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Any advice with course registration? (ex. should I make my preferred math class my first choice?)


This is the general order I tend to follow:

-small, popular classes (ex. major electives, classes w limited spots, classes that you need to take a certain section of)

-larger, required classes in the time sections I prefer

-required classes (this depends on your major - if major students have trouble getting into these classes, you should list higher)

-gen eds that are flexible (usually don't care too much about taking these during this specific semester, or there are alternates that I could take instead)

I'd also say I'll put A as my first choice, then B as my alternate, then B as my second choice, then C as my alternate, then C as my third choice, and so on...

This has worked fairly well for me, but it's definitely not perfect

Kindred Koala, 11/7/19, 9:36PM

I generally don't register for my required courses during advanced registration (since I know I'll get into them during regular registration) and instead rank fun/harder-to-get-into classes first! I wouldn't stress too much about it though, during the first couple weeks of school there's plenty of time to drop and add classes.

Funky Flamingo, 2019 November 07, 10:15 PM

Anyone know the class recommendations per score range for the online Math diagnostic exam? (Got a 12/25)


As of 2018-2019:

Absent Aardvark, April 8th 6:02 PM

Is there any advantage of buying a laptop through CampusExpress? Will Penn install all my software like Microsoft and Adobe? And if I break my laptop on campus will they fix it for free?


Someone feel free to correct me on this, but I'm pretty sure there's no benefit whatsoever. Also, did you mean ComputerConnection instead of CampusExpress? Either way, you would still have to pay for software like Microsoft and Adobe, and if you broke it they'd probably either ship it to the laptop provider or make you do it yourself.

Absent Aardvark, June 3rd 5:42 PM

Why do most Quakers recommend taking the BFF dining plan (most dining dollars/least swipes)?

// When I first read the dining plans, my first impression was that the AFK (16 swipes/week & $140 dining dollars) would be the wisest decision. I eat 2-3 meals a day and having 16 swipes would guarantee me that routine.

Upon reading some posts, I noticed that most (not all) Quakers recommend the plan with the most dining dollars & least swipes. I can't help but wonder the reasoning behind this. 8 swipes/week would get me 1 meal a day and $400 dining dollars doesn't seem enough to let me achieve my routine. Won't I end up having to spend out of my allowance/own money to do this? //


Honestly, dining dollars are the best investment because you can use them at anytime, you can buy a good variety of things, and usually you can spend them somewhere that's immediately close to you. Yes, dining halls are nice because the food is unlimited, but they also have weird hours that might not fit with your schedule. And unless it's NCH, the food is pretty meh. Chances are even if you get the plan with the least swipes, you're still not going to use all the swipes because of inconvenience, meh-quality food, or the fact that people at Penn love to eat out and bond over eating out.

Absent Aardvark, June 3rd 5:37 pm

Can anyone share/recommend great sample schedules for an incoming freshman? (not only major-entry courses)

If it's relevant, I plan to take either Economics/Psychology as a major & Chinese as a foreign language.

Can't find any solid sample schedules & the one on the Economics department page only includes major-entry courses.

Tips would also be appreciated!


Although this isn't directly major-specific tips, here are some of the things I keep in mind when picking classes and scheduling each semester:

  1. Be realistic - are you really going to wake up Mondays at 9? If there's a later section, it might be better to pick that one.
  2. Don't jam every day full - leave yourself a less busy day (most people to Fridays) so you can either spend time with friends, explore the city, or just catch up on work!
  3. How long of a day? - this is actually an important question! If you have 3 classes on TR, do you want them 9-6 with breaks, or 10:30-3 straight through? Some people prefer having space to catch a breath between classes, whereas on the other hand I prefer being done earlier and in a shorter amount of time!
  4. Course ratings - of course, ratings aren't everything (ex: a hard professor is definitely worth it if they're really well-rated! Professor quality makes such a difference in the experience), but if you're struggling to decide between different scheduling options maybe ratings can help influence your decisions (and hopefully get a better schedule).
  5. Don't forget to eat - this is actually stupidly easy to do when you have classes especially getting accustomed to Penn and full of excitement. Make sure you plan times to grab breakfast/lunch or have schedules where you can dip by Wawa, a food truck, or Pret in the middle!
Bovine Bear, May 26 2019, 5:58PM

If I get assigned a room (ex. too small) I don't like in the Quad freshman year, can I request to change or relocate to another room?


Yes but I think the chance of the request being granted is pretty low. I think once you see your room in person, regardless of where you're living, you'll find it to be decently sized. I lived in Hill double, which is one of the smallest rooms on campus, and it didn't feel small since you spend so much of your time outside of your room.

Zesty Zebra, May 23 2019, 4:57 PM

Do I have to be a Wharton student to join Penn's Business Fraternities? (freshman year)


Nope! Two of my friends in Engineering received bids for business frats. Definitely not a requirement.

Zesty Zebra, April 15th 2019, 3:09 PM

How costly is it to live/explore/eat in Philadelphia? (restaurants, movies, concerts, museums, etc.)


It's not very costly to live in Philly. Some of the best food is from the food trucks around campus which will usually run up to $8 at most for healthy portions. For sit-down restaurants, some of the most highly rated ones around the city are also cheaply priced with big portions, like Quality Taste (Jamaican) Koreana (Korean food, duh).

In terms of movies, most people go to the Cinemark near campus which is decently priced, although torrenting movies from the internet at home is always free! All the dope museums to explore like the Rodin Museum or Philly Art Museum have regular pay-what-you-wish dates/times where you can get in for at least one cent.

Concerts vary widely but can be the priciest thing on this list; if you're going to the Made in America festival or seeing another big name artist, expect to drop a couple hundred dollars on tickets. But smaller artists or local groups can be a lot cheaper, and some websites can get you student discounts. OpenArts Philly always has deals, and is currently giving out completely free tickets to students to see La Bohème at the opera! In general, if you want to explore/experience Philly, you won't run out of free and fun things to do.

Extroverted Eel, April 14 2019, 19:00

How far are CAS classes from the Hill? (Econ major here)


Many of the classes are pretty close to each other. Intro Econ classes are usually held in Meyerson Hall, which is just across the street from Hill. Other classes within CAS won't necessarily be that close, but they will certainly be within a couple of blocks, which is super manageable.

Zesty Zebra, April 14, 2019,  6:57 PM

Are residential programs worth it?


It's cool how many residential programs there are at Penn. :) I've heard that some are great; people become good friends, plus there are cool opportunities to explore your interests (trips, workshops, etc.). However, my experience was not amazing... I think it depends a bit on the RA (or whoever leads your residential program) and the size of your hall. I was happy that I got into a really competitive residential program in the Quad, but in the end, we only maybe had 2 events related to the program (besides free food every few weeks), and since my hall was so big, I felt a bit overwhelmed and didn't get close to anyone. The people in my hall are all unique and brilliant, so I regret not making more of an effort to get to know them.

Wallowing Whale, April 14, 2019, 6:50PM