Take Penn classes for credit or fun

Ben Franklin

Scott Spitzer

Many staff members use Penn’s tuition benefits for their children or spouse, but working in an academic environment inspires some employees to take classes themselves, too.

Each year, about 1,400 employees, or about 11 percent of Penn staff and faculty, enroll in classes on campus for credit or just for fun.

The University offers several options for employees interested in taking courses. Staff members can simply choose to explore a personal interest, audit a class, or they can participate in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. 

Last year, nearly half of the employees who used the tuition benefit for themselves (47 percent) enrolled in graduate programs, with 38 percent participating in non-degree post-baccalaureate or certificate programs, and 15 percent in undergraduate degree or non-degree programs.

For employees who are unsure about what field to study, there is assistance. Meg Lewis, who specializes in tuition benefits for the Division of Human Resources, can offer suggestions for academic resources that might help individuals who are just starting to explore the available courses and programs.

Study Hall

Students study in Fisher Fine Arts Library.

For those who are interested in taking courses for exploration, or pursuing a language or taking some extra coursework in their area, but don’t want a degree, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) post-baccalaureate program may be a good option.

LPS also offers the intellectually curious a chance to take undergraduate courses in the School of Arts and Sciences through its auditor program. Students who audit are not responsible for coursework and do not receive a grade or credit for the class.

Additionally, Penn employees can take classes to bolster their transcripts in order to meet requirements to apply to a graduate degree program. Information about Penn’s graduate programs and the requirements are available at each the websites of each individual school and department.

The employee tuition benefit covers two course units each semester in the Fall, Spring, and over the entire Summer.

For more information visit the Human Resources website.

Originally published on October 27, 2011