Join Philo!

If you are interested in applying to Philo in the fall and are currently a Penn student, please fill out the info form.

Membership in the Society is open to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at the University of Pennsylvania who are not in their final semester of study.¬†Membership in the Society carries with it the belief that one’s educational experience at Penn does not, and should not, end at the classroom door. It joins together friends united in scholarship and in the extension of the thoughts that move between them. Membership also allows you to become more involved in the Society’s means and ends, access to resources furthering such goals, and help shape the future of the Society.

There are three steps in the application process; they are designed to give you the opportunity to express yourself to the Society. They can be performed in any order:

  • Creative Submission: The only limitation or explanation is that it must fit through our door. Typical submissions include critical essays, memoirs, poetry, artwork, and film, but we have also received Elvis shrines, photoessays about manhole covers, fork sculptures, pretzel sculptures, scientific studies.
  • Presentation: A four to six minute presentation on a topic of your choice, to be presented at a general meeting of the Society. The topic and the format are at your choosing. Be creative, practice the speech, and be prepared to answer two questions from members of the Society.
  • Please keep in mind that there is only so much information one can present in the limited time frame.

  • Interview: An informal interview with four to five members of the Society. Ideally, the interview is a casual conversation that gives the chance to get to know more about an applicant, as well as how they think.

All decisions of membership are reached only after extensive debate and consideration by all members. Before you do anything, however, we invite you to visit the Philomathean Society. Come to an event, or to one of our indescribable General Meetings.

To start your application, just fill out the info form. If you are a prospective Penn student, please do not complete this form until you have officially been offered, and have accepted, admission to Penn.
If you aren’t sure whether you would like to apply but still want to be kept up to date on upcoming Philomathean events, subscribe to Hebdomadaire, our weekly newsletter.

Please contact the First Censor with any further questions.