University of Pennsylvania
#17 Overall Influence#10 Desirability Rank

University of Pennsylvania

Private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Admissions

What does this school look for?

Annual Applications

44,491

Acceptance

8%

Graduation Rate

95%

Median SAT Score

1485

Median ACT Score

33

Costs

How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)

$49,220

Fees (in-state)

$6,364

Net Cost for 60k Income

$12,552

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings

$131,600

Employed

90%

Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body

27K

Under-Grads

14K

Graduates

13K

The Campus

Where will you be attending?

Location

34th & Spruce Street, Philadelphia PA 19104-6303

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#6 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#6 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Social Work
#6 World Rank #4 USA Rank
Medical
#6 World Rank #5 USA Rank
Business
#9 World Rank #6 USA Rank
Nursing
#11 World Rank #10 USA Rank
Communications
#12 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Psychology
#14 World Rank #8 USA Rank
Anthropology
#14 World Rank #10 USA Rank
Economics
#16 World Rank #10 USA Rank
Law
#17 World Rank #14 USA Rank
Political Science
#18 World Rank #13 USA Rank
Biology
#19 World Rank #13 USA Rank
History
#20 World Rank #11 USA Rank
Literature
#21 World Rank #16 USA Rank
Computer Science
#21 World Rank #9 USA Rank
Sociology
#22 World Rank #18 USA Rank
Engineering
#30 World Rank #16 USA Rank
Chemistry
#32 World Rank #13 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#37 World Rank #14 USA Rank
Philosophy
#37 World Rank #16 USA Rank
Mathematics
#48 World Rank #19 USA Rank
Physics
#109 World Rank #37 USA Rank
Earth Sciences

Influential People

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 Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Medical. University of Pennsylvania’s most academically influential people include Noam Chomsky, Ezra Pound, and Warren Buffett.

Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky

American linguist, philosopher and activist

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Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound

American poet and critic

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Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett

American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist

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Elon Musk
Elon Musk

South African-born American entrepreneur

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William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams

American poet

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Hilary Putnam
Hilary Putnam

American philosopher

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Michael Behe
Michael Behe

American biochemist, author, and intelligent design advocate

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Ei-ichi Negishi
Ei-ichi Negishi

Japanese chemist

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William S. Paley
William S. Paley

American television executive

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Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.

American businessman and son of U.S. President Donald Trump

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Martin Seligman
Martin Seligman

American psychologist and writer

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William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison

American general and politician, 9th President of the United States

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About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

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:

  • Philosopher, Hilary Putnam
  • Famed linguist, Noam Chomsky
  • Investors, Warren Buffett & Eric Weinstein
  • Entrepreneurs, Elon Musk, Steve Wynn, & Sundar Pichai
  • Actors, Bruce Dern, Candice Bergen, Vanessa Bayer, & Elizabeth Banks
  • Broadway producer, Harold Prince
  • Stand-up comedian, Whitney Cummings
  • TV personalities, Andrea Mitchell & Marc Lamont Hill
  • Distinguished American poets, William Carlos Williams & Ezra Pound
  • Renowned architect, I.M. Pei
  • Blogger, Cenk Uygur
  • Kaw professor and political activist, Lawrence Lessig
  • African independence leader and first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah
  • 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump

Altogether, some 28 Penn-connected persons have been recipients of the Nobel Prize, including:

  • Christian Anfinsen —chemistry
  • Stanley Prusiner and Gerald Edelman, —physiology or medicine
  • Edmund Phelps, Lawrence Klein, and Simon Kuznets, —economics
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., —peace