COVID-19 Information and Digital Resources

Remote Resources & Activities

The Grad Center is committed to supporting all graduate and professional students and is working with campus partners to provide resources and opportunities for virtual engagement to help you stay connected and academically successful while on-campus operations remain limited. 

Announcements  Grad Center Resources 

Resources and Support   Virtual Activities  

Have an idea for a virtual program or resource to promote academic skills or community building? Know of an existing program or resource you would like us to highlight on this page or on social media? Share it with us using this form

Grad Center Resources and Support

The Graduate Student Center remains closed at this time, in accordance with state and University policies and guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Grad Center staff are available to provide assistance and support to all Penn graduate and professional students. Email or use this form to connect with us.
Stay connected and informed: 

Twitter     Instagram      Facebook      Newsletter Sign-up

Be sure to check out our full Resource Guide for helpful information, links, and resources related to ​​​Student Wellness & EngagementAcademic Policies and SupportFunding & Finances; and more! 

Announcements and Official Information
University Announcements and Operations

The University of Pennsylvania has instituted mitigation practices and policies in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

Student Campus Compact
ALL students enrolled during the 2020-21 academic year are expected to adhere to the expectations for physical distancing and public behavior detailed in the Student Campus Compact. 

Student Campus Compact


Fall Semester 2020 Information and Resources
The University will allow many students to return to campus for Fall 2020 in a limited and careful way by incorporating online and virtual learning with on-campus classroom instruction where it can be provided safely and when it is essential to the academic needs of the course curriculum.

University Fall 2020 Semester Page 

University Coronavirus Information Page  

FAQ for Students   

Academic Issues and Resources

FAQ for Current International Students

Research Resumption Plans and Resources 


last updated: August 18, 2020
Campus Facilities and Basic Services

March 21, 2020: The University has suspended all on-campus operations except for those that are life-sustaining. Most campus departments and offices are continuing to provide services remotely. Please check official websites for the most up-to-date information. 

Unfortunately, bias-motivated attacks have been reported in Philadelphia and around the country. Penn’s Division of Public Safety supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of all Penn communities. Should any member of our community receive any threatening messages or become the victim of a criminal act, or see suspicious activity that should be indicative of a future act of violence, regardless of the location of the occurrence, please call the Division of Public Safety’s Emergency Communications Center immediately at 215-573-3333

Request a Walking Escort: Penn Public Safety and the University District Ambassador Program are available to provide Walking Escorts from 10:00am until 3:00am between 30th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue. Students can call 215-898-WALK (9255) 

Penn Transit and Parking
Penn Transit is operating on a limited schedule. All Penn Transit riders will soon be required to display a valid institutional identification card and a “green” PennOpen Screening Pass before entering a vehicle.

The Transportation and Parking Office is open Monday - Friday from 9AM to 4PM. Beginning Friday, August 21, daily hours will expand to 8:30AM – 5PM. Staff may also be contacted at For up-to-date transit and parking information, go to:

Penn’s on-demand Evening Shuttles and Penn Accessible Transit services will continue to operate as normal. Shuttles provide free transportation from campus stops to anywhere in the service boundaries between 20th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue.

Students who purchased Spring Semester Penn Transit Passes should visit for instructions and additional information about requesting a refund.

Penn Libraries 
At this time all Penn Libraries buildings remain closed, in-person events are cancelled until further notice, and access to library facilities is limited to a small number of library staff. 

More information about Library services can be found under "Academic and Research Support" on this page. Learn more about phased library service availability on the Penn Libraries' COVID-19 FAQs page.

Penn Dining 
Penn Dining is open and is providing limited service. Visit the Penn Dining Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources page for the most up-to-date information. Please be aware that hours and locations are subject to change. 

Penn On-Campus Housing 
Information and resources for campus residents can be found at

last updated: August 18, 2020
City of Philadelphia

Official Information & Updates

Statewide: visit the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Guide at

Visit the city's COVID-19 website for more information about Philadelphia services:

  • COVID-19 Text Alerts: Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
  • Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline: Call the 24/7 helpline to speak with a health care professional. 1-800-722-7112

The School District and City of Philadelphia have announced a plan to provide grab-and-go meals and drop-in activity spaces for all Philadelphia students while our schools are closed. Details, including the list of sites, are available here

The School District's coronavirus information web page for families: 

SEPTA, PATCO, and NJTransit are all running, though with cancellations and changes due to decreased ridership and staffing issues. All transit authorities are taking preventive steps by boosting cleaning efforts.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike will stop accepting cash and credit for tolls at 8 p.m. on March. 16. All tolls will be collected by E-ZPass or “toll by plate.”

Utilities and Essential Services 

Learn more about city services and support for individuals.

All non-essential City of Philadelphia government operations have halted, and all City government buildings are closed to the public. Find out which essential City services are still open and how you can get them.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is still operating on a regular schedule, and is reviewing and revising its contingency plans.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is closed. The Montgomery County Libraries are closed. If you have a library card, you can access a number of materials for free online.

Information for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and others needing public assistance. Please check the Assistance Programs section of this page for additional assistance available to those in need. 

Helplines and Crisis Services 

  • Philadelphia’s mental health and addiction services hotlines are operating.
  • The Community Behavioral Health hotline is open 24 hours a day at 888-545-2600.
  • If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call the city’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 215-685-6440.
  • If you need immediate help with opioid addiction treatment, call the NET Access Point, the 24-hour service that connects people with treatment, at 844-533-8200 or 215-408-4987, or visit their website.
  • If you need intellectual disability services, call 215-685-5900.
  • The city also has a website providing free online behavioral health screenings, available 24 hours a day.

Grocery Stores 
Many grocery stores are providing designated shopping hours for those over 60 and/or immunocompromised, including:

  • Giant: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day, for 60+ and the immunocompromised. Find your local store at
  • Acme: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every weekday, for people over 60 and those with compromised immune systems. Find a store at
  • Target: An hour before normal store opening every Wednesday, for seniors and people with health conditions. Find your local store at
  • Whole Foods: An hour before store opening time. Find your local store at

Protections from abuse and domestic violence 

  • Legal advice and support related to domestic violence
    During normal business hours, residents can call the Women Against Abuse Legal Center at (215) 686-7082 and leave a message with a safe number for an advocate to call them back.
  • The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline remains open 24/7. For help, call at (866) 723-3014.
  • Protection from Abuse Orders
    Residents can file for emergency Protection from Abuse Orders (PFAs) at the Stout Center for Criminal Justice. Services are available 24/7 at:
    Stout Center for Criminal Justice
    1301 Filbert St., Room B-03
    Philadelphia, PA 19107

The Women’s Law Project has information about protection from abuse orders and other domestic violence resources.

Southeastern PA Region



Visit's COVID-19 page for statewide alerts and notices.

Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit for more information.

Montgomery County 
Visit the Montgomery County Alert Center for updates on COVID-19 related alerts.

Delaware County
Visit the Delaware County Coronavirus web page for updates on closures and restrictions.

Bucks County
Visit the Bucks County COVID-19 web page for updates on closures and restrictions.

Chester County
Visit the Chester County Alert Center for updates on services, restrictions, and notices.

Southeastern New Jersey

Visit's Health website for COVID-19 information or call the hotline: 1-800-962-1253 

Camden County
Visit the Camden County News Page for updates and information.

Resources and Support
Health and Wellness

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS is offering counseling sessions by phone or video conference, as well as in person. Students are encouraged to call in advance to schedule an appointment. Dial 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the Front Desk (M-F, 9am-5pm) or you can press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7. For more information, visit

Your Mental Health and COVID-19: Tips and resources to help you cope with COVID-19, including dealing with issues of bias, coping skills, and more.  

last updated: March 24

Important changes to PSIP in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Please contact the Insurance Office at 215 746 3535 or with any questions.

last updated: April 17

Student Health Services
Student Health Services remains available for students in need of medical services. Visit their website for more information: 

Students with medical emergencies should utilize emergency medical services and dial 911. 

last updated: March 14

One call to the HELP LINE can assist you in finding personal and mental health support, 215-898-HELP.

last updated: March 14


Technology & Software Access


All Penn students have unlimited data storage via Penn+Box, a cloud-based collaboration service for securely managing and sharing files and folders within the Penn community and externally. Users can access, create, manage, and distribute content across various device types and operating systems. 

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching, research, or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes. The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

Internet and Phone Service 
Information about free and  low-cost internet & wi-fi access and updates made to mobile phone service plans to help support individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.

IT Support
Penn Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has put together a Remote IT Support Guide to assist students with accessing and using virtual instruction and software. Please click on a link below to jump to a section in the guide: 

Academic and Research Support

Academic Resources and Support

COVID-19 Related Academic Resources and FAQ 

Penn Libraries 
Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides the information you’ll need to access digital content, collaborate with research partners, and directly consult with librarians. They have been working with academic publishers to make additional virtual content openly available. In addition, subject librarians are standing by to support online teaching, research, and learning throughout the rest of the semester.

Penn Libraries is providing the following services for physical books located in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, the Libraries’ Research Annex (LIBRA), Fisher Fine Arts Library, and the Museum Library:

  • Books by Mail for current Penn students, faculty, and staff within North America. International requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Pickup@Penn enables members of the Penn community to request books and pick them up outside Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

Beginning in October 2020, students, faculty, and staff will be able to reserve a limited number of seats in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center for use as study space. Details on the web-based seat-reservation system are forthcoming.

More information on the Phased Library Service Availability can be found on the Penn Libraries COVID-19 FAQ page

Additional resources from Penn Libraries: 

Additionally, the Penn Bookstore is open with health protocols in place and is still processing online orders.

Weingarten Learning Resources Center 
The Weingarten Center staff is working remotely but will continue to support students by providing academic assistance (e.g., individual consultations with learning instructors, tutoring) through virtual platforms and by overseeing the implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities.

  • The Office of Learning Resources (OLR) is offering virtual access to academic support resources and advising. Students can schedule 50-minute virtual meetings or sign up for 25-minute virtual drop-in sessions with a learning instructor via the MyWLRC portal to discuss their study strategies and approaches to a variety of academic assignments and assessments. More details at

  • Student Disabilities Services staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations. For information explains how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

Contact the Weingarten Center at 215-573-9235 to get updated information about Student Disabilities Services, Office of Learning Resources, and Tutoring Services and to be connected with a staff member who can address your needs.

Writing Center 
The Writing Center provides writing support to graduate students enrolled in credit-bearing courses. You can find graduate hours hereSchedule appointments at  

A guide to scheduling and attending online writing consultations is available at (PDF, opens in new tab) 

Those students in timezones not well-suited to Writing Center hours should contact Stacy Kastner, PhD, Associate Director of The Writing Center.   

last updated: August 18, 2020
Support for Teaching Remotely

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Online Learning Initiative (OLI) have partnered to provide a guide to strategies and tools for teaching remotely. Check out the guide to teaching remotely at

CTL is also offering a series of online workshops related to teaching remotely. More details at

Used to using a whiteboard for teaching or office hours? CTL has some low- & medium-tech solutions you can use in live and recorded sessions! Many also recommend  low-cost tablets for simulating whiteboards

Penn Libraries Virtual Support page provides a range of guides, tutorials, and support services to help with virtual classes.

The Penn Libraries software guide includes tutorials and information on virtual meeting platforms — including Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom

The Using Electronic Resources provides information on accessing e-resources, optimal browser settings, as well as common connection problems and solutions.

last updated: March 22
Public Assistance Programs Coronavirus Resources
On, you can find government benefits related to unemployment assistancehealthcare, and food and nutrition. You can also use the Benefit Finder to find additional benefits for which you may be eligible. 

To learn more and stay up to date about the steps you can take to keep safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, refer to, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House. You can also visit to learn more about the government's response to the outbreak. 

Public Benefits for PA Residents 
Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit for more information. 

Assistance for Philadelphia Renters and Homeowners
There are resources available to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners facing housing issues during the pandemic. For more information, visit:

  • Philadelphia COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program
    Applications accepted: May 12 at 10am to May 16 at 5pm (ET).
    The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will make rent payments for people who have lost income because of COVID-19. The application opens Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 10 a.m. The deadline to apply is Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. To be eligible, renters must: 1) Rent an apartment or house in Philadelphia; 2) Have a valid and current written lease signed by landlord; 3) Have lost income because of COVID-19; 4) Meet income guidelines. Renters do not have to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to be eligible. Additional resources for renters and homeowners can be found at

  • Rental Agreements + Roommates leaving early
    By law, all individuals named as tenants on a lease are responsible for the terms of the lease they signed, whether or not they have relocated. If your roommate has departed, they are still responsible for paying their portion of the rent. If the departing roommate is a Penn student, the departing roommate should apply for assistance for duplicate rents or housing costs. Off-Campus Services (OCS) can assist you and provide resources related to the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, addressing issues related to off-campus living, legal resources, and subletting your apartment.

  • Moratorium on evictions and foreclosures
    Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order to prevent foreclosures and evictions until July 10. Homeowners concerned about potential foreclosure can call the Save Your Home Philly hotline at (215) 334-HOME (4663). Learn more about the postponements and resources to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners.

Unemployment Resources 
If you are facing unemployment or a lapse in employment due to the coronavirus, the following resources may be available to you:  

Under the Federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits. Individuals covered under PUA include the self-employed, those unable to start a new job, those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits.

To apply for unemployment assistance, please contact your State Unemployment Assistance Agency. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Unemployment Assistance Page

Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks)
According to the IRS, stimulus checks will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Eligible taxpayers, who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents will receive $500 for each qualifying child. Visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Page to learn more. 

For more information specific to Social Security during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the U.S. Social Security Administration's Coronavirus Disease Page

Resources for Families in Need
For families requiring temporary assistance during the outbreak, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can help provide financial assistance and related support.

Philadelphia residents who are pregnant or caring for an infant or toddler: see a list of resources and free supplies available to you and your family during COVID-19.

Food and Nutrition
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves millions of people annually, ensuring that they and their families have access to nutritious food options. The SNAP for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides for the special dietary needs of nursing and pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five.

Additional federal programs can be found on the Food and Nutrition Page. See additional food assistance programs and food banks in the "Other Assistance Programs" box on this page. 

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps provide low-income families with their heating and cooling energy costs. See a state-by-state list of utility assistance programs on the Housing and Public Utilities Page 

  • PECO
    Customers experiencing challenges in paying their bills or who have a disconnect notice can contact PECO at 1-800-494-4000. PECO is also working to help customers determine if they are eligible for assistance programs. Effective March 13, 2020, PECO is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, 2020.
  • Philadelphia Water Department
    Effective, March 16, PWD and the Water Revenue Bureau will work together to restore water service to all delinquent residential and commercial customers through Friday, May 15, 2020, and the restoration fee will be waived. Residential customers who have been shut off for meter non-compliance will also have their water service restored until May 15, 2020. Visit the Philadelphia Water Department COVID-19 Statements and Updates page for more information.
  • Philadelphia Gas Works
    Effective March 13, PGW is suspending non-payment terminations until May 1, 2020. PGW also plans to waive new late payment charges. Visit the PGW COVID-19 Updates page for more information.
Other Assistance Programs & Discounts

Banking and Credit
Some banks and credit card companies are waiving fees on missed credit card payments or waiving early withdrawal penalties for those who are out of work and need access to money. Visit official websites for more details 

Wifi, data, and internet. 
See information about free and low cost Internet and Phone Service available to local residents.

Comcast is offering unlimited data for customers, and making its wifi hotspots free for everyone. Customers can sign up for the service by visiting or call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Numerous Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have signed an FCC Agreement stating that from March 13 until May 12, 2020, companies will not terminate service for customers, will waive late fees, and will open access to public WiFi hotspots.

Many ISPs are making additional accommodations to assist customers. Offerings may change, so please check with your provider(s) for current promotions and be sure to check their eligibility requirements, terms, and conditions.

See this guide to internet and mobile service plans for those with financial need for more information about qualifying for discounts on internet, computers, and resources to stay connected remotely. 

Free meal services in Philadelphia
While schools are closed, the school district is coordinating with the City’s Office of Children and Families, Parks & Recreation, and many other departments and nonprofit partners to provide meal service in safe spaces throughout the city.

Food Assistance 
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services offers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to help low-income households get more food. Applications can be submitted online  or filed in person at your county assistance officeFor additional information and resources, visit the Department of Human Services website.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger connects people with food assistance programs and nutrition education; provides resources to a network of food pantries; and educates the public and policymakers about responsible solutions to food insecurity. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, you can call the WHY Hunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY or visit

  • Philadelphia 
    The City of Philadelphia and partners are providing free food for households and students at sites throughout the city.  
  • Montgomery County 
    Visit MontCo Anti-Hunger Network for latest information on food pantries in Montgomery County.

Many area food banks were still operating with adjusted or limited hours. Please call in advance.  Many food pantries and banks are also accepting volunteers and donations. 

  • Philabundance 3616 South Galloway Street Philadelphia, PA 19148
  • Food Bank of South Jersey 1501 John Tipton Blvd. Pennsauken, NJ 08110
  • Share Food Program 2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19129
  • Mary's Cupboard 100 Levittown Parkway Levittown, PA 19054
  • Manna on Main Street 606 E. Main Street Lansdale, PA 19446
  • Narberth Community Food Bank 201 Sabine Avenue, 2nd Floor Narberth, PA 19072
  • St. Mark's United Methodist Church Food Pantry 220 S. Sproul Rd. Broomall, PA 19008
  • Chester County Food Bank 650 Pennsylvania Drive Exton, PA 19341
Racial Justice and Anti-Racism Resources

To help support our students, we are providing resources related to combating, coping, confronting, and understanding racism in America. Below is a partial and growing list of resources for those seeking to increase their knowledge, awareness, and understanding of anti-racism frameworks and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues, with an emphasis on advancing racial justice and anti-racism work in academia, at Penn, and in Philadelphia.

Penn Programs and Resources 

Penn Perspectives
Articles, videos, and commentary by members of the Penn Community 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism in Academia

Additional Resources and Readings

Listen and View

Social Media 

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list. However, if you have resources you would like us to add to this list, we welcome them at 

Support for Specific Populations

International Students

For international students who have questions about travel and visas please contact ISSS directly to schedule virtual advising:

International Student & Scholar Service's (ISSS) in-person services are suspended until further notice. ISSS advisors are available by email or virtual advising appointment. For instructions, visit

ISSS has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 at and is scheduling a series of virtual town halls and webinars (

Students leaving the United States do not need a travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 before exiting the country. Before you return to the US, please complete the Travel Signature request form in iPenn. Once your request has been approved, please complete the Shipping Request form and your document will be mailed to you. 

last updated: August 14

Students and Postdocs with Children 
The Family Resource Center facility will remain closed through the fall semester. Family Center staff remain available to advise and meet with students, postdocs, and campus partners via phone, email, or Skype. 

Visit the Family Center Virtual Resources Page with special resources for parents and families during the COVID-19 outbreak and connect with other student, faculty, and staff parents through the Parents at Penn group on Facebook. 

Strategies to Explore Careers, Write Resumes, & Navigate Tricky Interview Questions as a Parent
The Family Center and Career Services partnered to create this video series, which provides actionable advice for current and prospective parents on networking, informational interviews, resume tips, and interview strategies, along with information on career-relevant resources you can access as a Penn student or postdoc.

last updated: August 14

Students with Disabilities 

Student Disabilities Services is currently offering virtual support services for students in online classes. While the physical office is closed, SDS staff members are available by phone and email to answer questions from members of the University community about accessibility and accommodations.

For information about how SDS will provide the most common support services in the virtual classroom environment, visit Contact SDS directly by email or phone (215-573-9235) with any additional questions or concerns.

last updated: March 16


Virtual Activities and Things to Do
Health and Wellness

The Basics

In order to be there for anyone else, you have to first take care of yourself. 

Outdoor Recreation

Social distancing doesn't have to mean staying indoors. Explore new parts of the city or visit one of Philadelphia's many urban parks! Remember to wear a mask and stay 6 ft away when other people are around.


Campus Recreation and Fitness Centers

Penn Campus Recreation facilities and programs remain suspended until further notice. For more information visit the Penn Campus Rec COVID-19 page.

Campus Recreation has developed a remote resource hub to help keep the Penn Community active and connected to favorite Philadelphia area studios, Penn Alumni, and more! You can also learn more about individual programs and schedule virtual consultations by visiting the Campus Recreation member portal

Group Fitness classes will be offered remotely during the Fall semester. Franklin Field will be open for free recreational use in a limited capacity on Wednesday, September 23rd. Learn more on their Fall Recreation Programs website.

Online Fitness Classes

Feeling restless or missing your regular workouts? Try out these online fitness routines and streaming workouts you can do from home! 

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mental Health and Coping Resources 

Social Connection

Want to connect with other members of the Penn graduate and professional student community? Here are a few ways you can meet new people or engage with the community from a distance. 

Peer Accountability Groups 
Whether you're working on a long-term project, writing a dissertation, trying to maintain healthy habits, or want to connect with others with similar goals, forming an accountability group with other students is a great way to help one another stay motivated and make progress towards reaching your goals, by providing accountability and encouragement along the way. Learn more and sign up at

Grad Center Virtual Coffee Hours
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

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!

Penn Cultural & Identity Centers Weekly Virtual Chats
VPUL cultural and identity centers offer weekly virtual chats to connect with students and staff. 

Information for Student Groups 
The Office of Student Activities has put together a Frequently Asked Questions page for Student Groups in response to altered University operations during the pandemic.

Quarantine Chat 
Speak on the phone with someone else who is stuck at home due to COVID-19 (via iOS or Android). QuarantineChat simulates the magic of having a surprise conversation with someone—something that is becoming increasingly rare during the times of a viral epidemic.

Last updated: August 30 
Academic and Professional Development

We understand that the disruptions and uncertainty of this period make it difficult or even impossible to balance life with school and work obligations. We encourage and support you in prioritizing your own wellness and relationships at this time.

The resources and suggested activities below are provided for those who wish to dedicate some time to academic and professional development or who are seeking concrete ways to continue learning and growing while research or other developmental activities are suspended. 

Online Learning Platforms, Open Courseware, and MOOCs

  • Coursera
    hundreds of free courses taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies, on a wide range of academic, professional, and personal development topics. Free courses give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. 

  • edX
    Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion, or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. 

  • Alison 
    Alison is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms for education and skills training. It is a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to making it possible for anyone, to study anything, anywhere, at any time, for free, online, at any subject level. Through our mission we are a catalyst for positive social change, creating opportunity, prosperity, and equality for everyone.

  • CodeAcademy
    Basic coding lessons are free 

  • LinkedIn Learning
    Online tutorials and courses on a wide selection of topics, including software products widely used on campus such as the Microsoft Office suite, Google Analytics, and Drupal, as well as topics to enhance key business skills such as project management, marketing, and collaboration. 

Learn (or practice) a language

  • Grad Center Language Chats 
    The Grad Center’s popular language chats are moving online! If you are interested in facilitating or joining a virtual language chat, please fill out this form and we’ll connect you with other students for informal conversation and language practice in your selected language! Learn more and see currently-scheduled chats at

  • Mango Languages
    Mango uses semantic mapping to help you learn languages through conversations, movies, and other exercises. Access Mango Languages with your Pennkey and password.

  • Duolingo
    Learn a language by translating webpages. Duolingo provides free language courses; you provide the web with translations while you learn.

  • BBC Languages
    BBC Languages offers courses, interactive videos, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and exercises. Listen to the BBC World Service news in 27 languages.

  • Visual Link Languages - Learn a Language
    Created by the U.S. Institute of Language, Visual Link courses offers free language lessons, games, vocabulary, and cultural information.

         See additional language learning resources at

Writing Skills and Progress 

Communication Skills


  • Schedule a remote, one-on-one consultation with CTL to get guidance on how to improve your virtual teaching practice or to get feedback on teaching statements and demos. 

Career Development 

  • Complete an Individual Development Plan or explore skills and career paths using resources from Career Services 

  • Reach out to someone in the area to receive input on the career of interest

  • Participate in workshops on skills needed for the career of interest

  • Book a virtual appointment with one of Career Services graduate advisors or graduate advisors in your school. They specifically work with graduate students, and with them you can discuss strategies for identifying and achieving your career goals!

Build Your Network 

  • QuakerNet is a database of Penn graduates and is searchable by industry, employer name, major, degree, student clubs, and more. Update your profile and connect with Penn alumni in your field(s) of interest. Wharton alumni may also wish to access the Wharton Alumni Directory to connect with the global Wharton alumni newtork. 

  • Over 42,000 Quakers have joined the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Group on LinkedIn. This site is a great resources for connecting with classmates, engaging in career-related discussions, learning about job opportunities, and joining Penn school and industry-specific subgroups.

Career Services continues to support students with their career development during their time away from campus, and can be helpful to students who are beginning to explore a broader range of career paths as they plan for the upcoming months. Students can schedule 30-minute video/phone appointments, or one of our same-day phone drop-ins, through Handshake, and make use of our many digital resources for Master’s Students and PhDs and Postdocs that can help with career exploration, networking, creating effective application materials, and interviewing. Jobs and internships are still being posted on Handshake, and there are many ways to explore remote internship and job opportunities. For more information, visit

Career Exploration
Career Services provides access to a number of free and subscription resources to support career exploration and planning, including: 

  • ChemIDP: An online tool for chemists to help them explore career options and create a plan for their own professional and career development.
  • Imagine PhD: Developed specifically for humanities and social sciences PhDs, this free, online resource provides self-assessment tools to help you evaluate your skills, interests, and values, and compare these against a wide diversity of job families that value a PhD. You can use the individual development plan tool to identify key next steps as part of your academic/professional development.
  • iBiology: A library of online videos and resources related to the professional and career development of scientists, and information on careers in education, industry, government, and more
  • InterviewStream: Create customized, online mock interviews to practice answers to industry-specific questions. Watch recordings of yourself to develop more effective interviewing approaches.
  • MLA Connected Academics: An online resource demonstrating how doctoral education can develop students’ capacities to bring their expertise in advanced humanistic study to a wide range of fulfilling, secure, and well-compensated professional situations.
  • myIDP: Developed specifically for STEM PhDs, this free, online resource provides self-assessment tools to help you evaluate your skills, interests, and values, and compare these against a diversity of careers that value a STEM PhD. You can use the individual development plan tool to identify key next steps as part of your professional development.
  • Vault Career Insider: Vault provides in-depth intelligence on what it’s really like to work within an industry, company, or profession—and how to position yourself to launch and build the career you want.
  • Versatile PhD: Career Services subscribes to this web-based community so you can explore the broad diversity of careers that value a PhD and gain job-search relevant skills. Take advantage of the PhD Career Finder Tool to investigate common career paths taken by PhDs across disciplines. This tool includes Options 4 Success, an online career development program designed to help graduate students identify viable career paths, understand the link between their degrees and the professional world, and confidently manage the transition from university to high-quality professional careers
  • Where Historians Work: An interactive, online database that catalogues the career outcomes of the 8,523 historians who earned PhDs at US universities from 2004 and 2013.

Academic and Intellectual Programs 

Academic Resources and Support 

Civic Engagement, Voting, & Volunteering

We encourage students wishing to engage in service and volunteer opportunities to identify established organizations addressing community needs and to get creative about finding needs and opportunities you can participate in remotely. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and turbulent social and political climate, there are important ways to stay civically engaged in the democratic processes that affect our lives. 

  • National Voter Education Week 
    A week-long digital campaign with events live-streamed on various platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Partners will receive customizable content and are invited to create materials geared towards educating new voters.
  • Complete the Census
    The results of the U.S. Census 2020 shape public decision-making for the next decade. Despite changes to your learning environment as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, ALL Penn students who would have been living on or near campus for the Spring 2020 Semester should count themselves in Philadelphia
    You do NOT need to be a U.S. citizen to participate. If you were a resident in off-campus housing for Spring 2020 Semester, go to to self-report using your Spring 2020 address. You can complete the 10-minute questionnaire in any of 59 languages.
    You can check and update your PA registration status at Check your voter registration status in other states at
    • If you have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID, apply for a mail-in ballot online at you do NOT have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License or PennDOT ID, download and print the mail-in ballot application form (PDF, opens in new tab). Send the application via U.S. Mail to Philadelphia County Board of Elections, Room 142 City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • VOTE 
    Penn students can connect to nonpartisan voter resources from Penn Leads The Vote (PLTV) at supports student voter registration, voter education and voting (mail-in, absentee, in-person) in every municipality in the US.

    The Penn Office of Government and Community Affairs is available to answer any questions from our campus community related to Census 2020 and the PA Election. Email or phone 215-898-1388.
  • Volunteer as a Poll Worker
    Polling stations are especially understaffed this year due to COVID-19. If you’d like to help, consider becoming a poll worker. Poll workers who are bilingual and have experience providing accommodations to those with disabilities are especially needed. Although compensation and requirements vary by county, workers typically receive a stipend and work locally.
  • Rise PA GOTV and Internship Opportunity 
    Rise Pennsylvania needs your help mobilizing student voters leading up to the November 3rd general election. Participants are on-boarded and offered a $100 stipend for signing-up 100 students to make a plan to vote on Rise.Vote. Successful interns will be considered for a $15/hour fellowship after reaching their goals! Contact for more information or fill out the application at

DONATE or share VIRTUAL SUPPORT related to the pandemic

  • MASK ON! Philly
    The MASK ON! Philly Project sews face masks for those in need. Volunteers are needed to help sew masks, cut fabric, and drop off the masks to distribution partners. Donations of fabric, mask making materials, and funds are also greatly appreciated. 
  • PHL COVID-19 Fund
    The PHL COVID-19 Fund will rapidly and equitably deploy solutions and resources to help our nonprofit community navigate near-and longer-term challenges from COVID-19 and ensure that critical resources remain available for those in our community who need it most.

  • Donate PPE and Supplies to Penn Medicine
    Penn Medicine is now accepting donations of personal protective equipment and supplies from the community. For more information, visit
  • Penn Medicine Spread the Love Campaign
    Send notes of gratitude to front line staff at Penn Medicine. Leave your messages of support, encouragement, and gratitude, and they will be spread system-wide and delivered to our staff. No name or contact information is required but if you'd like to sign your first name and location, you're more than welcome.
  • Support local small businesses (safely)
    Though their locations may remain closed, you can still safely support your neighborhood shops and restaurants 
  • Donate blood to support scientific discoveries
    The purpose of Wistar's phlebotomy service is to collect blood from healthy donors to be used for conducting biomedical research that impacts many areas of human health, particularly cancer and infectious diseases. 

There are many established organizations in Philadelphia seeking volunteers. Students are not required or encouraged to engage in any of these initiatives. These opportunities are completely voluntary. Please contact the sites directly to sign up or with any questions.

  • Remote Volunteer Opportunities with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • PHT Rapid Response: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    Penn Health-Tech is rapidly assembling interdisciplinary teams to address emergent unmet needs related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) with technology solutions. Submit your COVID-19-related unmet need and breakthrough solution or volunteer to join a team.
  • The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service is working to connect residents to volunteer opportunities with these critical organizations. Residents who wish to support these efforts can sign up for shifts on
  • Netter Center Virtual Community Engagement Opportunities
    The Netter Center has adapted outreach and community partnerships for virtual civic engagement, in collaboration with our community and K12 school partners. Learn more about opportunities through the Netter Center and see a list of remote engagement opportunities
  • Corona Connects is an online database created by Penn students that lets you filter remote and in-person volunteer opportunities by U.S. location and time commitment. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours; want to teach others or flex your crafting skills; or want to get out or stay inside, there are many ways to make a difference.
  • Give Blood 
    the American Red Cross has an ongoing critical need for blood product donations as uncertainties remain during this coronavirus pandemic. Giving blood is considered an essential community service. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate even in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations.
  • Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
    Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer and help us make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible.
  • BookShare Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
    Book Share offers thousands of books to people with reading disabilities. As an online volunteer you can scan books to be added to the collection, edit books that have been scanned and add text descriptions to images.
  • Be My Eyes 
    Be My Eyes is a free app that connects individuals with visual impairments with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.
  • Translators without Borders (TWB)
    TWB is a non-profit organization offering language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies, and other non-profit organizations on a global scale. If you are fluent in at least one language other than your native language you can help! TWB also utilizes volunteer support in graphic design and website design.
  • United Nations Online Volunteer Opportunities
    You can help with writing and editing, translation, technology services, research, and advocacy, to name a few, and there is a variety of short and longer-term opportunities.


  • Call or leave a note for your neighbors, particularly seniors and those who live alone. Help them get the essential supplies they need. 

  • Remind others of social distancing guidance, including young adults and teens who may still feel inclined to hang out with friends. 

  • Order take-out or delivery from a locally-owned eatery.

  • Wear a mask and sew masks to donate to neighbors or essential employees. 

  • Post drawings/art, or words of thanks or encouragement in your window and/or offer a wave of thanks when you see essential employees, especially our healthcare workers and first responders.


Campus Engagement Opportunities

Creative, Performing, & Fine Arts

Penn Museum
The Penn Museum is open now through the purchase of timed tickets. Learn more about their plans to ensure a safe visit for all. They are also still offering virtual content via YouTube videos and an online collections database. The museum will be sharing objects from their collections, links to lectures, & more on social media with the hashtag #VisitFromHome.

Check out the Penn Museum's Facebook page for the Digital Daily Dig. Virtually tour their galleries here:

For more information, go to:

New York Metropolitan Opera
The Nightly Met Opera Streams, which start at 7:30 p.m. (EST), pull from the renowned opera house’s award-winning Live in HD series, which includes encore presentations such as 19th-century French composer Georges Bizet’s Carmen. The recordings will be available to view for free on the Met Opera homepage for 20 hours after they’re streamed.

Color Our Collections 
Over 100 libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world have shared free coloring sheets and books based on materials in their collections. Download, print, and share your favorites!

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems! 
Join Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence at Home for a live daily doodle lesson at 1:00 PM EDT.  Videos will be available after live on the Kennedy Center YouTube channel. 

Join the McHarper Manor weekdays on Facebook for a daily art project tutorial. Art projects will range from watercolor paintings to chalk art to canvas painting and will take place live at 1:00 PM EDT. Videos will be available after the live class on the McHarper Manor Facebook page.  

Penn Coloring Pages 
Alumni Relations has created Penn print-at-home coloring pages for adults and kids, alike! 

Many museums and galleries provide virtual tours of their collections or special exhibits. Explore new and inspiring art from around the world. 

Google Arts & Culture Virtual Tours
Digital collection of over 1,200+ museums and galleries that anyone with wifi can peruse at their own leisure. Depending on the museum, viewers can scroll through select images from renowned collections, and, in certain cases, navigate a “street view” of the gallery space, functioning as a virtual tour.

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with University of Pennsylvania guidelines, ICA is now temporarily closed to the public until further notice. All public events taking place at the museum have been canceled. ICA staff will have remote office hours Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., also until further notice. You may experience some delays with publication orders and archival requests. We thank you in advance for your patience. To reach an ICA staff member please email

last updated: August 14
Just for Fun

Virtual Backgrounds & Desktop Wallpaper Images 

  • #MaskUpenn 
    Grab some of these great images for your social media #MaskUPenn, your mobile background, or even virtual background for those Zoom classes!
  • Penn Campus Backgrounds
    A collection Penn Campus Backgrounds from Alumni Relations 
  • Penn's free photo library
    University Communications has a Flickr stream site where you can download Penn images. 

 Pick up a new Hobby


Virtual Tours

Interactive videos of Philadelphia's Famous Landmarks or live feeds and video tours of Philly museums, cultural centers, zoos, and more!

List of 100 Things for Kids (and Students) to Virtually Tour by UpgradedPoints

Video Games that Allow You to Travel by Nerd Bear

Explore the outdoors and beyond, from national parks to the surface of Mars!


Watch Animal Webcams 

Visit the Zoo 


Puzzles, Games, and Entertainment

Host a Virtual Party or Game Night with Friends

Crossword Puzzles

Online Puzzles:


Offline Activities

Need a break from staring at screens? Try some of the activities below! 

Calendar of Events 

This section is updated frequently. Be sure to check back often! 
Have a suggestion for resources or activities you'd like to see offered? Let us know