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About BFS

BFS answers an ever more urgent need to support the intellectual vitality that accrues to crossing boundaries and integrating knowledge, at a time of increased pressures to specialize.

BFS is a campus-wide program, building bridges among all four Undergraduate schools – the College, Engineering, Nursing, Engineering, and Wharton. The program brings scholars from their respective home schools together over a shared interest in the power of ideas to transform the world.

One way to describe the BFS program is a Penn education PLUS. The flagship element of the BFS experience is its focus on intensive learning.   We encourage exploration beyond the major, and outside the Home school.   BFS Seminars offer enriching opportunities to work on challenging topics, without requiring extensive prerequisites, both inside and outside a student’s major fields of study.  See current seminars here. Special BFS programs bring in world-renowned speakers, and provide opportunities for international internships.

Beginning in the Fall of 2019, all students accepted to BFS will live together in Hill House, a first-year residence with suite lounges, an atrium, a dining commons, and social areas for cooking, gathering, and studying.

Each school implements the BFS vision somewhat differently so that the program enhances the existing home school requirements.  See the four programs here:


Benjamin Franklin Scholars are selected based on their interest in, and demonstrated capacity for, a deep engagement in the liberal arts and sciences, both as ends in themselves and as engines of change in the world. We look for spirited, independent people who find their own passions and are predisposed to explore their own ideas, wherever they might lead. We welcome restless minds who are not content just to appreciate great ideas as abstractions up on a shelf, but who see them as transformative; changing minds and so changing the world.  Read more about admissions here.