Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Center


Philly (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 or twenty-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.

The Program

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.


The program is open to students from all academic majors who are at least first semester juniors. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required to participate. Participation is limited to 1-2 students per year. Applicants must be nominated by the Chair of their intended major.

Application Process

Allegheny students must first be approved to study off-campus before applying to their chosen program. Application deadlines are February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. For more information about the off campus study application process, please visit:

Student Life

Participants will live independently with other students on the program in apartments or houses they choose during the first week of the semester. Experienced staff carefully guides 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.


Students are charged Allegheny tuition, and fees (including $300 off-campus fee). Room and Board are arranged for and paid by students once on site in Philadelphia. It is suggested that you have access to at least $2000.00 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).