Seeking Support & Reporting Concerns

Academic Concerns

Students who believe that their graduate group is not following recommended academic guidelines or University requirements (for example, annual dissertation committee meetings) should discuss their concerns first with the graduate group chair. If the graduate group chair is involved in the issue, or is unable to resolve the issue, students should next discuss the concern with the graduate dean in their school. Students who do not find resolution here should bring the concern to the University’s Vice Provost for Education  at Students uncomfortable with this process at any stage are encouraged to bring their concerns to the Director of the Graduate Student Center for advice and support.

Students who want to provide general feedback about their experiences in their graduate group, either anonymously or not, can fill out the Graduate Group Review Student Feedback Form. PhD graduate groups are periodically reviewed by the Graduate Council of the Faculties, and feedback from current graduate students will be used in that review process. Confidentiality will be maintained for students who do provide their name.

Concerns Regarding Unfair Treatment, Bias, Harassment, or any Form of Violence

Sorting Through Options

Recognizing that issues of bias, harassment and/or violence can be particularly sensitive, Penn provides several Confidential Campus Resources that can help students sort through options and decide whether and how to make a formal report. These include:


Students wishing to initiate a complaint against a member of the Penn community for sexual misconduct -- which includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking -- the complaint should be brought to the Associate Vice President for Equity and Title IX Officer (AVP). See the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Resource Offices and Complaint Procedures for more information. Penn Violence Prevention provides support and information about options for reporting sexual misconduct.

Students wishing to lodge an official complaint of discrimination and/or retaliation can pursue either formal mediation or a formal complaint of discrimination and/or retaliation through the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs. Affirmative Action maintains a Complaint of Discrimination and/or Retaliation Form. Individuals also may report having been treated in a biased or discriminatory manner by completing a Bias Incident Reporting Form. This form may be used to report incidents of bias involving Penn students, faculty, or staff. Individuals are not required to provide their name or contact information. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.

215-P-COMPLY is Penn's confidential reporting and help line service. Members of the Penn community are encouraged to raise questions and concerns, particularly if they suspect violations of policies or legal requirements.  To report a student engaged in misconduct, contact the Office of Student Conduct, which is responsible for matters of student discipline.