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Students in the College have a strong network of academic advisors available to assist them throughout their undergraduate careers. Pre-major advisors help first and second year students navigate their entrance into academic and intellectual life in the College beginning with the issues of incoming freshmen and continuing through the student’s exploration of a potential major. After declaring a major, students are assigned an academic advisor affiliated with the major department or program. All students are welcome and encouraged to speak with assistant deans for advising in the College Office. These advisors can help students explore the many options and opportunities available to College students, and are available by appointment or on a walk-in basis throughout the year.
All students in Penn Engineering are assigned to a faculty advisor and a peer advisor in their major. Students who are curriculum deferred are also assigned faculty advisors and peer advisors experienced in working with students who may still be deciding. Each undergraduate major or program has an assigned coordinator who can help them with most issues pertaining to their major. In addition, students can meet with professional advisors during walk-in hours to discuss non-major related academic issues such as dual degrees, minors, study abroad, and submatriculation as well as accessing academic and student support resources.
All students in the School of Nursing are assigned a faculty advisor and a peer advisor. Students also have access to professional staff advisors in the Office of Student Services. Faculty advisors provide students with mentoring related to their career goals, and serve as a resource for students to discuss the current issues, science, and practices of the nursing profession. The Office of Student Services partners with the faculty advisors to provide information on registration, degree requirements, dual degrees, minors, study abroad, sub-matriculation, and University resources. Peer advisors help ease the freshman transition into college and are available to answer their advisees’ questions about student life at Penn. Students remain in touch with their advisors throughout their undergraduate career.
Fax: (215) 898-4043
Wharton’s dedicated undergraduate academic advisors help students to:
- explore intellectual interests
- develop suitable educational plans and goals
- select appropriate courses and other educational experiences
- understand institutional and degree requirements
- connect with resources
- work through any academic challenges
The Wharton Undergraduate Division office is located in Jon M. Huntsman Hall, where the majority of business classes are taught. Advisors are available by appointment Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and same-day “walk-in” advising is available.
Career Services helps Penn students define their career goals and take the steps necessary to achieve them. This includes helping students find internships and permanent jobs, as well as gain admission to graduate and professional schools. Parents can visit the Career Services’ parents website, for general information and year-by-year advice.
Q. How can I help my child make the most of Penn and get a good start on life after graduation?
A. College offers students a chance to try out new roles, take more control over their lives, and assert their independence. While some parents are excited by their child’s newfound sense of confidence, others worry that their influence is waning. We can assure you from our experience counseling students, parents’ opinion and approval matter tremendously. Our research shows that parents, not faculty members or peers, have the primary influence on students’ career choices. Some students make decisions to please their parents, only to agonize over this reasoning. Others make decisions they know will disappoint their parents, then remain conflicted in the aftermath. Know that your son or daughter is likely considering you in career planning even if he or she does not express it.
Parents can help students adjust to independence and responsibilities. You can reinforce your belief in your child’s talents, and affirm her or his ability to make sound decisions. Self-confidence is a fundamental asset in any profession. One way students develop this trait is by knowing that the important people in their lives believe in them.
Encourage your child to seek out and use a variety of resources to stay informed, answer questions or cope with disappointing career news. While most students do their research online and undervalue in-person interaction, these face-to-face encounters remain extremely important. Career Services offers an array of programs and boasts an extensive alumni network of advisors who are eager to meet and assist Penn students. Faculty, house deans, academic advisors, staff, and counselors throughout the University are available to help your child think through and understand the consequences of different choices. Parents may also connect their children to personal and professional contacts who can serve as career resources.
The Office of Career Services
Suite 20, McNeil Building, 3718 Locust Walk
Whether Penn students study abroad for a few weeks or an academic year, they’ll come away with an entirely new frame of reference for understanding the world and their role in it. Penn offers a wide range of programs to meet students’ personal and academic goals:
- Every year, Penn Abroad sends about 600 undergraduates abroad for a semester or academic year. Penn partners with top universities worldwide in one of the most extensive study abroad networks of any Ivy League university.
- Penn Summer Abroad is a good way to have a study abroad experience even if on-campus commitments prevent students from studying abroad during the academic year. Penn Summer Abroad offers faculty-led programs for Penn credit.
- Penn’s International Internship Program (IIP) provides opportunities for Penn students to intern abroad for eight to twelve weeks over the summer. These global opportunities—mainly with non-profit organizations--allow students to apply the academic knowledge they have obtained, while gaining international exposure and valuable work experience.
International students play an important role in the Penn landscape. Their presence enriches the academic and cultural experience both inside and outside the classroom. Penn prides itself on having one of the largest shares of international students in the country and aims to ensure the maintenance of a welcoming climate for our international students. Penn recognizes that the international students have unique needs and is aware that your son or daughter will soon embark on a life-changing journey.
ISSS’s role is to be the “home away from home” for your sons and daughters. Our goal is to facilitate a smooth transition to your daughter’s or son’s new environment. We provide core services to new and current international students at the University of Pennsylvania. Our office provides advice, information, and referrals on matters such as immigration, employment, and overseas travel. We assist international students who express needs related to adjusting to a new culture, as well as those who need assistance with practical matters related to living in Philadelphia. We have a dedicated and high-caliber staff available to provide expert advice, services, programs, information, and support aimed at enriching your child’s United States experience over the entire course of their years at Penn.
We serve as a key resource to the international students in the following areas:
- Providing social and cultural programs in partnership with other Penn offices to help create an inclusive climate
- Advising international students on how to comply with immigration laws and regulations
- Offering guidance to schools and departments with regard to international students’ integration, cross-cultural issues, and intervention strategies
- Sponsoring programs for international students on a variety of topics including immigration regulations, adjustment to US society and culture, academic concerns, and resources
- Developing and conducting programs with other units on campus with regard to cross-cultural communication issues that will facilitate a welcoming and positive climate for our international students
International Student and Scholar Services
3701 Chestnut Street, Suite 1W
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Student Health and Well-Being
The transition to college is an exciting time in the life of your son or daughter. It is sometimes more difficult for parents, particularly when students are sick. Take comfort in knowing the University of Pennsylvania provides a comprehensive Student Health Service. Among more than 1,500 student health providers in the U.S., Penn’s Student Health Service is one of only 20 accredited by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
Located at 3535 Market Street, Student Health Service is a state-of-the art primary care center dedicated to the health and well-being of Penn students. SHS provides accessible, cost-effective, culturally-sensitive, and student-focused treatment, including care for acute and chronic health problems and injuries, preventive health services, health and wellness education, stress management, and immunizations. SHS is a gender-affirming and trans* inclusive office with providers experienced treating trans* clients. Privacy and confidentiality are of utmost concern.
Campus Health Initiatives, the public health arm of Student Health Service, seeks to improve health and well-being throughout the University community through collaboration with campus partners to maintain a healthy campus environment, prevention and control of communicable diseases, and programs to foster healthy student behaviors. Together, Campus Health Initiatives and Student Health Service work in close collaboration with the University Life division, and with colleagues in the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Student Health Services
3535 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 746-3535 (general number)
(215) 746-0800 (fax)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Campus life commonly presents students with academic, emotional, and social concerns. At certain times, students may need support to face these challenges. Recognizing the need for help is a sign of strength and is often the first step in effectively managing difficulties.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides professional psychological and psychiatric services to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who need support in fulfilling their academic, social, and personal objectives.
CAPS’ counseling program provides confidential individual psychotherapy, which is primarily brief in nature and problem-focused. Other counseling options include assessment and referral services, psychiatric evaluations and medication maintenance, career assessment, and career development counseling. CAPS also offers group counseling, including several supportive interventions for special populations and themes such as eating concerns, mindfulness, and anxiety management.
CAPS’ crisis management program provides year-round, 24-hour access for students to emergency mental health care, and includes a daily walk-in emergency service, night and weekend emergency psychiatric service, student hospitalization assistance, and University crisis management teams.
Mental health outreach and education occur through targeted programming, self-development through the CAPS library, online resources, a stress management program, and classroom lectures. CAPS offerings seek to foster the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of all students by promoting self-awareness, wellness principles, lifelong learning, and personal responsibility.
The CAPS liaison program provides linkages to all schools, College Houses, various student services departments, and affiliated medical facilities. Training encompasses the professional development of trainees in the fields of psychology, social work, and psychiatry, as well as training for peer educators and College House staff. To learn more about CAPS and counseling services for Penn students, please see: www.vpul.upenn.edu/caps.