University of Pennsylvania: Narrative Description

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3451 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: (215)898-5000
Admissions: (215)898-7507
Web Site:


Independent, university, coed. Awards associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and first professional degrees and post-master's and first professional certificates (also offers evening program with significant enrollment not reflected in profile). Founded 1740. Setting: 269-acre urban campus. Endowment: $4 billion. Research spending 2003-04: $549.4 million. Educational spending 2003-04: $71,592 per student. Total enrollment: 18,642. Faculty: 1,958 (1,400 full-time, 558 part-time). Student-undergrad faculty ratio is 6:1. 18,282 applied, 21% were admitted. 94% from top 10% of their high school class, 99% from top quarter, 100% from top half. 101 National Merit Scholars, 69 class presidents, 255 valedictorians, 565 student government officers. Full-time: 9,367 students, 50% women, 50% men. Part-time: 352 students, 42% women, 58% men. Students come from 54 states and territories, 101 other countries, 81% from out-of-state, 0.2% Native American, 6% Hispanic, 6% black, 18% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 9% international, 1% 25 or older, 64% live on campus, 2% transferred in. Retention: 97% of full-time freshmen returned the following year. Academic areas with the most degrees conferred: social sciences and history; business/marketing; engineering/engineering technologies. Core. Calendar: semesters plus 2 5-week summer sessions. Academic remediation for entering students, ESL program, services for LD students, advanced placement, accelerated degree program, self-designed majors, honors program, independent study, distance learning, double major, summer session for credit, part-time degree program, adult/continuing education programs, internships, graduate courses open to undergrads. Off campus study at Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Swarthmore College. Study abroad program. ROTC: Army (c), Naval, Air Force (c).

Entrance Requirements:

Options: electronic application, early admission, early decision, deferred admission, international baccalaureate accepted. Required: essay, high school transcript, 2 recommendations, SAT and SAT Subject Tests or ACT, SAT II: Writing Test. Entrance: most difficult. Application deadlines: 1/1, 11/1 for early decision. Notification: 4/1, 12/15 for early decision.

Costs Per Year:

Application fee: $70. Comprehensive fee: $39,634 includes full-time tuition ($27,544), mandatory fees ($3172), and college room and board ($8918). College room only: $5336. Room and board charges vary according to board plan and housing facility. Part-time tuition: $3518 per term. Part-time mandatory fees: $370 per course. Part-time tuition and fees vary according to course load.

Collegiate Environment:

Orientation program. Drama-theater group, choral group, marching band, student-run newspaper, radio station. Social organizations: 384 open to all; national fraternities, national sororities; 23% of eligible men and 16% of eligible women are members. Most popular organizations: Kite and Key Society, Social Planning and Events Committee, Hillel at Penn, Sports Club Council. Major annual events: Homecoming, Spring Fling, Hey Day. Student services: health clinic, personal-psychological counseling, women's center. Campus security: 24-hour emergency response devices and patrols, student patrols, late night transport-escort service, controlled dormitory access. 6,500 college housing spaces available; 5,894 were occupied in 2003-04. Freshmen guaranteed college housing. Option: coed housing available. Van Pelt-Dietrich Library plus 13 others with 5.4 million books, 4 million microform titles, 39,426 serials, 68,568 audiovisual materials, an OPAC, and a Web page. Operations spending 2003-04: $38.7 million. 975 computers available on campus for general student use. A campuswide network can be accessed from student residence rooms and from off campus. Staffed computer lab on campus.

Community Environment:

Philadelphia is a large city with the feel of small villages; many with distinct characters. It is a center of history, culture and business, opera, symphony and ballet, museums, major sports teams and theater. The city is ideally located near both seashore and ski resorts.