Where do students live at UPENN?

The University of Pennsylvania has ensured that they have structured its residential system to accommodate the needs of students. The residency consists of College Houses and Sansom Place which offer a wide range of room designs, high-quality amenities, and a great sense of community. Penn values the diversity and unique characteristics of its students – which is why its residential system was built to reflect those standards. So Where do students live at UPENN?

Where do students live at UPENN?

About the Housing

The residential system at Penn consists of over a dozen undergraduate College Houses and Sansom Place. As mentioned above, the College Houses provide a range of options, with regards to types of student rooms, facilities, and communities – which make it easier and more accessible for the student to find their place at Penn. Graduate students can also be accommodated with housing in Sansom Place which offers similar high-quality amenities. These housing options vary from conventional-styled single or double rooms which share a communal hallway and bathroom facilities, to apartments and suites that provide students with a higher level of privacy, as well as the option, in some cases, of a living room and kitchenette. 

The College Houses sees the unions of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff to shape a community that prides itself on vibrance, safety, and support in the heart of historic Philadelphia. Penn has ensured that each student feels a sense of belonging during their stay, which is why the architectural styles vary from contemporary high-rises with over 800 residents, to more intimate, brick Houses with 170 residents.

Penn offers on-campus housing for students (as mentioned above), as well as assistance and resources for those who seek residence at an off-campus location. The on-campus housing is occupied by mostly first/second-year students, whilst the off-campus option is chosen by those who have spent some years at the university and is familiar with the surroundings.

On-campus housing options

College Housing:

– First-Year accommodation has been designed with the safety of students in mind; a place that makes living on campus for the first time easy and comfortable. Students can be surrounded by their peers, whilst enjoying the high-quality amenities that the college Houses have to offer. 

– Students do have the option to connect with upperclassmen with whom they can grow with and learn from during their time at Penn; this preference makes a Four-Year House the most appropriate fit. 

– Finally, the comfortability of upper-class students is not forgotten as Penn offers apartment-style living to those who seek housing that accommodates their needs. 

Graduate Housing:

This selection is ideal for students who are new to the Philadelphia lifestyle and have been accepted into a one-to-two year graduate program. All graduate students will reside in Sansom Place, a high-rise apartment building, which serves as a community that prioritizes student living and engagement. This housing option breeds diversity as students nationwide and worldwide create a stimulating and lively environment. 

Off-campus housing options

Penn Off-Campus Services offers sound resources and information to assist students of the Penn Community find a home that feels comfortable, safe, and their own.

Off-Campus Services aims to help students learn about:

• How to sign a contract

• Safe neighborhoods

• The application process

• Utility resources

• Tenant landlord conflicts

• Subletting

• Any other queries that one may have

What does on-campus housing have to offer?

Every House has a Faculty Director, Fellows, a House Director, a House Coordinator, a large team of student Resident Advisors (RAs), student technology assistants, and many student managers in key positions. The reason is that Penn prioritizes an easy-living lifestyle for students and aims to provide on-site aid and safety structures when needed.

The Houses attempt to ensure an all-around experience for students, one that allows them to step out of the classroom environment and enjoy other areas of campus life. Each House, therefore, provides numerous cultural, academic, and recreational events that aim to help students get involved whilst ultimately building community. 

Finally, the College House experience offers a wide variety of benefits that were introduced with the students in mind. A few of these include:

• An authentic, traditional Penn experience within the Penn community

• In-House academic support

• Free in-House tuition in Maths, Economics, and Chemistry

• Secure Wi-Fi

• High-quality safety systems

• 24-hour trained security team

• No utility, cable to Wi-Fi bills

• Personal support provided by the in-House RA team


Upenn offers many different housing options for students. They can choose from housing that is occupied by mainly first years, or connect with those ahead of them by residing in the Four-Year Housing. Graduate students can enjoy a place in Sansom Place as it offers a community of students who are new to Philadelphia and who are therefore able to offer appropriate support. In addition, housing options vary based on the preference of the student. Finally, UPenn offers services that provide students with aid and information on safe off-campus housing.