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!

Have questions about Philo? Contact our First Censor!

Membership in Philo 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, and help shape what Philo is to be.

The Philo membership process is selective but highly democratic. All decisions of membership are reached only after extensive debate and consideration by all members.

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. We’ve had critical essays, poetry, artwork, and film, but we’ve also had Elvis shrines, photoessays about manhole covers, and sculptures made out of forks.
  • 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 up to you. Keep in mind that there is only so much information one can present in the limited time frame. Be creative, practice the speech, and be prepared to answer two questions from members of the Society.
  • Interview: An informal interview with four to five members of the Society. Ideally, the interview is a casual conversation that gives you a chance to show us who you are, how you think, etc.

Before you do anything, however, come check out what Philo does and who we are. Come to a Philo event, or to one of our indescribable General Meetings. If you would like more information or are considering applying, please contact our First Censor, Jacqueline A. Alexander, and fill out the information form.

If you aren’t sure whether you would like to apply but still want to be kept up to date on upcoming Philo events, subscribe to Hebdomadaire, our weekly newsletter.

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.

Please contact the First Censor with any questions.