This information page will be updated frequently. Please revisit often.
Will there be Commencement?
To protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and faculty and staff of the University—our highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic—we are cancelling this year’s on-campus Commencement events and moving them to a virtual ceremony that will be broadcast online. We also will celebrate and honor you in person with Commencement ceremonies on Penn's campus when it is safe and feasible to do so.
Will I be able to graduate?
Absolutely yes. Classes and examinations will move to a virtual platform effective March 23rd. If you expect to graduate this year, provided you complete and pass your coursework as you would under normal circumstances, it will have no impact on your graduation date. Details on class instruction will be provided to students directly by the respective Schools.
For Graduate Students
I am a graduate student. How will I complete my labs?
Guidance on completion of labs and other non-classroom academic activities for graduate and professional students will be provided by each school. PhD students who are on dissertation status or have completed their coursework are being advised separately in consultation with their graduate deans and the Vice Provost for Education, as we recognize individual research is different from classroom education.
What Penn Services are available?
Computer Connection: The Computer Connection is operating for departmental and UPHS services only between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. The retail store is closed until further notice. To request services, please contact ccxmail@pobox,upenn.edu.
Hilton Inn at Penn: Is open and accepting reservations from the general public. Food and beverage services are suspended.
Hospitality Services: Staff is accessible by phone and email only.
Morris Arboretum: Closed until further notice
Off-Campus Services: Staff is available by email and phone only; closed for walk-in visits.
Office of Software Licensing: Staff is available by email and phone, only; closed for walk-in visits.
Penn Bookstore: The Penn Bookstore is closed until further notice. For updates on course materials consult the website.
PennCard Center: Services are available between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm at 1920 Commons, 3800 Locust Walk for essential staff and who need to have their PennCards renewed and in emergency situations for those who are allowed on campus. Check the PennCard website as these hours are subject to change. All others should email firstname.lastname@example.org. to make arrangements to get their new cards. The PennCard Service Center located in the Penn Bookstore is closed until further notice.
Penn Children’s Center: The Penn Children’s Center is closed through March 27.
Penn Home Ownership Services: Staff is available by phone and email; closed for walk-in visits.
Penn Transit Services: Operating evening shuttle services and Penn Accessible Transit only.
Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel: Is open and accepting reservations from the general public. Food and beverage services are suspended.
University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Ice Rink: Services suspended until further notice.
I’m still on or near campus, where can I eat?
Whether you are living in University housing or off campus, Penn Dining remains open to serve students. Hours and locations are subject to change, so please check the website regularly. Dining swipes and Dining Dollars can be used.
Starting March 23, 2020:
- Monday-Friday breakfast ($10, 7-9:30 am); lunch ($11, 11 am to 1 pm) and dinner ($12, 5 to 7 pm.)
- Weekends – brunch ($11, 10 am to 1 pm) and dinner ($12, 5 pm to 7 pm).
Gourmet Grocer: daily, 9 am. to 5 pm.
In accordance with public health instructions, all meals are to-go and we are limiting the number of diners who can be in our café at one time. We are also adhering to all recommended guidelines for cleaning and limiting the spread of the virus and ask that you do your part by washing your hands before entering the café.
If you have questions or concerns about your dining plan, please email email@example.com. If you are a dining plan holder who can currently not access campus to use your dining plan, a process for credits and refund will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Health and Wellness
I know I need to go home, but I’m afraid I won’t have access to health care where I live. Will my Penn insurance work away from campus?
Penn Student Health Insurance (PSIP) covers students anywhere they go, around the world.
I see a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services. Can I continue my therapy in person or remotely?
Yes. CAPS will be open and also utilize virtual tools to maintain a continuum of care for students. Please contact CAPS by phone (215-898-7021).
I see a clinician at Student Health Service. Can I continue my treatment in person or remotely?
Yes. Student Health Service will be open and also utilize virtual tools to maintain a continuum of care for students. Please contact SHS by phone (215-746-3535).
I have a disability and/or have accommodations for my classes and tests. How will that work with virtual learning?
Please contact the Weingarten Center for Learning Resources for additional information. (215-573-9235, https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/).
Finance/ Financial Aid/Work Study
How can I speak to someone about my financial aid?
Student Registration and Financial Services is continuing to support students remotely throughout the remainder of the semester. The quickest way to contact the financial aid office is to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include as much information as possible about your specific situation.
Will my financial aid be impacted by a transition to online instruction?
Moving to online learning will not change your existing financial aid package for the spring 2020 semester.
Will I get a refund on my housing or dining fees?
With respect to a refund of University College House housing and dining fees paid this semester, the University expects to issue a pro rata refund or offer a credit for future housing or dining meal plan. A process will be announced later this semester. We appreciate your patience as we develop the process and guidelines.
I rely on a work-study job or other student employment for income throughout the semester. Can I still work and be paid while classes are held remotely?
The federal government gives universities the option to continue paying students their work-study wages during disruptions caused by COVID-19, and Penn has extended that guidance to cover all student workers (undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with non-work-study jobs) outside of the work-study program as well. Detailed guidance for students and supervisors can be found at Student Registration and Financial Services.
Work-study students and student workers will be permitted to submit their regularly scheduled hours for payment each week. If scheduled hours vary from week to week, students and supervisors should work together to determine an average number of hours to submit each week for approval.
The University strongly encourages supervisors to identify opportunities for students to continue conducting work for their office remotely, if feasible and appropriate. If the student cannot perform any of their regular duties and there are no alternative duties the student can complete remotely, the University’s guidance is that they should continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours for the remainder of the semester.
Supervisors will review the hours submitted on timesheets before approval, andpay will continue to be processed via the indicated payment method. If you are not currently registered to receive wages via direct deposit in Workday, we strongly recommend you do so now. All paper checks will be mailed to the address on file going forward.
I receive VA benefits to support my educational costs. Will the University’s transition to online education impact my receipt of those benefits?
VA benefit payments, including the Monthly Housing Allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, will remain unchanged for the remainder of the spring semester.
I am planning to take summer classes and would like to apply for financial aid. How can I do that?
The University has not yet made decisions about Summer Sessions at Penn. When more information is available, SRFS will communicate an updated process for applying for financial aid.
I am a Highly Aided student who was hoping to take advantage of SRFS’s summer internship funding. Can I still apply for those funds?
Yes, eligible Highly Aided students should complete the application process as described on the Highly Aided Summer Funding page. SRFS will not be funding experiences that require international travel for Summer 2020.
I am making payments on student loans. Are there are forms of relief available to me?
The federal government announced that, starting on March 13, interest will be waived on loans held by the U.S. Department of Education for at least 60 days. You may also be able to request an administrative forbearance, which will allow you to temporarily pause payments without becoming delinquent. To learn more, contact your loan servicer, which you can identify online at https://studentaid.gov/h/manage-loans.
If you have private alternative loans, you should contact the company that services your loan with any questions about what forms of relief might be available to you.
For more information about federal borrower relief, visit StudentAid.gov/coronavirus.
I am not eligible for additional grant funding but have expenses related to COVID-19. Can I still take out a federal loan for the 2019-2020 academic year?
Yes, students can submit 2019-2020 loan requests until Thursday, April 30. Requests should be submitted via the Penn Loan System.
Accessing Student Services Remotely
I don’t have a summer internship or full-time job yet. How can I work with Career Services when I’m not on campus?
Career Services will provide extensive resources to Penn students even if they are not on campus, especially through the Handshake platform and BlueJeans. More information is available online at Career Services.
- Individual career and graduate/professional school advising
- Mock interviews, cover letter and resume review
- Virtual interviews and networking with employers
- Summer funding application review
Student Travel Information
I’ve been traveling for Spring Break and I’m worried about my health. What should I do?
Whether you are on campus or not, please call Student Health Service (215-746-3535) with questions about COVID-19 or health-related travel questions. SHS increased staff capacity in anticipation of added call volume. Wherever you are, students are strongly discouraged from using the Emergency Department except for emergency situations (e.g. difficulty breathing, chest pain).
I am studying or researching abroad. Do I need to come back now and go home? Can I wait?
The guidance to students abroad is being updated regularly. The COVID-19 situation is changing daily and its impact on travel guidelines, U.S. and foreign government regulations and airline schedules is uncertain. Please keep your school/department informed of your status, especially if you plan to depart your current location earlier than expected. Wherever you are, please take appropriate precautionary measures and follow local directives. Personal travel to other cities/countries is strongly discouraged at this time.
I was supposed to travel this semester for Penn credit or a Penn activity. Is it cancelled?
Penn has barred all University travel, domestic and international for the rest of the semester.
What about personal travel? If I can’t be at Penn, I may want to see friends or family elsewhere.
Penn strongly discourages students, faculty, and staff from personal travel during this public health emergency. The rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 means that any travel could potentially lead to self-isolation or quarantine. Talk with your family and consult CDC guidance before making any personal decisions. For more information, please see Penn’s latest update on coronavirus.
If I am detained, quarantined, or held for further screening during my travels, should I contact Penn?
If you are held by authorities in any country, including the U.S., please alert Penn Police, 215-573-3333.
I have questions related to Online Learning and Academics. Where should I go?
Please go to https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/content/march-19-student-faqs-taking-online-classes for more frequently asked questions related to online learning and academics.
Will Penn be having summer courses online or in-person?
Penn’s current remote learning plan will extend to all credit-bearing courses scheduled to begin on May 26, including both Summer Session I and Summer Session II, as well as the 11-week Summer Session. This decision, while not taken lightly, arises from the indefinite stay-at-home order in Philadelphia and the need to resume campus activities only when it is considered safe do so.
Is Penn going to online classes for the Fall 2020 Semester?
Penn, like other universities around the world, has shifted to remote instruction for its spring and summer sessions. Penn is a leader in new forms of teaching and learning, including online instruction, and we are confident that our students and faculty are having an outstanding experience completing this semester. We do not know how the current pandemic will play out in the months ahead, and so we cannot predict at this time how the fall semester will look. We are planning for every possibility and closely following the guidance of health authorities and international, federal, state, and local governments.
We are committed to working with any admitted student who would like to enroll at Penn and faces circumstances related to the pandemic that complicate that decision, including financial, visa, family, and health issues. We are also committed to keeping all members of the Penn community informed, including the Class of 2024 and their families, and will communicate further about the fall semester as the situation evolves.
Can I still get help with writing assignments from the Writing Center?
Yes, the Writing Center is now fully online at https://upenn.mywconline.com, with extended hours on a special online platform. Students can get one-on-one online appointments to work directly with a tutor on any phase and genre of writing, including reading and revising drafts together, brainstorming, researching, writing, and proofreading.
Mail & Packages
I have a specific question about a package. What should I do?
Residents with questions regarding specific mail or package items should email email@example.com.
How do I forward my mail and packages?
For FedEx, UPS, & DHL packages, the University’s mail and package provider will hold all nonperishable mail/packages that cannot be picked up until it is deemed safe for residents to return to campus to retrieve these items or alternative delivery procedures are implemented.
Perishable deliveries will be accepted and held for as long as possible, but some may need to be disposed of for sanitary reasons such as food spoilage