Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania


153 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Eric
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I guess this my time to rant on UPenn. From how the university deals with clubs and fraternities, to how they accomodate liv...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I guess this my time to rant on UPenn. From how the university deals with clubs and fraternities, to how they accomodate living situations and campus dining, I constantly feel like I am being robbed and slapped in the face by an administration that does not care about its undergraduate students. The school considers its students a nuisance, that about somes it up. The quality of student here is outstanding, personalities and ambitions in all, but in my mind the students are the only thing that holds up the shoddy infrasture and administration of the school.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Work hard, play hard. Jewish. New York lifestyle (for better or worse, but overall for worse). Pre-professional. Greek scene is the social scene. The people who "go out" are in the Greek Scene. Very preppy. Not many tan/blond girls. Food is absolutely terrible: both the university dining plan and nearby eateries. Philly has great restaurants, but they are pricey. Terrible living conditions. Mice is every dorm room. Small living quarters. Freshmen are in for a rude awakening when they realize that the university makes very little effort to improve basic standards of living such as food and shelter. Wharton curve makes classes too competitive and makes for a rather hostile classroom environment in business classes. Low school spirit for sports team, all the sports fans at UPenn root for other colleges, but I guess that's typical for an Ivy League school.

What are the academics like at your school?

At Wharton, the greatest business school in the world, do not expect to be in an intimate classroom setting until your late junior or senior year. While the courses are demanding, there is very little hand-holding through the infamous Wharton core - the ten basic business classes that are completed during the sophomore and junior year. Be prepared to go through a brutal running of the bulls type classroom atmosphere where you cram for tests and feel very little personal satisfaction.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

If your social, there are only two excuses not to be in a fraternity: 1)If your on a sports team and 2) If you are international and find your group among other international students. I have seen too many great, active, and fun kids fade into loneliness and oblivion because they are the few who are not in a fraternity. The truth is that at an Ivy League school, there is naturally a smaller proportion of the student body that does go out. Combine that with the fact that Penn has a very high rate of students in the Greek scene, and its easy to see why the people who go out and in fraternities or sororities.

Samantha
What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a city school but it still has a beautiful campus. I wouldn't change anything. At times, Penn can feel too large, howeve...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a city school but it still has a beautiful campus. I wouldn't change anything. At times, Penn can feel too large, however, once you settle down with your group of friends, it doesn't feel large anymore. It becomes pretty intimate pretty quickly once you find your crowd. When I tell people I go to UPenn, they say "Main Campus?" to which I respond, "Penn, not Penn State". As a freshman, I spend most of my time in the Quad. We live in the city, there's no such thing as a college town here. UPenn's administration is fine. The biggest recent controversy was when Stetson, the Dean of Admissions, just up and left and we still don't know why. There's a decent amount of school pride, especially during sports games (against Princeton). The most unusual thing about UPenn is that the social circles tend to feel very small and everyone knows everyone and everyone talks about everyone. People are very gossipy. I'll always (kind of) remember my first Spring Fling. Unforgettable.

Describe the students at your school.

All of those groups are very active on campus and are effective in having their voices heard. No one would feel out of place at UPenn; there are all types of people here. A lot of students get dressed up for class, and a lot of students come to class in pajamas. You can wear what you want. Different types of students do interact (through classes, random social connections etc), however, there can be some tension between guys in different frats. Asian kids, Indian kids, jocks/frat guys/sorority girls, artsy kids. I feel a lot of Upenn students are either international or they come from the East Coast and California and not much in between. Wealthy financial backgrounds are most prevalent. Students are very politically aware and active. Many tend to be left, I know a few who are strong right, but many are liberal. Students don't really talk about how much they'll earn one day. I feel like that's a weird topic of conversation, anyway.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Penn is a different world. Depending on which social circle you're in, it can be pretty intense. However, if you're up for it, it's amazing. And if you're a low key person, you can function just fine...there are tons of low key people here. It's what you make of it and if you asked three people about their lives and experiences here, I guarantee you'll get three unbelievably different responses.

What are the academics like at your school?

My professors know my name in seminar classes, obviously not large lectures. My favorite class was an Anthropology class called "Death". Needless to say, the subject matter was interesting and the professor was also very informative and interactive. Students study as much as they need to. I have friends who go out every night and have a 3.8 GPA, but I also have friends who study very hard to get a decent GPA...it depends. Class participation is quite common, however, most of the time, if you listen carefully, the person speaking doesn't actually know what they're talking about. People talk just to talk. Again, it depends on the student. I have friends with whom I can have intellectual conversations, but I also have friends who can't hold a conversation. Students can be quite competitive. Most unique class taken: see above. I am currently undeclared and it's wonderful. I do not spend time with professors outside of class, however, I am only a freshman. I feel that the academic requirements here are legitimate. They encompass a wide area of studies and give you the chance to expose yourself to different things. It's all what you make of it. People in Wharton, Nursing, or Engineering tend to be geared towards getting a job, while people in the School of Arts and Sciences are geared towards learning for it's own sake and seeing what job opportunities might come out of that.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Greek life is pretty popular, however, if you're unaffiliated, it doesn't make much of a difference. I'm a member of Sigma Delta Tau, a sorority on campus. Students sometimes leave their doors open. Athletic events are moderately popular. Guys tend to be hardcore about the basketball games (I only went to Penn-Princeton) and when it's nice out, people go to the football games. Performing Arts is huge here. There are a million Performing Arts groups on campus and it's so easy to get involved with them. The shows are great! The dating scene is weird. If you hook up with someone when you're drunk, don't expect to see that person again unless you knew them before. Don't expect a relationship to blossom out of a random hookup. People hook up when they're drunk. That's really it. Relationships seem to be a rarity freshman (and maybe even sophomore) year. I met my closest friends through this kid I knew the first week of school. I'm not friends with him anymore...awkward. I probably wouldn't be awake at 2am on a Tuesday unless I were doing work in Van Pelt. We throw toast at every football game, Spring Fling happens every year...I think that's it. You party as much as you want to. I could easily find a party (house, bar, etc) every night if I wanted to (some of my guy friends do). I only go out 3 nights a week on average. Frats and sororities are great but definitely not a mandatory part of the social scene here at Penn. Last weekend, I went downtown to a bar for a friend's birthday and then came back to a frat on campus on Thursday. Friday, I had a mixer for my sorority, and Saturday, I frat hopped. You can do plenty on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking. You can go anywhere and not drink and still have a good time. I go to a lot of parties at clubs downtown. That is a very popular thing to do and it is a welcome change from the frat party scene on campus.

Alex
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Penn is the opportunity to do just about everything. My activities range from costume designing for musi...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Penn is the opportunity to do just about everything. My activities range from costume designing for musicals to singing light opera to the sport of curling to being a big sister for a student in West Philly. Being in the city provides a great outlet for many of the classes and extra curriculars - there are classes about the art, music, and architecture just to start. But there is enough going on on campus that you needn't go into center Philly if you don't want to. Penn is an Ivy, and a good one at that, so the work load is consistantly heavy. But, as evidenced from how involved everyone is, work rarely gets too overwhelming. And activity groups know that school wrok comes first, exxpecially during Mid-terms and Finals. One of the things I love most about Penn is the sense of community. The dorms have a lot of programming to get the Halls together and involved. Also, each activity gets you involved in a community. It's really easy to make really strong friendships this way.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body at Penn is diverse but excepting. On the whole the students are liberal, both in politics and acceptance of other students on campus. I think every and any person can find a place to fit in at Penn. Although some of the richest students stand out, there are litterally people from every class, every state, and most countries.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Penn does have more Jewish students than some of the other Ivys, but it's not Brandeis. Penn is very diverse and this includes religion as well as ethnicity. The Asian steretype comes from students that are not used to being surrounded by a diverse student body but it is no way a bad thing or an overwhelming amount. All the schools within the University are at Ivy level, and although they are all different, every student at Penn works hard. The only stereotype I'd say has some truth is about Wharton. It is the hardest school to get into at Penn, and lots of the students have a lot of money there. As to the partying, it is common but not a necessity. I wouldn't say it is more than other colleges. The frat scene is very accessible but not overwhelming. If you are looking to drink you'll have no trouble but if the opposite is true, you'll also have a great time.

What are the academics like at your school?

As with any middle to large University, there are some large lecture classes. Introduction classes in Economics, Psychology, and Calculus can get up to 200 students. But all lectures ahve small recitation where once a week you meet in a group of about 15 to discuss the lecture and ask questions. All the professors and recitation leaders are available through office hours and before and after class to help you - they want to you to succeed. Most of the grades in most of the classes are normalized, but there is some competition to be above the average. Grades are most competitive in Wharton (the business school). Penn does have quite a few requirements, but most of them you can fill with classes you'd take anyway. They are distribution requirements, meaning a subject you can satisfy with one of twenty or so classes. The professors I've had have been very good and knowledgeable in their topics. Although they are some of the best in their fields, they have been willing to discuss with me after class or schedule a meeting with me. The only time I've had trouble with a teacher is in recitation, where many of the grad student teachers speak limited english.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There is so much to do at Penn! You'll find yourself having to skip one event for another and wish there were more hours in a day! If Greek life is your scene, there is a frat for every type of person. There is a great cafe featuring local and popular music as well as occasional political speakers, and if you venture into the Center City you can find anything. In my dorm, everyone props their doors open when they want company or goes out into the study lounge to have big group study sessions. The dorm staff sponsors cookie nights and tv dinner parties to get the dormmates together. Buildings on campus with regular events include the Women's Center, the Writer's House, the LGBT center, the student union, and each college house individually. Also, many sports and clubs have social gatherings to foster a sense of community.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Upenn is stereotypically Jewish and Asian. The girls are Harvard-Westlake girls (rich Cali girls) in Uggs, Burberry, and Seven Jeans. The business school is stereotyped to have a lot of Indians and the engineering school to have a lot of East Asians. And within the University different schools stereotype each other. Wharton is rich and stuck-up, Engineering is nerdy an overworked, nursing is all girls and disconnected from all others, and the College of Arts and Sciences is lovingly referred to as the College of Arts and Crafts. Also, Upenn is considered the "Party Ivy" in that we are supposed to party harder and/or more often than other Ivy League Schools.

Brett
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing about Penn: location. One thing I'd change: the admission rate. Size: just right. How people react: they immediate...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Best thing about Penn: location. One thing I'd change: the admission rate. Size: just right. How people react: they immediately become more interested in what I'm saying because they assume I'm a genius. Where I spend most of my time: at the boathouse. College town mos def. School pride: I think so. Most frequent student complaints: dining.

Describe the students at your school.

Students that would feel out of place: Palestinians. Different type of students interations: never happens. Four tables in the dining hall: table of jocks, table of giggling girls, table of people from Stouffer, table of the awkward girl who always eats by herself. Where most students are from: PA, NY, NJ. Financial backgrounds: rich. Politics: mostly center or right. most students are apathetic. Do students talk about earning potential: yes.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors don't know my name. Favorite class: ASL. Least: Writing seminar. Student study time: I'd say fairly morderate. Class participation: higher than I'd thought, less substantial than I'd thought. Intellectual conversations: no. Students' competitiveness: not irrationally so. My major: ditzy girls.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Dorms open: no. Athletic events: football's pretty popular. Guest speakers get good audiences. Theatre... not if they're from the Theatre dept. Closest friends: they live in my residence hall. Awake at 2am: I'm not. I have to go to practice. Fraternities/Sororities: you'll know at least 6 people who are pledging, probably more, and from different groups that you know. Last weekend: went to Center city for a movie. Saturday nights: go to a comedy event, check out Center city, do work.

Royce
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The reputation and academics are the best. I'd change the diversity. Too small. They don't know it's Ivy League. Studying in ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The reputation and academics are the best. I'd change the diversity. Too small. They don't know it's Ivy League. Studying in a study room. Not a college town. Admistration tries to be helpful. Controversy regarding Islamo Facism Week. Not much school pride. Not really. My friends. Too hard/too much work.

Describe the students at your school.

I love diversity and try to get as much as possible but often, people stay within their cultural groups. A lot of left people. money orientated

What are the academics like at your school?

Some, but not really. Favorite class is cross cultural awareness and least favorite is accounting. Study a lot. Yes common. I like wharton. too hard, tho

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Frats/sorororitie and performance groups. I study a lot on some weekends and then go out every ngiht on other weekends

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Rich, snobby, smart, Jewish, superficial, pre professional

West Coast Transplant
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The first thing to understand about Penn is that its in Philadelphia- WEST Philadelphia. While Philadelphia has a lot to offe...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The first thing to understand about Penn is that its in Philadelphia- WEST Philadelphia. While Philadelphia has a lot to offer as a city, West Philadelphia has never felt like the nicest nor safest area to live in, despite Penn's efforts to increase public safety. It is also separated from center city Philadelphia by a river, so a lot of students tend to stay near campus. The neighborhood and its separation from the city action are probably the biggest downsides of Penn (tied with the fact that most of the kids here are pretty sheltered and freshman year think that drinking themselves into a stupor constitutes "fun")... The good news is that the school is a perfect size and the campus is nice. There is a central walk so you often run into people you know on the way to class, and never feel lost in the crowd. There is a pretty good amount of internal school pride, but unfortunately a lot of people outside the Penn community seem to have never heard of Penn. We have t-shirts that say "Not Penn State" for this exact reason. If I could change anything at Penn I would change this. It has proven to be a setback when applying for jobs to be lumped in with all the other state school applicants.

Describe the students at your school.

While Penn has a widespread mix of students, the general population is pretty socially conservative (although politically the school is liberal). As a Southern Californian I have never quite felt at home at Penn. The students seem very preppy to me and had a much different high school experience than I did. The best way to explain this is: when I am with Penn students I feel like I am with my younger brother or sister. Most of the things they experience for the first time when coming to college- drinking, being away from home, going out, relationships etc.- the kids where I'm from experienced at 15. While this is not true for everyone, overall the maturity level here is a little low compared with other schools. That being said, there is a large enough population that people tend to find their place. A lot of students wear sweats to class, a college thing I will never understand. Uggs and leggings seems to be a pretty popular combo among the northerners. The rest wear jeans, various outfits...it varies. You can wear anything to class and it won't seem strange.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

There is definitely a large contingency of Jewish and wealthy people at Penn, but I don't think it by any means defines the school. There is a pretty diverse student population, although the majority of students seem to be from the northeast. I don't know how Penn compares to the other ivies in terms of being the party ivy...but there are a lot of people both at the bars and in the library on the weekend so I don't know how accurate that stereotype is.

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors here are amazing. Most of my classes have had less than 20 students and almost every professor I have had knows my name and stops to say hi when I see them outside class. My favorite classes have been the small seminars (which is about 80% of the classes I have taken). I took a writing seminar freshman year titled 'Beastly Visions and Talking Creatures,' which is my favorite class to date. It was basically an animal rights class disguised as an English class and the teacher was an eccentric woman that reminded me of Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus. She took us to local restaurants and farmers markets that advocated free-range and fair treatment of animals (translation- free delicious food and a class for a good cause). My least favorite class was one of the intro classes for the Communication major (awful professor) and a geology class (I am not a fan of the general requirement at Penn, although they did reform the requirements starting with the class 2 years behind me). The students here are amazingly intelligent, and it is not rare to be engaged in intellectual conversations outside class. While they are competitive, in the College this is not as noticeable as it is in Wharton where the curves are stronger. The education in the College (liberal arts) is very theoretically based. It is academia for learnings sake. Very little of what I have learned has practical application for getting a job. The other 3 schools within Penn- Engineering, Nursing, Wharton Business School, take a much more practical approach to education. Wharton students practically have jobs handed to them when they graduate.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Students in dorms leave their doors open for the most part (or at least they did when I was a freshman). The freshmen dorms (particularly the Quad) are great. There is an instant community and they put on tons of activities. There are hundreds of organizations at Penn. In terms of Greek organizations, there is a presence but it is not overbearing. I am in a sorority but most of my closest friends aren't. There is lots to do outside of the Greek system. The social and dating scene here is not my favorite. Penn is renowned for its population of rather unattractive guys. Most college students don't seem to want to 'tie themselves down' though so the lack of a good dating scene may not be a problem. 2am Tuesday I am definitely last-minute writing that essay that's due Wednesday.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Jappy, smart, rich, international, spoiled kids. Penn is also considered the "social ivy."

Terry
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hmm, I think Penn is just right in size for me - not too large or small. The ten minute walk between Engineering and the high...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Hmm, I think Penn is just right in size for me - not too large or small. The ten minute walk between Engineering and the high rise dorms is just bearable enough, and the public transportation, albeit a little shitty, is so incredibly convenient. Downtown Philly is awesome, although I do wish I had more time to check it out. School pride is not very big here, which is kinda sad - probably because our sports teams (in particular, football) aren't very good and the focus is on academics. Anything unusual? Well nothing that would make me live here for the rest of my life, but I think Penn has its own loving embrace and Locust Walk on the first night of deep fall and in the spring is simply beautiful.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Well, when I first thought of Penn, images of groupies of WASPs with popped collars and baby blue polo shirts would flood my mind. I had always thought Penn was way too preppy and full of people who were too full of themselves.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not at all. Yes there are the few here and there who are like that, but really in general all the people I've met are great kids - people who have really cool backgrounds and experiences and ideas!

Ali
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Penn is its social scene - we have a great mixture of scenes and there's something for everyone. You can...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Penn is its social scene - we have a great mixture of scenes and there's something for everyone. You can go downtown into downtown Philadelphia and party at a club, go to one of the many campus bars, or head to a frat party. Also there's always something going on, regardless of what day of the week it is. When I tell people I go to Penn, what they say really depends. The average person will immediately say, "Oh, Penn State?" or just assume that it's Penn State and ask me something about our football team. However, most people who "matter" (i.e. people who you want to know about Penn such as employers and what not) are always impressed, especially if you're in Wharton. I spend most of time either at the one or two frats in which I know the most guys or at one of two campus bars, Blarney and Smokes (when I go out). University City (aka West Philadelphia, where Penn is) is a great balance of college town/not college town. We have the city right there, within walking distance when it's nice out (or a 5 dollar cab ride when it's not!) so we can do that. But at the same time, Penn has a distinct campus and everyone living in this area is for the most part affiliated with the University. It's great to have bars to go to where everyone is in college. I think the administration of Penn is fine, but they're a little bureaucratic - but then again, what administration isn't? Change tends to take a long time around here, even if it seems it's something that should obviously be done. The biggest recent controversy is the departure of our Dean of Admissions, Lee Stetson. No one was told why he left - it's this giant secret - but everyone kind of assumes it was for something illegal, like sexual harassment or something. it's making the school look really bad because they're doing this giant cover up. I don't think Penn has that much school pride. As far as sports go, there are certain groups of people who get into it, and I definitely like going to football and basketball games(no one cares about any other sport). We have traditions that we do at each game, and Penn itself has some great traditions (i.e. Spring Fling, Hey Day, Senior Week, etc), but in general people are sort of apathetic about school spirit.

Describe the students at your school.

I think any student would fit in comfortably at Penn. I myself am multiracial and have found no problem fitting in. There are definitely distinct groups for every kind of race, religion, etc. There is a huge dichotomy in what kids wear to class - a lot of people show up in sweatpants and a fleece, but then there are the girls in skirts and heels. I'd say the average student just wears jeans and a tee shirt. Some groups at Penn definitely self-segregate. For example, there is a dorm that is predominantly African American, and I feel like that community sticks to itself. The same holds true for a lot of the Asians, South Asians, and Jewish people on campus. This is why I've avoided getting stuck in one group. In the dining hall, the four tables would be: a table of athletes, because they tend to stick together; a table of nerdy kids with textbooks out; a table of African American students; a table of random kids with seemingly nothing in common. I'd say the majority of people are from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. California, Texas, and Florida also have a large representation.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

We are definitely the Social Ivy - having experienced many other Ivy social scenes, I can for sure say that Penn's is number one. I feel like people here have a great balance of work and play - we get our stuff done and we're all smart, but we know how to go out and have a good time. As far as being preppy/stuck up, there are definitely people like that here but I'd say the majority aren't that way at all. Although, I do admit that most people have a superiority complex when it comes to students from Drexel - no one really wants to associate with them.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors can really go either way. The classes here range between huge lectures to tiny seminars. But, I've noticed that in medium-sized lectures (around 50-70 people), professors often require you to put a name tag on your desk so that they familiarize themselves with your name. And there are definitely professors who know everyone's name by the end of the semester. My favorite class here at Penn has been The Business of the Sports Industry. I don't particularly want to go into sports (although I might after this class), but I loved the way that the professor brought everything back to what we learn in our basic Wharton classes. He basically showed us that sport franchises are like any other business. It was really cool. I would say that most people at Penn have a very healthy work ethic - otherwise, how would they have gotten in? People are always at the library, or in coffee shops working. Still, we know how to let loose and have fun and I love that balance here. My two majors are Marketing and Retailing. I love that they're off the beaten path (most everyone in Wharton majors in Finance) and that they're more subjective, and not just number-based. It really allows me to think critically and think outside of the box. There's one professor that I spend time with out of class - he was my Econ 101 professor freshman year and I almost failed. Since then, we have been really close and he has become my mentor. We have lunch at least once a month to check in.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I don't know what the most popular clubs are, but Greek Life is pretty big here - about 25% of the campus is Greek. If you're looking at the people who actually go out and have a social life, the percentage is probably larger. I am in a sorority (Chi Omega) and it has really helped me expand my social circle and world here at Penn. I've met people that I never would have otherwise and I love all the events we have with frats, the downtown parties we throw, and the bonding I get to do with my sisters. I'd say the majority of freshmen leave their doors open - I know we did. And even after that, when I lived in an on-campus apartment sophomore year, our door was always open. Athletic events are marginally popular - "big" games (such as Princeton, the Big 5, etc) are always packed, but only football and basketball actually draw fans. The people who go get really into it, though. Penn usually gets some great guest speakers, so those almost always sell out. We've had Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberh, Peyton Manning, etc. The dating scene at Penn is so bipolar. Either you're casually hooking up with someone (or lots of someones) or you're in a serious relationship - there's no middle ground. This annoys me because I'm not looking for anything super serious but guys won't do the "dating" thing. I met my closest friends on my hall freshman year, which I think is pretty standard. I've met more through my sorority though, and added people through those people. On a Tuesday at 2 am, I'm definitely at Blarney (one of our campus bars) playing Quizzo (a bar game that goes on every Tuesday). The game would just be ending and people would be starting to head home. The bar always gets packed and it's so much fun -if you win, you get a $75 bar tab! Spring FLing is the biggest event of the year - basically a weeklong drunk fest. THe school puts on a carnival in the Quad (a freshman dorm area) with moonbounces, dunk tanks, etc and everyone just drinks themselves silly for a week. There's also a concert - my freshman year was O.A.R. and last year was Ben Folds and Third Eye Blind. Other traditions are Hey Day (where juniors march through campus and seniors throw stuff at them to "initiate" them into senior year - this happens on the last day of classes) and Senior Week (the week in between when finals end and graduation where each day seniors have a differnt event to do). I would say people party a lot. There tends to be something going on almost every night of the week. Tuesday is Quizzo at Blarney, Wednesday is Sink or Swim at Smokes, Thursday is either Smokes/Blarney or a downtown club event, Friday is more chill just hanging out at a frat or with your friends, and Saturday is big frat party night. Greek Life is important for those who are in it, but it's not the end of your social life if you're not. I'd say it's more important for a guy to be in a frat than for a girl to be in a sorority. Last weekend I went downtown for a date party my sorority had, and again the next night for a party thrown by a frat on campus; I also hosted a Beer Olympics at my house. On a Saturday night you can go see a movie, hang out with friends, go out to dinner at the amazing restaurants in Philly...

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Penn (which by the way is the correct way to refer to it, not UPenn) is generally referred to as the "Social Ivy", although among Ivy League schools we probably have a reputation as being less prestigious. Among schools near us (like Drexel, Villanova, etc), Penn kids are known as being really preppy and kind of stuck up.

Rory
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Anybody who grew up in suburbia, as I did myself, has quite a bubble to pop. West Philadelphia is like nowhere else. One am...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Anybody who grew up in suburbia, as I did myself, has quite a bubble to pop. West Philadelphia is like nowhere else. One amazing thing about living here is being right on the edge of a community that you might never otherwise see. West Philly, despite the bad rap it gets for crime, has great old colonial rowhouses, some farmer's markets, a park close to campus, and really excellent restaurants. Some personal favorites are Dock Street Brewery (in a converted firehouse) and Dahlak (Ethiopian). And you can't know West Philly without going into their schools. I've tutored kids from kindergarten to 11th grade in local schools, and I know there are a lot of programs for dance, mentoring, sports, computer skills, chess, debate, etc. that also accept Penn volunteers. If you come to Penn, GET INVOLVED with the community--you won't regret it.

Describe the students at your school.

Because we're a relatively big school, there's enough of a cross-section of people that you won't get stuck hanging out with future investment bankers unless you want to. The douchebag stereotype is alive and well in many Wharton (business) or econ classes; psychology & sociology classes are at least 50% high-strung, high-pitched, high-income girls; the engineers tend to be as nerdy here as anywhere; and the occasional political extremist (from either side) preaches obnoxious views from any available venue. I'm not sure that anyone would be quite out of place. We had a guy who rode a unicycle around campus a few years ago... I guess that was weird.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

If you are stuck-up, obnoxious, or focused only on your career, please go elsewhere--we're all set in that department!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Only for a small portion of the population. We do tend to be career-minded, much more than the typical college (probably because we have nursing, engineering, and business schools for undergraduates), but I find that there are quite a few people who don't party hard and also a lot who are not rich & preppy. We have very active minority populations, a strong LGBTQ community, and good groups with religious focus. It's a mixed bag. Except that there really are a lot of Jews.

What are the academics like at your school?

Get through introductory courses as fast as you can. If you're in the College, upper level classes are really amazing, especially in the history political science departments. There are a ton of courses with alternative formats. For instance, I had a class that met 6-9 on Wednesday nights and had field trips a couple times during the semester to visit the organizations we were studying. We ended up at the District Attorney's office the last week of school. There are classes that are geared entirely around designing a mural with the community in West Philly and then painting it. Architecture classes also have a really strong practical component. There's even one political science class about incarceration that meets each week at a local jail (students take a Penn van there and back) and is made up an equal number of Penn students and inmates. The list definitely goes on.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The good thing about Penn is that there's always something going on. Every day, I get emails about interesting events coming up, whether it's a guest speaker (this year we've had Bill Clinton, Teach For America's Wendy Kopp, Karl Rove, and Keenan from "All That", to name a few), a subsidized trip to New York to see a Broadway show, a camping trip with Penn Outdoors, or a party downtown. I never have enough time and/or money to do everything I want to do. The bad news is that most of these alcohol-free activities are during the week. On the weekends, it's completely possible to hang out with friends without alcohol, but it's usually more of a create-your-own-activity sort of thing.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

We are generally stereotyped as preppy/rich, work hard and play hard (lots of parties), smart, and career-minded. And Jewish.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 11,525
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $45,890
  • Acceptance rate
  • 13%

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