Students posing for group picture

Civic Engagement at Penn

Civic engagement is more than philanthropy - it’s central to the intellectual experience at Penn. 


Whether you choose to design a business model for a nonprofit organization, help improve education at local schools, or lead public health initiatives, you can apply what you learn in the classroom in service of positive change.

The impact of Penn’s civic outreach begins in our immediate neighborhoods and extends around the world, wherever our programs will help the most.

First, Be a Good Neighbor

Every day, we have experiences that show us why Philadelphia is called “the City of Brotherly Love,” and we aspire to do our part to be a good neighbor with appreciation and respect for our hometown.

Our landmark programs and initiatives channel our best ideas and human energy into proactive connections with local communities. Our students have helped improve education at local schools, fostered public health, stimulated economic development, and turned parking lots into beautiful green spaces. The generous spirit of our students guides us and helps the entire Penn community grow while working and learning in service to society.

Our Global Impact

Penn is a leader in recruiting international faculty and is home to one of the largest and most diverse international communities in the Ivy League, so it’s only natural that our civic engagement projects extend far beyond the city limits. 

We partner with communities, organizations, and governments around the world to build networks, share ideas, and look for innovative, cross-disciplinary solutions to global problems.

Our campus is incredibly welcoming to international students, helping them transition to life in Philadelphia and embracing their contributions to the Penn community. The sheer number of nationalities, religions, and points of view represented on Penn’s campus make it the perfect place to prepare for life and leadership in an increasingly diverse world.