Graduate Admissions

Graduating students talk about why they chose PennDesign, and how they were changed by the School.

Why PennDesign?

Influence

Generations of PennDesign graduates have shaped their profession through their practice and scholarship, and the School continues to train the future leaders of design’s many fields.

Philadelphia

One of the most affordable cities of its size in the Northeast, Philadelphia is replete with history, architectural and landscape landmarks, and diverse neighborhoods. Its arts and music scene rivals that of Austin, Montreal, and Seattle. 

Interdisciplinary Study

PennDesign is unique among U.S. graduate institutions in bringing together architecture, landscape architecture, city and regional planning, historic preservation, and the fine arts; students are encouraged to take classes across disciplines.

Making a Difference

PennDesign’s architecture department was originally established in 1890 with the express purpose of improving the built environment for Philadelphians. Still at the heart of the School’s curriculum are community-based, site-specific studios, and students can receive funding and guidance for social impact projects through PennPraxis. 

A School within a University

PennDesign students enjoy access to all 12 Schools at the University, including Wharton, Engineering, and Social Policy. Dual degree offerings and certificates add further breadth to study at PennDesign.

Meaningful Research

PennDesign faculty and students work on socially relevant initiatives led by PennPraxis, the Center for Environmental Building Design, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and the Penn Institute for Urban Research (IUR).

Pragmatism

PennDesign retains the commitment of inventor Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s first president and longtime trustee, to applied research. Art and design are understood as acting in dialogue with society for the betterment of humanity.

Community

Relationships are at the heart of the PennDesign experience, and they’re built outside the studio as well as in. Along with Happy Hour and the annual Beaux Arts Ball, programs initiated by Student Affairs, Student Council and student groups like DiverseDesign help form bonds for a lifetime.