Penn provides a wide variety of academic options to complement the courses of study outlined above.
Freshman Seminar Program
The Freshman Seminar Program offers small classes designed to bring freshmen from all Schools of the University into close contact with scholars and teachers representing a broad range of disciplines. Each year, nearly one hundred seminars are offered, assuring that a seminar is available to every freshman who wants to take one. Enrollment is limited to twenty in each seminar, so students can develop close intellectual relationships with the faculty member and with other students in the class. The program sponsors offerings in such traditional disciplines as English and history, as well as in such interdisciplinary fields as health and archeology. Freshmen receive a booklet describing all of the seminars before registration.
Preceptorials are short, small, non-credit seminars generated by students and led by some of the University’s most distinguished faculty. The program is designed to foster student-faculty interaction and learning for its own sake; to that end, there are no grades or tests. Most Preceptorials meet three times over the course of the semester, for 90 minutes per session, but some may last one full day. There are no more than fifteen students in a Preceptorial, and they are open to undergraduate students of any year or School. There is no fee to participate, and all expenses, including food and travel, are covered. Topics have ranged from an intensive study of the groundbreaking Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education to learning how to sail.
Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit
The Office of Advanced Placement reviews records for all college-level study completed before matriculation at the University of Pennsylvania. Students who wish to receive credit for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate examinations should request that the Educational Testing Service or International Baccalaureate Organization forward their official score reports directly to the Office of Advanced Placement. Credit is awarded for high achievement based on recommendations from the appropriate academic departments.
International students who have completed “13th year” secondary school programs abroad should also contact this office concerning advanced placement and possible credit for accelerated studies.
Students who have undertaken coursework at an accredited college or university prior to matriculating at Penn may transfer credit for those academically-based courses that are similar in focus to the Penn curriculum. Credit is awarded on the basis of official transcripts and course syllabi. All requests for credit evaluation must be completed within one year after the student matriculates. Further information on transfer of credits is available online at www.college.upenn.edu/courses/ap.html.