Skip to main content

University of Pennsylvania: Narrative Description


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.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"University of Pennsylvania: Narrative Description." College Blue Book. . 18 Feb. 2019 <>.

"University of Pennsylvania: Narrative Description." College Blue Book. . (February 18, 2019).

"University of Pennsylvania: Narrative Description." College Blue Book. . Retrieved February 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.