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Student Life at Penn

2012 Convo

The University of Pennsylvania is located west of the downtown area of Philadelphia on a unified 260-acre campus and is conveniently located close to New York City and Washington, DC, as well as the New Jersey beaches, the Pocono Mountains, and the Chesapeake Bay.

Click here to view the Graduate Student Life at Penn brochure.


Aside from on-campus apartment buildings, students are able to find affordable living accommodations in several areas surrounding the University. Many students choose to live nearby the University in West Philadelphia or in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Center City Philadelphia, both of which are within walking distance of Penn. The University provides shuttle services throughout these neighborhoods in the evening and late at night. Students also reside in many other neighborhoods throughout the city, including Old City, Queen Village, Bella Vista, Society Hill, and the Art Museum area, all of which are accessible by public transportation with varying degrees of convenience.

Information on off-campus housing, including more detailed descriptions of Philadelphia's neighborhoods, can be found at For information regarding on-campus graduate housing, visit

Cultural Resources on the Penn Campus

studentsThe Annenberg Center is comprised of three theaters that are home to national, local, and student performing arts groups.

The Institute of Contemporary Art presents a stimulating schedule of changing exhibitions, performances of new music and dance, lectures, films, symposia, and tours.

The Morris Arboretum is an interdisciplinary center of the University and is home to a rare collection of trees and shrubs, along with classrooms, laboratories, greenhouses, a herbarium, and a library all situated on 166 acres in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia, seven miles northeast of the main campus.

The University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology houses galleries that feature materials from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, Asia, and the Greco-Roman Civilizations. Artifacts from native peoples in North and South America, Africa, and Polynesia are also on display.

Recreational FacilitiesSummer Softball Champions

Opened in September, 2011, Penn Park offers 24 acres of athletic fields, open recreational space, and pedestrian connections south of Walnut Street on the eastern edge of Penn’s campus. The Park’s athletic facilities includethe James “Ace” Adams field and Dunning-Cohen Champions field, both multipurpose NCAA regulation athletic fields; a 470- seat multipurpose stadium that is also an NCAA regulation women’s softball field; and 12 tennis courts with 200-seat viewing stands. Between these facilities are pathways, elevated bridge connections and open space for passive recreation, with 548 trees adorning the landscaped pathways for walking, biking and jogging.

Other facilities on campus include indoor tennis courts, squash courts, various athletic fields, the Class of 1923 Ice Rink, and two fitness centers, which together contain 27,000 square feet of fitness space, an olympic-size pool and co-ed sauna, basketball courts, climbing wall, golf simulator, Energy Zone juice bar, dance and group exercise studios, a fully-equipped Pilates studio, and locker and shower facilities. Graduate students are welcome toparticipate in the many club sports programs that Penn offers.

For more information on recreation at Penn, see

Points of Interest

The City of Philadelphia is a historic shrine, a great cultural center, and a metropolis that is undergoing dynamic growth. Among the City's most famous institutions, are the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Art Museum, and the Barnes Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of impressionist paintings in the world. Philadelphia is the home of several professional sports teams. There are theaters, museums, parks, a planetarium, and the Philadelphia Zoo (the nation's oldest) to accommodate everyone's interests. Fairmount Park, the largest intercity park in the U.S., provides opportunities for rowing, inline skating, and bicycling as well as jogging and nature trails.