Life & Community

Penn has developed many initiatives to support a vibrant graduate student community and enhance work-life balance for graduate students. Read below to learn more about some of the activities and resources for graduate students at Penn.

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Graduate Student Center

The Graduate Student Center provides more than 400 activities each year, designed specifically for Penn’s graduate students. The Grad Center brings together all the campus resources that help our graduate students be successful and healthy at Penn. Along with each individual school, the Grad Center also provides comprehensive new graduate student orientation, including pre-arrival online information sessions. The Grad Center is located at 3615 Locust Walk, and during the academic year, it is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. For additional information, visit the Graduate Student Center website.

Student Governance

The University works closely with the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA), the official voice for over 14,000 graduate students at Penn. GAPSA provides resources for travel grants, research support, and other activities, including GradFest, a week-long, University-wide, community-building celebration for all graduate students. GAPSA meets regularly with the President, Provost, and other University leaders. Graduate students are also represented on University-wide committees and act as liaisons to trustee committees. Learn more about participating in committees by visiting the GAPSA website.

More information about graduate student governance, including the 12 school governments that exist at Penn, is available on the Graduate Student Center website.

Graduate Student Groups

The University supports a wide range of school-based groups and University-wide cultural and affinity groups. For more information and links to the graduate student groups within each of the schools at Penn, as well as other University-wide graduate student organizations, visit the Grad Student Center website. For a comprehensive list of other student groups open to graduate students, filter the tags for “Graduate” on the Penn Clubs website.

Recreation Access

All full-time graduate students, who pay the full general fee, have access to the Pottruck Health & Fitness Center, Sheerr Pool, and Fox Fitness Center at no additional cost.  Part-time students, who pay a reduced fee, have the option to purchase access to these recreational facilities at a reduced cost. For more information, including details about each of the facilities and their hours of operations, visit the Penn Campus Recreation website

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Penn Campus Recreation


Pottruck Center
3701 Walnut St,
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 898-6100

Fox Fitness Center
219 South 33rd St
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 573-9027