Introduction to Penn

A Message from Penn President Amy Gutmann.

Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn has a proud tradition of translating knowledge into social-minded action that dates back to our founder, Benjamin Franklin. This tradition of active pragmatism, articulated in Franklin’s maxim “well-done is better than well-said,” lives today through the inclusive policies, innovative work, and impactful engagement of our faculty, students, and staff.

Penn President Amy Gutmann

Penn President Amy Gutmann


Scholarship and Learning: Academic life at Penn is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

Penn's award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

Access and Affordability: Financial need is not a barrier to a Penn education. We admit undergraduate students without regard to need, and offer “all-grant” financial aid packages, substituting grants for loans.

Penn’s undergraduate financial aid budget has grown by 161 percent over the past nine years, meeting the full financial need of students, even during one of the country's most difficult economic periods. In 2015-16, we estimate that the average grant for students receiving aid will be $43,800.

Dynamic and Diverse Community: Penn is committed to creating a community of students, scholars, and staff that reflects the diversity of the world we live in. Towards this end, the University established its Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence in 2011, leading to a 35 percent increase in minority faculty and a 16 percent increase in female faculty.

Nearly half of our undergraduates self-identify as students of color, more than half are women, 12 percent are among the first in their families to attend college, and 12 percent are international. The spectrum of valuable perspectives and ensuing dialogue are key contributors to educational excellence and an inclusive, dynamic campus environment.


Integrated Knowledge: Solving today's complex problems requires knowledge that crosses traditional boundaries. True to our roots, Penn encourages both intellectual and practical pursuits, and has attracted some of the most eminent interdisciplinary scholars and teachers working today through our Penn Integrates Knowledge program.

$928 million
Research budget

Research Discovery: Penn is one of the world's most powerful research and teaching institutions, with a research budget last year of nearly $1 billion and more than 4,000 active faculty members. The scale and interdisciplinary character of research and teaching sets Penn apart, and our highly ranked Perelman School of Medicine is one of the top recipients of NIH funding in the country.


Beautiful Urban Campus: Expansive college greens and recreational spaces. Landmark architecture. Twelve schools connected on a single campus. Penn's geographical unity is unique among Ivy League schools, fostering our integrated approach to education, scholarship, and research.

In the past decade, our campus has added 5 million square feet of new and renovated space and 25 percent more green space, the latter most visibly represented by Penn Park, a 24-acre expanse of playing fields and open land that connects campus to Center City Philadelphia and surrounding neighborhoods.

Community Engagement: At Penn, civic engagement is an integral part of campus life. Situated near the heart of Philadelphia, our country's only World Heritage City, Penn is a national leader in academically-based community service through our Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Penn continues to deepen its longstanding commitment to the local community in numerous ways, with 13,000 University students, faculty, and staff participating in more than 300 volunteer and community service projects each year.

Thank you for visiting our home on the Web. I invite you to explore the people and programs of Penn.