The Philadelphia Center Program

  • Location: USA - Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
  • GPA Requirements: 2.75 GPA
  • Application Deadline: February 20 prior to fall semester; September 20 prior to spring semester
  • Program Term(s): Fall, Spring
  • Official Website: The Philadelphia Center Program
Program Dates
Term Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 January 9th, 2024 May 2nd 2024
Fall 2024 August 15th, 2024 December 11th, 2024

These dates are tentative. Confirm program dates before booking travel.


The program is open to students from all academic majors. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required to participate.


Philadelphia is like a big, small town. Thanks to the street grid system designed by Philadelphia Founding Father William Penn, the city is easy to navigate and perfect for day-to-day living. A ten-minute walk from The Philadelphia Center, located in the heart of Center City, will take you to half a dozen theaters, several major art and science museums, South Street’s shopping, Old City’s galleries, the Kimmel Center, the Italian Market, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and a variety of restaurants. A slightly longer walk takes you to the renowned collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fairmount Park, the nation’s largest urban park (four times the size of New York City’s Central Park), where you can bike, hike, run, row, and rollerblade.


This program is a unique and valuable 16-week program in the fall or spring semester that allows undergraduates to engage in critical investigations of their own abilities, objectives, and values in order to help discover their personal and professional direction in life. It combines city living seminars, academic electives, and internships. Students usually work 32 hours/week in an internship they choose and create individualized learning plans of action based on what they want to achieve and learn while participating in the program. These internships available to students are in the following areas: Applied Arts and Design, Business and Economics, Communications, Education, Fine Arts, History, Law & Government, Medicine and Health, Physical Sciences, Psychological and Social Sciences, Social Work, and Women’s Studies. Faculty and Staff from The Philadelphia Center along with the workplace supervisor will help facilitate and evaluate this experience through learning plans, portfolios, and other activities.

Students enrolled at TPC during the fall or spring semester will work with the Career and Placement Director to find an internship (4 days a week) that best meets their academic and career goals. You will receive eight academic credits for your internship and it’s included class, The Field Placement course. The Field Placement course is a companion to your internship experience, allowing you to critically reflect upon your work experiences and network with your peers at The Philadelphia Center. Students will also have the opportunity to create a personalized learning plan that helps them guide their internship experiences, skill acquisition, and personal/professional development.

In addition to an internship and Field Placement course, you will take classes at TPC for up to eight academic credits: a City Seminar and an elective. The City Seminar meets once a week during the day and is taught by Albion College Ethnic Studies Professor, Jeana Morrison, located on-site in Philadelphia. Electives are held once a week, in the evening, and help diversify your course of study and meet on-campus requirements. Our adjunct faculty members are practicing professionals who bring real-world perspectives into the classroom.

Academic Structure

Courses are taken with local students and other program participants.

Course Credit

Internship/Field Placement Course – 8 credits / 2 units
Cultures & Communities Seminar – 4 credits / 1 unit
Elective – 4 credits / 1 unit


For a full list of course offerings, visit The Philadelphia Center’s website here for seminars and here for electives.

Student Life & Housing

Students live independently with other students in the program in apartments or houses they choose during the first week of the semester. Experienced staff guide students through their unique housing process, during which living arrangements are investigated and chosen from an array of options in and around Center City Philadelphia. With the help of the TPC staff and faculty, students learn how to communicate with property owners, understand what to look for in an apartment, and review and sign a lease. Responding to current interests and student needs, The Philadelphia Center offers a variety of programs, events, workshops, and discussion groups including: Career Development; Difference, Diversity, and Identity; Homelessness in Philadelphia; Philly 101: An Insider’s Guide to Philly; Potluck and Movie Night. We also support several student-run committees and we encourage you to explore the city and work together to promote change.

Application Process

Allegheny students must apply for approval to study off-campus from the Global Education office AND apply directly to their chosen program. For this program, students should work on the Allegheny approval application at the same time as the host program application. The Allegheny approval application deadline is February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Study away approval applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. The separate application deadline to apply directly to this program will vary and could be before or after Allegheny’s approval application due date. Check directly on their website (linked at the top of this page) for deadline information. For more information about the study away application process, please visit the application steps page.


Students are charged Allegheny tuition, and fees (including $800 off-campus fee). Housing and food are arranged for and paid for by students once on-site in Philadelphia. It is suggested that you have access to at least $2000 in start-up money for the first week of the program. Allegheny student health insurance is valid on the program, although it may need to be supplemented to meet the Philadelphia Center’s requirements. Additional costs: transportation to Philadelphia, average monthly costs to include the following: rent (between $250-$600), utilities (roughly $75), furniture rental/purchase (roughly $50), local transportation ($55), groceries ($160), eating out ($160), entertainment/travel ($200), miscellaneous ($75).