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Resources for BGS Students

BGS and Penn endeavor to provide comprehensive support to students at all stages of training, including academic support and support for students experiencing personal difficulties.

Academic and Other Program-Related Supportstudents

Students should not hesitate to contact their graduate group chair, vice chair, program chair, or advisor(s) with any concerns they may have. Students at the dissertation stage are also encouraged to reach out to their thesis committee chair or other thesis committee members. Students who would like to consult with a faculty administrator outside of their graduate group may contact the BGS Director:

Michael Nusbaum, PhD
118 Johnson Pavilion

Campus Offices Providing Academic, Social, and Career Development Support

Weingarten Learning Resources Center
3702 Spruce Street, Suite 300 (Stouffer Commons)
Weingarten includes the Office of Student Disabilities Services

The Graduate Student Center
3615 Locust Walk

Career Services
3718 Locust Walk

Campus Offices Providing Psychological Services and Support for Students in Crisis

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
3624 Market Street, 1st Floor West
215-898-7021 (press 1 for an emergency after business hours)

Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL) - Student Intervention Services (SIS)
3611 Locust Walk

Special Services*, Public Safety
4040 Chestnut Street
215-573-3333 (emergencies)
215-898-7297 (general)

*The Department of Special Services offers emotional support, guidance and options counseling to any individual who is a victim of a sensitive crime such as, rape, sexual assault, relationship or domestic violence, harassment and stalking.

Penn Violence Prevention

Penn Violence Prevention (PVP) is a collaborative program that grew out of the Penn Women's Center. It is now managed by the Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education, housed in the Division of the Vice Provost of University Life. PVP aims to engage the Penn community in the prevention of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking on campus. The goal is to not only ensure students have access to safe and effective resources, but to provide preventative education focused on building healthy relationships, understanding consent, reaching out to friends in need, and being an active bystander.

The director works closely with a team of colleagues across campus to provide education and outreach. The Director also serves as a confidential resource for students affected by sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking. PVP issues a comprehensive Resource Guide describing relevant policies, procedures, and resources. PVP also maintains a list of other relevant resources for students. Note that the offices of Special Services, Penn Women’s Center, CAPS, and Student Health Services are permitted to treat information disclosed by students confidentially.

Students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to read the Resource Guide. Patricia Brennan of Special Services is an excellent contact for any questions or concerns: she works very closely with all the central University offices that provide support to students, is the designated liaison with the Penn and Philadelphia police departments, and can address any reporting requirements. She may be reached at 215-898-4481 or