Resources for Student Bereavement

Penn recognizes that its students may experience the loss of a loved one during their time at Penn, and that grief impacts us all differently. The following guidelines are meant to describe the resources Penn has in place to help students navigate through this difficult time; students should work with their academic advisors to determine the best course of action for their individual needs.

For emergency assistance, call 511 or the Division of Public Safety at 215-573-3333. Help is available 24/7.

If you are grieving or have experienced a death of a loved one, one of the first questions you may have is about missing class. Class attendance policies vary by course, and if you feel overwhelmed about how to get in touch with your instructors, your academic advisor can help.

If you are not sure how to contact your academic advisor, or if you are unable to reach your advisor or would prefer to talk to someone else, please contact your school’s advising office:

Undergraduate Students

College of Arts and Sciences: College Office, 215-898-6341

College of Liberal & Professional Studies: Academic Advising, 215-746-7040

School of Engineering and Applied Science: Research and Academic Services, 215-898-7246

School of Nursing: Student Services, 215-898-6687

The Wharton School: Undergraduate Division, 215-898-7608

Graduate, Professional, and Other Students

Annenberg School for Communication: Graduate Studies, 215-573-6349

College of Liberal & Professional Studies: 215-898-7326

Graduate School of Education: Student Affairs, 215-898-7019

Law School: Student Affairs, 215-898-7482

Perelman School of Medicine: MD, Student Affairs, 215-898-7190/BGS, Administrative Director, 215-898-2793

School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Division: 215-573-5818

School of Dental Medicine: Office of Academic Affairs and Student Life, 215-898-4550

School of Design: Student Services, 215-898-6210

School of Engineering and Applied Science: Research and Academic Services, 215-898-7246

School of Nursing: Student Services, 215-898-6687

School of Social Policy and Practice:  Student Services, 215-746-5895

School of Veterinary Medicine: Office for Students, 215-573-6488

The Wharton School: MBA, Program Office, 215-898-7604 / Doctoral, Associate Director, 215-898-2619

If you are a family member or a friend who is concerned about a Penn student suffering a loss, please feel free to contact the student’s school advising office as well.

In addition to speaking to an academic advisor, Penn offers a number of other resources to support grieving students:

University Offices

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential services to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at Penn. CAPS’ trained clinicians offer both individual and group therapy. Students can make an appointment or discuss available options by calling CAPS at 215-898-7021, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Student Intervention Services (SIS) assists the University community in handling emergencies or critical incidents involving the welfare and safety of students. The SIS teams work in partnership with CAPS, the Chaplain's Office, and Special Services in the Division of Public Safety to manage cases involving major critical incidents. The SIS team utilizes a network of University resources and administrators to support the direct provision of services to students and others impacted by an emergency or crisis situation and provide case management and collaborative follow-up services as needed. SIS can be contacted at 215-898-6081 during regular office hours, or on nights or weekends, please call the Department of Public Safety at 215-573-3333.

The Office of the Chaplain is available to students for pastoral support and guidance. The office also serves and supports a wide range of student organizations, fellowships and religious communities on Penn’s campus. If you need to reach someone in the Chaplain’s Office immediately, please call 215-898-8456 or email the chaplain or the associate chaplain.

Student Groups on Campus

Actively Moving Forward (AMF) at Penn is a student organization/Support Network for students at Penn grieving the illness or death of a loved one. The organization includes a peer-led Grief Support Group for Penn students who are coping with the illness or death of a loved one to connect with others “who get it,” and a Service Group open to ALL students to go to service events together throughout the Philly area. Visit AMF’s website page to learn more at, or you can visit their Facebook page at