UPenn Graduation Rate

January 9, 2023
By AdmissionSight

UPenn Graduation Rate

What Is The Graduation Rate For UPenn?

The University of Pennsylvania is a private, medium-sized institution of higher education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It has a total undergraduate enrolment of 10,106 full-time students, and the acceptance rate is only 5.68%, indicating that it is an exceptionally selective institution. Another widely utilized criterion for determining the rankings of institutions is the graduation rate. Aspiring Penn students might wonder, “What is the graduation rate for UPenn?” In 2021, the average UPenn graduation rate was 96%.

Getting a degree is everybody’s goal in attending college, right? Even though there is a lot more to education than getting a diploma with your name on it, graduating from college needs to be the top priority.

In the Student Right to Know Act passed in 1990, colleges and universities are required to report the graduation rate within 150% of the normal time for completion or graduation from the program, usually between 4 to 6 years. This requirement was established to ensure that students had the opportunity to graduate on time.

Group of students seated around a table having a discussion

Graduation rates can be useful indications of the quality of a school; however, a low rate is not always indicative of a school with a lower overall quality. Many different factors contribute to a rate that is less than ideal, and not all of them should discourage you from applying.

Now, let’s take a look at the UPenn graduation rates as viewed from different angles; from the completion period to ethnicity.

UPenn Graduation Rates in 2021

Students Completing a Bachelor’s Degree

Completion Period

 Graduation Rate
Within 4 Years 89.20%
Within 5 Years 95.10%
Within 6 Years 96.20%


By Gender (within 6 years; 150% normal time) Graduation Rate
Women 97.80%
Men 94.60%


By Race/Ethnicity (within 6 years; 150% normal time) Graduation Rate
White 95.90%
African-American 96.40%
Hispanic 95.00%
Asian 97.50%
American Indian or Alaskan Native 100.00%
Unknown 98.10%
Non-resident alien 95.10%

The information above was obtained through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). This system compiles information that is self-reported by colleges and universities for the purpose of making such information openly available to students and parents.

How Many Credits Do You Need To Graduate From UPenn?

Now, that we have tackled the UPenn graduation rate and its importance, another factor that you must examine is the requirements of graduation for this institution.

Course units, or CUs, are used as a general measure of academic work and progress toward completion of a degree in all of Penn’s undergraduate programs, as well as in many of Penn’s graduate and professional programs.

Penn’s usage of CUs is in line with the practices of comparable educational institutions such as Brown, Duke, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, all of which employ a system of academic credit that is analogous to Penn’s.

A man in a cafe with his hand under his chin

A course unit is a standard measure used in the education industry to denote the amount of academic work that students are expected to complete for a specific length of time, most often a (semester or summer). A CU (or a fraction of a CU) is the fundamental unit of progress toward the completion of a degree. A CU can reflect a variety of academic work that is associated with a variety of academic programs.

In most cases, one CU is equivalent to four semester hours of study.

How many credits do you need to graduate from UPenn? To get a bachelor’s degree from any of Penn’s undergraduate programs, students need to finish between 32 and 40 (and often even more) course units. The amount of time and coursework necessary to earn a graduate or professional degree vary in the number of CUs required and number of years of study.

The total number of course units required for graduation ranges anywhere from 32 to 36, depending on how many course units are required for the student’s chosen major. There is a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20 required course units for each major.

The Bachelor of Arts & Sciences degree requirements in the College provide a flexible structure to ignite curiosity and frame opportunities while guiding you toward two separate goals: general education across a broad spectrum of arts and sciences and focused study in a major.

As part of the General Education requirement, you will participate in the intellectual work of a variety of disciplines spanning a wide range of topics in the arts and sciences. This will help you build abilities as well as approaches to knowledge. The Foundational Approaches and Sector requirements are the two components that make up the General Education requirements.

The requirement for the Major gives students the chance to acquire an in-depth familiarity with a subfield of human knowledge and a sufficient command of the techniques in thinking and analysis.

The Elective requirement provides you with the flexibility to pursue interests that may not be directly related to your major and that go beyond those that are covered in the General Education Curriculum.

Students are expected to earn a certain minimum number of course units in the arts and sciences to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree when they follow the College’s curriculum.

The overall credit-hour requirement is established by the primary major, and it is designed to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education throughout the University, with an emphasis on the Arts and Sciences, while also maintaining a manageable number of classes to be completed in their four years of study.

What Do Most UPenn Graduates Do?

The UPenn graduation rate was 96% in the previous year. After graduation, or even during their senior year in college, students start to prepare for employment and other post-graduate plans. The University of Pennsylvania has reported an overall placement rate of 78% for the graduating Class of 2021.

University students looking happy while standing outside of the main entrance

What do most UPenn graduates do?  Most students were hired for positions in the Financial Services sector, which totaled more than 200 students placed. In the field of finance, around 186 students were working in a variety of different functions across the industry.

The graduates of the Class of 2021 at UPenn received salaries that ranged from 20,000 to 200,000 US Dollars. In addition, the average signing bonus was reported to be USD 7,900.

Let’s discover more about UPenn’s job placement statistics in 2021.

UPenn Placement Highlights

  • Placement Rate: 78%
  • Median Salary: USD 82,750
  • Knowledge Rate: 80%
  • Place of Recruitment: Massachusetts (60)
  • Accepted pre-placement offers: 53%
  • Finding jobs through Career Services: 39%
  • Highest employment industry: Financial services (30%)
  • Top employers: McKinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and others

In 2021, there were approximately 2,579 students who graduated, however only 2,076 of those students indicated what they were doing after graduation. It was revealed that 78 percent of the students who responded were working full-time jobs, 15 percent of them had chosen to continue their studies, 4 percent of the students were looking for work, and 3 percent of the students had alternative post-graduation plans such as:

  • Employed in Part-Time Jobs: 1.3%
  • Aiming for Higher Education: 1.2%
  • Military: 0.6%
  • Volunteering: 0.1%
  • Not Actively Looking for Jobs: 0.5%

The results of the survey, which included 680 replies, showed that the median salary was USD 82,750. This figure compares to USD 85,000, which was estimated for the class of 2020, and USD 77,000, which was recorded for the class of 2019.

Furthermore, the University of Pennsylvania is regarded as one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States and is responsible for cultivating some of the most brilliant minds.

Since its founding in 1855, Penn University has conferred degrees on more than 319,000 students, many of whom have gone on to serve as governors, senators, and justices on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Several people who have gone on to become CEOs of major companies have ties to the university, including Nobel laureates, Guggenheim Fellows, and others. Notable alumni of the school include prominent figures such as Anil Ambani, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Banks, Elon Musk, Ivanka Trump, John Legend, Noam Chomsky, Sachin Pilot, Sundar Pichai, and Tory Burch, amongst many more.

Is A Degree From UPenn Worth It?

Benjamin Franklin laid the groundwork for what would later become the University of Pennsylvania, one of the nine colonial universities that were established before the United States declared its independence. The University of Pennsylvania, more commonly referred to as Penn University, is a private Ivy League research university that was chartered in the year 1755. Penn University has a rich history.

The university is widely regarded as one of the most venerable destinations for post-secondary education in the United States, and it can be found in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia. It has a research budget of over $1.1 billion and is widely regarded as one of the most influential educational and scientific organizations in the world.

A woman sitting by the window, smiling while writing.

There was a total of 6,392 international students attending Penn for a variety of programs in the fall of 2021.

If you are still contemplating, “Is a degree from UPenn worth it?” The University of Pennsylvania came in at number seven on the list of universities in the United States of America that was compiled by U.S. News & World Report for the academic year 2022-2023.

UPenn is commonly referred to as the “Social Ivy” since students at this university lead active lives outside of the classroom and the mentality of “work hard, play hard” dominates the campus. However, despite the laid-back atmosphere, the academic standards at this school are quite high.

There are a total of 12 schools within the University of Pennsylvania, four of which provide 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. UPenn came in as number one of the best colleges in the country for business.

Apart from the high UPenn graduation rate, the school’s first-year retention rate is a widely recognized indicator of how satisfied students are at a specific institution. UPenn has an astonishing 98% of first-year students,  one of the highest rates in the country.

While there is no definite approach to assessing whether a given college is appropriate for a particular student, it is safe to conclude that many students who choose UPenn are pleased with their decision.

With the school’s prestige comes an extremely challenging admissions process. The UPenn Admissions Committee will remember if your application if you can achieve a near-perfect GPA in the most challenging courses, engage in meaningful interests and community issues, and show that you can take charge of your own goals by acting on your beliefs and principles.

None of this is simple, but if you strongly desire to attend Penn, you can discover ways to demonstrate your willingness to be part of the institution. College admissions experts like AdmissionSight are eager to help you achieve your goals and attend your dream school.

At AdmissionSight, we have over ten years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. On average, 75% of our students are admitted to an Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech, one of the highest track records in the industry. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.

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