Penn Graduate Student Center

Graduate & Professional New Student Orientation

If you're an undergraduate new student, please visit the Undergraduate New Student Orientation website.

About Graduate & Professional New Student Orientation

The Graduate Student Center is here to make sure you experience a seamless transition to Penn. The Grad Center will also be your home base at Penn long after orientation is over. So become part of the community right away!

Penn offers several orientation programs for incoming graduate and professional students. Take advantage of

We know you'll be busy, so we've organized the Grad Center activities à la carte. Pick and choose what's most convenient for you!  And please invite your spouse/partner to Grad Center orientation activities!

Before You Arrive: Online Sessions 2015

Incoming students from anywhere in the world are encouraged to log on to participate in these online sessions in order to get critical information before they arrive on campus. These are live, interactive, web-based presentations with experts from Penn. Students will be able to ask questions and receive real-time answers during the presentations.

Presentations are offered multiple times so students can sign up for the most convenient session. All of these presentation times are scheduled in Eastern Daylight Time, please adjust for your time zone accordingly. 

Health Insurance Online Information Session

Wednesday, August 05, 2015, 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM
Register in advance for login instructions

Join us for this online information session to gain a better understanding of your health insurance options and immunization requirements at Penn. This session will discuss the University's Health Insurance and Immunization requirements, the process for fulfilling those requirements, how to select your health insurance and an overview of how to use your health insurance at Penn's Student Health Service. This session will be led by representatives from Penn Student Health Service and is strongly recommended for all incoming students! There will be plenty of time for Q&A, so come prepared to learn and ask lots of question!

This same session will be offered multiple times; register for the one most convenient for you. Please note that all times are Eastern Daylight Time. Please adjust accordingly for your time zone.  When you register, you will be asked for your PennCard number.  Please enter 00000000

Academic Success Online Session

Thursday, August 06, 2015, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Register in advance for login instructions

Learn about the academic standards at Penn and the resources we have to support you, so you can be successful in graduate school.  Note that this session is scheduled in Eastern Daylight Time.  Please adjust for your time zone accordingly.  When you register, you will be asked for your PennCard number.  Please enter 00000000.

Information Sessions 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Penn & Philadelphia

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 11:00 AM - 03:30 PM
Cohen Auditorium in Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th Street

Join us for this one-day orientation providing information on everything you need to know about Penn and Philadelphia! We'll start with lunch, and then we will cover Philly Fun, Transportation, Safety, and more! We will also raffle off prizes that are designed to help you enjoy all that Philly has to offer. Stick around for our "Get to 'Gnome' Penn" scavenger hunt and happy hour afterward!

Tours 2015

First Friday Tours
Show dates


Enjoy the sights and sounds of Philly on this walking tour of the city. This tour will highlight historical landmarks, public art, and famous sights in Philadelphia. The tours will conclude in Old City for the First Friday celebration. On the first Friday of every month the streets fill with art lovers of all kinds who wander among the neighborhood's many galleries, restaurants, and bars.

 

Campus Tours
Show dates


Take a guided walking tour of campus to get to know the many resources that Penn has to offer. The tour will provide an overview of important spots on campus, and will give you a glimpse into Penn's history.

Schuylkill River Tour & Philadelphia Museum of Art

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Common Room Back (1st Floor), Meet at the Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk
We need volunteers - volunteer now!

Walk along the beautiful Schuylkill River, an oasis in urban Philadelphia, while learning about all of the public art along the trail. The tour will end at the wonderful Philadelphia Museum of Art, which offers "pay what you wish" entrance on Wednesday after 5:00 PM. You will be free to run the steps like Rocky, and/or explore the inside of the museum at your leisure. On display is Discovering the Impressionists, which features paintings by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Manet, and Pissarro, as well as the museum's world-renowned permanent collection.

Philly Foodie Tour (SIGN UP FOR ONE ONLY)
Show dates


Students can choose one of three tours: Baltimore Bites, Eating Good in the Gayborhood, and Cheesesteaks & Chinatown.

The Cheesesteaks & Chinatown tour will offer students a glimpse into Philadelphia's Chinatown. Students will see Chinatown's Friendship Gate and will have the opportunity to taste some of the city's best Philly cheesesteaks in Reading Terminal Market. If cheesesteaks aren't your thing, the market offers a diverse array of food options!

The Baltimore Bites tour will introduce students to the amazing dining options near the Penn campus along Baltimore Avenue. Some of these establishments include Little Baby's Ice Cream, Desi Village, Gojo, and Clark Park Farmer's Market. This area has an abundance of Indian cuisine, Ethiopian cuisine, and coffee houses, so if these interest you, this is your tour!

The Eating Good in the Gayborhood tour will take students on a walking tour of the Gayborhood, which houses some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia. These classy restaurants cater to everyone, and they represent diverse cuisines. Students will see Philly staples like Woodies, El Vez, Sampan, Zavino, and Lolita.

Welcome Events & Fun Stuff 2015

Gnome Hunt & Happy Hour

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM
Cohen Auditorium in Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th Street
We need volunteers - volunteer now!

Get to "gnome" Penn during this hilarious scavenger hunt! The Grad Center's garden gnomes have taken off...again! Help us find our gnomes around campus. Afterwards, enjoy an awards ceremony and happy hour! The gnomes want you to know that you have to participate in the scavenger hunt to attend the happy hour, and that you need to show your PennCard to participate.

Welcome Reception for New & Returning Asian-American Graduate & Professional Students

Friday, August 28, 2015, 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
Common Room Front (1st Floor), Common Room Back (1st Floor), Graduate Student Center, 3615 Locust Walk

New and returning Asian-American graduate and professional students are invited to this welcome reception, cosponsored by PAAGSA, PAACH, and the Graduate Student Center.  Please bring your Penn grad ID to be admitted.

Penn Grad Students Night at the Penn Museum Summer Concert Series

Wednesday, September 02, 2015, 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Stoner Courtyard Garden, 3260 South Street

Penn Museum’s popular outdoor Summer Night Concert Series has declared September 2 to be Penn Graduate Students Night!  This event will feature the music of Animus, an internationally acclaimed ensemble offering up an exciting fusion of ancient and modern music with traditional elements of Greek, rock, Middle Eastern, blues, Indian, jazz, and African music. The Museum’s Pepper Mill Café sells happy hour drinks and light fare outdoors, and the Museum galleries stay open to explore. Program moves indoors in the event of rain. Best of all: this event is free with your grad Penncard!

Welcome Reception for New & Returning Jewish Graduate Students

Thursday, September 03, 2015, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
City Tap House, 3925 Walnut Street

The Jewish Graduate Student Network and the Graduate Student Center invite new and returning graduate and professional students to this welcome reception. Please bring your PennCard to be admitted.

Running in Philadelphia

Saturday, September 12, 2015, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Meet at the Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

New student runners: Want to learn about good spots for running in Philadelphia, and meet other runners?  Join marathon runner and PhD student Josh Taton for this event!  We'll meet outside of the Graduate Student Center for a bit of light jogging and warmup stretching, while waiting for the group to gather. The run will leave from the Grad Center shortly after 10am, returning at about 11am. Afterwards, we will cool-down and meet in one of the Grad Center rooms to discuss running and racing in Philadelphia.

LAGAPSA Bienvenida

Friday, September 18, 2015, 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
Common Room Front (1st Floor), Common Room Back (1st Floor), Graduate Student Center, 3615 Locust Walk

La Casa Latina, LAGAPSA, and the Graduate Student Center welcome new and returning Latino/a grad students. Please bring your PennCard to be admitted.

Wine & Cheese Reception for New & Returning African-American Graduate & Professional Students

Friday, September 25, 2015, 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
Common Room Front (1st Floor), Common Room Back (1st Floor), Graduate Student Center, 3615 Locust Walk

BGAPSA, Makuu and the Graduate Student Center invite new and returning African-American graduate and professional students to attend this event. Please bring your PennCard to be admitted.

Common Room Summer Hours begin Monday, August 3:

Monday-Friday: 12PM - 5PM
Sat & Sun: Closed
Study Rooms Closed

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221
215-746-6868
center@gsc.upenn.edu