About Becoming a Philo
Those who are interested in applying to Philo should fill out the info form.
The application process is overseen by the First Censor. Membership in the Society is open to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at the University of Pennsylvania who are not in the final semester of their degree program in which they will be resident in Philadelphia. Membership allows you to become more involved in the Society’s means and ends, to have access to resources furthering such goals, and to 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. They can be submitted in any order:
- Creative: 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. The only limitation is that it must fit through our door.
- Presentation: A four to six minute presentation on a topic of your choice, to be presented at a general meeting. The time limit is strict. Two questions will then be asked. 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.
Membership applications are then evaluated by the Society's members in good standing in a rigorous but democratic process. The Society fully complies with the Student Activities Council's Club Recruitment Guidelines.
If you are a prospective Penn student, please do not complete the membership interest 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.