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University of Pennsylvania

1 College Hall, Room 100, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

University of Pennsylvania award
University of Pennsylvania award
US ranking
position: 6
Tuition & fees per year: $63,452
Acceptance rate: 6.00%
Median alumni salary: $76,746
Avg. SAT and ACT: 1525 SAT, 34 ACT
Entrance difficulty: N/A

Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

What is the history of University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania, often referred to as Penn or UPenn, was established in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, a prominent figure in American history. Originally known as the Academy of Philadelphia, the institution initially focused on practical skills such as accounting, navigation, and surveying. However, in 1755, it was renamed the College of Philadelphia and began to offer a more traditional liberal arts curriculum. This marked the first time an institution of higher learning in the United States provided both a traditional liberal arts education and practical training in fields like business and engineering.

Throughout the 19th century, the University of Pennsylvania broadened its academic offerings and research programs. In 1881, it established the first school of medicine in the United States that was affiliated with a teaching hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. This period also saw the university emerge as a leader in research, making significant discoveries and innovations in medicine, engineering, and business.

The 20th century saw further expansion, with the establishment of new schools and programs. The Wharton School of Business was founded in 1922, followed by the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1949. The Annenberg School for Communication was established in 1965, and the School of Nursing was founded in 1971. The university also played a pivotal role in the development of the computer and information technology industries.

The University of Pennsylvania has a rich legacy of academic excellence and innovation. Its alumni include eight signers of the Declaration of Independence, 12 signers of the Constitution, 25 Nobel laureates, and three United States Supreme Court justices. The university has also been at the forefront of many groundbreaking discoveries and innovations, including the development of the first general-purpose electronic computer (ENIAC) and the discovery of the hepatitis B virus.

In addition to its academic and research achievements, the University of Pennsylvania has also been involved in social and political movements. During the Civil Rights Movement, it was a center of activism and protest, with students and faculty members participating in sit-ins and other demonstrations. The university also played a role in the anti-apartheid movement, with students and faculty members advocating for divestment from companies doing business in South Africa.

Today, the University of Pennsylvania is consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the United States. It is home to 12 schools, including the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Wharton School of Business, and the Perelman School of Medicine. The university offers over 400 academic programs and is renowned for its strong research programs in fields such as medicine, engineering, and business.

What are the faculties and departments at University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania boasts a broad spectrum of faculties and departments, encompassing a multitude of subjects and disciplines. One of the largest faculties is the School of Arts and Sciences, which houses a variety of departments including Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, English, History, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.

Another significant faculty is the Wharton School, which provides undergraduate, MBA, and PhD programs in business and management. The University of Pennsylvania also hosts the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Design, the School of Education, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Policy and Practice.

Within these faculties, there are numerous departments and divisions that cater to a wide range of subjects. For instance, the School of Medicine includes departments such as Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine and Community Health, Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, Surgery, and Transplant.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science, on the other hand, comprises departments like Bioengineering, Computer and Information Science, Electrical and Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics.

The University of Pennsylvania also offers other notable departments and programs. These include the English Department, the Institute for Environmental Studies, the Center for Folklore and Ethnography, the Aresty Institute of Executive Education, the Penn Museum, the Penn Law School, the Penn Graduate School of Education, and the Penn School of Nursing.

In addition to these, the Penn Medicine system encompasses several hospitals and research centers, such as the Penn Cardiovascular Institute and the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center.

What is the location of University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania is situated in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a vibrant area in the Northeast region of the United States. The university's official address is 3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, with the ZIP Code being 19104.

The campus of the University of Pennsylvania is expansive, covering over 299 acres in a contiguous area. This vast space houses all of the university's schools and the majority of its research institutes. The campus is conveniently located adjacent to Drexel University and just a few blocks away from the University City campus of Saint Joseph's University.

The University City neighborhood, where the University of Pennsylvania is located, offers a variety of amenities that can enhance the student experience.

What is the mission and vision of University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) is committed to providing a high-quality education and fostering a diverse and inclusive community. The institution's mission statement underscores its dedication to enhancing the quality of education, producing innovative research, and developing new models of healthcare delivery. This is achieved by nurturing a vibrant, inclusive environment and embracing diversity in all its forms. The mission is rooted in the concept of creating an institution that not only educates but also cultivates the art of caring and community transformation.

The vision of the University of Pennsylvania is to be a diverse and inclusive community that supports each other through innovative and impactful alliances, advocacy, resources, and counseling. This vision underscores the importance of inclusivity and progress in the university's approach to education and community building.

The core values of the University of Pennsylvania, which include tradition, teamwork, collaboration, professionalism, excellence, integrity, and diversity, shape the unique culture of the institution. These values offer a rich and fulfilling experience to all its scholars and stakeholders, reflecting the character of the university.

The University of Pennsylvania aims to strike a balance in education, offering both breadth and depth in its curriculum. The College of Arts and Sciences, for instance, views the primary purpose of education as the liberation of the mind from ignorance, superstition, and prejudice.

The University of Pennsylvania encourages students to explore various approaches to acquiring and interpreting knowledge. This includes an introduction to current thought in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It also emphasizes the importance of understanding and evaluating the sources and methods from which this knowledge is derived. This approach allows students to appreciate the contingency of all knowledge and participate in the ongoing excitement of intellectual discovery, which is at the heart of the institution.

In summary, the mission and vision of the University of Pennsylvania revolve around providing a high-quality education and fostering a diverse and inclusive community.

What is the accreditation of University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This accreditation, first granted in 1921, was last reaffirmed in 2014, indicating a long-standing commitment to educational quality and integrity.

The MSCHE carries out regular evaluations of the University of Pennsylvania and its diverse range of programs. These assessments are designed to ensure that the institution and its offerings continue to meet the stringent standards set by the commission. This process is crucial in maintaining the university's accredited status and ensuring the quality of education provided.

Prospective students considering the University of Pennsylvania can be assured of the institution's wide array of accredited programs. These span various fields of study, including but not limited to business, law, medicine, nursing, social work, and engineering. This breadth of accredited programs offers students a multitude of options to pursue their academic and career interests.

In summary, the University of Pennsylvania is an accredited institution, recognized by a reputable accrediting agency. It offers a diverse range of accredited programs across various fields, ensuring a high standard of education for its students.

University of Pennsylvania Rankings

See where this school lands in our other Rankings to get a bigger picture of the institution's offerings.

21 Most Affordable Colleges in the Northeast in 2023-2024 US

22 Best Value Colleges in Pennsylvania in 2023-2024

82 Most Affordable Colleges in 2023-2024

98 Best Value Colleges in the Northeast in 2023-2024 US

466 Best Value Colleges in 2023-2024


University of Pennsylvania Profile - Basic Information

Name of the institution

University of Pennsylvania

Level of institution

Four or more years

Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)


School type


Setting type

City: Large

Calendar system


Foundation year


Institution size category

20,000 and above

Main student body


Institutional Category

Degree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above

University of Pennsylvania Programs and Degrees

iconMaster's degree
iconAssociate's degree
iconBachelor's degree
iconCertificate of less than 1 year
iconPostbaccalaureate certificate
iconCertificate of at least 1 year, but less than 2 years
iconPost-master's certificate
iconDoctor's degree - research/scholarship
iconDoctor's degree - professional practice
iconOther degree
iconCertificate of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years
iconDoctor's degree - other

Alumni Salary for University of Pennsylvania Degrees


Avg. salary

Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services


Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services




English Language and Literature/Letters


Health Professions and Related Programs




Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies


Philosophy and Religious Studies




Social Sciences


Visual and Performing Arts