University of Pennsylvania campus


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24

Test Scores

Learn about new SAT scores and college admission here
SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
680 - 760
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
700 - 790
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
690 - 780
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
31 - 34

Testing Policies

ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted


Early Decision
November 1

January 5

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay

Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Students Say

At the University of Pennsylvania, students share an intellectual curiosity and top-notch resources but don't "buy into the stigma of being an Ivy League school." Students here are "very passionate about what they do outside the classroom" and the "flexible core requirements." The university is composed of four undergraduate schools (and "a library for pretty much any topic"). "You can take courses in any of the schools, including graduate-level courses." Luckily, there's a vast variety of disciplines available to students: "I can take a course in old Icelandic and even another one about the politics of food," says a student. Wharton, Penn's highly regarded, "highly competitive undergraduate business school" attracts "career-oriented" students who don't mind a "strenuous course load." There are "more than enough" resources, funding, and opportunity here for any student to take advantage of, and "Penn encourages students to truly take advantage of it all!" Professors can "sometimes seem to be caught up more in their research than their classes," but all "are incredibly well-versed in their subject (as well as their audience)." If you're willing to put in the time and effort, your professors "will be happy to reciprocate." In general, the instructors here are "very challenging academically" and are "always willing to offer their more than relevant life experience in class discussion."


Doctoral Other
Post-Bachelor's certificate
Post-Master's certificate
Terminal Associate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Notable Faculty

Prominent Alumni

The Honorable Arlen Specter
US Senator from Pennsylvania

Ambassador Jon. M. Huntsman, Jr.
Current U. S. Amabassador to China, former Governor of Utah, 2005-2009

Andrea Mitchell
NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent; Journalist/Anchor/Reporter

John Legend
Musician/Vocalist/Songwriter; Six-time Grammy Award-Winner

The Honorable Edward G. Rendell
Former Governor of Pennsylvania 03-11; Former Mayor of Philadelphia 92-99

Dick Wolf
Emmy Award-Winning Producer/Writer, most famouse for Law & Order

Steve Wynn
Real Estate Developer/Resorts-Casino Owner.

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)

Percent High Job Meaning

Percent STEM

Students Say

Penn's Career Services is an amazing resource for students who wish to discover opportunities on- and off-campus. A bursting job board (with over 13,000 individual position postings), trips to New York City and Washington D.C. to learn about organizations and industries, as well as hundreds of employer information sessions give students tons of chances to network and research fields. One neat perk: along with other offices like Civic House, Kelly Writers House, and Penn Global, Career Services provides funding to finance research and unpaid (or lowly paid) summer internships. Career days a year bring over 600 employers to campus (Amazon, IBM, and Bloomberg, to name a few), and PennApps, a weekend- long "hackathon" for student developers, draws prospective employers like Intel and Microsoft for sponsorship and presentations. Alumni mentoring is also available to help students find their path. Penn grads who visited report median starting salaries of $59,300.

Colleges that Create Futures

Hands-on Coursework

The curriculum for every student at Penn, no matter his or her school, is built around collaborative study. Students in the Schools of Engineering, Nursing, and at Wharton are all required to take some courses at the College of Arts & Sciences—Wharton says that up to 43 percent of classes its undergrads need to graduate can be taken outside of Wharton—and a communications major in the College tells us that “you can take courses in any of the schools, including graduate level courses.” In fact, it is not uncommon for a student to pursue degrees from two schools at the same time. A student can pursue a bachelor’s in psychology from the College while working on a BSE in computer science from the School of Engineering. Penn calls this arrangement a coordinated dual degree, and there are a number of these formalized programs in place. The Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, for one, combines a BS in economics from the Wharton School with a BA in international studies from the College of Arts & Sciences. Plus, a handful of students in any given year create individualized majors by working with a faculty mentor to develop a “coherent set of courses,” and a research project. Having students from different academic backgrounds in one classroom can only enhance the experience there. “The cool thing is that the nature of everyone’s experiences and accomplishments is different,” one double major explained, “so you can learn a lot from others.” In fact, one recent alumnus credits the collected experience of learning from friends and classmates as his most valuable experience at Penn: “Being inspired by them helped me figure out what I wanted most from my future and motivated me to actively seek it out. Without that motivation I wouldn’t have worked hard to put myself on projects that engage my passion of exploring the social determinant of health.”
Service Learning

Two spaces come to mind when students talk about Penn’s avenues for service and community engagement: Civics House and the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Civic House is the service hub on campus for students with extracurricular and career aspirations in community engagement. Programing like Alternative Spring Break and the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project are House staples, and lots of the student-led social advocacy groups on campus are supported in some way by Civic House with funding, meeting space, or publicity. Workshops and career panels at Civic House help student seeking public interest careers find their way, plus their internship program places undergrads in summer- or semester-long gigs at Philadelphia nonprofit organizations (and funds positions that would otherwise be unpaid or lowly paid).
The Netter Center’s mission is based on the concept that “Penn’s future and the future of West Philadelphia/Philadelphia are intertwined” and a host of programs work toward the goal of improving the quality of life in West Philadelphia as well as the Philadelphia community at large. One graduate we interviewed cites Netter’s Penn Program for Public Service, in which she participated during the summer between her junior and senior year, as one of her most valuable college experiences. She reports: “I spent my summer teaching at a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School at an elementary school in West Philadelphia and writing a group research project on how to increase student engagement in school through a culturally relevant and peer-assisted reading model. It was an incredible learning experience because it completely broke down the ‘ivory tower’ paradigm. I experienced first-hand how universities can engage in action research that is driven by and directly intending to solve a real social problem.” Though this graduate majored in literature, her experience with the Netter Center, along with her other extra-curricular experiences at Penn, was the impetus that led her to a career in education. She eventually went on to pursue a Masters of Public Administration with a focus on nonprofit program evaluation.
Alumni Network

With so much cross-pollination between departments at Penn, it should be no surprise that Penn alumni are involved in plenty of field-bending enterprises. Grammy winner John Legend famously served as musical director of the jazz and pop a cappella group Counterparts while he was a student a Penn (English degree with a concentration in African-American literature and culture, if you’re curious!) and plenty of other graduates as well are acting on passions they discovered or nurtured on campus. One young alum, Omar Maskati, who recently made his off-Broadway debut, is a graduate of Penn Engineering, but also acted during his time there with the musical comedy troupe Mask and Wig. And a 2008 grad, who studied environmental science and political science while maintaining a major commitment to Penn Dance Company, found a career path that merges those interests. From graduate school to a stint in digital communications for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to her current position, this young alumna explains the effect Penn has had on her overall career trajectory, thus far: “I see myself as equal parts scientist and artist, but until recently, I have pursued these two prongs of my interests and identity separately. . . . I became interested in how I could integrate both in my career, and while doing communications work at EPA, I realized that I combine my love and knowledge of both ecology and art to educate and inspire people to change their perspective and behavior on environmental issues. . . . I now work at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, a 340-acre nature center in Northwest Philadelphia, where I run the environmental art program. I finally found a way to bring my science and creative sides together! Everything I did at Penn informed this trajectory and prepared me for where I am now. I even took an arts management class through Wharton, which I draw from regularly in my job.”
Special Facilities

The inclusive, homey vibe at The Kelly Writers House is not due solely to its location in an actual house, complete with comfy couches, an open kitchen, and dining room table, but rather the people you’ll find inside. Built in 1851, the struc­ture has become the gathering place of an eclectic group of writers, yes, but also “wild freethinkers” and “voracious readers” from every academic discipline. On any given afternoon, this place is buzzing with book clubs, workshops, tutoring programs, and, in the repurposed parlor, weekly events with “poets, fiction writers, editors, composers, publishers, painters, musicians, literary agents, screenwriters, essayists, playwrights, journalists.” An Alumni Mentors Program connects students interested in writing-related careers with some professional guidance, and each semester the Writers House funds special projects (like blogging your way down the Mississippi River) through fellowships and prizes. If you are a writer of any kind, this may be where you find your people, but students across schools often find a piece of home here, too. Budding journalists take note: Students regularly rate The Daily Pennsylvanianquite highly as well.
Another unexpected place to find your niche, the Weiss Tech House is a student-run hub of innovators entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts. Inventors can compete in the annual PennVention competition, social activists can teach science and technology in local after school programs (baking soda and vinegar volcanoes!), and aspiring marketers can hone their communications chops via outreach and promotion efforts. Anyone with an idea can apply for a sizable grant through the Innovation Fund, a mini venture-capital fund that has supported commercial launches of projects like “edible marketing” and motion technology. Weiss House says they welcome students of any major and skill-set, so this could be a great place to embrace your tech side outside of your field of study.
A majority of the alumni we interviewed were involved in campus clubs and student organizations during their time at Penn. One alumna wrote passionately about her experience with Penn Dance Company, a student-run modern dance group (“It was really important to me to have a creative and artistic complement to the science I was getting curricularly”) and another described her sustained involvement with the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project, a Civic House program, of which she ended up joining the executive board. A Wharton alumnus with a BS in economics told us, “I was very involved in the finance clubs on campus, especially the Pennsylvania Investment Alliance. This club invested about $30,000 of club member money in stocks that we discussed in weekly meetings. It was an amazing experience to debate the merits of investing in certain companies alongside other students who had a passion for it.”
Penn alumni advised: Don’t discount the value of club experiences toward your life in the professional world. A dancer detailed beautifully how her involvement with Penn Dance translated to soft skills: “I had the opportunity to serve as co-chair of the company, which meant that I coordinated all the details of scheduling rehearsals and theatre space, running company meetings, managing show budgets, and generally spearheading the company. It was probably the experience that prepared me more than any other for managing projects in the ‘real world.’”


Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

Business Farm Supp
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Bottom Line

A year's tuition is $45,556. You'll pay another $14,536 in room and board. Don't be alarmed: Penn offers loan-free packages to all dependent students who are eligible for financial aid, regardless of the family's income level. The average student debt, for the students who choose to borrow, is approximately $26,157. Students have noted the school's "generous aid program" as being "phenomenal."

Bang For Your Buck

Transparency is embedded in Penn's financial aid process. The Student Financial Services website provides a chart of the percent of applicants offered aid and median award amounts for family income levels ranging from $0–$220,000 and higher. For 2015–2016, Penn committed more than $206 million of its resources for grant aid to undergraduate students. Over 78 percent of freshman who applied for aid received an award, and Penn's financial aid packages meet 100 percent of students' demonstrated need through an all grant, all grant aid program. According to the school, the average financial aid package for incoming awarded furst years in 2015 was $48,605. University Named Scholarships are provided through direct gifts to the university and privately endowed funds and enable Penn to continue to admit students solely on the basis of academic merit. The scholarship amount varies according to determined financial need. Staff at Penn provide strong support for applicants, with one student noting, "It was the only school to call me during the admissions process instead of just e-mailing me extra information."

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Nursing Loans
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Foreign Countries Represented



50% female
50% male
81% are out of state
97% are full time
3% are part time

Students Say

This "determined" bunch "is either focused on one specific interest, or very well-rounded." Pretty much everyone "was an overachiever ('that kid') in high school," and some students "are off-the-charts brilliant," making everyone here "sort of fascinated by everyone else." Everyone has "a strong sense of personal style and his or her own credo," but no group deviates too far from the more mainstream stereotypes. There's a definite lack of "emos" and hippies. There's "the career-driven Wharton kid who will stab you in the back to get your interview slot" and "the nursing kid who's practically nonexistent," but on the whole, there's tremendous school diversity, with "people from all over the world of all kinds of experiences of all perspectives."


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Large Urban

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Frat Sorority
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Students Say

Penn students don't mind getting into intellectual conversations during dinner—"Politics and religion come up often, but so does baseball, types of wine, and restaurants"—but some "partying is a much higher priority here than it is at other Ivy League schools." "Campus is split between the downtown club scene and the frat/bar scene, depending on your preference." However, when it comes down to midterms and finals, "people get really serious and…buckle down and study." There's easy access to downtown Philadelphia, yet "still the comfortable feeling of having our own campus," giving students plenty of access to restaurants (BYO restaurants in Philly are "a huge hit"), shopping, concerts, and sports games, as well as plain old "hanging out with hallmates playing Mario Kart." "It's the perfect mix between an urban setting a traditional college campus." The school provides plenty of guest speakers, cultural events, clubs, and organizations for students to channel their energies (all of which "makes the campus feel smaller"), and seniors can even attend "Feb Club" in the month of February, which is essentially an event every night. The weekend buses to/from New York and D.C. "are always packed." It's a busy life at Penn, and "people are constantly trying to think about how they can balance getting good grades academically and their weekend plans."

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations

27% join a sorority


Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Quakers, Red and Blue)
17 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Light Weight Football
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Quakers, Red and Blue)
17 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Field Hockey
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor

Student Services

Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Drexel University
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: St. Joseph's University


School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

Sustainability-focused degree available

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

% food budget spent on local/organic food

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling

School Developed Bicycle Plan

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2016.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

We have agreements with Dell, Apple, IBM, Sun, and Lenovo

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Admissions Office
1 College Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6376


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
University of Pennsylvania Museum
Institute of Contemporary Art
Walnut Street shops and restuarants
Annenberg Center
Franklin Field

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Independence Hall/Liberty Bell/Old City
National Constitution Center
Reading Terminal Market
Flyers, Phillies, Eagles

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday; Saturday
9am-5pm; 10am-2pm

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: No
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: Varies

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

offer year round in conjunction with tou

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

1 night only; Oct, Nov, Feb; Mon - Wed n


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Philadelphia International Airport is five miles from campus (see driving instructions below). Airport shuttle trains leave every half hour and stop at 30th St. Station, a 15-minute walk from campus. Amtrak train service is available to 30th St. Station in Philadelphia, which is a 15-minute walk or short taxi or bus ride from campus.

Driving Instructions to Campus
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is located in 1 College Hall (between 34th/36th Streets and Walnut/Spruce Streets). As you enter campus at 34th and Walnut Streets, you will see the main thoroughfare, Locust Walk. Proceed southwest on Locust Walk and you will spot "The Button" to your right and a statue of Ben Franklin to your left. College Hall is the building to your left behind the statue of Ben Franklin. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is located on the ground floor of College Hall. WALKING FROM 30th STREET STATION: Take a right (head west) onto Market Street. At 34th Street, turn left. Proceed down 34th Street to the intersection of 34th and Walnut Streets. Follow directions listed above to reach Undergraduate Admissions. Estimated walking time: 15 minutes. PARKING: There are several parking facilities located on or near campus, as well as metered street parking. Recommended garages and lots: 38th and Walnut Street; 34th and Chestnut Street; Penn Tower Hotel (34th and Civic Center Boulevard); Sheraton Hotel (36th and Chestnut Streets); South Street and Convention Avenue; 32nd and Walnut Street; 40th and Walnut Street. FROM THE NORTH VIA NJ TURNPIKE: Take the New Jersey Turnpike South. Use Exit 4. Bear right out of the toll and follow signs to Philadelphia and the Ben Franklin Bridge. After crossing the bridge, take I-676 West to I-76 East. Follow I-76 East to Exit 346A, a left lane exit marked South Street. Turn right onto South Street to enter campus. To find parking, turn right at the 2nd light onto 33rd Street. Take the first left onto Walnut Street and there will be a lot on the right at 38th and Walnut. FROM THE WEST VIA PA TURNPIKE: On the PA turnpike, use Exit 326, the Valley Forge Interchange. Take I-76 East for approximately 17 miles until Exit 346A, a left lane exit marked South Street. Turn right onto South Street to enter campus. To find parking, turn right at the 2nd light onto 33rd Street. Take the first left onto Walnut Street and there will be a lot on the right at 38th and Walnut. FROM THE NORTH VIA PA TURNPIKE: Follow signs for I-476. Follow I-476 South to the I-76/Philadelphia exit. Take I-76 East for approximately 12 miles to Exit 346A, a left lane exit marked South Street. Turn right onto South Street to enter campus. To find parking, turn right at the 2nd light onto 33rd Street. Take the first left onto Walnut Street and there will be a lot on the right at 38 th and Walnut. FROM THE NORTH VIA 95 SOUTH: Taking I-95 South, use the 676/Central Philadelphia Exit. Follow signs to I-676 West, and follow 676 West until 76 East. Follow I-76 East until Exit 346A, a left lane exit marked South Street. Turn right onto South Street to enter campus. To find parking, turn right at the 2nd light onto 33rd Street. Take the first left onto Walnut Street and there will be a lot on the right at 38th and Walnut. FROM THE SOUTH VIA 95 NORTH: Taking I-95 North, use the I-676/Central Philadelphia Exit which is approximately 7 miles north of the airport. Follow 676 West until I-76 East. Follow I-76 East until Exit 346A, a left lane exit marked South Street. Turn right onto South Street to enter campus. To find parking, turn right at the 2nd light onto 33rd Street. Take the first left onto Walnut Street and there will be a lot on the right at 38 th and Walnut. FROM THE AIRPORT: Take I-95 North to the I-676/Central Philadelphia exit, which is approximately 7 miles north of the airport. Follow I-676 West until I-76 East. Follow 76 East until exit 346A, a left lane exit marked South Street. Turn right onto South Street to enter campus. To find parking, turn right at the 2nd light onto 33rd Street. Take the first left onto Walnut Street and there will be a lot at 38th Street.

Local Accommodations
Sheraton-University City Hotel $129-159/night 36th and Chestnut Streets Philadelphia, PA 215-387-8000, 800-325-3535 The Hilton Inn at Penn $149-169/night 3600 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 215-222-0200, 800-HILTONS