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Academics

HOW MANY CLASSES DO MOST PEOPLE TAKE IN A SEMESTER?

Most students take 4-5 classes a semester. We recommend starting with 4 in your first semester to ease into things— you'll work with your advisor to create a plan for graduating on time.

CAN I TAKE SUMMER CLASSES BEFORE STARTING AT PENN?

Yes! Many transfers have taken classes the summer before they started at Penn! Set up a meeting with your advisor if this is something you're interested in.

HOW DO MY CREDITS TRANSFER OVER? WHAT ARE CU'S?

It's definitely confusing to adjust to Penn's academic vocabulary. Most classes count for 1 CU (1 credit), with some 0.5 credit classes offered. If you're coming from a quarter system school and are worried about how your credits will transfer, most of your classes should transfer over with a full credit. 

Getting credits approved is notoriously slow and difficult sometimes, but we've been through it and we're here to help. 

WHAT CLASSES SHOULD I TAKE?

The best resources for planning your schedule: the DP's guide to classes that double-count (classes that fulfill multiple requirements), Penn Course Plan, and Penn Course Review. As an incoming transfer, you'll be registering after returning students have already selected their fall courses but before incoming freshmen.

 

Student Life

HOW DO CLUBS HANDLE RECRUITMENT FOR TRANSFERS?

Clubs at Penn can be competitive, especially joining as a sophomore or junior. Be active and involved when clubs are recruiting in the fall and spring and cast a wide net— clubs are a great way to join communities on campus. Mentioning your transfer experience can even work in your favor!

HOW DO TRANSFERS GET INVOLVED IN GREEK LIFE?

Formal recruitment happens in the spring semester, but since you're not a freshman, you can participate in fall recruitment if you're interested in that. The process is called Cold Open Bidding (COBing) and each Greek organization has a different way of handling it, but it's generally less structured than formal recruitment in January.

If you were already in a Greek organization at your previous institution, you can talk with the respective Penn chapter to figure out joining if that's something that interests you. Penn also has professional Greek life like business/health fraternities if you're not interested in social Greek life. 

Only about a quarter of Penn students participate in Greek life— it's there if you want it, but there are plenty of other communities (like TSO!) that you can be immersed in.

HOW OFTEN DO PEOPLE GO INTO THE CITY?

Center City is accessible by walking or by SEPTA, Philly's transportation network. There are subway and trolley stations very close by campus, and it's incredibly easy to go into the city to get food or study at a coffee shop.