Beth Wenger
Penn Arts & Sciences graduate students are exceptional scholars, learners, teachers, and classmates. In choosing Penn, graduate students choose first-class libraries and laboratories, state-of-the art museums and rare book collections, and premier technological innovations. At the same time, graduate students join our extraordinary community of faculty, students, and staff. Together, we form a diverse group of scholars and researchers, working to understand and interpret our world, to create and transmit knowledge, and to make meaningful change for the better.

In the 21st century, universities are vital to our societies. As a leading academic center, Penn empowers students and faculty to pioneer scientific discoveries, mine data, cure diseases, decipher past civilizations, illuminate our present challenges, and chart the best courses for the future. As we work to advance knowledge, we strive for inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility. At Penn, we envision the academy not as an ivory tower but rather as a powerful incubator of ideas for social good.

Graduate education at Penn involves individual mentoring by world-class faculty advisors as well as students who work together across disciplines and in cohorts to hone their skills and expertise. Ph.D. students are funded and supported inside and outside the classroom. We encourage our graduate students to develop as professionals in their fields, and to become independent thinkers and leaders of the next generation.

The events of recent months—from the global pandemic to the movements for social and racial justice—have taught us all how quickly the world can change. More than ever, we need scholars, researchers, and educators, as well as engaged and knowledgeable citizens, to lead the way. Penn is committed to this work. And we have been acutely aware that graduate students need extra time and financial support to further their education in these challenging times. We granted more than 100 semesters of extra funding in 2020-21 to students whose work had been delayed by COVID-19. More recently, the School has guaranteed an additional year of support to all doctoral students in good standing whose funding comes to an end in the 2020-21 academic year and who are unable to acquire additional external grants or fellowships. We anticipate that students will continue to need extended funding in the coming years, and we are committed to ensuring that current students have the support they require to complete their degrees.

The University of Pennsylvania has a long and distinguished history, but it also continues to evolve to meet changing needs. I look forward to helping you meet your goals and to join with you in creating the knowledge and understanding that will change the future.

Beth S. Wenger

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of History