Pennsylvania, University of


Pennsylvania, University of
U.S. private university in Philadelphia, a traditional member of the Ivy League.

Founded in 1740 as a charity school, it became an academy in 1753, with Benjamin Franklin as president of the first board of trustees. With the founding of the first medical school in North America (1765), it became a university. Today, in addition to its college of arts and sciences and its medical school, it includes a college of general studies and schools of business (the Wharton School), communication (the Annenberg School), education, engineering, fine arts, law, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and social work. Its institutes include the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology and the Phipps Institute of Genetics and Community Diseases. The University Museum (of archaeology and ethnology) is a teaching and research organization.

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      private university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., one of the Ivy League schools and the oldest university in the country.

      It was founded in 1740 as a charity school. Largely through the efforts of Benjamin Franklin (Franklin, Benjamin) and other leading Philadelphians, it became an academy in 1751, with Franklin as president of the first board of trustees. In 1755 it was chartered as the College and Academy of Philadelphia. With the foundation in 1765 of the first medical school in colonial America, the institution became in fact a university, but it was not so called until 1779, when for a time it received state support. Since 1791 it has been a privately endowed and controlled institution, although it continues to receive state aid.

      The university was one of the first in the country to admit women students. Women began attending with nondegree status in the late 1870s. They were admitted formally—as graduate students—when the graduate program was established in 1882 and as undergraduates when the School of Education (now a graduate school) opened in 1914. A College of Liberal Arts for Women was established in 1933, thus allowing women to pursue undergraduate degrees in subjects other than education; the university was not made fully coeducational, however, until 1974, when the women's school was merged into the School of Arts and Sciences.

      The university now has four undergraduate schools: the College (School of Arts and Sciences), the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Nursing, and the Wharton School (business education). Graduate and professional programs are offered by these schools and by graduate schools of law, medicine, veterinary medicine, dental medicine, education, communucation, fine arts, and social work. University institutes include the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology (founded 1892), the first institute in America devoted entirely to anatomical research, and the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies (1983), part of the Wharton School. The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (1887) is a noted teaching and research organization. Approximately 20,000 students are enrolled at the university.

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Universalium. 2010.

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