The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


As NSO draws to a close and midterms begin, here are some suggestions for freshmen for the best study spots on campus.

Credit: Daniel Xu

New Student Orientation is all fun and games, but before too long classes will be starting. And with classes come papers and exams. Luckily Penn has no shortage of great study spots to help the semester go a little more smoothly.

Van Pelt Library:

Van Pelt is the quintessential place to study at Penn. During midterms and finals seasons here, you’ll have to settle for whatever you can get, but until then go for the basement or the sixth floor.

The basement is the most social spot in Van Pelt, because you are guaranteed to run into nearly everyone you know (especially if you don’t want to run into them). It’s home to Mark’s Café, so you’ll never have to worry about running low on brain fuel.

For something a little more isolated, go for the sixth floor. It’s quiet and aesthetically pleasing with a great view of the city, which makes studying that much less miserable.

Word to the wise: no matter where you study in Van Pelt, be sure to wear layers. It’s always either boiling hot or freezing cold — there is no in-between.

Huntsman Hall:

The forum is great if you’re doing more talking than working, but there is no doubt that the best place to buckle down and study is in a Huntsman Group Study Room, more commonly known as a GSR. These study rooms are some of the most coveted spots on campus, so reserve one early, especially during midterms and finals.

If you aren’t in Wharton, be sure to befriend someone who is so that you can have access to GSRs. Whenever all the GSRs are booked, the MBA Cafe on the second floor is also a pretty good option. There are usually plenty of spots open, and the vending machines in the cafe are particularly well-stocked.

Fisher Fine Arts:

Fisher Fine Arts Library is great if you appreciate silence and beauty.

The interior of the library is just as gorgeous as its exterior and it features a mix of communal tables and smaller study nooks.

This is not the place to go if you’re planning on socializing, because it is almost entirely silent. However, the quiet environment makes it easy to focus on the task at hand, and it is an ideal spot for getting a lot of reading done.

The one downside to Fisher is that food is not allowed, so it might not be the place for you if you need snacks to keep you motivated.

Starbucks Under Commons:

If you’re a person who isn’t too easily distracted, Starbucks is actually a really nice place to do work. Like in the Van Pelt basement, you have access to as much coffee as your heart desires, and there is plenty of seating, ranging from communal tables to single tables to the more social couches and chairs.

McClelland Hall:

Go here if you don’t actually want to get anything done.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.