Introduction to the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania combines tradition and innovation. From modest beginnings in 1740 as a college for the “complete education” of youth, the University has become one of the foremost research and teaching institutions in the world.  Its four undergraduate and twelve graduate and professional Schools now comprise more than 20,000 students and 1,700 faculty, working in scores of disciplines and fields. Despite the extensive evolution Penn has experienced since graduating its first class of seven students, the fundamental purpose of the University has remained the same: the continued improvement of the human condition through the pursuit of knowledge.
The intellectual curiosity that sustained and nourished Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder, can be seen today in each of the University’s academic programs. The University is unique among its peers in that all of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional Schools are located on its 262-acre campus in West Philadelphia. Every course of study Penn offers is pursued within this ten-block radius, all integrated to create a unique intellectual milieu in which faculty, graduate and undergraduate students foster a culture of enrichment and exploration.
The spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration pervades all of the University’s programs.  The academic strength and vitality of each of its Schools is augmented by those around it, fostering synergies among undergraduate programs and with the graduate and professional Schools.  This is an educational environment that prepares students to contribute to an increasingly diverse and challenging world.
This Academic Bulletin details programs and requirements for each of the four undergraduate Schools, as well as academic options available to all undergraduates at Penn.  It also provides brief descriptions of all of the courses offered to undergraduates.  We invite you to use this Bulletin – as well as our webpage, www.upenn.edu – to explore the richness that is a Penn education.