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...
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.
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!
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.
The best thing about Penn is its social scene - we have a great mixture of scenes and there's something for everyone. You can...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Anybody who grew up in suburbia, as I did myself, has quite a bubble to pop. West Philadelphia is like nowhere else. One am...
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.
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.
If you are stuck-up, obnoxious, or focused only on your career, please go elsewhere--we're all set in that department!
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.
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.
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.
We are generally stereotyped as preppy/rich, work hard and play hard (lots of parties), smart, and career-minded. And Jewish.
they're all smart
we don't really call it "UPenn". Most people just say "Penn" the best thing about Penn is the location of the campus. When...
we don't really call it "UPenn". Most people just say "Penn" the best thing about Penn is the location of the campus. When you walk down Locust Walk, you feel like you're part of a true college environment. The location is wonderful - you have access to a large city, yet the convenience of one unified campus; you have the opportunity to take classes in historic buildings, yet you can also take hands-on classes in the West Philadelphia community. I would change the weather. I hate slush. Also known as "wintry mix" (that awful wet snow that makes the streets brown and gross) I would also add more green space. Fortunately, though, we have close access to the Skuykill River park and Penn is adding a big park in the years to come. My school is just the right size. Large enough that I'm still meeting new people every day, but small enough that I run into people I know every time I enter a class or step outside. I spend most of my time in the Van Pelt library or in my apartment (Harrison high rise). Not a college town, but a college neighborhood within a big city. People's reaction to "I go to Penn"?: people everywhere - "Oh, Penn State?" people everywhere -"Where's that?" people from the south - "Why'd you go to school all the way in Pennsylvania?" (I'm from Georgia) people from philly- "Woahh...UPenn! (said in a way indicating that I'm probably stuck-up and elitist) I'm kind of scared of the administration. I want to know what they do with our ridiculous endowment. And I think they waste too much money on catering and tents for parties. The biggest controversy was last Halloween when Amy Gutmann hosted a halloween costume party and a kid came dressed as a terrorist and Amy Gutmann posed in a picture with him. But that got blown out of proportion. There is a decent amount of school pride. Or at least a strong desire to brand our school's name so that people know we aren't a public school, but rather an Ivy League institution. But we're pretty apathetic about athletics. I will always remember New Student Orientation (NSO) and Spring Fling. Most common complaints are about the dining hall food. But I think that most of the moaning is from whiny brats who think a normal meal is take-out from Stephen Starr restaurants.
I'm involved with both the feminist and Christian communities at Penn. They are both very vibrant communities with growing influence on campus. The African-American population does not have a very big presence, but it is growing. Unfortunately, I think that students from lower socioeconomic classes might feel out of place or at least intimidated by some of the absurdly/disgustingly wealthy students on campus. Students wear anything and everything to class. The Wharton kids wear suits. The sorority girls wear leggings. The athletes wear Penn athletic sweats. Everyone else wears jeans or sweatpants. Different types of students do interact, but then everyone regresses back to their cliques. Four tables: 1) Jewish community - subdivided into Orthodox, Conservative and Reform 2) Sororities and Fraternities - drunk. doing rush rituals. 3) "Secret" societies - Oz and Tabard. Trying not to get people to steal their lunch boxes 4) Students - the academics. kids here to learn and have fun. most penn kids are from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania Penn kids are generally rich. Penn Dems is huge. Penn kids are generally left. Wharton kids are generally right. But there isn't a very big activist community. students talk about salaries a lot. too much, in fact.q
Partially. There is a significant Jewish population on campus (which you can witness by the seemingly isolated campus during services on Friday nights). There is also a significant Asian population (just look in Huntsman Hall)
You have to make an effort to get professors to know your name. My favorite class was through the graduate school of government - Fels. It was called "Women Leaders and Emerging Democracies" and was taught by former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies (her son is dating Chelsea Clinton). The class was very hands-on and we heard a lot of wonderful guest speakers. Students study a reasonable amount. In class participation is an important part of classes Some Penn students have intellectual conversations out of class. Others just gossip. And others just talk about summer internships and investment banks (cough cough, Wharton) Students are very competitive. Especially pre-meds and Wharton kids. Most unique class - Community Based Environmental Health. We learned about health risks and the developed a plan to fix an environmental health problem in West Philly. My major is Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). It's an interdisciplinary major based off of the Oxford major by the same name. And Harvard has the same program but they call it Social Studies. It was Bill Clinton's major. I LOVE PPE. It teaches you liberal arts combined with practical real-life skills You have to make an effort to see professors outside class. The academic requirements are good, except there are too many science requirements (especially for non-science majors). Wharton is geared toward getting a job. The other schools are geared towards learning.
Most popular - Sororities, Fraternities, Penn Dems, Wharton Women, Mask and Wig The F-Word is a feminist literary magazine that publishes an issue each semester. We are a venue to spread the feminist voices of Penn men and women. Campus Crusade for Christ is a nondenominational Christian community. We hold Bible studies and large group meetings every week. Students in the Quad and Hill leave their doors open. Not in the high rises. Basketball games are pretty popular. Guest speakers are popular depending on who it is. Penn kids don't date. They hook-up. I met my closest friends through my religious community and from my freshman hall. 2am on Tuesday - I'm cramming to do my homework for Wednesday. Traditions: Spring Fling, Skimmer, Hey Day, New Student Orientation, Amy Gutmann's Halloween Party people party thursday-saturday on Saturday night you can go downtown for dinner, see a play or the Philadelphia Orchestra, go to a student performance, hang out with friends, study, etc I go downtown all the time. Go to art exhibits, shop at Trader Joe's, shop on Walnut Street, wander around Rittenhouse Square, run along the Skuykill River, etc
some people call us the "Jewniversity of Pennsylvasia"; we're known as the "party Ivy";
The best thing is its campus: It is the perfect blend between living in a city, without having it be too overwhelming such as...
The best thing is its campus: It is the perfect blend between living in a city, without having it be too overwhelming such as NY, and without being stuck in a small town. There is also an actual campus, but it is not a closed campus (like Columbia) or a completely open one (like NYU), which creates a sense of belonging and community at times. All of your classes are within 2 to 10 blocks, and there are a lot of shops around. Not to mention that all the buildings are historical and beautiful. However, it is easy to get stuck in a rut and never go "off campus" and into the city, staying within the confines of some 10 blocks or so. The good part is that the city is only 20 blocks away, east and west, and there is public transportation within the city as well as to the suburbs. Philadelphia is not the most welcoming city, but once you get out and explore you will find neat hidden places that are not commonly frequented by college kids. The second best part goes hand in hand with the campus: you have the option of living "off campus" without actually being off campus. You can live within one or two blocks of the usual dorms and buildings, pay the same or even less than a dorm, and have your own apartment with your own furniture, and make it feel like a home. Obviously university city prices are inflated, but in general apartments in the city are expensive. The worst part about Penn is the administration. It depends a lot in which school you're in (SAS, SEAS, Wharton, etc) but in my experience I have had the worst and the best advisors. The admin staff in general does not care about you, and makes every effort to make you feel as uncomfortable and pissed off as you can. Not to mention that there is not one semester where I file a petition for something, and only one has been accepted. The facilities in general are very good. I use to think the dorms were awful, but then I saw other universities' dorms. We have an awesome gym a few blocks away from anywhere, a huge library, another library, lots of study areas, and *most* of the classrooms (ie Wharton) are well fitted with technology, although the interiors are sometimes very unwelcoming. I feel the UA, or undergraduate assembly, definitely works and listens to the students, implementing a lot of their suggestions within a year or two. There are a lot of groups on campus, although the joke is that there are more accapella groups than any of the others combined.
In general the student body is very open. There is diversity among students: a lot of Hindu, Asian, and other Internationals. It is also LGBT friendly. I am Mexican, and Penn probably boasts the most number of Mexicans (40, compared to 2 or 3 in other places) and Latinos among the other top universities (especially those in the North, not those not in Texas or California). There is definitely a vibrant Latino community here. However, the stereotypes hold up. Most of the students are from New Jersey or Philly or the Northeast, some are a bit snobbish and rich. Come January, everyone, regardless of major (Business, Finance, History, Psychology, English) is obsessed with OCR, on campus recruiting, and landing an internship at Goldman Sachs or Lehmann Brothers.
Yes and no. There are a lot of snobby rich kids who you know just got in because they donated an entire building or something. And there's the typical stuck up Gucci-wearing Blackberry-addicted Whartonite. But there's also the typical fine arts student with ripped clothes and paint blotches all over, or the typical blonde with the uggs and miniskirt in any psychology or communications class, as well as the low-hygiene bad dresser nerd in engineering. But there's also many people who don't fit them. The stereotypes are true insomuch as the people you notice match them. But there are a lot of very diverse people at Penn. The problem is that it's hard to find them. First, most different people don't go to the usual parties, they all attend very different social gatherings. They also probably take different classes from the usual mainstream classes. And it's very easy to get sucked into the same small social circle, meeting new people with one degree of separation at most.
Academics is highly volatile. It depends on the department, the course, the professor, the students in the class, and you. The good part is that there is the option of doing a dual degree, which involves two bachelors (not just two majors), and I know in some universities this is not possible or very hard to do (like Stanford). There are many schools and a wide variety of majors, as well as the option of doing an individualized major, and changing majors is quite easy. In the College, or SAS, there are a lot of general requirements, which is good if you are only getting one major because you can explore and expand; but they get very annoying when you are trying to complete the requirements for a minor, and another major in another school. The administration is terrible too. The psychology major is a joke, but I guess that's true everywhere. In general, being in SAS is not that strenuous in terms of work, even if you take 150% workload (6 credits). The College has been for me a terrible experience, and moreso because I can contrast it directly with Engineering. The administrators in the College don't motivate you, quite the opposite: they get pissed if you try to do more than you should. The first time I took 6 credits (the limit is 5) my advisor was very angry and condescening. In Engineering, it is more common to take more credits. In Engineering, for any type of request, you just fill out a petition and turn it in. In the college, it is a whole process to fill out any sort of petition; you have to go talk to an advisor first, who will supposedly 'advise' you, when you just actually waste 1 hour. Engineering, or SEAS, has more specific requirements because it is obviously a more specialized major. This is good since you end up actually learning something useful. You also have to take a lot of social sciences and humanities, giving you freedom to explore other areas, and not just science. The environment in Engineering is a LOT more welcoming than in the College. SEAS organizes semesterly events, the advisors in general are better, you get to know people better, and there is a sense of community. Students are very competitive. Grading is usually on a curve, meaning the average is a B/B+, so you only have to do better than everyone else to get an A, which can be easy or hard (depends on the course). I've taken very hard courses and done well, very easy courses and done poorly. I feel that in general professors don't care about you. They don't know your name, and don't care to know. There are some rare ones that know who you are, nod their head when they pass you in the hall, but beyond that do not really venture further.
The most popular organizations are the frats. It is annoying when one is not a part of one, or doesn't care to be in one. However, it is easy to just ignore it. There are a lot of private house parties on weekends, which are the better ones if you don't like the frats. You can also go off campus to a nice restaurant, to a cheap restaurant, to a club, to a jazz bar, to the movies, etc. There's lots to do. Dating is apparently gender reversed: the guys are the shy ones. I wouldn't know, personally. There are a lot of other dance troupes, accapella, theatre groups, spoken word poetry, and miscellaneous events to attend year round, some of which are very worth it and some are not. I have only lately started to go, and I regret not going before. There are also lots of free events, talks, and conferences, all of which involve free food. In fact, a girl once showed how you can survive on free event food for a week. In all honesty, I have had a hard time making friends, and I don't know if it's because of the culture clash or the actual people at Penn. I believe I have made a total of 10 friends over 4 years, and kept about 5. And most of them are from my same hometown. The cool part though is that I would have never met them back home.
Snobby rich kids from Jersey going to Wharton to sell their souls now and buy their yachts later, or the Jap from New Jersey getting her psych or PPE major and a ring.
I love love love Penn! I love seeing friends on Locust Walk. I love the English Department classes and Professors. I like ...
I love love love Penn! I love seeing friends on Locust Walk. I love the English Department classes and Professors. I like that everyone here has different passions that they follow. Even though Penn is technically large, it definitely doesn't feel it - I run into people I know all the time! The things I would change would be the housing options - I don't like that people move off-campus as sophomores. I love that we have the city so close to campus - I have an internship downtown, and walk downtown when I need a change of pace. The only thing I would complain about the student body is that everyone works very very hard, which creates a lot of pressure. You can guarantee that come finals time you'll see everyone you know in the library. People are also intense in their extracurricular responsibilities. Basically, everyone has a type A personality.
Penn has a lot of well-off students with expensive clothes and who can spend a lot of money on food and drinks. Many girls go to class dressed well and looking good, even in designer sweatsuits. Of course there are other students who go to class wearing sweatpants.
To some degree, yes many students are business-oriented and rich. But it completely depends on who you choose to associate with. The work hard study hard stereotype is also true.
Only in my smaller seminar classes do my professors know my name and my interests. These have actually been some of my favorite classes (English classes), because I can discuss my academic interests on a more personal basis with my professors, which all in all makes me more excited to learn. My worst classes have been math and science classes where we have problem-set type homeworks every week for recitation. Students study a lot! People are very competitive academically, but that doesn't mean they don't have intellectual passions outside of class that don't count for a grade. Once you get to upper level seminar classes in your major people get very excited to learn for the sake of learning. The english major, for example, definitely has a lot of passionate majors. I think it's partly the professors that foster this enthusiasm. I used to be a psych major, but switched because the psych professors were only there for their research. I felt like the English dept professors really cared about their students, and wanted to help them in any way they can. I have had many conversation with English profs about things outside their class, over coffee or walking through campus. As in english major I'm definitely learning for its own sake rather than for a job, but I know a lot of Wharten students and even econ and polisci students who are gearing up for a job.
Athletic events are not very popular. Guest speakers are very popular - from political (Clinton) to feminist (Angela Davis). I met my closest friends freshman year - I lived in Hill House, a dorm where everyone bonds very easily because of its small rooms, and because everyone leaves their doors open. The dating scene is awful! Most people just have random hook-ups, and if you do end up dating someone, it' probably the case that they've dated someone you know. The penn traditions are one of the best things about Penn, from Spring Fling, to FebClub, to Hey Day. THe Greek scene is a little too strong on campus for my liking. Now that I'm a senior I go out a lot more on weeknights, but as an underclassman I would go to the library. I also cook with friends often as a sober activity. We try to go downtown to restaurants and bars twice a month.
WIth Wharton most of the stereotypes are about how business-oriented the students are. Also that there are a lot of rich, jewish students. Also that Penn has a "work hard study hard" dynamic, and that we're the "party ivy."
Best thing about Penn - the people. A very interesting and diverse crowd. There's a niche here for everybody. One thing I'...
Best thing about Penn - the people. A very interesting and diverse crowd. There's a niche here for everybody. One thing I'd change - David Rittenhouse Labs. It's a miserable building. School size - I like it. It's big enough that there are lots of different types of people but not so big as to be monstrous. How do people react when I tell them I go to Penn? - Yes, many people do think I go to Penn State... Where do I spend most of my time on campus? - At home or in academic buildings. College town - it'd be more correct to say that Penn is a Philadelphia university than to say that Philadelphia is a college town. Opinion of the administration - some things they do well (capital campaigning, security) and some things they don't (speeches, managing conferences). What was the biggest recent controversy on campus? - There was a humor magazine that printed an issue perceived in some quarters as racist. School pride - Not a particularly large amount. There's some. Unusual about Penn - We're pretty vocational for an Ivy League school. Corporate recruiting in Wharton is a very intense experience. The school's most famous strengths overall are in somewhat vocational areas: journalism/communications, business, medicine (including veterinary medicine) and nursing, &c. Also remarkable is the number of donated items named after classes, e.g. the Class of 1920 Commons dining hall. The impression I get is that our alumni haven't historically been rich as individuals necessarily, but that as a community they gave back a lot to the school. One experience I'll always remember - Freshman retreat at Newman. We went on a service trip to an AIDS home in Philly, where I saw one poor invalid whose room was festooned with photographs from his former life. He'd been a highly-trained chef and the photographs showed him in bright white standing in gleaming kitchens at the head of teams of cooks. He'd been on a trip to Africa when a botched blood transfusion infected him. If something like that could happen to him - and he'd been the kind of guy who did his homework, who generally got on in life - it could happen to...anyone. Including me. Most frequent student complaints - Locust Walk is flat. Ergo it does not drain. Also, the high rise dorms are arranged so as to create a vicious wind tunnel.
Penn's quite diverse racially. Different religions are also well-represented. There are an awful lot of rich kids though (it's an expensive school). I went to a debate last year between the Penn Libertarians and the Penn Socialists. It wasn't very productive but it was definitely stimulating. This year there are no more Socialists though.
Not necessarily. Note that Penn is unique as an Ivy League school offering undergrad degrees in engineering, nursing, and business; these things attract a good number of people to Penn as a first choice.
Least favorite class - MTH 114, multivariate calc. The professor was a visiting professor from Philadelphia Community College who was fired the next semester for doing such a terrible job. Favorite class - Hard to say. I've had lots that were good. FNCE 101, Monetary Economics and the Global Economy, might be the most impressive one. Extraordinarily well taught by Nicholas Souleles, stimulating, and practical. How often do students study? - One semester I took 6 courses. This meant I had many days when I woke up, started working, took breaks for food/shower/etc., and kept working until I fell asleep. Not all semesters are that intense and not all students take 6 classes. I'm taking 4.5 now and it's much easier, but I still study 6 days a week. Are students competitive? - Yes, overall. Some people are tools and take competition to an extreme and are always trying to ask smart-sounding questions in class. Most students do not enjoy this toolishness. What's the most unique class I've taken? - MGMT 209, Political Environment of the Multinational Firm, is a valuable class at the intersection of business and politics. About my major/department - http://www.upenn.edu/huntsman/curriculum/index.html Our program's website is a mess, but here's the info. Huntsman is a joint-degree program run by the College and Wharton. You get something of a liberal arts education but you also get the job-market power of Wharton, which is a nice combination. Do I spend time with professors outside class? - Yes. Note that Penn has more than one institutional framework that facilitates students joining faculty for free lunches. How do I feel about Penn's academic requirements? - They're generally not bad. Is the education at Penn geared toward getting a job, or toward learning for its own sake? - It depends on the student, but Penn does have a stronger vocational tilt than the other Ivies.
Students in KCE College House do leave their doors open. Hill is also quite social. The high-rises are less so. Off-campus, there's a metropolitan area of 4 million people to explore. Greek life is here but I generally avoid it.
...we didn't get into H.Y.P., where the letters H. Y. P. represent certain schools (here to be nameless) in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
Half true. The majority of the people I've met, regardless of the school, are just smart kids who like to have a good time. B...
Half true. The majority of the people I've met, regardless of the school, are just smart kids who like to have a good time. But come finals or job hunting time, and the Wharton students stick out like a popped collar.
Most Penn students are a diverse group of people who are down to earth, helpful, and have a great balance between work and fun. The rest are in Wharton or Engineering.
Students are extremely motivated and excel in both school and extracurriculars. While some students are in Wharton, students ...
Students are extremely motivated and excel in both school and extracurriculars. While some students are in Wharton, students pursue other strong programs such as the Annenberg school of Communications, Art History, Engineering, Pre-Med and Nursing.
Extremely motivated and career-driven All of the students are Wharton students interested in Finance
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