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. 

Housing Online Sessions

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Register in advance for login instructions.

These sessions will help students learn about their options for living on-campus or off-campus, housing for students with families, and the resources provided to help them make the right selection. 

This same session will be offered multiple times; register for the one that is 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

Incoming International Student Online Information Session

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Register in advance for login instructions.

These sessions will cover information on what students should bring with them, where to shop, transportation, banking information, and more! University staff and international students will be on hand to answer students’ questions.

This same session will be offered twice; register for the one that is 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

Here are instructions for how to log on to the session:

  • You will need a high-speed connection; students with dial-up connections will find it difficult to participate.
  • You will also need sound; make sure the sound is not on mute and that the volume is adjusted to a comfortable level.
  • Be sure to allow pop-up windows on your web browser.
  • You will not be able to log in until about 15 minutes prior to the session.
  • To log in to the session, point your web browser to http://upennsas.adobeconnect.com/international/
  • Enter as a guest.
  • You will be able to hear the presenters, and you will be able to type questions in the Chat Window.

Health Insurance Online Information Session
Show dates


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
Registration start: Wednesday, July 01, 2015

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.

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 & Museum of Art Tour

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Common Room Back (1st Floor)
Registration start: Wednesday, July 01, 2015
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 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.

Philly Foodie Tour
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 some of the amazing dining options near the Penn campus along Baltimore Street. 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

Orientation Extravaganza

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 11:30 AM - 03:00 PM
Cohen Auditorium in Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th Street
Registration start: Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Join us for this one-day extravaganza--orientation crammed into a single day! 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!

Gnome Hunt & Happy Hour

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Cohen Auditorium in Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th Street
Registration start: Wednesday, July 01, 2015
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.

LAGAPSA Bienvenida

Friday, September 18, 2015, 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
3615 Locust Walk
Registration start: Saturday, August 01, 2015

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

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM-8PM Friday: 9AM-6PM Weekends: 12 NOON-6PM

Graduate Student Center

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