Resources for New Students
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The Graduate Student Center is here to help you throughout your graduate experience at Penn. The resources on this page are intended to help make your transition to life at Penn as seamless as possible. Please refer to our full resource guide for even more resources, services, and opportunities for graduate and professional students.
The Graduate Student Center is excited to welcome you to Philadelphia and help you transition to graduate life at Penn. The Graduate Student Center organizes New Student Orientation each summer for incoming graduate and professional students.
Checklist for Incoming Students
Be sure to review out checklist of everything you need to do before you arrive on campus, including info on how to find housing.
New Student Orientation Programming
Our Graduate and Professional Student Orientation activities are intended to supplement required school-specific programs and introduce you to the broader community at Penn and in Philadelphia. All of our orientation activities are optional and open to all incoming graduate & professional students - pick and choose what's most convenient for you!
Before you get to campus, be sure to sign up for your PennCard and register your PennKey, which gives you access to Penn email and other essential online services. Once you have a PennKey, you can access and update your student information and records on Penn InTouch and visit Campus Express to order textbooks, buy a new computer, register your property, and purchase discounted transit passes.
Penn is situated in the University City section of West Philadelphia, just across the river from Center City Philadelphia. The city’s neighborhoods and suburbs offer a wide range of housing choices, nightlife, culture, and recreation. We encourage you to visit Philadelphia and explore its diverse neighborhoods.
Learn more about On-Campus and Off-Campus Housing at Penn and explore additional resources available to students living off-campus. Each spring, the University offers live, interactive, online sessions about housing for incoming graduate students, so you can get this critical information before you arrive on campus. These online sessions are held in March, April and May, and you can log on from wherever you are in the world. Learn more or view a recording of previous Housing Webinar on our New Student Orientation Page.
Review Penn Safety Tips and visit the Division of Public Safety (DPS) website to learn about Penn's comprehensive and integrated safety and security programs, including Walking Escorts - uniformed security officers - who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to walk with students in defined areas.
Visit our Living in Philadelphia page or click on the links below to learn more about visiting and living in Philadelphia.
The Grad Center offers a variety of programs during New Student Orientation and beyond intended to help you integrate into the Penn community, manage your expectation and commitments, and enjoy a successful start to your academic career.
Thrive at Penn (TAP) is an online program for incoming graduate and professional students that provides information about resources available to support student success. Topics covered include academic integrity; wellness and health; and healthy relationships and sexual violence prevention. TAP is available in Canvas throughout students' career at Penn.
Review Health Insurance and Immunization Compliance information to be sure you meet all requirements. Visit the Student Health Service website or view a recording of our Student Health Insurance Webinar to learn more.
Connect with the Penn community by joining one of many Graduate Student Organizations at Penn, including GAPSA, the Graduate & Professional Student Assembly and/or by attending events and programs offered by Penn's Cultural Resource Centers and Penn Student Activities offices.
International students: to prepare before you arrive on campus, you can view a recording of one of our webinars for incoming international students. All incoming international students MUST register with International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), which provides a variety of resources for new international students.
New Students with Children: learn more about Resources & Benefits for Penn Students with Children and View a recording of our webinar for students with children.
Set yourself up for academic success by learning about Academic Policies and Support and review other relevant policies and handbooks set forth in the Pennbook. For information about required classes and course registration, be sure to contact your individual School & Program.