University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as Penn or UPenn) — a private Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin.

University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest universities and the first university in the United States, as well as one of the 9 colonial colleges founded before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Despite the name, the university is private and it is sometimes confused with Pennsylvania State University, located in State College.

Wharton School of Business, one of the most prestigious and well-known business schools in the world, is part of the University of Pennsylvania.

Famous alumni:

Donald Trump – an American businessman and the 45th President of the United States.

Charles Adams – an American cartoonist

Warren Buffett – an American entrepreneur

Scientific achievements of the University of Pennsylvania

  • Penn was a home of ENIAC, the world’s first electronic digital computer, which was the top-secret project of the United States.
  • At the University of Pennsylvania there was found a brain region responsible for nicotine addiction.
  • The archaeologists of the University of Pennsylvania discovered the 3,800-year-old tomb of the pharaoh named Sebekhotep.
  • The diamond-core nanothreads were synthesized within the walls of the University. These threads are hundreds of thousands of times smaller than the optical fiber. At the same time, potentially they can turn out to be the strongest, stiffest material possible.
  • A new method of treatment of chronic renal failure was proposed.
  • It is proven in the University that learning a new language changes your brain network both structurally and functionally.
  • The scientists at the University of Pennsylvania confirmed the relationship between toxoplasmos and schizophrenia.
  • At the University, there was made the 24-hour schedule of the genes. The researchers studied 24-hr patterns of expression for thousands of genes in 12 different organs during the day. Through the study, it became clear why drugs act differently depending on the reception time.
  • The members of the University of Pennsylvania found water clouds in the atmosphere of a brown dwarf beyond the Solar system.
  • The bioengineers of the medical school at the University have discovered a way to repurpose fibroblasts into functional melanocytes through direct cell reprogramming.
  • The University of Pennsylvania is one of two U.S. institutions, where the scientific program Restoring Active Memory (RAM) is implemented. A neuroprosthetic device is created as part of the program, that aims to enhance memory in military personnel who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, as well as for people with different neurodegenerative diseases.

Why is it worth applying to the University of Pennsylvania?

  • Philadelphia is a charming historic city in the United States, with beautiful architecture and mild weather. It includes more than 100 museums; the students can visit the performance of the world famous Philadelphia Orchestra, opera, ballet, theater.
  • Philadelphia and its institutions attract immigrants from all over the world. The region has one of the highest concentrations of colleges and universities in the country, that is why students flock here from every corner of the globe.
  • The University is affiliated with 142 research centers and institutes.
  • The students of the University of Pennsylvania are involved in volunteer activities. For 2014, there are 14 thousand students and university staff consisting in these organizations.
  • The endowment of the University of Pennsylvania is 9.58 billion dollars (for the end of 2014). This is one of the largest endowments in the world.
  • The library of the University of Pennsylvania is one of the largest academic libraries in the United States, it has more than 4 million books and other publications.

Scholarships and grants at the University of Pennsylvania

The university provides financial assistance to the students (Penn Grant) according to the documents required, the amount of funding is calculated individually. The University Named Scholarships are based on academic performance.

The majority of students participate in external scholarship opportunities. For example, in Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship: it is available for the students who carry out their research projects. The Pennsylvania Engineering Foundation Faber Scholarship is granted for the students in their second year of study and above, who carry out research in this field. The NACA East Coast Higher Education Research Scholarship is granted for the undergraduate students for the promising projects, ideas and research. 



Penn Admissions

The University of Pennsylvania is a selective university, to which only about 10 percent of applicants are admitted.

The foreign students must submit an application and provide a certificate/diploma with the transcript. The application can be submitted online via Common Application

It is obligatory for the foreign students to pass the Common SAT test (Reasoning) and two SAT Subject Tests or ACT exam + writing. There aren’t any minimum requirements, but the average scores of those admitted: SAT Reading scores are 730, SAT Math – 750, SAT Writing – 750. For admission to master’s programs, the GMAT test results are required.

The foreign students must be proficient in English; the successfully passed TOEFL is required for admission to the University of Pennsylvania.

You must provide two recommendation letters from the former teachers.

The University of Pennsylvania is interested in receiving information about non-academic interests of an applicant. Therefore, the future students are advised to attach the evidences of personal achievements to the basic documentation package.

The financial aid application must be submitted together with the basic documentation package.

The application deadline for the University of Pennsylvania

The application submission is carried out in 2 stages:

  • The early decision deadline is November 1st. The early decision notification is before December 15th.
  • The regular admission deadline is January 1st, the regular admission notification is at the end of March.

Statistics of applicants in 2014

Applicants 35,866
Enrolled in total 2,425 (6,7%)
Foreign students enrolled 341 (1%)

The International Exchanging and Cooperation Programs in the University of Pennsylvania

There are exchange programs at the University of Pennsylvania with 60 large, prestigious educational institutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand (International Guest Student Program). It is possible to study in the partner universities throughout a year or semester. Among the partners: the University of Sydney (Australia), the University of York (UK), the Technical University of Dortmund (Germany), the University of Bologna (Italy), the Kyoto University (Japan), the National University of Singapore and other leading colleges and universities.

Fun Facts About Penn

  • The researchers at the University have proven that dental health can be affected by physical and verbal conflict in a family.
  • The master’s MBA program has an interesting tradition: in the fall, the students of the business school go to one of the сentral streets of the city, wearing shirts, business suits, ties and… underwear. The current and future businessmen do not wear pants. The annual parade in underwear is very funny. Another event is called Hey Day, it involves only the junior class. Of the mandatory attributes – a straw hat, red T-shirt and a cane. You need to ceremoniously march across campus, ignoring seniors’ smiles.
  • 25 billionaires received their bachelor’s degrees at Penn, the largest number among all universities (at the beginning of 2015).
  • In 1873, the first graduating class of Penn planted an ivy on the campus, and the tradition of the Ivy Day gradually began to settle down in other colleges and universities. It is believed that it was the origin of the term Ivy League, which today includes the oldest and most famous higher educational institutions in the country.
  • During a session, at night, the windows in student residences are sometimes open: at midnight, plaintive screams can be heard from them. This tradition also exists in other universities and colleges that are known for their strong training. Screams and cries help to deal with stress during exams.
  • One of the first publications in the library appeared thanks to Louis XVI, who donated books to the university.