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London Program

Penn English boasts two London programs. The first is our five-week summer session; the second is our popular fall semester program at King's College London. Information about summer in London can be found here.

London Program Student Forum
a place where students, past and present, can exchange information about the program


All Penn English majors and minors are encouraged to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and study for a semester at the University of London.


2018-2019 London Program


The Program:

A centerpiece of the English major for two decades, the Penn London Program provides its participants with a chance to live and study in London alongside British students while eliminating the problem of transferring credits back to their home institution. Unlike other study-abroad programs at Penn, the Penn English Program in London is specifically sponsored by the Penn English Department, and is fully integrated into the major here at home. All courses you take at King's College count toward your English major and are worked out in advance. You work closely with the Undergraduate Chair and Associate Undergraduate Chair to insure that your curriculum fits with your major at Penn.

Because the program boasts a Penn Faculty Director and a budget for theater and travel, the program dramatically enhances students' typical study-abroad experience. Students have the opportunity to choose to study  at University of London: Kings College London.  With superb faculty, King's has a deserved reputation in Medieval, Renaissance, and Modernist literature.

The centerpiece of the program is the Penn theatre course (ENGL068). Participants study with a renowned theater critic and visit the theater weekly as part of this course. Students then take three additional courses at their home institution (King's College). You also have the option of doing a fifth course by taking an independent study (ENGL299) with the London Program Director or Graduate Assistant; this is arranged one-on-one with the Director.

Of course, the other celebrated highlights of Penn English Program in London are its excursions - both in London and to places like Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, and Bath - all sponsored by the program.

Interested students should make three appointments:

1) with the undergraduate chair of English (make the appointment with Loretta M. Williams in 130 Fisher-Bennett Hall, 898-7343)

2) with the Penn Abroad Office, located at 3701 Chestnut St. Suite 1W

3) with Dr. Srilata Gangulee in the College Advising Office, 120 Cohen Hall.


Features of the program:

  • The Program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
  • Students in the Penn program live in university residence halls with British students, are full-fledged members of their respective colleges and of the University of London, and are thus welcome to participate in all student activities.
  • At least one faculty member from Penn's English Department serves as Resident Director in London and arranges other excursions and cultural events for our students only. The Director usually teaches a course at King's but is also available (with the Program's graduate assistant) to conduct independent studies in his or her area of expertise.
  • Our students receive full credit for the courses they take when they return to Penn
  • Your usual financial aid package will continue to apply to the term or year you are abroad.
  • Participants pay the usual Penn tuition (living costs like room and board, etc. do fluctuate according to the exchange rate).

Penn believes that study abroad can be an important and enriching part of a liberal arts education. Each year, over 600 University of Pennsylvania undergraduate students attend credit-bearing programs abroad. The University offers an extraordinary range of programs in virtually every academic discipline and located in approximately fifty countries.

To apply, please visit the Penn Abroad application page. Please also attend one of the English Department's information sessions about the program (complete with tea and scones!) -- please contact Loretta Williams for information about these.

Requirements for Admission:

King's College London:

1) Three or more English Courses: You should have taken three English courses (not including Critical Writing) by the time you arrive at King's. As many of these as possible should be English literature courses (ENGL017-096, or ENGL218-599), preferably across a range of literary periods. Since the Film and American Studies programs at KCL are separate from the Department of English, we strongly recommend taking a variety of core literature surveys before heading to London.

2) A Cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 and a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major.

3) A recommendation from a Penn professor who knows you well; this will be requested directly by King's College London via auto-generated email to the professor once you input the information as part of your application. Since the email will only be generated after you do the application, we strongly suggest you complete the application at least one week before the due date, to give the professor enough time to write the recommendation.