Don't be surprised if you see a Penn professor on campus, delivering a 60-second Lectures on Locust Walk, cheering from the sidelines for one of our sports teams, or sharing in the fun of “cookie nights" in our College Houses.
Our nearly 5,000 professors are accessible, approachable, and visible on campus. Their commitment to our students goes beyond academics, with some choosing to live alongside undergraduates in the College Houses.
Penn’s professors teach and carry out research across the University, while offering an integrated, multi-disciplinary point of view to our undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students.
Our faculty members are able to keep a fresh perspective, thanks to interactions with students of all ages, who each come to Penn with their own unique ideas and life experiences.
Penn Integrates Knowledge Faculty
Our Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professors interact across departments, so they come to the classroom with a wide range of knowledge—fuel that drives innovation and creativity.
PIK professors have dual appointments, which means they’re on the faculty of two different Penn schools. Imagine the unique viewpoint and knowledge of a professor who works in both anthropology and filmmaking, medicine and ethics, chemistry and engineering, or epidemiology and health psychology. These unusual academic pairings give PIK professors an approach that teaches you a holistic way to anticipate, comprehend, and address challenges you encounter in your career and in everyday life.
As a Penn student, you’ll have at least one faculty advisor—either someone who is assigned to you or someone with whom you’ve developed a rapport and a mentoring relationship.
Your advisors help you build a set of curricular and extracurricular experiences that match your interests and goals and take you beyond the books. Along with your advisor, you’ll explore ideas, generate questions, and seek solutions. Your mentor will help you create a path that may lead to developing your own research theses, or to assisting professors in their research projects.
Remember, creating these one-on-one relationships is important while you’re at Penn, and many connections last a lifetime. If you expect to apply to graduate school, your mentor can provide a recommendation as someone who knows you well and is inspired to advocate on your behalf.
In each of Penn’s College Houses, tenured professors live among undergraduates as on-site mentors, advisers, and companions. Meals are shared in faculty kitchens, and lively discussion and unexpected learning happen every day in the faculty living rooms. Your interactions with Faculty Directors add another layer to our engaging culture, as the Directors are carefully chosen from a group who truly love daily immersion with our diverse, thought-provoking students.
College House Directors and Fellows make many positive contributions to College House life. In fact, our faculty become better teachers by living among their students and seeing firsthand how they think, communicate, and learn. Across campus, teaching methods and lesson plans often evolve as Directors and Fellows learn from Penn students.