Useful Links

Student Life at Penn


The PennBook provides information on student life policies at Penn. The most important sections are:

  • Academic Rules for PhDs and Research Masters Degrees
  • Code of Student Conduct
  • Code of Academic Integrity
  • Handbook for Ethics and Original Research


Philadelphia is a "city of neighborhoods," and there are many nice neighborhoods within walking distance of Penn, including University City, Rittenhouse Square, and Center City. Other areas that are quick bus ride to Penn include Society Hill, Art Museum, Fairmount, Queens Village, and Olde City.

For information about off-campus living, please Off-Campus Services website.

There is also on-campus housing for graduate students. Please visit Penn Residential Services website for information about our graduate facilities.

Real Estate Listings - Trulia Rentals 

Real Estate Listings - Zillow Rentals

Real Estate Listings - Rent College Pads

Graduate Student Center

The Graduate Student Center is a "home" just for graduate and professional students which provides support services, recreational activities, or a place to meet other graduate students across various disciplines and cultures.  The Graduate Student Center also provides seminars and workshops on professional development, applying for external grants, and effective teaching. A complete list of programs is available under the heading Navigating the Academy.   For those who need to focus on writing the dissertation, there is Thesis and Dissertation Support.

The Graduate Student Center also has a grant for students who are beyond their funding years and are required to purchase health insurance.  Rarely, Biology graduate students are not fully funded for their time here.  In the rare case that a student is self-funded and is under 7 years of study, the grant information can be found the Graduate Student Center Grants website.  Information about the purchasing of Dental Insurance and Penn subsidies to doctoral student can also be found at this website. 

Family Resource Center

The Family Center provides information and advocacy for students and post-docs with children as well as those who are expecting a new addition to the family in the near future.  It has family-oriented activities, information on parenting and friendly environment to connect with other parents.  In addition, the Family Grant and Dependent Health Insurance Grant will provide assistance with family expenses and the costs of health insurance for dependents.  

Career Services

Career Services is open to all students at Penn and assists students with all kinds of career decisions, from a student's first year here until graduation.  Career Services also provides information on funding resources.  

BGS Career Development Website

Career Development website open to all students with links to five areas of career development: Core Competencies, Career Paths, Career Blog, Alumni Outcomes, and Resources.

Student Health Services (SHS)

Student Health Services provides affordable and accessible care for all health related needs to all students.  In addition, SHS oversees insurance and immunization compliance as required for all students.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS assists all students through their wide range of services, including counseling, workshops, and group programs.  

CAPS now has extended hours.  Evenings hours included Tuesday, Wednsday and Thursday until 7:00 pm.  Weekend hours inlcude Saturday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Penn Violence Prevention Resources

Penn Violence Prevention is a collaborative program that aims to engage the Penn Communnity in the prevention of sexual violence and assault, including stalking.  This site provide information on access to safe and effective resources to students as well as to provide education and outreach.  

PVP Resource Guide

International Student and Scholar Services

For International Students: The International Student and Scholar Services located in the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives will answer any question about visas, traveling, immigration laws and policies and compliance with these laws.

PennGlobal provides information on immigration policy and any changes that may occur.  

International Travel Guidance website provides information to travelers who may be going to heightened risk areas.  

When traveling abroad, please review list of required documetns found at Penn Global/ISSS website.


Global Activities Registry

For students who are traveling abroad on Penn related business, such as research travel or for educational purposes.  Students must register their travel through the Global Activities Registry so that Penn can respond efficiently and effectively in case of emergency.   Information is password protected.   Students are automatically registered in International SOS when flight information is entered into this registry. 

Click here to download brochure about Graduate Student Life at Penn


Biology Department

Biology Buildings

Carolyn Lynch Laboratory Building- This building contains up-to-date research labs for faculty in the Biology Department.
Address: 433 South University Avenue.

Goddard Laboratories - Designed by famous architect, Louis Kahn, this building is a landmark in American architecture due to its emphasis on functional and structural expression. 
Address: 3710 Hamilton Walk

Leidy Laboratories - Designed by architects, Cope and Stewardson, this building is a variation on the late 17th century themes found in other buildings on Penn's campus. 
Address: 3740 Hamilton Walk

Stephen A. Levin Building - Opening in 2016, this building integrates psychology, biology and behavioral sciences under one roof with research laboratories, teaching facilities, and space for collaboration between students and faculty.  


Located right outside of the Biology Department, there is a the James G. Kaskey Memorial Garden, affectionally called the "BioPond." The pond itself is the home to some wildlife, such as ducks. Once in a while, an egret will show up to grace the pond with its presence. The BioPond is filled with many plants, trees, and unique gardens. There are many quiet spots to relax, eat lunch and enjoy the nature's quiet beauty. Visit the BioPond website for its history and a virtual tour.


Living at Penn and Philadelphia 

All About Penn

Rich in heritage and tradition, the University of Pennsylvania has it all - history, groundbreaking research, a great location, diversity, and academic excellence. To learn more, visit "All About Penn" page.

School of Arts and Sciences - The Home School for the Department of Biology

Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences - Information about various graduate programs offered at Penn through the School of Arts and Sciences.

Penn Research - For information on the latest research being done at Penn.

Penn Library System - The University of Pennsylvania has 15 different libraries within its system covering collections for biomedical studies, law, fine arts, dental, vet, engineering, math, physics, music, and business.

The Biomedical Library is located just down Hamilton Walk from the Biology Department.

Cultural Activities at Penn

The University of Pennsylvania has a rich cultural life, including world-class museums, performing arts, and forums on writing ahd humanities.

Annenberg Center for Performing Arts

Morris Arboretum

Penn Museum of Archeology and Antropology

Click here for additional information about arts and culture at Penn

Recreation and Sports at Penn

The University of Pennsylvania offers a wide range of sports and recreational opportunities, including exercise facilities, athletic fields, and great sports teams. All full-time students, including Biology Graduate students, can use the recreational facilities, such as Pottruck Center, Fox Fitness Center and Ringe Squash Courts, for free.  Just show your PennCard for basic membership package.  Classes and programs are not included in the basic package but can be purchased for a small fee.  

Penn is a member of the Ivy League and home to the PalestraPenn Relays and Franklin Field.

Penn Recreational Department

David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center

Robert A Fox Fitness Center

Penn Ice Rink

Penn Park

Shoemaker Green

Security and Safety at Penn

The University of Pennsylvania features an urban college campus located within a vibrant city, offering students access to the many aspects of city life. The Division of Public Safety at Penn works with local officials to ensure the safety and security of all members of the Penn community.

Click here for full information about safety and the Division of Public Safety.

The Department of Special Services provides assistance for victims of crimes that are sensitive in nature.   Full information on policies and procedures regarding complaints and resolution of these crimes can be found here.


Things to Do and See in Philadelphia


City of Philadelphia
The Official Web Site of the City.

Greater Philadelphia Travel Guide
For things to do, places to stay and where to eat in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

Philadelphia News
For the latest on what is happening in Philadelphia, whether it is news, sports, weather, entertainment, or business.

City Search 
For discovering the best restaurants, clubs, shopping, and business in the city.

Fun and Free/Cheap Activities to Do in Philly  (Selected by Biology Graduate Students)