Our Extended Classroom


Whether tutoring in a local school, researching in the city archives, working for a nonprofit organization, or learning the ropes at an investment bank, Penn students find ways to apply their learning in real-world settings throughout the city. These opportunities are one of the main reasons that more than 80 percent of Penn undergraduates complete internships

Research and Learning

From its ethnic neighborhoods to its public schools, Philadelphia is fertile ground for students to examine the problems, dynamics, and possibilities of the American urban landscape—whether through Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships or other nonprofit and community initiatives. Many of Penn’s freshman seminars also make use of the city: students taking Theatre in Philadelphia, for example, attend plays, tour local theatres, and meet with theatre artists.

Service Learning

Students and faculty throughout the University put knowledge to use in service of Philadelphia’s communities.

A few examples:

  • Through Student-run CommuniTech, Penn Engineering students supply computers and teach technology skills to neighborhoods in need.
  • Wharton students apply their ideas to help Philadelphia organizations and businesses tackle problems—such as working with the Red Cross to create a fire safety program for local schools.
  • Nursing students provide free health care to underserved populations at the United Community Clinics.