Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania


166 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Ash
Why did you decide to go to this school?

A Student tells why she decided to come to the University of Pennsylvania, and what she does and doesn't like about it.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

A Student tells why she decided to come to the University of Pennsylvania, and what she does and doesn't like about it.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

A Student tells why she decided to come to the Penn, and what she has learned from living in Philly.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

A Student tells why she decided to come to the University of Pennsylvania.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

A Student tells why she decided to come to the University of Pennsylvania.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

A Student tells why she decided to come to the University of Pennsylvania.

Describe the students at your school.

Students comment on their favorite movie, favorite class, and what they do in their spare time.

Describe the students at your school.

Students comment on their favorite movie, favorite class, and what they do in their spare time.

Describe the students at your school.

Students comment on their favorite movie, favorite class, and what they do in their spare time.

Describe the students at your school.

Students comment on their favorite movie, favorite class, and what they do in their spare time.

Describe the students at your school.

Students comment on their favorite movie, favorite class, and what they do in their spare time.

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

A student’s take on the social life at Penn, and Penn’s reputation as the “Social Ivy”.

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

A student’s take on the social life at Penn, and Penn’s reputation as the “Social Ivy”.

Describe the dorms.

A look at the lobby of a freshman dormitory, Hill Hall.

Where is the best place to get work done on campus?

An inside look at a popular Penn study spot, the bookstore.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Penn’s fitness center has many options for its students, from weights to workout classes.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

An inside look at Wharton’s Huntsman Hall.

Tell us about the food and dining options.

Penn’s Commons has a variety of dining options for students.

What are your classes like?

This video discusses academic tutoring options at Penn, one of which is The Kelly Writing House.

What's unique about your campus?

Insight on a particular piece of art at Penn, as well as the social attitude at Penn.

Describe the dorms.

There are many housing options at Penn, both on-and-off campus.

When you step off campus what do you see?

A quick description of popular places off-campus that are frequented by Penn students.

What's the Greek scene like?

There are multiple ways to get involved at Penn, among which are Greek Life and other student organizations.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

A Penn student tells why she decided to come to Penn, as well as what she likes and dislikes about the school.

Describe the best and worst parts of the social scene on campus.

A description of Penn’s Spring Fling on the Quad.

When you step off campus what do you see?

A chain of convenient stores in the Philadelphia area, Wawa, are frequent stops for Penn students.

What are your classes like?

A tour of a typical Penn classroom, inside of Williams Hall.

Tell us about the food and dining options.

This describes dining at Penn outside Penn’s Houston Hall.

What's unique about your campus?

This video describes Penn’s library and the story behind the button sculpture outside of the library.

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

The new Civic Scholars and Engineering Scholars programs are making a splash on campus, exemplifying Penn’s active dedication...

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

The new Civic Scholars and Engineering Scholars programs are making a splash on campus, exemplifying Penn’s active dedication to integrating community engagement with academics. Campus security was recently rated number six in Security Magazine’s Security 500, the top 500 security executives and their organizations. Of all educational institutions, Penn ranked first by far. While crime in Philadelphia is high, the Penn community can easily avoid any potential danger by using common sense. Penn provides free walking and driving escort services with a simple call, lighting virtually everywhere, emergency calling booths at every block, and a team of security so that you will spot someone in a fluorescent yellow vest at every corner. Dining is excellent, especially for vegetarians. As a vegetarian, I find more options than one who can’t have a meal without meat. Especially recently, the dining company, Aramark, has made an increased effort to change up the menu every day, with great success. Hillel, the Jewish center and best kept secret, has arguably the best on campus food. The slew of off-campus is so enormous that I still haven’t been to many restaurants a couple blocks away. Best things: The central location, the “One University” policy, Academically Based Community Service Courses, excellent financial aid (especially with the new policy to begin implementation in Fall 2008), the dynamic and rich history of Philadelphia, the cultural aspect of Philly, amazing professors, interdisciplinary and integrative learning, a rapidly growing vision and endowment thanks to a charismatic and dedicated president.

What are the academics like at your school?

With so many different paths of study to choose from, the peer competition widely varies. The Wharton School, beginning with the required Management 100 for Freshmen, is especially cutthroat. Many large introductory courses (notoriously Math and Economics) are also viciously curved. However, you can easily choose to sit back and observe your peers claw their way up to the top while you take one of the countless classes that foster discussion-based learning. At a research university as well-endowed as Penn, you can shape your own education to be whatever you want it to be. In the College of Arts & Sciences, the general requirements are, well, general—you have plenty options across various departments available to fulfill a requirement so that you never have to take math to fulfill the “math” requirement. If you want to be taught by full-time professors, you will be. If you want to be taught by a world-renowned professor, you will be, even in your freshmen year. Especially with the recent advent of the Freshmen Seminars, top faculty often teach freshmen in their areas of specialty. I took five classes my first semester as a freshmen, and the largest class I had was 16 students.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The social life in Philadelphia is great. There are plenty of parties, performances, etc. on campus, and even more a short bus ride away. Philadelphia is incredibly central to many places such as New York and Washington DC, making weekend trips there very common. With 10,000 undergraduates, political activism is definitely present and active, but usually within a small percentage of those undergraduates. Like most campuses, there are significant numbers of liberals and conservatives; however, unlike most campuses, people everywhere on the political spectrum are respected for their opinion.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

People want to be here. There are very few students who still can’t get over the fact that they were rejected at their number one school; instead, the vast majority of people chose Penn as their number one. Furthermore, the people who had Penn as their first choice are/were incredibly in love with the school, as opposed to having Penn at the top of their list for non-substantive reasons. While many people tend to think of Wharton as the best thing Penn has to offer academically, that thought couldn’t be more wrong. Penn’s nursing, anthropology, English, psychology, and urban studies are top in the nation as well, though the pre-professional atmosphere can often cloud other non-professional areas of study.

Lisa
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Coming to Penn is easily the best decision I ever made. I was hesitating between Penn and Columbia since location was my main...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Coming to Penn is easily the best decision I ever made. I was hesitating between Penn and Columbia since location was my main criterion, but I'm glad I came here after much thought. Penn can be whatever you want it to be. People complain that it's too big and impersonal but trust me there's so many student services as well as nice faculty that are glad to help you out if you act as an adult and take the initiative to seek help.

Describe the students at your school.

I have to admit there's been a couple of times when I felt unsafe walking on campus after dark or after seeing crime reports regularly in the DP, but that can easily be curbed if you walk in groups or use common sense. There's also the 24hr escort service (PennWalk), used it today on my way back from the movies...no complaints. The officers are friendly and they're willing to follow you anywhere.

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

If you want an excellent Ivy League education without all the fuss and pressure of "Ivy Leaguedness" while meeting smart, inspirational people from all walks of life COME TO PENN. It's not 100% perfect (it's more like 90-95%) but it's a very good indeed. As long as you're mature, open and not a loser you're so not gonna regret it. It's so worth the 40 grand your parents pay, make sure you make the most of it.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics are top notch...I certainly won't deny that I felt so intimidated taking my first Calculus exams even though I was always the best in high school. Thing is, everyone here was also best at theirs....there's positivity in the competition, everyone works really hard and plays really hard. I know I'm yet to see the cut throat stuff but I'm sure I'll be able to sail through that well. Large classes tend to be tough due to the curve but if you work hard enough you'll be fine. Whenever you get an A here you'll know it's because you deserve it, not by sheer luck at all. Last minute studying and memorizing won't get you grades, as you will notice.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

While it's nice to study in Van Pelt for hrs and hrs, Philadelphia is always a short cab ride away. The little restaurants, the night life(21 or not:)!),the culture,the sports,theaters, shops...Forget Boston, Philly's the quintessential college city!

Maria
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Going to UPenn is somewhat of a dream come true. Like most schools it has its pros and cons but overall it is a wonderful uni...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Going to UPenn is somewhat of a dream come true. Like most schools it has its pros and cons but overall it is a wonderful university.

Describe the students at your school.

One bad thing is that there are quite a few arrogant people who spend their lives making themselves feel better even if it means making you feel belittled. Especially in the extremely competitive Wharton School of Business. But, again, there are always the people here who will boost you up. A great trait that Penn has is a diverse and strong networking system.

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

Before you decide to attend VISIT. The school's campus is very big and isn't in your traditional college green setting with trees everywhere and no one else around. Although there are nice grassy areas, we are right by West Phildelphia. Personally, however, I think being in West Philly gives the school culture. In the end your experience at Penn depends on how involved and open-minded you are. You have to be willing to work hard and play hard since at any school you make your college experience what you want it to be.

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors here are generally world-class but there is a chance that you'll have bad professors if you don't research and ask around. The most important thing is that you introduce yourself and go to office hours so you stand out. This is especially important since some lectures can have over 200 students. Also, know that you will work hard. You will work very hard, and not sleep much. Also, you might work very hard and not get the A or anywhere near the 4.0, or do no work and have the 4.0 thanks to the "curve".

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are many opportunities to get involved here in ANYTHING. You can do it all, from professional dance troupes to cultural organizations and anything in between. In fact, you can easily start your own movement or club. Also valuable is the freedom to speak up. Our student newspaper is widely read and is not proctored by any university professor or relation. Protests abound, and you can feel safe that there is someone here with your beliefs. Social life here is pretty good. Eventually you will get sick of the drinking and frat parties. But then you have Philly to explore, which alone is a valuable resource. You also have stores, clubs, bars, movie theaters, right off campus that are easy to get to. However, public transportation isn't always the greatest.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Brilliant; sometimes very competitive; sometime elitist

Andrew
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn is a great big mess of people all trying to get along. There is something for everyone, and if you can't find it on camp...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn is a great big mess of people all trying to get along. There is something for everyone, and if you can't find it on campus than Philadelphia has it.

Describe the students at your school.

Everyone here finds a group sooner or later and will have a great time with that group, but cross-talk is much to infrequent. I've had a blast and know tons of people, but I also know just how many I have never/will never see because we run with different crowds. I encourage everyone to break out a little bit, because it makes things much more interesting. And yes, "trapped in the library day and night" is, in fact, a social group. By the end of the first round of midterms they all know each other. Backgound wise, there is a complete variance in all things.

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

The school loves to tear up precious green space and put down architectural monsters in their place, which is frustrating should you like to play pick-up games of catch, sit out on the lawn working/hanging out, etc. That said, a fantastic school and one where anyone can be happy.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I find that Penn does have a lot more fun than the other ivies, especially when it comes to large open parties, but this isn't saying much (read: Ivy leaguers have no fun). Also, the supposed threat from being in West Philly is completely blown out of proportion and almost completely preventable.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors are generally both intereresting and interested, especially for smaller classes. If you care enough to go to them they will mostly respong. The exception is intro courses, especially in Math and Science. The school does have a very pre-professional feel to it, especially because of Wharton. Knowing that there is on campus recruiting and that some people have six figure salaries by September of their senior year drives people (even ones who have nothing to do with business or finance) to really push for jobs early and get down on themselves when they don't get them. When I was already applied to a dozen jobs and bemoaning my lack of responses, my friends from other schools hadn't even begun to think of where to send their resumes.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Athletics aren't great, but there are a ton of clubs and organizations making campus lively. Greek organizations are first and foremost on this list, running parties, philanthropy events, etc. There are performing arts groups (especially accapella groups) out the wazoo, and each one has it's own theme (be it all-male/female, all-indian/white/black, or what have you).

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Penn is the "party ivy", West Philadelphia is coming to get us

Jo
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn is a great school because you can find pretty much any college experience you could want to have. It is a beautiful camp...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn is a great school because you can find pretty much any college experience you could want to have. It is a beautiful campus, but it is also in a great city. It is the right size to not seem too big, but at the same time it is big enough for anyone to find friends with similar interests.

Describe the students at your school.

Penn's community is large enough for people of any background to interact with each other. I am an international student who has spent a significant amount of my life in the US and I have friends from all racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and from many different countries. An open mind is always required, but with it you can meet many interesting people at Penn.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Every stereotype is routed in some truth, but it certainly is not completely true.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics at Penn vary greatly from one department to another. Engineering classes are very different from business classes, just like English classes are very different from Math classes. Penn is certainly good at preparing anyone for a job or graduate school. Many many services exist to help out students and not just on the career/graduate school level, but also on other levels, such as tutoring, Kelly Writers' House, and CAPS.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Again Penn is just the right size, so that a more social person can always find something to do while a less social person will always find friends with similar interests. Students are involved in many social activities such as Greek life, house parties, going to bars, the movie theater right by campus, supporting their friends' music/dance/drama performances, hanging out in the dorms, sitting outside in warm weather. Any night of the week there is something to do and not just something but many things.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That undergraduates do not mingle across the four different schools (College of Arts & Science, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, Nursing, Wharton).

Shelby
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Penn is the party scene. There are downtown events along with a great campus life/ frat parties. Spring ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Penn is the party scene. There are downtown events along with a great campus life/ frat parties. Spring fling is just around the corner, the best party in the Northeast.

Describe the students at your school.

I think people tend to cluster around socio-economic / religious backgrounds. There is a very Jewish presence at Penn, and the downtown life is dominated by them.

What are the academics like at your school?

People definitely have "Penn" conversations, meaning they discuss politics and business simply for fun. In terms of academics, classes definitely aren't as hard as they're made out to be, but work is still required.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The most popular fraternities are AEPi and (off-campus) Theos. Beta, however, is the worst fraternity on campus. The quad is definitely the best place to live as a freshman, but Hill is terrible.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That they're all jappy and money hungry

Dylan
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing to do at penn is go to the museum of archeology because it is very interesting. Also, there is a lot fo school...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing to do at penn is go to the museum of archeology because it is very interesting. Also, there is a lot fo school pride and people love going to the basketball games.

Describe the students at your school.

Most people wear jeans and a shirt to class. Most people are also left, but they are right in wharton.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors know my name in seminars, but dont in big lectures. My least favorite class in us history from 1865 to the present with Phoebe Kropp.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I am involved in JRp where we discuss jewish issues. Also, i am in beta, but i wouldnt recommend doing beta.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Penn students are awesome and they like parties. Also, some people some people study too much and dont like going out.

Michael
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn is a diverse place in a great location. In a major city that serves as a cultural center, and situated directly in a dis...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn is a diverse place in a great location. In a major city that serves as a cultural center, and situated directly in a distressed part of that city. The opportunities for exploration, learning, and helping a community are unparalleled at any university. The resources available to students are phenomenal, however in some of the schools grading can be a bit tough. The administration is competent and responsive - Amy Gutmann, one of academia's pre-eminent political scientists, is a perfect president to further the vision of Benjamin Franklin. The university has taken difficult positions on issues like music piracy, and also promotes free speech like few other institutions (and not just free speech for those who agree with the administration or majority of students!)

Describe the students at your school.

Very diverse, but self-segregating. It sort of defeats the purpose of diversity when you see people in large groups of people who are all the same. In addition, there are many classes and departments that focus on regions of the world and cultures, but the vast majority of people who take those classes are a part of those cultures and backgrounds. It is an overwhelmingly liberal campus, but political dialogue is very civil and is encouraged by professors and the administration. I have never felt uncomfortable as a Republican at Penn, and it was a privilege to coordinate and participate in debates and seminars with my Democratic colleagues.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Some of the above do apply to substantial portions of the student body, but not to the University as a whole

What are the academics like at your school?

Academic resources, class options, quality of professors, opportunities after graduation are all beyond compare outside of the Golden Trinity of Harvard/Princeton/Yale. Competition is fierce, particularly in the Wharton School, which has a strict curve and students are licking their chops over 100-hour-per week banking jobs. Professors are, for the most part, quite accessible and approachable. There is a good balance between theory and practice, to both refine the learning process or scientific method, as well as to succeed in graduate school or a career. One of the coolest classes I took was called Consulting to Growth Companies. I served on a consulting team to work with a small, but growing, company screened by the Wharton School, and assess their needs and draft a report instructing the company on how to meet their goals and grow their business.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Penn is a wonderful place to do whatever it is you want to do. Cultural organizations, political groups, religious gatherings, varsity and intramural sports, volunteering and citizenship, parties, etc etc. In addition, the campus is just minutes from central Philadelphia, which boasts great restaurants, museums, theater, and professional sports. Greek life is fairly common, but not required for social status. Dorms have a collegial atmosphere, and Locust Walk is an intriguing marketplace of activities and ideas.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Rich, liberal, jappy, Uggs, liberal, parties, less-than-deserving-of-ivy-league-status-students, liberal, associated with Penn State, and i'm not sure if i said liberal

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 11,716
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $51,464
  • Acceptance rate
  • 9%

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