October 28, 2021

A Legacy of Inclusion

The University of Pennsylvania has long been a leader in fostering an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion.

This commitment dates back to 1881, when Penn awarded its first diploma to a student of non-European descent. It continued in 1933, when Penn established the College of Liberal Arts for Women, becoming the first Ivy League institution to admit women. (It would be several decades before the rest followed suit.)

Today, inclusion is a core tenet of the Penn Compact 2022, the institution’s strategic plan and vision for the future.

Launched in 2004 and updated in 2017, the Penn Compact articulates and reaffirms the university’s commitment to increasing inclusion, driving innovation across disciplines, and effecting positive impact on local, national and global communities.

The compact’s commitment to inclusion centers around the university’s grant-based financial aid program, which meets 100% of undergraduates’ demonstrated financial needs. It also focuses on expanded aid for graduate and professional students and to international initiatives such as Penn World Scholars and the Penn Online Learning Initiative.

Our highest institutional priority is to prepare promising students of all races, religions, and backgrounds to become the leaders and innovators of the future.

Penn Compact 2022

At Penn Engineering Online, we endorse the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as outlined in the Penn Compact 2022.

We are strongly committed to initiatives that support the University’s efforts to build an inclusive environment that is diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, historical tradition, age, religion, ability, perspectives and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Our mission at Penn Engineering Online is to expand access to a world-class education in engineering. Through online programs, courses and credentials, we bring an Ivy League education to students all over the world – at an affordable cost. And we work hard to attract a diverse community of students, faculty and staff to help us improve our local and global communities through engineering education and research.

Our results speak for themselves: With the addition of this year’s entering cohort, our MCIT Online program includes students from 47 states and 41 countries, ranging in age from 22 to 58. What’s more, 42 percent of the new class are women – a remarkable percentage in a field in which women are woefully underrepresented. The diversity of our student body enriches class discussions and contributes to a better future for us all.

“The diversity of our university must reflect the diversity of the world around it — and the diversity of the world that we want our students to lead.”

Dr. Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania President

Dr. Amy Gutmann

  • University of Pennsylvania President