One of the many universities my cohort and I will be visiting when we are on the east coast, is the University of Pennsylvania. This university is in an urban environment, right inside Philadelphia. Because it is in an urban environment, the layout of the campus is more compact than spread out, with the core campus covering about 300 acres. It is an Ivy League university that was established in 1740, and it considers itself to be the first university to have both a school for undergraduate students, and a school for graduate students. Within the undergraduate section, there are four different schools: 1) The College at Penn ( arts and sciences), 2) The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 3) The School of Nursing, and lastly 4) The Wharton School of Business. Coincidentally, my grandfather was the dean of the Wharton School of Business for a period of time.
One of the aspects of academics the University of Pennsylvania puts emphasis on is research. It has a research budget of $899 billion dollars, and it is a nationally ranked research university, one of the top five. It has a very good student to faculty ratio, which is 6:1. UPenn is highly selective, and according to Forbes, it is the sixth most selective school, with an average of a 10% acceptance rate.
Some aspects of the social life on campus include Greek life. From what I have read about what alumni have today, Greek life is prominent at the UPenn campus, although it does not completely dominate the social aspect of the school. One thing that concerned me a bit, was the amount of diversity on campus. 42% of the student body was White, 33% was unreported or unknown, 12.8% was Asian, and all other races including Black, Hispanic, Native American, were all less than 6%. I think that for me personally, the amount of ethnic diversity at a school would be an important aspect that I would value greatly.
What I do like about the university is that it is in a city, so you are not constricted to being just on the campus, and you can learn about and be part of the city as well. The university also emphasizes research, which is something I would hope to do some day. I cannot wait to visit the school and see if it is how I expected it to be, and if not, how it will be different.