University of Pennsylvania

Rank 6
Location Pennsylvania
Established 1740
Famous For Law, Education, Nursing


The University of Pennsylvania, an esteemed Ivy League research institution in Philadelphia, offers a rich educational experience for international students. Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1749, it's among the oldest universities in the United States. The university boasts four undergraduate schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Wharton School (renowned for business education), and the School of Nursing. It also hosts 12 esteemed graduate and professional schools, including a prestigious law school, a pioneering medical school (North America's first), and the nation's first business school.

Penn is committed to academic excellence with an impressive $20.7 billion endowment and substantial research grants. The campus, situated in the vibrant University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia, is home to iconic landmarks like Houston Hall and Franklin Field. Notably, the Morris Arboretum offers an idyllic escape. The Penn Quakers participate in NCAA Division I sports as part of the Ivy League.

Penn's accomplished alumni include signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court justices, senators, Nobel laureates, and even EGOT winners. The university has nurtured numerous scholars and achievers, making it an enticing destination for international students aspiring to excel across diverse fields.

Services for International Students

At the University of Pennsylvania, the well-being and achievement of international students take precedence, facilitated by an array of all-encompassing services, clubs and societies.

Services for international students at the University of Pennsylvania prioritize inclusion and support. The LGBTQ+ center, established in 1979, provides a welcoming environment with 25 groups like Penn J-Bagel for Jewish LGBTQ+ students, Lambda Alliance for general LGBTQ social engagement, and oSTEM for LGBTQ individuals in STEM fields.

Penn Electric Racing showcases innovation, enabling students to design, build, and race electric vehicles internationally. The Performing Arts Council oversees 45 student groups, from dance to a cappella, enriching the artistic community. The University of Pennsylvania Glee Club, founded in 1862, engages students in choral performances and international travel.

A vibrant cappella community includes groups like Off The Beat, Penn Masala (premier South Asian a cappella), and the newly gender-inclusive Mask and Wig club. Religious and spiritual organizations, such as Hillel and Chabad Lubavitch, serve Jewish students, while the Christian Association, Newman Catholic Center, and Muslim Life Program support diverse faiths. The Penn Meditation and Buddhism Club enhances mindfulness and understanding of Buddhism.


  • 12th in QS World University Rankings 2024
  • 13th in U.S. News Best Value Schools Ranking 2024
  • 6th in U.S. News National Universities Ranking 2024
  • 16th in THE World University Rankings 2024
  • 12th in THE US College Rankings 2022
  • 22nd THE World Reputation Rankings 2022


The University of Pennsylvania offers diverse and tailored student accommodation options to cater to various needs. First-year houses, including Gregory College House, Hill College House, Kings Court English House, Lauder College House, Riepe College House, and Ware College House, provide a supportive environment for newcomers to build connections with peers. 

Four-year houses like Fisher Hassenfeld College House and W.E.B. Du Bois House foster long-term growth and interaction with fellow upperclassmen. Upperclass students can opt for apartment-style living in high-rises such as New College House West, Gutmann College House, Harnwell College House, Harrison College House, Rodin College House, and Stouffer College House.

About Location

The University of Pennsylvania is situated in the vibrant University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia. This prime location offers students access to a rich cultural and intellectual scene. The neighborhood features numerous cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and live music venues, creating a lively atmosphere. The campus is also close to iconic Philadelphia landmarks like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and historic Independence Hall. The city's diverse neighborhoods offer a range of experiences, from exploring the bustling Reading Terminal Market to enjoying serene walks along the Schuylkill River Trail.

Philadelphia International Airport is conveniently located about 20 minutes away by car, making travel accessible for students. The university's location provides a dynamic blend of academic and cultural opportunities, ensuring a fulfilling college experience.

About Location

  • John Legend: Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and actor who studied English and African-American literature.
  • Andrea Mitchell: Esteemed journalist and anchor of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," she graduated with a degree in English.
  • Noam Chomsky: Influential linguist, philosopher, and cognitive scientist renowned for his contributions to linguistics and political theory.

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