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Living in Philadelphia

An Engaging and Diverse Cityscape

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is located on Drexel University’s 74-acre University City Main Campus in Philadelphia’s University City district, about a 10-minute walk from Center City, Philadelphia’s downtown neighborhood.

Philadelphia offers an array of cultural and big city amenities, while maintaining its traditions and distinct neighborhood charms. In addition to a rich history, Philadelphia presents a variety of performing and visual arts, tastes of food from every corner of the world, sports, and easy access to other cultural centers like Boston, New York City, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. Public transportation is always just a few steps away from wherever you are, making it easy to get to any of the great attractions Philly has to offer.


Whether you're a genuine connoisseur of the arts or you just want to relive that famous stair-ascending scene in Rocky, exploring the Philadelphia Museum of Art  is a great activity for any day. Visit the museum the first Sunday of each month and the price of admission is up to you—perfect for college students!

In need of a little fresh air? Philadelphia's Fairmount Park is one of the largest municipal public parks in the world and it's right in your backyard! There are plenty of green places both within and just minutes outside the city. You can bike, run, or walk on Kelly Drive, or head a little bit farther on to Forbidden Drive in Wissahickon Valley Park where you can mountain bike, hike, or even ride horses on trails. With access to a car, you can visit some farther flung green spaces at Morris Arboretum, Chanticleer, Longwood Gardens, and Valley Forge National Historical Park. You can even head to the shore—trains run frequently from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station to within walking distance of the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Need an excuse to walk around the city with friends?  The city’s unique neighborhoods each have their own distinctive charm.  Be sure to check out First Friday , Philadelphia's arts community's "open house" at a variety of galleries located in the Old City District; grab some delicious fruits and veggies at the Italian Market in South Philly; visit Al Capone’s prison cell at Eastern State Penitentiary in the Art Museum area; pick up lunch at Reading Terminal Market in Center City; explore the shops and restaurants of Chinatown; and take in the charm of historic Chestnut Hill, just a short train ride away.

Are you an avid fan of the performing arts? Philadelphia is home to a unique culture of theater, music, and dance. No matter what kind of entertainment is music to your ears, there are plenty of special beats to choose from. Get into the groove by visiting these places:  The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, The Curtis Institute of Music, FringeArts, The Wilma TheaterAnnenberg Center, and more.

When you're hanging out around the city long enough, you might just bump into Ben Franklin walking around. For a sure sighting, head to Independence Hall in Old City. You'll be transported back to the 1700s where you'll learn all there is to know about the history of Philadelphia, the original capital of the United States.  Be sure to stop by the Liberty Bell while strolling around Independence Mall.  You can also catch the Betsy Ross House and Benjamin Franklin Museum.

Lions, tigers, and bears... you know the drill. But you'll see a lot more than that at The Philadelphia Zoo, America's first zoo. The zoo is home to more than 1,300 rare and exotic animals, not to mention acres of gorgeous Victorian gardens and historical architecture.

Philadelphia abounds with opportunities to learn outside of the classroom and lab. Museums such as The Franklin Institute, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, National Constitution Center, National Museum of American Jewish History, and The Mütter Museum boast a wealth of educational information that won't have you falling asleep at your desk. These exciting learning centers offer exhibits with everything from special exhibits about the Dead Sea Scrolls and King Tut's tomb treasures to butterflies and dinosaurs, medical oddities, and American culture.

If sports is your game, head to Citizens Bank Park to see the Phillies baseball team in action or Lincoln Financial Field to watch the Eagles football team score a touchdown.  The Wells Fargo Center is home to the 76ers basketball team and Flyers hockey team.  And you can catch the Philadelphia Union, the city’s Major League Soccer team at PPL Park.  

Whatever your interest, you can find it in Philly and Drexel is fortunate to be in the heart of all the action in and around the area.