of crime is surprisingly low.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I never really feel unsafe on campus, but I know some people have. Security is decent compared to most schools.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Penn has its own security system, and there are Penn police on bikes, in cars, and on foot all over campus. There are blue lights on every block for emergencies. Penn Cards are needed to gain access to all University housing, libraries, and some other buildings. Safety is obviously not the same as it would be in a small secluded campus, but security is a top priority, and all the necessary precautions are taken.

Niche User

Health & Safety: You'll definitely get approached by homeless people, but there is enough security on campus so no one will hassle you as long as you don't go wandering around the streets of West Philly at 3 a.m. alone.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Security is surely present. Sometimes, it's so present that it becomes extremely aggravating, especially when it takes half an hour to sign in a guest on a regular weekend afternoon. But you always feel safe, which is ultimately the most important thing.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Even though West Philadelphia has a horrible reputation for crime and violence, the campus has a safe feeling to it. There are obvious areas to avoid, and safety precautions are good to keep in mind. Usually, traveling with a group during the evening is a smart thing to do, but during the day, you can feel free to travel about as you wish without much worry.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I always feel pretty safe, even at night. However, it's best to be with at least one other person you trust.

Niche User

Health & Safety: There are PennCops (University of Pennsylvania Police) on almost every corner, on bikes, in cars, etc. Safety is not an issue in the least. I lived off campus this past year and even felt safe there. The Penn Police are all over the campus, and they're even a few blocks off campus. All of the dorms are secure as well and have guard stations at each entrance where you sign in all guests.

Niche User

Health & Safety: As a female, although campus itself is said to be safe, I'd be careful. There have been a few incidents within the past few years, and although security is getting tighter, you are in West Philadelphia. Try not to walk alone at night. There's a walking escort or van that you can call; do not be afraid to use it.

Niche User

Health & Safety: On campus, the security is great. There are SpectaGuards and Safety Ambassadors at almost every corner as well as bike patrols that go through the night. I have walked from the library through campus many times at night and never felt worried about my safety. Going five or six blocks west of campus is a different story, but as long as you think with your head, you will be fine.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Security can get annoying every once in a while because they are always there and there are a lot of them, but in the long run, you are living in West Philly; a lot of security is exactly what you want. You learn quickly where you can and cannot go when you leave campus, and you always feel safe while you are on campus. Going to school in the city is a matter of being smart. Use your head though, and you should have no problem.

Niche User

Health & Safety: The campus is located on the border of a not-so-great neighborhood-a side effect of large, urban cities. However, Penn Police is the largest private police organization in Philadelphia, and although incidents tend to occur, I would say that safety was never an issue with me or anyone I know. I feel almost as safe walking on campus at three in the morning as I do during the day.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Penn has very tight security when it comes to the college houses. Students have to swipe their Penn ID Card every time they want to enter the building, or they have to get people to sign them in. It's very tight but reassuring. Most people I know don't lock their doors in the dorms; it's pretty relaxed here.

Niche User

Health & Safety: It's West Philadelphia, so the second you're off campus, it's questionable, but that's what you get for living in an interesting area. On campus, it's really safe; it's very well taken care of.

Niche User

Health & Safety: It's very secure! There have been only two `violent' crimes on campus that I know of all year. 10 years ago, that was unheard of. However, Penn has recently beefed up security to the point where I know my female friends have no problem walking home late at night from the library or anywhere else. You can always see a SpectaGuard after dark, and that's comforting.

Niche User

Computers: There are ample computer labs on campus, and most students bring their own PC setup, so the labs are hardly ever crowded. I recommend that students bring their own computer equipment, as printing in the labs can be costly.

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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
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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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