Upon tracing the history of Pennsylvania University, we can account for its position as a leading research institution from the very outset of its foundation. In 1749 Benjamin Franklin issued a pamphlet, which was dedicated to the organization of education in the state of Pennsylvania. His idea of a new school was based on the concept of higher education, which would give ornamental knowledge and practical skills necessary for doing public service. Such a program became the first modern curriculum in the United States.
Four undergraduate schools of Pennsylvania University offer nearly 90 majors. Its admission rate ranks eleventh after such U.S. institutions of higher education as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Georgetown and Washington University in St. Louis. The university ranks as the eighth most selective after Yale, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Caltech, Columbia and Stanford. Since 2001 the US News and World Report Best College Survey has ranked Pennsylvania University among the top five universities.
Numerous institutions of Pennsylvania University include the Institute for Medicine and Engineering, the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, the Joseph Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies, the Executive Master's in Technology Management Program, the Roy Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management and the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology.
Focusing on interdisciplinary education and research, the university pays particular attention to joint degree programs and such unique majors as History and Sociology of Science, Biological Basis of Behavior, Political Science and Economics, Logic, Philosophy, Information and Computer Sciences.
Joint degree programs, like the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, Nursing and Healthcare Management, the Jerome Fisher Program In Management and Technology award candidates degrees from multiple facilities upon successful completion of both schools.
Shortly after its establishment, Pennsylvania University has become a recognized leader in the humanities, sciences, medicine, education, engineering, law and business. The undergraduate and graduate schools of Pennsylvania University are among the most influential and prestigious schools in the nation. The best regarded departments include those of anthropology, African and American literature, art history, biology, computer science, bioengineering, English, economics, political science, history, psychology, French and Spanish.
The enrollment of Pennsylvania University sits at 10,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students, who are served by 4,500 faculty members. Out of the total student population nearly 41% of students are Asian, Hispanic or Black. 50.8% of all students comprise women. The budget of Pennsylvania University makes $4.25 billion and is considered to be the largest budget within Ivy League.
Since the first University of Pennsylvania hospital was opened in 1874, a steady stream of successful doctors, researchers and nurses has graduated from its halls.
One of the oldest and celebrated traditions of Pennsylvania University is Ivy Day, when the students place an Ivy Stone on the building to commemorate the event.