Graduate Student Life
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The Graduate Student Center coordinates a variety programs and events that promote a vibrant, engaged, and supportive graduate and professional student community at Penn. Graduate Life Programs foster a well-rounded graduate experience, including programs on maintaining a healthy school-life balance, personal development, social events, and building a sense of community.
We encourage you to get involved with the Penn and Philadelphia community and to contact us if you need guidance or support.
Your Graduate Space on Campus
The Grad Center encourages students to take a break, hang out, and enjoy free coffee & tea in our Common Room. Learn more about our space and the resources and services we offer.
Community Impact Fund
Supports graduate student initiatives and activities that build a community of mutual respect and intercultural understanding on campus. In particular, activities that address racial, cultural, or gender-based bias are to be supported with this fund. Learn more and apply.
Fourth Fridays @ Five!
You work hard all month. Take a break from your work to unwind at the Grad Center! Fourth Fridays at Five (FFF) are monthly themed hours with snacks and activities to encourage graduate and professional students to have fun and connect with people beyond their department and school. See upcoming events here.
Fridays at 12:00 PM (Eastern) starting in September
Bring your favorite cup of coffee and connect virtually with graduate students and Grad Center staff. Details on our events page.
Weekly informal language chats let you practice and improve your language skills as you join other graduate students in conversation! Learn more or volunteer as a chat coordinator.
Virtual Skill Share
Share Your Skills!
Do you teach yoga, knit/crochet, or have another hobby or skill you think other grad students would be interested in learning? Share it with the Penn graduate community in a virtual program or video or through one-on-one skill sharing. Use this form to get started!
We work with partners on campus and beyond to highlight opportunities for graduate students to give back to the local Philadelphia community, Penn community, and the larger global community through service. Learn more about civic engagement and service at Penn or check out some upcoming volunteer opportunities on our events page.
The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) serves as the official voice for the approximately 13,000 graduate and professional students at Penn. GAPSA is also responsible for administering graduate student activity fees, providing resources for travel grants, research support, and other activities throughout the year. In addition to GAPSA, 12 School Governments handle school-specific issues, activity funding, and serve as school representatives in GAPSA.
Student Communities and Groups
The individual students, faculty, professional staff, and administrators at Penn contribute to a diverse and rich community. Explore our lists of graduate student organizations and engagement opportunities to find out how you can participate in the broader Penn community.
The Vice Provost for University (VPUL) programs and resources are intended to stimulate shared interactions and connections among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. See a list of Penn student activities and cultural centers that serve graduate students.
Be sure to check out the Almanac's monthly "At Penn Calendar" for university-wide campus events! Many of these events are open to the general public as well as to members of the University, so you can bring your partner or friends - or meet new ones!
Programs for Students with Families
Penn's Family Resource Center provides information, programs, and resources for students and post-docs with children. The Family Center provides a space for student parents to connect and develop supportive networks, and offers a welcoming and family-friendly environment for Penn students, post-docs, caregivers, and children.
Penn Cultural & Identity Centers Weekly Virtual Chats
VPUL cultural and identity centers offer weekly virtual chats to connect with students and staff.
- LGBT Center Wednesdays at 3:00 PM ET via BlueJeans
- Makuu Fridays at 1:00 PM ET via Zoom
- La Casa Latina Fridays at 3:00 PM ET via BlueJeans
- Penn Women's Center Tuesdays at 11:00 AM ET, Wednesdays at 2:00 PM ET, or Thursdays at 3:00 PM ET via Zoom
Explore Your Interests and Connect with Others
The Wellness and Engagement section of our Resource Guide is filled with resources and opportunities to help you explore your interests and become more engaged on campus and beyond. Be sure to check out our Living in Philadelphia page for our suggestions for things to do in Philadelphia.
Help and Support
Pursing a graduate or professional degree is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be challenging. We encourage students to seek resources and support. In addition to reaching out to those close to you, there are many individuals and offices at Penn that can provide information, resources, and support.