Extracurricular Activities at UPenn

August 2, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Extracurricular Activities at UPenn

The UPenn experience is influenced in a wide variety of ways by the student clubs on campus. Especially the extracurricular activities at UPenn, they concentrate on a wide variety of interests, including those in the social, cultural, athletic, and professional spheres.

While maintaining the extensive resources of a large, top-tier university, the University of Pennsylvania has refocused its attention on the importance of its community, making it easier for students to form lasting friendships and expand their professional networks. We will gain a deeper understanding of the extracurricular activities at UPenn that are made available to its students.

What is UPenn known for?

What is UPenn known for, and where is it located? Benjamin Franklin, an inventor, printer, and future founding father of the United States, established the University of Pennsylvania in 1740. The University of Pennsylvania is a private institution that offers undergraduate and graduates education and was founded by Franklin.

The University of Pennsylvania, the fifth oldest university in the United States and the first to offer both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, had its beginnings as a charity school and a house of worship. Penn is now the first university in the world to offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Upenn building during sunset.

Over the course of its nearly three centuries of existence, the University of Pennsylvania has steadily built a solid reputation for itself as one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the entire country.

In point of fact, Penn is one of the eight prestigious private universities that make up the Ivy League.

The urban campus of the University of Pennsylvania encompasses 299 acres and can be found in the center of Philadelphia’s historic downtown district.

The total number of full-time undergraduate students enrolled at the institution as of the fall semester of 2021 is 10,106. The total number of currently enrolled students at the University of Pennsylvania is 28,038. This includes 12,924 graduate students attending the university on a full-time basis and an additional 5,008 students attending classes on a part-time basis.

There are a total of 12 schools within the University of Pennsylvania, four of which offer undergraduate degrees: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, the Wharton School, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The Wharton School is widely regarded as one of the finest institutions of its kind anywhere in the world.

At least one-third of Wharton students’ classes are taught in UPenn’s other undergraduate schools, which contributes to the school’s reputation for providing an education that draws from multiple fields. Wharton takes great pride in its adaptable academic program, which gives first-year students the opportunity to pursue interests unrelated to the business world, such as a yen for the written word or an aptitude for political science.

Students who take advantage of this method of instruction are better prepared for careers after college in virtually any sector.

In addition to its many excellent academic programs, the University of Pennsylvania is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious research institutions in the United States. The annual research budget at the university is significantly more than one billion dollars.

Penn is well-known for placing a significant focus on undergraduate teaching, as evidenced by the institution’s more than 5,000 currently active faculty members. Many of these faculty members have been honored with prestigious awards in recognition of their immense expertise and innovative contributions to their fields.

What’s it like to attend UPenn?

What’s it like to attend UPenn? It is commonly referred to as the “Social Ivy” because students at this university lead active lives outside of the classroom and the mentality of “work hard, play hard” permeates the campus. However, despite the laid-back atmosphere, the academic standards at this school are quite high.

Unlike its Ivy League counterparts like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford, the admissions process at UPenn is extremely competitive; however, the university is known for its robust social culture, which sets it apart from its peers in the Ivy League.

Group of students listening intently to the teacher.

Exceptional academic performance is still required. Because of this, a significant number of the school’s students have the mentality that they should work hard but also have fun. Many of the most prestigious educational institutions have a strong reputation for being excessively stressful and too work-oriented. They take great pride in the fact that they maintain a healthy work-life or school-fun balance at Penn.

The University of Pennsylvania places a high value on well-rounded students who have impressive extracurricular profiles. Students at UPenn generally have positive impressions of the university and its community as a whole. Lessons are incredibly engaging, and the faculty members are of the highest caliber.

Additionally, it offers a wide variety of opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. Because there are so many different groups and organizations to choose from, it should be easy for anyone to find something that piques their interest.

What Extracurricular Activities are Available at UPenn?

What Kinds of Extracurricular Activities Does the University of Pennsylvania Offer? Your time at Penn will provide you with opportunities beyond those offered in the classroom. There is a club for virtually every interest at the University of Pennsylvania.

As part of the extracurricular activities at UPenn, students initiate and lead the formation of clubs, which exemplify our spirit of entrepreneurship. The diverse and robust intellectual, artistic, cultural, social, and recreational activities that are pursued by the Penn community are supported by more than 450 student-run organizations.


Penn students are skilled, talented, and active participants in the world of the performing arts, whether they are on stage or behind the scenes. Some of the extracurricular activities at UPenn celebrate its rich artistic and cultural heritage.

Organizations of the Performing Arts that are Run by Students

The Platt Performing Arts House at Penn provides a nurturing environment with a variety of program options that encourage creative exploration and expression. Platt is home to the Performing Arts Council, an organization that serves as an umbrella for more than 45 student-run organizations in the fields of comedy, spoken word, dance, theater, and music.

Both the Penn Chamber Orchestra and the Penn Symphony Orchestra

In addition to performing some pieces by Neo-classical composers, the repertoire that Penn’s Chamber Orchestra focuses on is that of the Classical Period.

Group of students looking at a laptop while talking.

The Symphony Orchestra is made up of musicians from all over the University community, with the majority of its members coming from other majors than music. The group gets together once a week for a total of four hours of rehearsal time, during which they present a repertoire that includes pieces from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

Penn Band

At the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Athletics oversees the activities of the Penn Band. It is one of the largest and most active student organizations on campus, putting on as many as one hundred performances throughout the course of the academic year and serving as the custodians of everything “Red and Blue.”


Through Penn Varsity Athletics, you can either watch or compete in the highest level of Ivy League and NCAA Division I athletic competition. This is true whether you’re a fan or a member of the team. Club sports provide opportunities to practice on a consistent basis, as well as the possibility to compete against schools from the surrounding area in a predetermined league or at regional tournaments.

Everyone is welcome to participate in intramural sports as part of the extracurricular activities at UPenn, from the seasoned athlete to the person who has never played a sport before. Its mission is to produce entertaining, risk-free, and challenging athletic programming that is geared toward athletes of varying skill levels.

Sports at the Varsity Level

Penn’s 33 men’s and women’s varsity teams, also known as the “Penn Quakers,” compete in NCAA Division I and have won 66 Ivy League titles in 18 different sports since the year 2000 alone. Penn’s teams are known as the “Penn Quakers.”

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • In-Ground Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • The Track and Field (Combined)
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Club Sports

There are over 36 active club sports at Penn, ranging from cricket to curling to ping pong, sailing to Tae Kwon Do, and more than 1,500 students participate in these sports.

Intramural Sports

More than 4,500 students take part in individual and team intramural leagues at Penn, competing in sports such as volleyball, kickball, softball, basketball, and ultimate Frisbee. These students range from novices to serious athletes.

A ball that got shoot in the basket of a court.

Best Clubs at UPenn

The advantage of attending UPenn is that you will have more freedom to make independent decisions regarding the courses you take and the extracurricular activities you participate in. Part of the extracurricular activities at UPenn is choosing which organizations’ clubs to sign up for is going to be one of the choices you have to make. This will depend on the kinds of things that interest you as well as the amount of fun that you are having. The following is a list of some of the best clubs at UPenn.

1. Management and Technology Club

You will gain an understanding of management principles and functions if you join this club. The members educate themselves through conversations with teachers and other experts in the field, as well as through discussions with one another. Joining this club will help you improve both your management abilities and your management knowledge.

2. Penn Actuarial Society

Through participation in this club, you will have the opportunity to broaden and deepen your understanding of actuarial science. The members have the opportunity to engage in conversation and generate ideas regarding current issues concerning finance and insurance. Investigate the organization further and submit an application to join.

3. The Penn Ki-Aikido club

Students at Penn have the opportunity to learn self-defense techniques through participation in the Ki-Aikido club. A great opportunity to integrate your body and mind is presented to you through the practice of Aikido. In addition to this, it is an excellent method for preserving one’s physical health and fitness.

4. Art Club

The creation of art is a form of self-expression. It enables members to engage in critical thinking and generate innovative ideas for projects. When new people join the club, they are encouraged to participate in enjoyable activities, meet other people, and form new friendships.

5. Canine Club 

Canine affairs are the topic of discussion in this club. Members are given the opportunity to gain knowledge regarding the various aspects of dog breeding. In this club, members discuss a wide variety of dog breeds and share information about them.

6. Comedy Club

Do you take pleasure in a hearty laugh? Students who are interested in the craft of comedy can meet up with one another in the Comedy Club. You can improve your skills in comedy by joining the club, where you can also learn new skills and approaches to comedy.

7. MUSE Penn Marketing

The Marketing Undergraduate Students Establishment is the only club in which you can exercise your creative potential and expand your knowledge of the marketing field; there is no other club like it (MUSE). This club at the University of Pennsylvania seeks to bring together students who have an interest in marketing or those who would love to know a thing or two about marketing if they had the opportunity.

8. Penn Fashion Collective

Do you consider yourself to be a fashionista? You will have the opportunity to engage and communicate with other students from the Penn community who share an interest in fashion if you participate in the Penn Fashion Collective. Your knowledge of fashion design, directing fashion shows, and writing about the fashion industry will all improve as a result of your participation in this club.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

9. Media & Entertainment Club

Students have the chance to broaden their knowledge of entertainment and media by participating in this club, which is both enjoyable and informative. The industries of media and entertainment cover a wide scope and have seen significant advancements over the past century. You will get to know other students while having fun and still gaining knowledge by participating in this club.

10. Undergraduate Sports Business Club

The Undergraduate Sports Business Club (USBC) will prepare you for an internship or to apply for any position within the sports industry by teaching you professional skills and providing you with knowledge about sports.

You will gain an understanding of the various types of sports as well as their management of them while participating in this club. All undergraduate students enrolled at Penn are eligible to become members.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Most Notable Happenings Throughout the Academic Year

Trolley Portal Gardens Opening

Students will have the opportunity to celebrate the official grand opening of Trolley Portal Gardens during this event. The area has been redesigned to feature an amenity that is warm and welcoming to people of all backgrounds.

Humans v. Robots

The discussion surrounding artificial intelligence is one that has been going on for some time and is gaining more and more traction. Because of this, the purpose of the workshop comparing humans and robots is to shed light on the various efforts being made to replace humans with robots. In addition to that, the part that Apollo played will be discussed.

Museum Mile

During this event, students will have the opportunity to walk 2000 steps while conversing and engaging with members of the Museum’s staff and other attendees. It is a wonderful opportunity to get some exercise and maintain one’s physical fitness. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the Buddhist sculptures of China, the Etruscan battle armor, and the stone pharaohs of Egypt.

Careers in Media

This is a gathering where topics relating to the media and other fields that are related will be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to learn from and engage in conversation with a group of Penn alumni currently employed in the media and other popular news outlets. Attending this event is highly recommended if you have any interest in pursuing a career in the publishing industry, journalism, or other related fields.

Floating Archives

This is a delightful pastime created by the talented artist Jacob Rivkin. It is a floating public art intervention that consists of animations that are hand-drawn and based on etchings and archived photographs. These animations will be projected from the floating platform onto an attached screen. During your time in Philadelphia, take a trip down the lower section of the Schuylkill River in a boat.


  • Spring Fling is a tradition at UPenn that has evolved over the past few years but has managed to maintain its status. The Spring Fling was a party that was held at the Quad over the course of a weekend and featured a concert (which typically featured a well-known musical act), games, and a variety of other activities. It began in the 1970s. Spring Fling is a one-day event that takes place today in Penn Park and only lasts for one day.
  • Tradition at the University of Pennsylvania began in 1916 and is known simply as “Hey Day.” On Hey Day, juniors don red shirts that have been specially made for the occasion, and they stroll down Locust Walk while carrying walking canes and biting into flat-brimmed hats. Some people believe that the name of this tradition comes from the fact that moving up from juniors to seniors represents the most exciting time of one’s college career. However, this theory is not universally accepted.
  • Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania is both the oldest football stadium in the United States (it was constructed in 1895) and the site of one of the most peculiar traditions associated with the university. During the transition from the third to the fourth quarter of football games, Penn fans traditionally throw toast onto the playing field. The custom dates back to the 1970s when alcohol was prohibited at sporting events, and it pays homage to the tradition of spectators raising a glass and chugging their beverages at the conclusion of the third quarter. When conditions are favorable, as many as 30,000 individual pieces of toast are tossed.

Why Are Extracurriculars Important?

Why Are Extracurriculars Important for UPenn students? Since its founding, UPenn’s Extracurricular life has been an important part of the university’s story. It is also one of the factors that contribute to the university’s well-earned reputation for being a “social” institution.

Like for example, approximately one-fourth of undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania are members of one of the school’s 48 fraternities or sororities, which are the center of the campus’s lively party scene. Hence, there are a lot of different ways that Penn students can find their community, explore their interests, and pursue their passions, and the student activities are a representation of all of those different ways. This is why student activities are so deeply important.

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your early applications, or want some advice on whether or not applying Early Decision or an Early Action is a good option for you, at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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