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.