Wharton Undergraduate Fall 2020 FAQ

For up-to-date information for the Penn community, please visit the Penn Fall Planning website and the various University FAQs linked on this page. Additionally, Wharton undergraduates are encouraged to watch for new announcements via email as well as updates to the FAQ below.


Will my courses be held online or in person?

The format and method of delivery of courses will be determined by the school or individual faculty member. There is the possibility for in-person instruction in the fall, but the University expects the majority of courses to be offered online. Wharton plans to provide an online option for all classes, to accommodate students who cannot or choose not to be on campus this fall.

Note that all Penn undergraduate classes and exams will only be delivered online starting Monday, November 23, through the remainder of the semester. Courses that were previously online will continue to be online; courses that were in-person will transition to online Monday, November 23.

Are academic dates or deadlines changing for the fall semester?

Yes. Please note the following:

  • Classes will begin as scheduled on Tuesday, September 1.
  • Fall break has been cancelled.
  • Starting Monday, November 23, through the remainder of the semester, all classes and final exams will be delivered online.
  • The last day of classes remains Thursday, December 10. However, the designation of some class days has changed. View the Academic Calendar for the most up-to-date details.
  • Final exams will conclude as scheduled on Tuesday, December 22.

At this time, all registration dates (course selection period, drop period, grade type change deadline, advance registration) remain the same.

How will courses be graded?

The expanded pass/fail option offered in spring 2020 will not apply to fall. Fall 2020 courses will be graded according to Penn’s regular grading policies. Individual school and program policies regarding pass/fail will apply. You can find information about Wharton’s pass/fail policies here.

Can I take a leave of absence?

If you are thinking of taking an academic leave of absence this coming year, you will want to take into account the impact of time away on your academic progress as well as the alternative plans that are realistically available to you should you step aside from your education at this time. If you are considering a leave, you should get in touch with your advisor to have a one-on-one conversation.

Note that first-year students may only take a leave for a full academic year.

Can I register for a course if there is a time conflict?

You may not register for more than one class in a designated class period, even if online courses are asynchronous.

What can I do to prepare for working and learning remotely?

Wharton’s remote courses will utilize a range of techniques and structures, but will largely use BlueJeans virtual meeting technology for delivery purposes. Wharton Computing recommends that you go to meetings.wharton.upenn.edu on the device you plan to use for your Wharton classes (desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device with internet access) and log in with your PennKey to activate your Virtual Meetings account.

You can find more information and tips for attending classes and doing class work remotely in this Wharton Computing article.

Please contact Wharton Computing’s Student Computing team for help with any technology issue or questions. To open a support ticket or initiate a live chat with their tech reps visit: computing.wharton.upenn.edu

Is there somewhere I can access digital course materials?

Penn Libraries has created a guide to virtual services and online materials. From identifying online sources for a research assignment to providing Canvas support for online classes, librarians are available and ready to help.

VitalSource is available for free to all Penn students. To access the site, use your PennKey to log on to Campus Express Online and select Free Digital Textbooks from the menu at the top left, or by clicking on the Free Digital Textbooks info box in the center of the page. Once there, you will be able to navigate to VitalSource, at which point you will need to use your upenn.edu email address to create an account that will allow you to access the digital publications. If you have questions about how to use this service, contact ceohelp@pobox.upenn.edu.

Students with accessibility-related inquiries can reach out to Student Disability Services at +1.215.573.9235 or vpul-sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu.

What if I have trouble adjusting to learning online or need special accommodations?

Weingarten Learning Resources Center services are available to all Penn students. Please reach out to to the center  to find the resources you need to to be successful this semester: +1.215.573.9235 or vpul-lrcmail@pobox.upenn.edu. Disability-related inquiries can be directed to vpul-sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu.

What happens if I get sick and have to miss class?

The usual policies and procedures around absences apply for both in-person and online classes. If you are sick and cannot participate in classes or finish assignments, notify your instructor via email or Canvas as soon as possible. Undergraduate students should use the Course Absence Report system to report absences for both online and in-person classes.

Are there any resources for taking remote exams?

Wharton Computing has provided a webpage with tips on the following topics:

Advising and Support

How can I meet with my academic advisor?

All advising interactions will be by video or phone. In the appointment scheduler, you will have the option to choose phone or video. Instructions on how to connect will be included in your appointment confirmation message.

As always, you may also reach out to your advisor via email with any questions that you have

How can I meet with Wharton student life?

The team is available via email and will be offering virtual office hours. They can answer co-curricular questions, refer students to resources, and address questions or concerns related to the specific areas highlighted under each staff member below:

Grace Conte, Associate Director | gconte@wharton.upenn.edu
Cohorts | first-year programming | Sophomore Experience

Aman Goyal, Associate Director | goaman@wharton.upenn.edu
Graduation | junior and senior programming | GUIDE | business fraternities

Lee Kramer, Director of Student Life | lkramer@wharton.upenn.edu
Wharton clubs | general student life concerns

How can I access CAPS services?

CAPS remains available to students. Services may be performed via phone or video conference, with limited in-person availability. If a student is a current client, their counselor will communicate with them about their needs moving forward. Please refer to the CAPS website for additional information.

How do I connect with Career Services?

Penn Career Services advisors are available via phone and video. Please see the Career Services website for additional information.

Career Services has published a Guide to Remote Work and Handshake has a number of resources on their Get Hired Remotely page that students might find helpful.

Is the Writing Center be available?

The Marks Family Writing Center will be conducting online appointments June 1 through August 7. See this guide for booking a remote session.

Students can make an appointment using the Writing Center’s online scheduling system. Undergraduate students should select the schedule titled “Undergraduate Tutoring: Summer 2020.” All appointments must be scheduled ahead of time and will be conducted online. Please email tutorhelp@writing.upenn.edu for assistance.

Information for the fall will be posted when available.

How can I access Weingarten Learning Resources Center services?

The Weingarten Center staff is working remotely but continues to support students by providing academic assistance through virtual platforms and by overseeing implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities.

Virtual Appointments

You can schedule 50-minute individual appointments with a learning instructor by calling 215-573-9235 or emailing vpul-lrcmail@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any trouble connecting with them by phone. Please be ready to share your availability. Once scheduled, you’ll receive a BlueJeans meeting link.

Resources for Remote Learning

The center has updated their Resources for Remote Learning page and created an interactive module on Proactive Time Management for Learning Online.

How do I connect with a Penn Abroad advisor?

Penn Abroad is offering a number of ways to connect, have an advising session, and learn more about global opportunities. While the Penn Abroad office is not currently offering in-person meetings, they will remain operational during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm ET. Visit the Penn Abroad website for more information.

How do I connect with ISSS?

ISSS advisors are working to respond to students’ immigration-related questions and concerns. Students are encouraged to review the international students FAQ and have the option to make a virtual appointment with an ISSS advisor.

Will I be able to access library resources?

Penn libraries’ digital resources and services as well as librarians are still available. Visit the Libraries’ Virtual Support and Phased Re-Start FAQ pages for a full summary of current services and additional information about forthcoming services.

Specific to Lippincott Library:

  • Research Services – Lippincott librarians will be working remotely. You can contact them via the Ask a Question form on the Lippincott Library homepage. For live help, make an appointment or chat, also available from the Lippincott homepage.
  • Collections – While most of our collections are available in digital format, because the library is physically closed, there are resources including Bloomberg and Morningstar Direct, that are not currently accessible. Lippincott librarians are actively working with vendors on alternative access options. The Penn Libraries physical collections will be unavailable until further notice.
  • DocDel@Wharton – The librarians will continue retrieving and delivering journal articles and chapters available through our digital subscriptions. With the building closed, they are unable to scan materials from their print collection and can’t reliably obtain materials from institutional partners.  Due dates will be extended for books from institutional partners that are currently due before the end of the semester. Please email docdel@wharton.upenn.edu to extend due dates.

If you have questions, please reach out to me or any of the Lippincott librarians. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

What if I need financial assistance with technology or other emergency funding?

The Division of the Vice Provost for University Life’s Access and Retention Fund provides one-time emergency funds or opportunity grants to help low-income and/or first-generation students. Visit here for more details.

Campus/Student Life

Do I have to return to campus?

Students do not have to return to campus in order to be enrolled for the fall term. The University anticipates the majority of courses being offered online, though there may be some in-person instruction as well. If you are able to register for a full-time load of courses that all meet online, there is no need to return to campus. Refer to the Penn Housing FAQ for more information about housing availability and exemptions.

Will there be any co-curricular events or initiatives I can participate in?

Yes! The Undergraduate Division is planning to offer a wide variety of online co-curricular activities and events.

Will student clubs be hosting in-person events or meetings?

No. All club meetings and events will be online in the fall.

Can I access Huntsman Hall and other Wharton buildings?

Wharton buildings are currently closed to students and visitors (summer 2020).

In the fall, we expect that Wharton buildings will be reserved as teaching facilities and that students will not be able to use any areas of the buildings as study space.