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PhD Students

Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to the PhD program at Penn Nursing!

New Student Orientation

The first step on your journey - a full day orientation at the School of Nursing. You’ll learn about academic opportunities, support services, financial aid, technology - and more! - while getting a chance to interact with faculty, staff and fellow students. Please plan to arrive on campus early enough to be in attendance for new PhD student events the week before orientation. Details are listed below. 

New Student Orientation: Monday, August 31, 2020

New Student Boot Camp: Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Teaching Assistant Training: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - Friday, August 28, 2020

New Student Boot Camp 

Workshops will be held to prepare the incoming PhD student cohort for the rigors of the first-year experience. 


Teaching Assistant Training

If you will be a new teaching assistant in Fall 2020, please save the dates for the required TA training:
Wednesday, August 26 - Friday, August 28

Checklist for Incoming Students

 1. Register your PennKey
A PennKey and password are required to access many of the University’s resources, including establishing your Nursing email. You should receive a PennKey set-up code in the mail or email within 5 to 7 business days after you submit your enrollment deposit. If you do not receive your set-up code in this time frame, please visit the PennKey website and click on the “student” tab.


Note: If you have a PennKey from a previous Penn affiliation (i.e. Knowledge Link at UPHS), you do not need to create a new PennKey.

 2. Open a Penn Nursing email account
All students are required to open a Penn Nursing email account. Please do so immediately, and plan to access it daily. E-mail setup can be found online here. You will note in the instructions that you can set up your e-mail to be read from your home computer. You can also visit the ITS website for more information about the technology resources available to students at the School of Nursing. 
3. Complete payroll forms

Doctoral students must complete payroll forms in order to receive a stipend paycheck. There are four payroll forms, and they can be found on the School of Nursing intranet (Penn email login required).

  1. General Information Sheet
  2. I-9
    • Submit online according to instructions and print a confirmation of submission to submit with your other forms.
  3. PhD Appointment Form
    • Fill in the date, name, SSN, and sign. The Director of Financial Aid will complete the remainder of the form.
  4. W-4
  5. Copy of Social Security card (must submit by fax or in person - do not email)

International students will need to complete additional forms as detailed on the ISSS website.

To receive your first paycheck on time, you must submit all forms to the Director of Financial Aid by Friday, July 18, 2019. Forms can be submitted by email, fax, or in-person:

Antoinette Oteri, Director of Financial Aid
Fagin Hall Suite M-05
Phone: 215-898-8191
Fax: 215-573-8439

 4. Enroll in or waive health insurance

The University of Pennsylvania requires full-time students to meet certain health requirements, including carrying comprehensive health insurance coverage and immunization against diseases. The Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) is available for students who do not have insurance, whose plans do not provide coverage in the Philadelphia area, or whose plans do not meet our criteria for alternative insurance. You can enroll in the PSIP or request an insurance waiver on the Student Health Services website.

Full-time students must meet University immunization requirements. More information can be found here.

The Graduate Student Center (GSC) will be hosting an online information session for incoming students to gain a better understanding of the health insurance options and immunizations requirements at Penn. You can register for one of the sessions on the GSC website.

 5. Register for courses

Incoming PhD students will receive a welcome letter via email from the School Registrar with detailed instructions on registering for Fall coursework.

After activating your PennKey, and once you have received the welcome email, you must register for classes through Penn InTouch. Doctoral students should consult with their faculty advisors to tailor their plan of study to their respective interests.

6. Explore housing options

The University offers on-campus housing for graduate students, or you can use Penn Off-Campus Services to assist in your Philadelphia housing search. A number of our PhD students have also worked as Graduate Associates in the College House system. 

New to the area? The Penn Grad Housing Guide, based on a survey of 1,000 graduate students at Penn, is a useful starting point for getting to know the city’s neighborhoods and housing options.

This spring, the Graduate Student Center (GSC) will be hosting several webinars for incoming students to learn about their options for living on-campus or off-campus. Register for the webinars on the GSC website.

 8. Update your personal information

Update your address information, emergency contacts, and profile on Penn InTouch. Carefully review your billing, local, and permanent addresses so that communication from the school will be sent to the correct address. Periodically review your profile to make sure everything is correct.  

9. Pick up your Penn Card

PennCard is the official identification care of the University of Pennsylvania and is required for all students. The PennCard gives you access to many University facilities. You do not need to have a PennCard prior to orientation or the start of classes, but please get one as soon as possible after your arrival on campus. The PennCard center is located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore (located at 3601 Walnut).