Academics

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Academics

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5 College Senior

Academics: The academics are unparalleled. Great classes, great professors, and great opportunities. Course registration is relatively easy. Expect to work hard, but you'll get a lot out of it.

6 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics at Penn are second to none.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Some very good professors and courses which may or may not be of interest to different people

5 College Junior

Academics: Many study spaces. Several types of environments whether you like studying with music, silence they've got you covered

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: The workload is manageable. The registration process is simple but it is sometimes a hassle to get into the class you want once it has reached full capacity.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Penn students tend to be genuinely impressed with the knowledge and commitment of their professors but concede that, now and then, an uninterested or uninteresting teacher can slip into one’s schedule. While members of the faculty are usually more than willing to get to know their students, in larger classes, the student must take the initiative by attending office hours or requesting research opportunities. The University definitely encourages students to make this effort and will pay for lunch with a professor at the faculty lounge. Penn students who speak to upperclassmen and “shop around” for courses usually end up enjoying their course-load immensely; the enormous amount of classes offered at Penn (the course book is the size of a phone book) practically guarantees ample opportunities to find ideal classes and professors for each student.

Ben Franklin founded Penn with the idea that the young people of Philadelphia should receive a well-rounded and pre-professional, not just a religious, education. Many things have changed since 1749, but Penn is still a remarkably well-rounded school. The business program may be unsurpassed, but practically every department at Penn is strong and will provide students with knowledgeable professors and a wide area of relevant classes. Despite the fact that the undergraduate school is populated by almost 10,000 students, the majority of classes are comprised of less than 20.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
6:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,291
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
469
Total FT Faculty
4,751
Faculty with Terminal Degree
100%
Average Faculty Salary
$132,785
Full-Time Retention Rate
98%
Part-Time Retention Rate
88%
Transfer-Out Rate
0%
Graduation Rate
96%
Programs/Majors Offered
168
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 72%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 21%
  • 50 or More Students: 7%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College at Penn (School of Arts and Sciences)
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • School of Nursing
  • Wharton School of Business
Degrees Awarded
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Other
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 3%
  • Finance, General: 5%
  • Law: 2%
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Best Places to Study
  • Fisher Fine Arts Library
  • Houston Hall
  • Huntsman Hall
  • Van Pelt Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Do not get wrapped up with the big name of the University or feel pressured to have a dual degree or graduate from Wharton. There are people that will intimidate you, but remember that being the one to graduate with the least amount accomplished from Penn is still one of the biggest achievements as a student in the nation.
  • Do your homework.
  • Get on as many school mailing lists as possible.
  • Go to office hours.
  • Learn how to manage your time effectively (alternate solution: learn how to function on two hours sleep).
  • Shop around for classes during the add/drop period.
  • Success is not always measured by grades, so don't get too stuck on numbers.
  • Talk to upperclassmen for advice.
  • Work hard, but remember to have fun.
Did You Know?
  • In 1778, University Provost William Smith was serving prison time due to a political struggle with the Provincial Congress of Philadelphia and chose to continue teaching his moral philosophy class from Philadelphia's Old City Jail.
  • Penn's first commencement took place on May 17th, 1757, with a graduating class of just seven.
  • Penn is home to America's first medical school (1765), business school (1881), and law classes (1850).
  • The team of architects who designed the winning rebuilding plan at Ground Zero in New York City is headed by an architect from the University of Pennsylvania, Daniel Libeskind.
  • Honors and awards bestowed upon the faculty at Penn include 2 National Medals of Science, 28 Guggenheim Fellows, 21 Fulbright Scholars, 2 Nobel Prizes, 11 National Academy of Sciences, 3 National Academy of Engineering, 11 Institute of Medicine, and 23 NEH Fellows.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 87 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 48 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 48 responses

  • 40% This was my dream school.
  • 58% This was one of my top choices.
  • 2% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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