University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City section of West Philadelphia. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin on November 14, 1740, who was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. Penn considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies. Penn is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Penn was also one of the first academic institutions in the U.S. to follow a multidisciplinary model pioneered by several European universities, concentrating multiple faculties into one institution.


As of 2018, distinguished alumni include 3 United States Supreme Court justices, 8 signers of the United States Declaration of Independence; 14 heads of state; 25 billionaires; 33 United States Senators, 42 United States Governors and 158 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; 12 signers of the United States Constitution, and the current President of the United States. In addition, some 35 Nobel laureates, 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 169 Guggenheim Fellows, and many Fortune 500 CEOs have been affiliated with the university.


Inspired by the ideals of its founder, Benjamin Franklin, the university provides an education which is a combination of world-class liberal arts coursework and professional education. Penn is a premier research university, which gives the students a chance to learn by participating in the hands-on creation of new knowledge. The university also integrates the academic experience with social and extra-curricular life that extends beyond campus to the City of Philadelphia where students can experience the rich cultural, athletic, social, and political life of America’s most historic city.

Faculty and Research

There are over 4,638 professional faculty members at Penn, who are creating cutting-edge technology through research. The student-faculty ratio at University of Pennsylvania is 6:1, and the school has 68.2 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. Given below is the list of research centers and institutes of the University of Pennsylvania:

  • Office of Nursing Research
  • Paul F Harron Lung Center
  • Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab
  • Penn Cardiovascular Institute (Penn CVI)
  • Penn Center for AIDS Research
  • Penn Center for Innovation
  • Penn Child Research Center
  • Penn Institute for Economic Research
  • Penn Institute for Urban Research
  • Penn Language Center
  • Penn Medicine Transplant Institute
  • Penn Program on Documentaries & the LawÂ
  • Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies
  • Penn Program on Race, Science & Society
  • Penn Program on Regulation
  • Penn Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science
  • Penn Vet Cancer Center
  • Penn Vet Working Dog Center
  • Penn Wharton China Center
  • Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship
  • Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative
  • PennGen Medical Genetics
  • Pennsylvania Muscle Institute
  • Pension Research Council
  • Population Studies Center
  • Positive Psychology Center
  • Premenstrual Syndrome Program
  • Prevention Research Center
  • Price Lab for Digital Humanities
  • Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice
  • Real-Time Systems Group
  • Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
  • Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research
  • Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center
  • Scholars Program in Culture and Communication
  • SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management
  • Shelter Medicine
  • Singh Center for Nanotechnology
  • Smell and Taste Center
  • Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center
  • South Asia Center
  • Summer Undergraduate Fellowship in Sensor Technologies
  • Swine Teaching & Research Center
  • The Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy
  • The Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education
  • The Center of Neurobiology and Behavior (CNB)
  • The Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research
  • The McHarg Center
  • The Racial Empowerment Collaborative (REC)
  • Treebank Project
  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics
  • Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI)
  • Wharton Financial Institutions Center
  • Wharton Global Family Alliance
  • Wharton Neuroscience Initiative
  • Wharton People Analytics
  • Wharton Small Business Development Center
  • Wharton Sports Business Initiative
  • Wharton-INSEAD Center for Global Research & Education
  • William and Phyllis Mack Center for Technological Innovation
  • Wolf Humanities Center
  • Working Group on Media Industries and Public Policy
  • Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research Data Mining Group
  • Digital Media, Networks, and Political Communication Group
  • Distributed Systems Laboratory
  • Energy Research Group
  • Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center on Family Violence
  • Fels Center of Government
  • Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research
  • Financial Institutions Center
  • Fishman-Davidson Center for Service and Operations Management
  • Fox Leadership Program
  • General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab (GRASP lab)
  • Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL)
  • Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism
  • Institute For Environmental Medicine
  • Institute for Law & Economics
  • Institute for Law & Philosophy
  • Institute for Public Service
  • Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Institute for Research in Cognitive Science
  • Institute for Research on Higher Education
  • Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics
  • Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT)
  • Institute on Aging
  • International Literacy Institute (ILI)
  • Internet Policy Observatory
  • Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research
  • James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies
  • Jay H. Baker Retailing Center
  • Joint Penn-CHOP Center for Digestive, Liver and Pancreatic Medicine
  • Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies
  • Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
  • Kleinman Center for Energy Policy
  • Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM)
  • Legal History Consortium
  • Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
  • Linguistic Data Consortium
  • Logic and Computation Group
  • Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences
  • Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology Research
  • Mason Immunotherapy Research
  • McNeil Center for Early American Studies
  • Media Activism Research Collective
  • Middle East Center
  • Nano/Bio Interface Center
  • National Center on Adult Literacy
  • Network Dynamics
  • New Court land Center for Transitions and Health
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics
  • Communication Neuroscience Lab
  • Computational Biology and Informatics Laboratory
  • Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE)
  • Council on Employee Relations (formerly Labor Relations Council)
  • Criminal Law Research Group


More than 180 graduate programs are offered at University of Pennsylvania. The most popular majors at Penn include: Finance, Registered Nursing; Political Science and Government, Biology/Biological Sciences, and Economics. Given below are Penn’s 12 constituent schools and their fall 2017 student populations:

  • Annenberg School for Communication – 82
  • School of Arts and Sciences – 2,168
  • School of Dental Medicine – 667
  • Graduate School of Education – 1,677
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science- 1,541
  • School of Design- 713
  • Law School – 915
  • Perelman School of Medicine – 1,796
  • School of Nursing – 721
  • School of Social Policy & Practice – 507
  • School of Veterinary Medicine – 475
  • The Wharton School – 2,389

Academic Resources

Penn’s large network of services, programs and resource centres along with the support teams ensures that the academic needs of every member of the university community are met effectively.

Office of Learning Resources

Staff at the department of learning resources provides academic support through professional consultation services related to skills like academic writing, reading, time management, and study strategies.

Penn College Achievement Program (PENNCAP)

Through PENNCAP students from low income or first generation backgrounds are provided academic assistance, counselling, coaching and cultural enrichment to help them in achieving their academic and personal goals.

Student Disabilities Services (SDS)

The Student Disabilities Services Staff is responsible to ensure equal access of University activities, services and programs to all the students. There are policies in place to make sure that the students with disabilities are able to practise self-advocacy.

Tutoring Center

Penn undergraduate students are offered a wide variety of options to supplement their academic experience at the Tutoring Center. The provided modes learning like 1:1 tutoring are free, accessible and convenient.

Upward Bound

Several resources are provided to the students at selected Philadelphia high schools to prepare them for success in college education.

Veterans Upward Bound

Eligible veterans are provided access to a federally-funded pre-college program to help them in graduating from a college.


Penn’s schools of business, communication, dentistry, medicine, nursing, and veterinary medicine are ranked in the top 5 nationally by the U.S. News and National Research Council. In the 2010 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report, Penn was ranked 2nd in North America

As reported by USA Today, Penn was ranked 1st in the United States by College Factual for 2015. According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 rankings, Penn is ranked 8th among national universities in the United States. The Princeton Review includes Penn in its Dream Colleges list and so does U.S. News in its Most Popular National Universities list.

According to the 2015 ARWU ranking, Penn is also the 8th and 9th best university in the world for economics/business and social sciences studies, respectively. University of Pennsylvania ranked 12th among 300 Best World Universities in 2012 compiled by Human Resources & Labor Review (HRLR) on Measurements of World’s Top 300 Universities Graduates’ Performance. In their 2016/2017 editions, Penn was ranked 18th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), 13th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 18th in the world by the QS World University Rankings.

Cost & Financial Aid

Its tuition and fees are $55,584, plus an additional $15,616 for room and board for the year 2018-19. Penn’s graduate tuition and fees vary by school. Penn provides some loans based on financial need, and some schools also award merit-based scholarships or provide stipends for assistance in research and teaching. Contact individual schools to know more about the policies and application procedures for grants and scholarship funding.

Job Prospects

According to PayScale, the median starting salary of a Penn graduate is $80K per annum. The popular jobs for Penn graduates are Software Engineer, Financial Analyst, Research Analyst, Veterinarian, Senior Software Engineer, Management Consultant. Leading companies like Inc., Accenture etc. recruit Penn graduates. And it doesn’t stop there. Top educational and research institutes like University of Pennsylvania itself hire the Penn graduates.

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