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Why UPenn?

Why UPenn?

You know an Ivy League education is the gold standard, but even among the Ivies, the University of Pennsylvania stands out. At Penn, being ahead of the curve is built into the DNA. From cutting-edge research that shapes our world to visionary leadership that defines excellence, Penn has been pioneering progress for over 260 years. And with a commitment to civic engagement instilled in every student, Penn also creates leaders who make a difference.

This is the Penn Advantage. An education where challenging conventions and pushing boundaries is the norm. Where interdisciplinary collaboration leads to life-changing discoveries before they’re discovered anywhere else. And where each student is empowered to forge their own path to becoming a leader in their field and community. If you’re looking for an Ivy League education that’s ahead of the curve, welcome to Penn – where those curves are set. This is where leaders are made, and the future is shaped, one idea at a time.

Groundbreaking Research That Changes Lives

As an Ivy League institution, UPenn is a leader in groundbreaking research that changes lives. Penn scientists and physicians are pioneers, exploring new frontiers of knowledge that transform how we understand and interact with the world.

For example, Penn Medicine researchers were among the first to develop an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. This new vaccine technology teaches our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response, allowing our bodies to develop immunity to the virus. The COVID-19 vaccine is saving countless lives around the globe.

Penn also leads the way in cell and gene therapy. Researchers at Penn’s Center for Cellular Immunotherapies are developing ways to genetically engineer a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. This promising new treatment, known as CAR T-cell therapy, has achieved remarkable remission rates in patients with certain blood cancers.

On the civic engagement front, Penn founded the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, which connects students with West Philadelphia neighbors, businesses and schools. Undergraduate and graduate students tutor local children, help entrepreneurs launch businesses, and work with community groups to solve problems. The Netter Center embodies Penn’s spirit of improving lives beyond campus through action and partnership.

Groundbreaking, life-changing research. Pioneering medical advancements. Fostering community collaboration. At Penn, these are the foundations for a better future—and a Penn education.

Visionary Leadership That Shapes the Future

When it comes to visionary leadership, Penn has always been ahead of the curve. For over 260 years, Penn has fostered a spirit of innovation that shapes the future.

  • Penn’s founder, Benjamin Franklin, was a renowned inventor, scientist and visionary thinker. His spirit of innovation lives on at Penn today through groundbreaking research across disciplines that addresses society’s biggest challenges.
  • Penn has a long history of trailblazing firsts, like awarding the first U.S. Ph.D. in 1883 and launching the first U.S. business school in 1881. Penn Medicine is a world leader in patient care, education and research.
  • Penn’s president, Amy Gutmann, is a pioneering leader in higher education. Under her leadership, Penn has enhanced its excellence in education and research, expanded its campus, and integrated knowledge across academic disciplines to maximize impact.
  • Penn’s board of trustees includes leaders from many fields who help steer the university toward continued preeminence. Penn’s administration, deans, department chairs, and faculty all share a vision of advancing knowledge for the benefit of humanity.

With a shared ethos of innovation and impact, visionary leadership at every level, and a commitment to the greater good, Penn is poised to shape the future in powerful ways. The Penn community fosters a spirit of progress that enables students and faculty to reach their highest potential and make a meaningful difference in the world.

That’s the Penn advantage. And it puts this Ivy League institution ahead of the curve.

A Commitment to the Greater Good

Penn’s motto, “laws without morals are useless” speaks to its long-held belief that knowledge and leadership should be used to benefit society. This spirit of civic responsibility permeates nearly every aspect of student life on campus.

  • Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships is one of the nation’s largest university-based community service programs. Through the Center, students can volunteer with local schools, community organizations, and nonprofits to help address issues like education inequality, health disparities, and economic hardship in West Philadelphia.
  • Penn’s civic engagement courses provide students opportunities to apply their learning to real-world problems. For example, students in an urban studies class may help create policy reports for the Philadelphia City Council, while nursing students work with local clinics to promote community health.
  • Student groups on campus organize drives for food, clothing, books, and other necessities to help those in need. They also plan fundraising events and awareness campaigns for important causes like environmental protection, human rights, and disaster relief.
  • Upon graduation, many Penn students go on to careers in public service, working for government agencies, nonprofits, and social impact organizations. Their Penn education has instilled in them a duty to use their skills and knowledge responsibly to create positive change.

The ethos of service and moral purpose that permeates Penn shapes students into thoughtful leaders committed to the greater good. Long after leaving campus, Penn alumni continue to make a difference through civic engagement and by using their positions of influence to improve people’s lives. This shared sense of responsibility to community is what truly sets a Penn education apart.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Solving Complex Problems

At Penn, an interdisciplinary approach is taken to solve complex real-world problems. Students and faculty from diverse fields come together to gain new perspectives and make impactful discoveries.

  • Penn was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740 with the vision of interdisciplinary education. This spirit lives on today through initiatives like the Perry World House, a global policy research center, and the Singh Center for Nanotechnology, which brings together scientists and engineers across disciplines.
  • Undergraduate students can take advantage of over 90 interdisciplinary majors and minors, from Cognitive Science to Networked and Social Systems Engineering. Double majors that combine, say, Nursing and Anthropology or Digital Media Design and Computer Science are common.
  • Penn’s 12 schools span a wide range of study areas, from the Wharton School of Business and the Perelman School of Medicine to the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Annenberg School for Communication. Cross-disciplinary research and learning are deeply embedded in Penn’s DNA.
  • This interdisciplinary ethos fosters an environment of openness, creativity, and innovation. Students learn to see issues from multiple sides and work with diverse teams to solve complex problems. Faculty have the opportunity to pursue bold research questions at the intersections of their fields.
  • Notable interdisciplinary initiatives at Penn include the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, the Penn Compact 2020, and the Penn Arts and Sciences Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. Each leverages expertise across schools and departments to drive progress on issues that matter.

At Penn, breaking down barriers between disciplines is a way of life. An interdisciplinary approach cultivates leaders ready to solve the multifaceted challenges of today and tomorrow. Students graduate with the ability to see the bigger picture and bring together diverse groups around a shared purpose. That is the Penn Difference.

Also read: How To Apply To An U.S University In 2023?

An Eclectic Social Scene

Penn’s campus life revolves around over 400 student clubs and organizations, from a cappella groups to community service clubs to Greek life. With so many options, you’re bound to find your tribe. Grab a cheesesteak at a food truck with new friends or catch an up-and-coming band at World Cafe Live.

Culture on Your Doorstep

Philly’s cultural attractions are at your fingertips. Take in world-class art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or Barnes Foundation, catch a show on Broadway at the Kimmel Center, or explore history at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Venture off campus to try amazing eats in Chinatown or Reading Terminal Market.

Division I Sports and Recreation

Show your Penn Pride at a Quakers football game at Franklin Field, America’s oldest football stadium. Penn also has Division I teams for basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and more. Stay active at Pottruck Gym, with facilities for cardio, weights, swimming, and rock climbing. Join an intramural sports league or take a yoga class at the Penn Park Center.

A Vibrant Residential Community

Penn’s campus feels like a self-contained city within Philadelphia. Most undergrads live in one of 12 residential colleges in the University City neighborhood. Your college becomes your community, where you bond over study sessions, movie nights, and dorm pranks. The colleges surround Locust Walk, a picturesque tree-lined promenade perfect for people watching, picnics, and impromptu Frisbee games.

Living at Penn means being surrounded by a vibrant campus life in a historic city. You get the best of both worlds: a classic collegiate experience and big-city culture, all in one place. There’s always something going on, yet Penn’s campus has a peaceful, scholarly feel—the ideal environment for learning and growth.

So there you have it. Penn is an Ivy League institution that truly stands out from the pack. From cutting-edge research that’s shaping our future to developing leaders and citizens poised to make a real difference in the world, Penn is ahead of the curve. If you’re looking for a place that will challenge you, inspire you, and push you outside your comfort zone through real-world learning, this is it. At Penn, you’ll be immersed in a culture of innovation and impact. You’ll form lifelong connections and be part of a community that’s redefining excellence. While the other Ivies are prestigious, Penn is prestigious with a purpose. It’s where those who want to lead change choose to be. If that sounds like you, maybe we’ll see you on campus next fall. The world could use more Penn-educated leaders, researchers, and citizens. Why not be one of them?


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