From the one-of-a-kind museums on campus to accomplished student performances in music, dance and theater, culture and the arts play a leading role in life at Penn.

Cultural Institutions

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a major cultural destination and crossroads in the performing arts, connecting Philadelphia regional audiences and the University of Pennsylvania through exposure to innovative human expression in theatre, music and dance.

Arthur Ross Gallery

Serving as a rich cultural resource for students, scholars and the community, the Arthur Ross Gallery presents global art and artifacts through gallery exhibitions, scholarship and educational outreach.

Institute of Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art believes in the power of art and artists to inform and inspire. The ICA is free for all to engage and connect with the art of our time.

Kelly Writers House

Founded in 1995 by a group of students, faculty, staff and alumni, the Kelly Writers House is an actual 13-room house at 3805 Locust Walk that serves as a center for writers of all kinds from Penn and the Philadelphia region at large.

Morris Arboretum

The Morris Arboretum is a historic public garden and educational institution. It promotes an understanding of the relationship between plants, people and place through programs that integrate science, art and the humanities.

Penn Humanities Forum

The Penn Humanities Forum is charged with taking a fresh look at ideas that touch on the human experience.

Penn Libraries

The University Library that Benjamin Franklin founded - one of the first in the country - is the only Penn institution to have been in continuous operation since 1750.

Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, through its research, collections, exhibitions, and educational programming, advances understanding of the world's cultural heritage.

Penn Press

The University of Pennsylvania Press exists to publish meritorious works that advance scholarly research and educational objectives.

Platt Student Performing Arts House

University Life Arts Initiatives provides leadership and support for the creation and implementation of arts programming for students at the University of Pennsylvania.

WXPN 88.5 FM Radio

Listener-supported public radio from the University of Pennsylvania.

Academic Programs


Anthropology is the involved social science. It is both scientifically rooted and actively engaged. It moves with the times. It makes a difference, and it produces global awareness.


Housed at Meyerson Hall, the Architecture department includes design studios, exhibition spaces, classrooms, state of the art laboratories for computing and fabrication, and two advanced research labs.

Cinema Studies

The Penn Cinema Studies major and minor are traditional humanities programs involving the critical study of film history, theory and aesthetics, rather than film or video production.

Comparative Literature

The Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory at Penn is a dynamic and congenial intellectual community that brings members together through common, core interests.

Computer Graphics and Game Technology

The goal of Computer Graphics and Game Technology is to expose recent graduates, as well as students returning from industry, to state-of-the-art graphics and animation technologies, as well as interactive media design principles, product development methodologies and engineering entrepreneurship.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing offers writing workshops every semester in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as those in screenwriting, playwriting, journalism, writing for children, and review.

Digital Media Design

The Digital Media Design (DMD) program is an interdisciplinary major in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn. As a full-fledged Bachelors in Engineering and Science (BSE) degree, it combines major coursework in computer graphics within the Computer & Information Science Department, Communication theory courses from the Annenberg School and Fine Arts courses from Penn's School of Design.

Fine Arts

Fine Arts is a comprehensive program, housed in the School of Design that offers the undergraduate Fine Arts Major and the graduate Master of Fine Arts degree. Students take sequenced, cumulative coursework in a variety of areas, including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, filmmaking/video, graphic design (including illustration), information and web design, ceramics, sculpture, and animation (both hand drawn and digital). Fine Arts also supports programming in Digital Media Design, Cinema Studies, Visual Studies and other disciplines.


The Graduate Program in Folklore and Folklife began in 1962 under the direction of MacEdward Leach, a medievalist who taught in the English department and launched the Folklore Archive.

Historic Preservation

The Graduate Program in Historic Preservation provides an integrated approach for architects, landscape architects, planners, historians, archaeologists, conservators, managers, and other professionals to understand, sustain, and transform the existing environment.

History of Art

The Department of the History of Art is an active organization with a large mission and a long list of accomplishments. At home at the center of campus in the Jaffe History of Art Building, they are located at both a physical and a virtual crossroads for Penn's vibrant community of students and teachers.

Landscape Architecture

The department of Landscape Architecture advances its legacy through its commitment to innovative design as informed by ecology, the history of ideas, techniques of construction, new media, and contemporary urbanism.


The Department of Music of the University of Pennsylvania offers an outstanding program of undergraduate study. Courses and performing ensembles are open to all Penn students: undergraduates from all of the schools join in musical activities on the campus.

Theatre Arts

The Theatre Arts Program at Penn offers students the opportunity to study theatre in the classroom and in production work under the guidance of faculty members who are experienced and trained actors, directors, scholars, and teachers.

Visual Studies

The Visual Studies major was created in 2003 to allow students to directly engage new technologies and philosophies of vision through a multidisciplinary course of study, connecting the theory, practice, and culture of seeing.