Philadelphia Life

Fels and Philadelphia

The city of Philadelphia is your learning laboratory 

One of Fels’ most valuable resources is our location—a thriving urban center and historic city in the heart of the Northeast Corridor. Not only does the city of Philadelphia itself offer you an enhanced living and learning experience, but New York City and Washington, DC, are only a few hours away by train or car.

Nicole Mahia, Master of Public Administration ’23

"My internship at the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia (AVP) has been an enriching and transformative experience. Working alongside the executive director, I've had the privilege of immersing myself in the world of nonprofit administration in action. This experience has been pivotal in helping me grasp policy implementation in real-world scenarios, equipping me with the skills and knowledge to pursue a career as an effective public administrator, dedicated to serving the needs of the people."

Nicole Mahia, Master of Public Administration ’23

Partner with the city to create meaningful change

At Fels, you have access to a vibrant public sector. Our region is home to a host of local, state, and federal government agencies as well as a flourishing network of non-government and nonprofit organizations. As a Fels student, you have ample opportunities to translate classroom knowledge into practical applications—right in your own backyard. Like the decades of students and alumni before you, at Fels you can make a positive impact in the public sector while gaining experience and connections to take your career to the next level.

Capstone projects

Many students choose to work with a local or regional organization to tackle real-world challenges for their capstone projects.

Learn more and find examples of recent capstone projects


For MPA students, Philadelphia and the Northeast region offer ample internship opportunities in various sectors to fit with your interest and career goals.

Montana Tamny

“I interned with the World Affairs Council, and my internship was an amazing ‘catch-all’ experience, where I had opportunities to work on everything from day-to-day operations to program expansion. Much of my focus revolved around positioning and branding as an internationally-focused nonprofit in Philadelphia, as well as building internal and external performance metrics. I loved being able to work on both direct programming and big-picture planning”

Montana Tamny, MPA ’22

Learn more about internships »

A launchpad for your next career move

While the density of public sector organizations in the region and strong regional networking provides many opportunities for our graduates to continue their careers in the Northeast Corridor, Fels graduates continue in careers across the US and the world.

Top 10 metro areas for alumni

  1. Philadelphia, PA 
  2. Washington, DC
  3. New York, NY
  4. Harrisburg, PA
  5. San Francisco, CA 
  6. Baltimore, MD
  7. Chicago, IL
  8. Seattle, WA
  9. Boston, MA
  10. Atlanta, GA 

A dynamic city to enjoy

As rich and varied as Fels’ and Penn’s campus offerings are, the city that surrounds us provides even more opportunities to explore. When you venture off campus, you’ll find yourself in a vibrant urban center that is home to world-renowned museums, historical destinations, professional and collegiate athletic teams, and more.

Whether you are an MPA student living in the region or an Executive MPA student on campus monthly, we encourage you to get to know the city. 

Living in Philadelphia
Find tips on exciting things to do, navigating the public transportation system, housing, and more from the Graduate Student Center.

Penn and Philadelphia
Learn more about the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection and Penn’s place in it.

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