PhD Student Support

The University continually advances doctoral student life and education.

In 2004, Penn focused a wide-ranging, campus-wide self-study on graduate education. Since that time, the university continues to implement important ongoing initiatives to enhance graduate life, including:

  • a 5-year maximum for advancing to candidacy
  • a requirement for annual progress reports and meetings of dissertation committees
  • PhD worksheets which allow students to track their satisfaction of requirements.

Such improvements are designed to make the PhD process more transparent and give our PhD students more faculty, institutional, and mentoring support to stay on track for completion. If you have questions about your program, you should contact your Graduate Group Chair or the Graduate Dean for your school:

In the last ten years, stipends have increased over 60%, and funding is typically guaranteed for five years.

PhD Student Support

The President Gutmann Leadership Award and GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation support student research and travel, along with additional travel funding through GAPSA and graduate groups. See information about these and other academic funding awards.

Penn provides a benefits-rich health insurance package to fully-funded students. It provides comprehensive coverage, including an unlimited lifetime maximum benefit, prescription coverage, treatment for mental illness and substance abuse, comprehensive infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) coverage, and no maximum amount limit on gender confirmation surgery, as well as discounted gym memberships through the GlobalFit program.

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