University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to
as Penn or UPenn) is a private research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
the fourth-oldest institution of higher
education in the United States, and is one of several institutions that claims to
have been the first university in
Penn is a member of the Ivy League
and is one of the Colonial Colleges
, Penn's founder,
advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical
education for commerce and public service as on the classics and
theology. Penn was one of the first academic institutions to follow
a multidisciplinary model pioneered by several European
universities, concentrating multiple "faculties" (e.g., theology,
classics, medicine) into one institution. Penn is today one of the
largest private universities in the nation, offering a very broad
range of academic departments, an extensive research enterprise and
a number of community outreach and public service programs. Penn is
particularly well known for its medical
, social sciences and humanities programs and its
biomedical teaching and research capabilities. Its undergraduate
programs are also among the most selective in the country.
2009, Penn's academic research
programs undertook more than $730 million in research, involving
some 3,800 faculty, 1,000 postdoctoral fellows and 5,400 support
staff/graduate assistants. Much of the funding is provided by the
Institutes of Health for biomedical research.
Penn tops the Ivy
League in annual spending, with a projected 2009 budget of $5.542
billion. In 2008, it ranked fifth among U.S. universities in
fundraising, bringing in about $475.96 million in private
Incorporated as The Trustees of the University of
, Penn is one of 14 founding members of the
In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great
preaching hall for the evangelist George Whitefield
. Designed and built by
, it was the largest
building in the city and it was also planned to serve as a charity
school. The fundraising, however, fell short and although the
building was erected, the plans for both a chapel and the charity
school were suspended. In the fall of 1749, eager to create a
college to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin
circulated a pamphlet
titled "Proposals for the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania," his
vision for what he called a "Public Academy of Philadelphia."
However, according to Franklin's autobiography, it was in 1743 when
he first drew up a proposal for establishing the academy, "thinking
the Rev. Richard Peters a fit person to superintend such an
institution." Unlike the other four American Colonial colleges that existed in
1749 — Harvard, William and Mary, Yale, and
Princeton — Franklin's new school would not focus
merely on education for the clergy.
He advocated an
innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both
the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills
necessary for making a living and doing public service. The
proposed program of study became the nation's first modern liberal
assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of
Philadelphia, the first such non-sectarian board in
At the first meeting of the 24 members of the Board
of Trustees (November 13, 1749) the issue of where to locate the
school was a prime concern. Although a lot across Sixth Street from
Hall was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner,
the Trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was
still vacant, would be an even better site.
On February 1,
1750 the new board took over the building and trusts of the old
board. In 1751 the Academy, using the great hall at 4th and Arch
Streets, took in its first students. A charity school also was
opened in accordance with the intentions of the original "New
Building" donors, although it lasted only a few years.
Quad in the Fall, facing Ware College
its date of founding, the University uses 1740, the date of "the
creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the
University has taken upon itself" (the charity school mentioned
above) during its existence.
The institution was known as the College of
from 1755 to 1779. In 1779, not trusting
then-provost the Rev. William Smith's loyalist
revolutionary State Legislature created a University of the
State of Pennsylvania
. The result was a schism, with Smith
continuing to operate an attenuated version of the College of
Philadelphia. In 1791 the legislature issued a new charter, merging
the two institutions into the University of
with twelve men from each institution on the
new board of trustees. These three schools were part of the same
institution and were overseen by the same board of Trustees.
Penn has three claims to being the first university in the
, according to university archives director Mark
Frazier Lloyd: the 1765 founding of the first medical school in
America made Penn the first institution to offer "undergraduate"
and professional education; the 1779 charter made it the first
American institution of higher learning to take the name of
"University"; and existing colleges were established as
being located in downtown Philadelphia for more than a century, the
campus was moved across the Schuylkill
River to property purchased from the Blockley Almshouse in West Philadelphia in 1872, where it has
since remained in an area now known as University City.
Heads of the University of Pennsylvania
||birth – death
||Years as provost
||Name of institution
||The Rev. George Whitefield
||Church and Charity School of Philadelphia
||Academy of Philadelphia
||The Rev. William
|College of Philadelphia
||The Rev. John Ewing
||University of the State of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania (after 1791)
||The Rev. John McDowell
||University of Pennsylvania
||The Rev. John Andrews
||University of Pennsylvania
||The Rev. Frederick Beasley
||University of Pennsylvania
||The Rev. William
||University of Pennsylvania
||The Rev. John Ludlow
||University of Pennsylvania
||The Rev. Henry Vethake
||University of Pennsylvania
||The Rev. Daniel Goodwin
||University of Pennsylvania
||Charles Janeway Stillé
||University of Pennsylvania
||University of Pennsylvania
||University of Pennsylvania
||Edgar Fahs Smith
||University of Pennsylvania
||Josiah Harmar Penniman
||University of Pennsylvania
educational innovations include: the nation's first medical school
in 1765; the first university teaching hospital in 1874; the
School, the world's first collegiate school of business, in
1881; the first American student union building, Houston Hall, in
1896; the country's second school of veterinary medicine; and the
home of ENIAC, the world's
first electronic, large-scale, general-purpose digital computer in
College Hall and Logan Hall viewed
from Woodland Ave., ca. 1892.
Penn is also home to the oldest psychology
department in North America and is
where the American Medical
Penn's motto is based on a line from Horace
III.24 (Book 3, Ode 24), quid leges sine moribus vanae
("of what avail empty laws without [good]
morals?") From 1756 to 1898, the motto read Sine Moribus
. When a wag pointed out that the motto could be
translated as "Loose women without morals," the university quickly
changed the motto to literae sine moribus vanae
without morals [are] useless"). In 1932, all elements of the seal
were revised, and as part of the redesign it was decided that the
new motto "mutilated" Horace, and it was changed to its present
wording, Leges Sine Moribus Vanae
("Laws without morals
The official school colors are red with hex
value #990000, and blue with hex value
#011F5B. In printed materials they are PMS 201 red and PMS288
The University of Pennsylvania has four undergraduate schools:
Lower Quad in Winter, from Riepe College House
The College of Arts and Sciences is the undergraduate division of
the School of Arts and Sciences, which also contains the Graduate
Division and the College of Liberal and Professional Studies,
Penn's division for non-traditional undergraduate and graduate
Penn has a strong focus on interdisciplinary learning and research.
It offers joint-degree programs, unique majors, and academic
flexibility. Penn's "One University" policy allows undergraduates
access to courses at all of Penn's undergraduate and graduate
schools, except the medical, veterinary and dental schools.
Undergraduates at Penn may also take courses
Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore, Penn's fellows in the Quaker Consortium.
Graduate and professional schools
The following schools offer graduate programs:
University of Pennsylvania Dental School
Joint-degree and interdisciplinary programs
Penn offers specialized joint-degree
programs, which award candidates degrees from multiple schools at
the University upon completion of graduation criteria of both
schools. Undergraduate programs include:
Dual Degree programs which lead to the same multiple degrees
without participation in the specific above programs are also
available. Unlike joint-degree programs, "dual degree" students
fulfill requirements of both programs independently without
involvement of another program. Specialized Dual Degree programs
include Liberal Studies and Technology as well as a Computer and
Cognitive Science Program. Both programs award a degree from the
College of Arts and Sciences and a degree from the School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences.
For graduate programs, there are many formalized joint degree
graduate programs such as a joint J.D./MBA. Penn is also the home
to interdisciplinary institutions such as the Institute for
Medicine and Engineering, the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for
Management and International Studies, the Institute for Research in
Cognitive Science, and the Executive Master's in Technology
Academic medical center and biomedical research complex
Penn's health-related programs — including the Schools of Nursing,
Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine, and programs in
bioengineering (School of Engineering) and health management (the
Wharton School) — are among the university's strongest academic
components. The combination of intellectual breadth, research
funding (each of the health sciences schools ranks in the top 5 in
annual NIH funding), clinical resources and overall scale ranks
Penn with only a small handful of peer universities in the
The size of Penn's biomedical research organization, however, adds
a very capital intensive component to the university's operations,
and introduces revenue instability due to changing government
regulations, reduced federal funding for research, and Medicaid
program changes. This is a
primary reason highlighted in bond rating agencies' views on Penn's
overall financial rating, which ranks one notch below its academic
peers. Penn has worked to address these issues by pooling its
schools (as well as several hospitals and clinical practices) into
the University of Pennsylvania Health System, thereby pooling
resources for greater efficiencies and research impact.
Penn is one of the most selective universities in the United
States. For the Class of 2012 entering in fall 2008, the university
received 22,935 applications and admitted 16.95 percent of the
applicants, 99% of whom were in the top 10% of their high school
classes. 63% of the admitted applicants matriculated. In 2007,
Penn's acceptance rate was 15.9%, with 96% of incoming freshmen
ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes. In the last 5
years, Penn has received around 21,000 applications for each
freshman class, has admitted on average 17 percent of applications
and saw about 65 percent of admitted applicants matriculate.
Further, Penn consistently ranks among the 10 toughest schools to
get into, according to the Princeton Review. The Atlantic also
ranked Penn among the 10 most selective schools in the
At the graduate level, Penn's admissions rates, like most
universities', vary considerably based on school and program. Based
on admission statistics from U.S. News and World
, Penn's most selective programs include its law school,
the health care schools (medicine, dental medicine, nursing), and
its business school.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Penn #4 (tied with Caltech, MIT and Stanford) for undergraduate education in its 2010 review. Penn is ranked fourth in the Ivy League behind Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. In the past, Penn was ranked #4 by U.S. News in 2005 and #6 in 2009.
In 2008, the British Times
magazine ranked Penn 11th in the world
and 7th among U.S. universities. In 2007, Penn placed 15th on the Shanghai
Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Center for Measuring University Performance ranks Penn in its top
cluster of research universities in the nation, tied with Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. In 2007, The Washington Monthly ranked
Penn 17th overall, and 4th among private institutions (behind
Cornell, Stanford, and MIT) on its list of universities'
contributions to national service (Research: total research
spending; Ph.D.s granted in science and engineering; Community
Service: the number of students in ROTC, Peace Corps, etc.; and
social mobility: percentage of, and support for, Pell grant
Forbes.com ranked Penn #83 on their 2009
edition of "America's Best Colleges." In the 2008 edition of
"America's Best Colleges," Forbes.com ranked Penn at #61.
University of Pennsylvania's undergraduate business program at
Wharton has retained its #1 ranking in U.S. News for many
Claudia Cohen Hall, formerly Logan
Hall, home of The College of Arts and Sciences and former home of
The Wharton School
Penn's arts and science programs are all well regarded, with many
departments ranked amongst the nation's top 10. At the
undergraduate level, Wharton
Penn's business school, and Penn's nursing school have maintained
their #1, 2 or 3 rankings since U.S. News
reviewing such programs. In the School of Engineering, top
departments are bioengineering
(typically ranked in the top 5 by U.S. News
. The school is also
strong in some areas of computer science and artificial
Graduate and professional programs
Penn's graduate schools are among the most distinguished schools in
their fields. Penn's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is
generally regarded as one of the top schools in the nation (see
1995 rankings by the National Research
). A study updated the NRC rankings and adjusted them
for faculty size and also factored out reputational surveys (saying
that such surveys were lagging indicators of academic quality).
That study, "The Rise of American Research Universities: Elites and
Challengers in the Postwar Era," ranked Penn's arts, humanities,
and sciences departments 7th in the US.
Among its professional schools, the schools of Design
veterinary medicine rank in the top 5 nationally (see U.S.
, National Research Council, and Planetizen
as well as DesignIntelligence's
Architecture & Design Schools"). Penn's Law School
7th, and its School
School of Social Policy & Practice
are ranked in the top 10
(see U.S. News
Penn's architecture was designed by the Cope & Stewardson firm, whose
principal architects combined the Gothic architecture of the University
of Oxford and the University of Cambridge with the local landscape to establish the Collegiate Gothic style.
present core campus covers over in a contiguous area of West Philadelphia's University City district.
Overlooking Lower Quad from Upper
All of Penn's schools and most of
its research institutes are located on this campus. Recent
improvements to the surrounding neighborhood include the opening of
several restaurants, a large upscale grocery store, and a movie
theater on the western edge of campus.
Penn acquired about between the campus and the Schuylkill River
(the former site of the Philadelphia Civic Center and a nearby site owned by the United States Postal
Dubbed the Postal Lands, the site extends from
Market Street on the north to Penn's Bower Field on the south. It
encompasses the main U.S. Postal Building at 30th and Market
Streets (the retail post office at the east end of the building
will remain open), the Postal Annex between Chestnut Street and
Walnut Street, the Vehicle Maintenance Facility Garage along
Chestnut Street and the of surface parking south of Walnut Street.
Over the next decade, the site will become the home to educational,
also plans new connections between the campus and the city,
including a pedestrian bridge.
University also owns the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut
Hill in northwestern Philadelphia, the official arboretum of the state of Pennsylvania.
Upper Quad Gate.
Penn also owns the New Bolton Center
, the research and
large-animal health care center of its Veterinary School.
Square, Pennsylvania, New Bolton Center received nationwide media
attention when Kentucky Derby winner
Barbaro underwent surgery at its Widener
Hospital for injuries suffered while running in the Preakness Stakes.
University and is near the University of the Sciences in
Penn's library began in 1750 with a donation of books from
cartographer Louis Evans. Twelve years later, then-provost William Smith
England to raise additional funds to increase the collection size.
More than 250 years later, it has grown into a system of 15
libraries (13 are on the contiguous campus) with 400 FTE employees
and a total operating budget of more than $48 million. The library
system holds 5.7 million book and serial volumes. It subscribes to
44,000 print serials and e-journals.
Penn's Libraries, with associated school or subject area:
- Annenberg (School of Communications), located in the Annenberg
- Biddle (Law), located in the Law School
- Biomedical, located adjacent to the Robert Wood Johnson
Pavilion of the Medical School
- Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, located on Walnut Street at
- Chemistry, located in the 1973 Wing of the Chemistry
Arts, located within the Fisher Fine Arts Library, designed by Frank
- Lea Library, located within the Van Pelt Library
- Lippincott (Wharton School), located on the second floor of the
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
- Math/Physics/Astronomy, located on the third floor of David
- Museum (Anthropology)
- Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Center (Humanities and Social Sciences) - location of
- High Density Storage
The University Museum
The University Museum was founded in 1887. During the early
twentieth century UPM conducted some of the first and most
important archaeological and anthropological expeditions to Egypt,
Mesopotamia, Africa, East Asia and South America, thus the
collection includes a very large number of antiquities from ancient
Egypt and the Middle East. Its most famous object is the goat
rearing into the branches of a rosette-leafed plant, from the
royal tombs of Ur
. The museum also has a
strong collection of Chinese artifacts. Features of its Beaux-Arts
building include a
that include Egyptian papyrus
scientific division, MASCA, focuses on the application of modern
scientific techniques to aid the interpretation of archaeological
Institute of Contemporary Art, which is based on Penn's campus, showcases various
art exhibitions throughout the year.
University residences include DuBois College House, Fisher
Hassenfeld College House (formerly Woodland), Gregory College
House, Harnwell College House, Harrison College House, Hill College
House, Kings Court English College House, Riepe College House
(formerly Spruce House), Rodin College House (formerly Hamilton
College House), Sansom Place East / West, Stouffer College House,
and Ware College House. Within the college houses, Penn has nearly
forty themed residential programs for students with shared
interests such as world cinema or science and technology.
Many of the nearby homes on 40-42nd are often rented by
undergraduate students moving off campus after freshman year.
Locust Walk lit up during the winter
Of those accepted for admission to the Class of 2013, 39.2 percent
. Women comprise 51.3 percent of all students currently
More than 13% of the first year class are international students
. Of the international
students accepted to the Class of 2008, 48.1% were from Asia; 15.8% were from Africa and
the Middle East; 14.1% were from
Europe; 11.7% were from Canada and Mexico; 10% were
from the Caribbean, Central America,
and South America; 0.4% were from
Australia and the Pacific Islands.
A total of 2,440
international students applied for admission to Penn's
undergraduate schools for the Class of 2008, and 489 (20%) were
Selected student organizations
The Philomathean Society
founded in 1813, is the oldest student group in the United States.
The student-run TV station UTV13 is the oldest college TV station
in the country. The Mask and Wig Club is the oldest all-male musical comedy troupe in the
Also, the University is home to the only all female
collegiate musical sketch comedy troupe in the nation, Bloomers
founded in 1978. The University of
Pennsylvania Glee Club
, founded in 1862, is one of the oldest
continually operating collegiate choruses in the United States. Its
best-known and longest-serving director was Bruce Montgomery
, who led the
club from 1956 until 2000.
The University of
has been a part of student life since 1897.
The Penn Band performs at football and basketball games as well as
university functions (e.g. commencement
) throughout the year. It
has a current membership of approximately 80 students. "The Red and the Blue
" and "Fight On
Pennsylvania" are notable songs commonly played and sung at
university events and games.
The Castle Fraternity
Selected Penn publications
- CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic
- The Daily
Pennsylvanian - Penn's independent, student-run newspaper;
published since 1885; regularly wins Pacemaker and CSPA Gold Circle awards
- First Call Magazine - Penn's undergraduate
- Knowledge@Wharton - online business journal of the
- Penn History Review - undergraduate history
- Penn Triangle - science and technology magazine
founded in 1899; oldest of Penn's student-run journals; a
student-run SEAS publication
- PennScience - undergraduate science research
- Pennsylvania Punch
Bowl - Penn's humor magazine, founded in 1889; one of the
nation's oldest and most acclaimed humor magazines
- PoliComm - journal of political communication
- Res - undergraduate journal of research writing
- The Soapbox Sociopolitical Magazine - Penn's primary
outlet for student sociopolitical thought
- Sound Politicks - undergraduate political science
- Under The Button - online blogs written by staff of
The Daily Pennsylvanian
Penn's sports teams are nicknamed the Quakers
. They participate in
the Ivy League
and Division I
(Division I FCS for football) in the
recent decades they often have been league champions in football
(12 times from 1982 to 2003) and basketball (22 times from 1970 to
2006). The first athletic team at Penn was its cricket
The Penn Men's Rugby Football Club is recognized as the one of the
oldest collegiate rugby teams in America. The earliest
documentation of its existence comes from the Daily Pennsylvanian
on October 22, 1910: Penn's Rugby Team Students Practice on
Franklin Field at 7 o'clock am.
"Such is the devotion to English rugby football on the part of
University of Pennsylvania's students from New Zealand, Australia,
and England that they meet on Franklin Field at 7 o'clock every
morning and practice the game. The varsity track and football
squads monopolize the field to such an extent that the early hours
of the morning are the only ones during which the rugby enthusiasts
can play. Any time except Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a squad of
25 men may be seen running through the hardest kind of practice
after which they may divide into two teams and play a hard game.
Once a week, captain CC Walton, '11, dental, who hails from New
Zealand, gives the enthusiastic players a blackboard talk in which
he explains the intricacies of the game in detail…"- The Daily
The team existed on and off during the World Wars, with the current
club having it roots in the 1960s. While the current Penn Rugby
team no longer wakes up in the wee hours of the morning for
practice, the tradition of hard work and enthusiasm developed by CC
Walton lives on.
The club continues to strive for the highest level of play, while
also enjoying the camaraderie and social aspect of the game. In
1992, Penn won the Ivy League Championship defeating Dartmouth in
the final. In 2004, Penn Men's Rugby won the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby
first fielded a football team
against Princeton at the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia on November 11, 1876.
Penn football made many contributions to the sport in its early
days. During the 1890s, Penn's famed coach and alumnus George Washington Woodruff
introduced the quaternick kick, a forerunner of the forward pass
, as well as the place-kick
from scrimmage and the delayed pass.
In 1894, 1895, 1897, and 1904, Penn was generally regarded the
national champion of collegiate football. The achievements of two
of Penn's outstanding players from that era — John Heisman
— are remembered each year with the presentation of the
to the most
outstanding college football player of the year, and the Outland Trophy
to the most outstanding
college football interior
of the year.
In addition, each year the Bednarik
is given to college football's best defensive player.
(Class of 1949) was a
three-time All-American center
who starred on the 1947 team and is
generally regarded as Penn's all-time finest. In addition to
Bednarik, the '47 squad boasted four-time All-American tackle George
and three-time All-American halfback Skip Minisi
. All three standouts were subsequently
elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, as was their coach, George Munger (a star running back at Penn in
the early '30s).
Bednarik went on to play for 12 years with
the Philadelphia Eagles
becoming the NFL's
60-minute man. He was elected to the Pro Football
Hall of Fame in 1969.
During his presidency of the
institution from 1948 to 1953, Harold
attempted to recultivate Penn's heyday of big-time
, but the effort
lacked support and was short-lived.
ESPN's College GameDay traveled to
Penn to highlight the Harvard-Penn game on November 17, 2002, the first time the
popular college football show had visited an Ivy League
The Palestra, "Cathedral of
Penn basketball is steeped in tradition. Penn made its only (and
the Ivy League's second) Final Four
appearance in 1979, where the Quakers lost to Magic Johnson
-led Michigan State
in Salt Lake City.
(Dartmouth twice finished second in the
tournament in the 1940s, but that was before the beginning of
formal League play.) Penn is also one of the teams in the Big Five, along with La
Salle, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova.
In 2007, the men's basketball
team won its third consecutive Ivy
League title and then lost in the first round of the NCAA
Field is where the Quakers play football, field hockey, lacrosse,
sprint football, and track and field
(and formerly soccer).
It is the oldest stadium still
operating for football games and was the first stadium to sport two
tiers. It hosted the first commercially televised football game,
was once the home field of the Philadelphia Eagles
, and was the site of
early Army – Navy
Today it is also used by Penn students for recreation such as
and club sports,
including touch football
and cricket. Franklin Field hosts the annual collegiate track and
field event "the Penn Relays
home court, the Palestra, is an arena used for men's and women's basketball
teams, volleyball teams, wrestling team, and Philadelphia Big Five basketball, as well
as high school sporting events.
The Palestra has hosted more
NCAA Tournament basketball games than any other facility.
baseball plays its home games at Meiklejohn Stadium.
Olympic Boycott Games of 1980
were held at the University of Pennsylvania in response to Moscow's hosting
of the 1980 Summer Olympics
following the Soviet incursion
Twenty-nine of the boycotting nations
participated in the Boycott Games.
The university has come under fire several times in recent years
for free speech issues. In spite of this, Penn is one of only two
Ivy League universities (the other being Dartmouth
College) to receive the highest possible free speech rating
from the watchdog group Foundation for
Individual Rights in Education, founded by noted Penn professor
and civil libertarian Alan Charles
University of Pennsylvania alumni include 9 signers of the Declaration of
Independence: George Clymer,
Benjamin Franklin, Francis Hopkinson, Thomas McKean, Robert Morris, William Paca, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, and James Wilson; 11 signers of the Constitution: George Clymer,
Thomas Fitzsimons, Benjamin
Franklin, Jared Ingersoll, Rufus King, Thomas
Mifflin, Gouverneur Morris,
Robert Morris, George Washington,
Hugh Williamson, and James Wilson; 3
States Supreme Court justices: William J. Brennan, Jr.
, Owen Roberts
, and James Wilson; and 1 president
of the United States: William
. Other notable Penn alumni include entrepreneurs
and Donald Trump
, poets Ezra
and William Carlos
, linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky
, and various Nobel laureates
. From 1997 to 2009,
11 Penn affiliates have won Nobel
, of whom 4 are current faculty members and 3 are
Penn in popular culture
- A character in The Lovely
Bones, Ray Singh, attends Penn. He is a freshman at Hill
- Dave Eggers's suicidal childhood
friend Tom from the novel A Heartbreaking Work
of Staggering Genius attends Penn.
- Much of Jonathan Franzen's
novel, The Corrections,
takes place in Philadelphia and mentions Penn a number of times.
Gary Lambert, one of the main characters, attends Penn as an
- Sudha, a character in Jhumpa
Earth is a Penn graduate.
- A character in Lorrie Moore's short
story collection, Self-Help, is a
- The main character's sex fantasy in Jennifer Weiner's novel, Good in Bed, involves a Penn film
- Tom Wolfe's novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, is based
in part on the particular collegiate subculture found at Penn.
Wolfe researched the novel by talking to students from Penn, and
even attended a party at one of Penn's secret societies.
- In the 1981 Academy Award-winning
film On Golden
Pond, the character Norman Thayer, Jr. (portrayed by
Henry Fonda) is a retired professor from
Penn — at one point he is shown perusing the campus newspaper
number of scenes from the 1993 Academy
Award-winning film Philadelphia were filmed inside the
Arts Library, which doubles as the law school library for the
- A number of scenes in M.
Night Shyamalan's 2000 film
Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce
Willis feature the exterior of Franklin Field.
- In the 2000 film The
Skulls, one of the crew teams during the boat race at the
beginning of the movie is from Penn.
- In the 2003 film Mona Lisa
Smile, Tommy (Topher Grace) is
scheduled to attend graduate school at Penn.
- In the 2004 Bollywood film Swades, Mohan (Shahrukh
Khan) was a student at Penn.
- In the 2004 film The
Village , William Hurt's
character is a professor of American History at Penn.
the 2006 film Invincible starring Mark Wahlberg, Franklin Field acts as a substitute for the now razed Veterans
the 2008 film Baby Mama,
Angie Ostrowiski (Amy Poehler) gives
birth at the Hospital of the University of
- A number of scenes at the beginning of the 2009 film
Revenge of the Fallen were filmed in the freshman Quad as
well as in front of and inside The Castle, a fraternity house and a
prominent example of gothic-collegiate architecture.
famous mansion in the cartoon series The Addams Family is modeled on the
College Hall. Cartoonist and Penn alumnus Charles Addams is said to have used the
building as his inspiration for the mansion of the Addams
- In the TV series Thirtysomething, Gary
Shepherd is denied tenure at Penn.
- Penn is often mentioned in the NBC drama American Dreams. Two of the main
characters, Sam and Beth, attend the school. In the second and
third seasons, several of the recreations take place at The Lair, a
Penn campus coffee house/student union facility.
- In an episode of the The Cosby
Show titled "Off to the Races," Cliff Huxtable competes in the Penn Relays. Many portions of the episode were filmed at
- Several It's
Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes were filmed at Penn,
with the characters Dennis and Dee having attended university
- In an
episode of The
Office, Dwight Schrute
mentions the Penn football game in order to upset Andy Bernard, a Cornell alumnus.
- In the television series Queer as Folk,
Ted Schmidt often references the fact
that he is a graduate of the Wharton
- Penn is mentioned in the series Law and Order (episode: Castoff)
as the alma mater of an Ivy League murder victim.
2007 episode of the Food Network's
"Dinner Impossible" titled "Rush
Dinner: Frat House Impossible" features The Castle (Psi Upsilon) fraternity brothers doing their
part to create a feast for Penn President Amy Gutmann and 65 guests that includes Philadelphia's best-known chefs and
- Penn's campus acts as a backdrop to the Food Network's
"Unwrapped" episode from 2008 that is
titled "Cozy Cuisine." Host Marc
Summers is seen in front of College
Hall and Psi Upsilon as well as on Locust Walk.
- Weeklong series of The
Colbert Report was filmed at Penn during the Pennsylvania
Democratic Primary in 2008. It was taped in the Zellerbach Theatre
in the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts.
DormitoriesImage:FurnessLibraryInner.JPG|The Fisher Fine Arts
Library, formerly The Furness LibraryImage:Penn campus
6.jpg|High-rise dorms, St. Mary's church in the