Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

UPenn CAS Strong Majors

lovemomlovemom Registered User Posts: 305 Member
What are some of the programs, undergrad majors that CAS is really in the top of that field?

I mean sort of like what major in CAS is like Wharton is to undergrad business? Or some subject in which CAS is outstanding in that field?
Post edited by lovemom on

Replies to: UPenn CAS Strong Majors

  • dleskdlesk Registered User Posts: 371 Member
    econ, math, physics, ppe
  • jelly88jelly88 Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    urban studies, most languages
  • mattwondermattwonder Registered User Posts: 1,267 Senior Member
    Anything related to medicine (bio, chem, psych, bbb, ...) because of the health system proximity.
  • nodnardnodnard Registered User Posts: 467 Member
    Penn is definitely not near the top in math. It's a good program, yes, but well behind many schools. It's a top 20-25 program, not top 5-10.
  • lovemomlovemom Registered User Posts: 305 Member
    Thanks all.

    sometime back i saw a thread about IR being great at Penn. Assume that is International Relations, but when i saw the Fiske guide for colleges, Penn did not show up under the list of institutions that was top in this area. In fact, Penn did not show up in any area but Business for undergrad, and the book has almost 15-20 listings under each subject.

    They did mention that BBB is a creme de la creme program in the narrative on Penn, but is it really such a unique program? I have seen similar ones at other universities, what makes BBB at Penn the premier program in this area?

    Thanks again
  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter Registered User Posts: 4,275 Senior Member
    While not specifically rankings of undergrad programs, the National Research Council rankings of graduate programs are a good proxy for the academic reputations of schools in different fields. Although a bit dated (from the 1990s, and scheduled to be updated this fall), the NRC rankings are the most highly regarded of their kind. Penn was highly ranked in the following liberal arts fields:

    TOP 10
    Art History

    TOP 20
    Comparative Literature
    Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
    Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
    Molecular and General Genetics

    In somewhat related fields, Penn was also ranked in the top 10 in Pharmacology, Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science, and in the top 20 in Chemical Engineering.

    The complete rankings can be found here:

    NRC Rankings in Each of 41 Areas
  • datdudedatdude - Posts: 227 Junior Member
    Let's not forget Annenberg is #1 in the world for Communications.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,020 Senior Member
    In a sense, there could not possibly be any CAS major that was the equivalent of Wharton, because Wharton really stands alone as the premiere elite undergraduate business program -- largely because most of its potential competitors don't have undergraduate business programs at all. No matter how strong Penn is in any traditional arts-and-sciences field, it is still pretty much competing against EVERYONE in that field. It will rarely be #1, and even if it is the difference between #1 and #2, or even #1 and #5, will be a lot less than the difference between Wharton and Cornell's Ag School, or Kellog at Northwestern. That's certainly true in the hard sciences, where Penn is generally very strong, but not remotely unique, or English, economics, etc.

    That said, here's a very nonexclusive, and not necessarily up-to-date, set of departments where Penn has historically been at or near the top of the heap:

    History and sociology of medicine
    Folklore -- not so sure right now, but for a couple of generations Penn was really dominant
    Urban studies
    Landscape architecture
  • EloquenceEloquence Registered User Posts: 1,015 Senior Member
    How is Penn computing?
  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter Registered User Posts: 4,275 Senior Member
    ^ US News recently ranked Penn's computer science graduate program at #20 (tied with Brown, Duke, Rice, and Yale, among others). The NRC ranking in the 1990s put it at #24. So, one of the top 20-30 programs in the country.
  • Venkat89Venkat89 Registered User Posts: 7,327 Senior Member
    They had some article in the DP about some ranking system that put BE and CBE in the top 5 or 10 and CSE and ESE in the top 10-20 engineering departments.
  • ilovebagelsilovebagels Registered User Posts: 3,499 Senior Member
    Penn's computer science does have some strong points. They have the innovative Digital Media Design program. Two of my friends did that and they are off to jobs at Apple and Pixar.

    Additionally, Penn's DARPA self-driving car (named Little Ben) did very well in the last DARPA challenge. It was one of the few cars to actually finish the course without screwing up.

    And yes, Penn's IR program is marvelous for undergrads. It usually stays under the radar because it doesn't have an IR grad school to go with it like Georgetown, Tufts, Columbia, Stanford etc do.

    IR is an amalgamation of history, economics, political science, regional studies, and other odds and ends. Fortunately, Penn does a marvelous job in all of these respects (while Penn's PSCI overall is not on a level of preeminence--the competition for that is simply too intense--the IR portion of it is particularly strong)

    But the undergrads themselves are an extraordinarily talented bunch (with the Fulbright, Truman, and even Rhodes scholars to show for it) and recruiters and grad schools know it. There are pre-requisites and GPA cutoffs and an interview required simply to get into the IR major, and it is one of the few majors at Penn that require a senior thesis even for non-honors candidates.

    Among my Penn IR major friends, here are some places we are going next year as Penn IR alums:

    -Harvard Law
    -Stanford Law
    -banking with the big guys
    -US-china business council
    -SK Corp (korean chaebol)
    -Mahindra Group (that's me! off to India I go!)
    -management consulting
    -healthcare consulting

    And lots lots more.
  • dg123dg123 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Whats the best school in terms of Business, and what about Econ?
    What is the main difference?
  • theoneotheoneo Registered User Posts: 6,934 Senior Member
    Penn has one of the best linguistics programs in the country.
This discussion has been closed.