Where To Find Help

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Office of Student Disabilities Services
English Language Programs
Office of International Programs
Learning Resources Center
Penn Women’s Center
The Writing Program

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

This office provides professional psychological and psychiatric services to students who are experiencing a wide range of problems. The most frequent concerns are

  • poor academic performance
  • learning disabilities and test anxiety
  • stress management
  • low self-esteem
  • eating problems
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • racial/ethnic identity issues and sexual orientation identity concerns
  • relationship conflicts and career conflicts/indecisiveness
  • loss/grief
  • depression

Services provided by CAPS include

  • One-on-one counseling appointments addressing any of the above issues, including walk-in emergency-urgency service (available every day, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and after-hours emergency system (call 215-349-5490 and ask for the CAPS Psychiatrist on call).
  • Support groups: 20 different groups including Coping With a Loss, Eating Concerns, Career Exploration, Stress Management and Test Anxiety Reduction as well as groups for African-American women, international students and gay, bisexual and lesbian students
  • Diagnoses and documentation of learning disabilities
  • Workshops: topics include stress management, eating concerns, leadership skills, assertion, successful relationship-building and successful adjustment to college life
  • Interventions in crisis situations

Most students use time-limited individual counseling psychotherapy. Student health insurance often pays for the first few visits; call your insurance provider for details. Appointments can be made by phone or in person.

The staff consists of a multicultural group of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers who have expertise and extensive experience in working with university students. All services are confidential and aim to assist students to meet their academic goals and to develop greater self-awareness, understanding of others, independence and initiative. For information, please feel free to stop by CAPS to get a brochure or visit the CAPS web site (http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/caps/). CAPS is located on the 2nd floor of the Mellon Building at 36th and Walnut St. The phone number is 215-898-7021.

Student Disabilities Services

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities. The Office of Student Disabilities Services (OSDS) serves students from all of Penn’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. It provides comprehensive, professional services and programs for students with disabilities to ensure equal academic opportunities and participation in University-sponsored programs. If you have or suspect that you have a disability that may interfere with the learning process, we encourage you to contact SDS. If their staff determines that your needs require extra services, they will inform us of your special needs. We, in turn, will work with your instructors to provide those services.

The Office of Student Disabilities Services is located at: The Weingarten Learning Resources Center, 300 Stouffer Commons, 3702 Spruce Street. Their office hours are Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. They can also be contacted by phone: 215-573-9235, TDD: 215-746-6320, fax (215-746-6326), or e-mail: sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu. You can also visit the SDS website: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc/sds/index.html.

English Language Programs (ELP)

The University of Pennsylvania’s English Language Programs offers several options for international students in the MBA program who wish to improve their English language skills. The ELP offers two study programs. They offer part-time study in the Intensive Program. These 40 different classes meet between 8:00am and 5:00pm every day (or 4 days per week) for a total of 5 hours per week. There are also evening classes through the Evening Program. Evening classes run from 6:00-8:30 pm and meet once or twice per week. Both programs run year-round and offer classes at intermediate and advanced levels in general English, academic listening, speaking, reading, writing, library research skills, and business English.

The ELP also runs the Summer Institute for Business Students (SIBS) and a tutor referral service to help students looking for private instruction connect with qualified ESL instructors.

Wharton partners may also study full- or part-time in the Intensive Program. In July and August, the ELP offers a 4-week Conversation and Culture program which is open to Wharton partners. ELP is located at 110 Fisher Bennett Hall, 3340 Walnut Street. The phone number is 215-898-8681 and the ELP web site is http://www.sas.upenn.edu/elp.

Office of International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) serves as the general coordinator of Penn’s international contacts and programs, and seeks to promote and assist international activities throughout the University. The International Student and Scholar advising staff of OIP is available to answer your questions and help with any problems.

OIP can answer questions about adjusting to Penn and Penn resources, personal and family services, social/cultural activities, immigration, taxes and employment requirements. OIP offers a resource center with information about Philadelphia, traveling in the U.S., childcare options, and employment opportunities. They also offer information to students on how to obtain and maintain their non-immigrant status in the U.S.

OIP is open Monday to Friday from 10:00a.m. -5:00p.m. You do not need an appointment to see an advisor. OIP is located at 3401 Chestnut Street (in the International House), their phone number is 215-898-4661 and their web address is http://www.upenn.edu/oip/.

Penn Women’s Center

The Penn Women’s Center was formed in response to the safety and security need of the Penn women’s community. Penn Women’s Center has an explicit advocacy function as it relates to issues affecting women, racial minorities, sexual minorities and other disenfranchised groups. The Women’s Center maintains a policy of strict confidentiality with regard to individual women we counsel and advise. Services to individuals include advising, advocacy, case management counseling, crisis intervention (rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, other forms of victimization), information and referral.

The Penn Women’s Center is located at 3643 Locust Walk and is open from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. To get information or assistance, please contact the Center at 215-898-8611 or http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/pwc/.

Learning Resources Center

The Weingarten Learning Resources Center assists Penn students in many areas of academic reading, writing, study strategies and exam preparation. They realize that graduate and professional students have very specific study needs. For example, they offer time management strategies that can help ease the pressure of juggling both work and academics. They also provide information on various reading strategies if you should feel overwhelmed by the volume of reading expected in your courses or if you would like to read more efficiently and with increased comprehension.

They recognize that you have already achieved academic success and have accumulated very useful ways to learn. Recognizing your ways of learning, they work with you to add to your expanding repertoire of study and learning strategies.

The Weingarten Learning Resources Center is located at 300 Stouffer Commons, 3702 Spruce Street and can be reached at 215-573-9235 or http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/lrc

The Writing Center

The University’s Writing Center offers interested students an informal atmosphere in which to improve their writing skills. Experienced, well-trained consultants from a variety of disciplines address every aspect of writing with sensitivity to disciplinary conventions and provide tutoring in one-on-one conferences tailored to the student’s need. Consultants help students define a topic and audience, plan a research strategy, critically analyze text, develop a thesis, organize material, and revise their drafts. Students may arrange conferences at any point during the writing process.

The Writing Center is located at 3808 Walnut Steet. Students should call ahead at (215) 898-8525 or sign up on the bulletin board outside the Center for a 45-minute appointment. The sign up sheet is posted every Thursday afternoon for the following week’s appointments. Walk-in hours are offered during the last weeks of the semester as the need arises. For more information, visit http://www.sas.upenn.edu/writing/.