The University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as “Penn”) is a leading private research university (note that nearly all US universities named after their state are public-supported—Penn is an exception to this rule).
The sixth-oldest institution of higher learning in the country, Penn was the brain child of American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who also served as its first president. Franklin’s educational ideas were highly innovative for the time, inclining more towards the teaching of practical skills and preparation for the learned professions, in contrast to the traditional curriculum based on the Classical languages, literature, and history, which aimed primarily to produce ministers and “gentlemen.”
Accordingly, the first medical school in the 13 colonies (now known as the Perelman School of Medicine) was founded at Penn in 1765. Also, thanks in large part to Franklin’s guiding principles, the first business school in the country (the Wharton School) opened there in 1881.
Penn has had a major impact on American politics and history: nine signers of the Declaration of Independence were either graduates of the university or members of its Board of Trustees. Hundreds of Penn graduates have served in the two houses of Congress, at the cabinet level of the executive branch, and as ambassadors in their country’s diplomatic service. Nearly 50 have served as governors of many different states. Finally, Penn can boast three US Supreme Court Justices (James Wilson, Owen J. Roberts, and William J. Brennan) and two presidents (William Henry Harrison attended the Penn medical school, but did not graduate, and Donald Trump received his bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School).
Located in racially and economically diverse West Philadelphia, Penn today has a student body that is “majority minority,” comprising numerous African American, Hispanic, and Native American students, as well as many international students (just under 500 in all) hailing from East Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere.
Among notable alumni we may mention:
Altogether, some 28 Penn-connected persons have been recipients of the Nobel Prize, including:
What does this school look for?
Median SAT Score
Median ACT Score
How much does it cost to attend?
|Income||Average Net Cost|
Averages for 10 years after enrolling
What's it like to attend this school?
Full time on-campus stats
Where will you be attending?
34th & Spruce Street,
Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.
Who are University of Pennsylvania's Most influential alumni?
University of Pennsylvania's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Medical, Social Work, and Business. University of Pennsylvania’s most academically influential people include Noam Chomsky, Ezra Pound, and Warren Buffett.
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