Everything you need to make the most of your SP2 experience
As a current SP2 student, you’re on a unique educational journey that brings together rigorous academics, real-world experience, dynamic student life, and a diverse, caring community. Accessing the right resources – when you need them – will help ensure that your time at SP2 is as productive and rewarding as can be.
Academic Information and Resources
Explore detailed curricular information and course descriptions for each of our programs, and find important information and forms related to course registration and program policies. Students are also invited to explore SP2’s many global opportunities.
Course Registration and Student Handbooks
Find course registration information and access the student handbooks.
MSSP Program Specific Policies
Please view course schedules and details using the links below. For a complete list of University of Pennsylvania courses and room assignments in all departments, please visit the Registrar’s page.
Course Timetable (list of all courses offered at the university, sorted by subject)
Each student is assigned an academic advisor who helps you make the maximum use of the School and University’s resources for a rich academic experience. Please check Path@Penn for your advisor assignment.
- Advanced Standing: Mai Le
- First Year Full-time New Students: Mai Le
- Full-time Continuing Students: Casey McGovern
- Part-time New & Continuing Students: Jennifer Jones Clinkscales
- Dual Degree & Submatriculate Students: Mai Le
Please check Path@Penn for your advisor assignment:
- Incoming MSSP students: Caroline Wong or Nicole Sansone
- Incoming MSSP+DA students: Angelina Ruffin
- Continuing MSSP and MSSP+DA, part-time, submatric, and dual degree students: Lauren Colby
- On-campus: Adam Roth-Saks
- Online: Brooke Bakan
PhD students are advised by a member of SP2’s faculty. Learn more in the PhD Academic Resources Advising section.
Beginning in fall 2023, SP2 will offer four courses to all master’s students, regardless of their program.
SSPP 6000/COMM 6000: Advocacy in Emergent Technology, Digital Media and Society
This course is designed to build a critical foundation for understanding the interplay of digital technologies and society and the important role of social workers in this space. Providing an overview of the history, students will investigate and critique contemporary emergent technologies in a social context and explore their use in advocacy efforts. The course uses interactive lecture, discussion, readings, and guest speakers from technologists in the field.
SSPP 6010: Comparative Urban and Distributive Politics
As of 2007, more than half of the world’s population resides in cities. Cities and metropolitan regions are much more unequal than the countries that host them. For example, income inequality in the New York Metropolitan Area parallels that of Rwanda at around 15 Gini points higher than the U.S. as a whole. Especially in the world’s developing regions, the onset of rapid urbanization occurs in tandem with environmental degradation that disproportionately affects impoverished and marginalized communities. This course provides an introduction to the observable patterns and challenges confronting cities and metropolitan areas and the policy remedies and options available to government, NGOs, and the private sector. First, the course will explore the political, social, and economic explanations for the origins and evolution of urban environments. We will trace the historical development of local government institutions, analyze how urban coalitions form, and investigate distributions of power. In the second half of the course, we will examine urban welfare policies in the areas of growth, housing, the distribution of public goods/services (e.g., education, public security, sanitation), identity politics and culture wars, and poverty. Focusing especially on cities in the Global South, the topics covered in this course include: poverty and urban slums, informal housing, informal labor markets, public goods and distributive justice, urban land rights and other “rights to the city” (RTC), climate change adaptation in cities, environmental risk and urban precarious settlements, gentrification and evictions, among other topics.
SSPP 6020: Applied Data Ethics, Law, and the Social Good
This course explores the applied use of civic data, specifically “using data for the social good.” Data can help us understand needs, improve services, shift policies, and build stronger, healthier, and more just communities. However, use of data can also reinforce legacies of racist policies and produce inequitable resource allocation, access, and outcomes. These tensions are the crux of this course. We will interrogate assumptions and ask difficult questions of ourselves as we hold this duality—that data can be used for good and for harm. It is up to us as practitioners to weigh the risks and benefits to ensure that civic data use is legal, ethical, and a good idea.
SSPP 6030/COMM 6030: Journey to Joy: Designing a Happier Life for Social Work, Social Policy and Nonprofit Leadership Praxis and Research
What does joy really mean? Could joy be an intervention for complex trauma, pain, grief, and loss? How does joy show up in policy making and leadership? This innovative new course combines cutting-edge research, practical techniques, and real-world examples to help you understand the power of joy and develop community-informed, anti-racist strategies for promoting it. From exploring the latest in clinical intervention, popular ideas around manifestation, self-care, and #Blackjoy, to examining the role of technology and cultural differences, you will gain a culturally humble and comprehensive understanding of what it takes to design a happier life. This course includes a blend of immersive, hands-on activities, short lectures, and engaging reflexive discussions that will leave you feeling inspired and empowered. Whether you are a social work, nonprofit leadership, or social policy student, or someone who wants to increase their own experiences of joy and happiness, this course is a perfect way to jump start your journey to joy.
Sample Course Syllabi
The syllabi are meant to give prospective class registrants an understanding of class content and are not intended to be used as official course syllabi.
You must sign in with your PennKey and password in order to access sample syllabi.
- SWRK 6010: History & Philosophy of Social Work & Social Welfare
- SWRK 6020: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
- SWRK 6030: American Racism & Social Work Practice
- SWRK 6040: Foundations of Social Work Practice & Field Practice
- SWRK 6140: Foundations of Social Work Practice & Field Practice
- SWRK 6150: Introduction to Social Work Research
- SWRK 7010: Health Policy
- SWRK 7020: Social Work in Health Care
- SWRK 7030: Impacting Government: Policy Analysis & Coalition Building
- SWRK 7040: Advanced Social Work Practice: Clinical Practice I
- SWRK 7060: Policies for Children & Their Families
- SWRK 7080: Advanced Social Work Macro Practice I
- SWRK 7100: Clinical Supervision
- SWRK 7110: Contemporary Social Policy
- SWRK 7110: Professional Seminar in Urban Family
- SWRK 7130: Understanding Social Change: Issues of Race and Gender
- SWRK 7140: Advanced Social Work Practice: Clinical Practice II
- SWRK 7160: Comprehensive School Reform
- SWRK 7170: Art and Social Work – Art and the Ecology of Justice
- SWRK 7180: Advanced Social Work Macro Practice II
- SWRK 7190: Infancy & Early Childhood Development
- SWRK 7200: Middle Childhood & Adolescence
- SWRK 7210: Social Work Healthcare Seminar
- SWRK 7220: Practice With Children & Adolescents
- SWRK 7230: LGBTQ Certificate Proseminar
- SWRK 7240: Developmental Disabilities
- SWRK 7260: Brief Treatment & Crisis Intervention
- SWRK 7270: Social Work Intervention in the Family
- SWRK 7280: Ethnicity & the Family
- SWRK 7290: Social Statistics
- SWRK 7300: Community Mapping
- SWRK 7310: Child Welfare Practice
- SWRK 7320: Integrative Seminar in Child Welfare
- SWRK 7360: Building Community Capacity: Community Economic Development
- SWRK 7370: Bioethics and Social Work in Diverse Healthcare Settings
- SWRK 7380: Anxiety & Depression
- SWRK 7390: Illness and Family Caregiving
- SWRK 7400: Strategic Planning & Resource Development
- SWRK 7410: Gender and Social Policy
- SWRK 7420: Practice With At-Risk Youth
- SWRK 7430: Action Research
- SWRK 7440: Direct Practice Research
- SWRK 7460: Political Social Work
- SWRK 7480: Microfinance in India
- SWRK 7490: Civil Society Activities Promoting Shared Society in Israel
- SWRK 7500: Social Policy and the Latinx Community
- SWRK 7550: International Social Work in the Global South
- SWRK 7560: Human Sexuality
- SWRK 7570: Loss Through the Life Cycle
- SWRK 7590: Substance Use Interventions
- SWRK 7600: Mental Health Diagnostics
- SWRK 7610: Spirituality & Social Work Practice
- SWRK 7630: Global Human Rights and US Immigration: Implications for Policy and Practice
- SWRK 7650: Human Resource Development & Supervision
- SWRK 7680: Social Policy Issues Through Literature
- SWRK 7690: Aging: The Intersection of Policy & Practice
- SWRK 7700: Social Welfare & the Law
- SWRK 7710: Social Work Values & Ethics
- SWRK 7730: Mental Health Challenges in Childhood & Adolescence
- SWRK 7740: Program Evaluation
- SWRK 7750: Intimate Violence
- SWRK 7770: Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention in Social Work
- SWRK 7780: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- SWRK 7800: Policy & Difference in Post-modernity
- SWRK 7810: Qualitative Research
- SWRK 7820: Mental Health Practice with US Veterans
- SWRK 7830: Advanced Mental Health Practice with Veterans
- SWRK 7850: Criminal Justice Policies
- SWRK 7860: Addressing Trauma in Practice
- SWRK 7870: Social Impact Strategy & Analysis
- SWRK 7880: Harm Reduction on the Borders: Substance use and HIV treatment in Puerto Rico
- SWRK 7920: Psychodynamic Theory
- SWRK 7930: Global Health Policy and Delivery
- SWRK 7940: Practice with Older Adults and Families
- SWRK 7960: Family Economic Mobility
- SWRK 7980: Animals and Social Work: Theory and Practice
- SWRK 7980: Social Work in the Affordable Care Act Era
- SWRK 7980: Play Therapy
- SWRK 7980: The Social Entrepreneurial Approach to Community Reintegration
- SWRK 7980: LGBTQ Communities and Social Policy
- SWRK 7980: Practice with Groups
- SWRK 7980: Housing Policy and Social Inclusion
- SWRK 7980: International Social Work: Practicing in the Global South
- SWRK 7980: Social Work Practice with Couples
- SWRK 7980: Global Social Impact 360
- SWRK 7980: Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment in India
- SWRK 7980: Participatory Film: A Community-Based Approach
- SWRK 7980: Psychodynamic Theory
- SWRK 7980: Critical Race Theory
- SWRK 7980: Social Impact Strategy, Analysis, and Leadership
- SWRK 7980: Play Therapy
- SWRK 7980: School Social Work
- SWRK 7980: Consultation with Children and Families
- SWRK 7980: The Ghetto
- SWRK 7980: Supporting LGBTQ+ Individuals Across the Lifespan
- SWRK 7980: Motivational Interviewing
- SWRK 7980: Taking Down the Prison Industrial Complex
- SWRK 7980: Social Work from a Global Perspective
- SWRK 7980: Social Policy and the Latinx Community
- SWRK 8030: History and Philosophy of Social Welfare
- SWRK 8040: Quantitative Research
- SWRK 8050: Qualitative Research Methods
- SWRK 8110: Social Theory
- SWRK 8120: Clinical Theory I
- SWRK 8130: Theory for Clinical Social Work
- SWRK 8150: Penn Dissertation Workshop I
- SWRK 8520: Social Welfare Research Methods
- SWRK 8550: Advanced Research Methods
- SWRK 8610: Methods for Policy Research
- SWRK 8990-01: Structural Equation Modeling
- SWRK 8990-02: Applied Linear Modeling
- SWRK 9000: DSW Course Module in Psychoanalytic Diagnosis
- SWRK 9010: Doctoral Proseminar
- SWRK 9030/9040: Integrative Seminar
- SWRK 9040: Teaching Social Work Practice
- SWRK 9680: Social Welfare & Economics
- MSSP 5140: The Politics of the Welfare State
- MSSP 6060: The Data for Equitable Justice Lab
- MSSP 6070: Practical Programming for Data Science
- MSSP 6080: Practical Machine Learning Methods
- MSSP 6280: Policy: Analysis of Issues, Strategy and Process
- MSSP 6290: Research & Evaluation Design
- MSSP 6300: Quantitative Reasoning / Social Statistics
- MSSP 6310: Law and Social Policy
- MSSP 6320: Capstone Seminar I
- MSSP 6340: MSSP/DA Capstone I
- MSSP 6680: Economics for Social Policy
- MSSP 7030: Ethics, Art, and Resistance: Visual Techniques for the Contestation of an Unjust World
- MSSP 7040: Critical Studies in Health & Policymaking
- MSSP 7060: Behavioral Economics & Social Policy Design
- MSSP 7100: Democratizing Data: Analytics for Social Change
- MSSP 7300: Community Mapping
- MSSP 7410: Gender and Social Policy
- MSSP 7500: Women Leaders & Emerging Democracies
- MSSP 7550: International Social Policy & Practice: Perspectives from the Global South
- MSSP 7680: Social Policy Through Literature
- MSSP 7800: Policy & Difference in Postmodernity
- MSSP 7960: Family Economic Mobility: Problems& Policies
- MSSP 7970: Whose Colony? Politics, Identity and Social Policy in Revolutionary Cuba (1959 – 2017)
- MSSP 7980: Global Abolition Decolonization and Social Policy
- MSSP 7980: Qualitative Methods in Policy Research
- MSSP 7980 Reproductive Justice Policy
- MSSP 7980: Special Topics: Criminal Legal System Policy
- MSSP 8970: Applied Linear Modeling
- NPLD 5100: Social Innovation
- NPLD 5110: Approaches to Social Impact Creation: International Context
- NPLD 5520: Energy & Impact in the Global South
- NPLD 5610: Nonprofit Branding
- NPLD 5620: (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Nonprofit Law
- NPLD 5630: Raising Philanthropic Capital
- NPLD 5640: Social Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Pyramid
- NPLD 5650: Not for Profit Planning and Finance
- NPLD 5660: Social Media Strategies
- NPLD 5670: Unleashing Large Scale Social Movement
- NPLD 5680: Strategic Marketing for Social Impact
- NPLD 5700: Strategic and Fiscal Planning for Nonprofits
- NPLD 5800: Effective Governance Practices for Nonprofits
- NPLD 5810: Effective Governance Practices for Nonprofit Boards
- NPLD 5820: International Nonprofits and Development
- NPLD 5830: Social Impact Measurement
- NPLD 5850: Penn Social Impact Lab
- NPLD 5870: Empowering Nonprofit Leaders to Thrive
- NPLD 5890: Ethics and the Pursuit of Social Impact
- NPLD 5910: Change Making: Personal Traits and Professional Skills
- NPLD 5920: Innovations and Advances in Public-Private Collaborations and Contracting
- NPLD 5930: Design Thinking
- NPLD 5950: The Strategy of Social Media: Effective Decision-Making For Nonprofit Organizations
- NPLD 5960: Design and Incorporation of High Impact Not-For-Profits
- NPLD 7200: Data Analysis for Social Impact
- NPLD 7200: Data Analysis for Social Impact
- NPLD 7300: The Difficult Art of Listening
- NPLD 7500: Netherlands: Corporate Social Responsibility
- NPLD 7520: Social Impact and Enterprise in Kenya
- NPLD 7620: Nonprofit Law
- NPLD 7810: Understanding & Managing Volunteers
- NPLD 7820: Small Group Processes
- NPLD 7830: Field Exercise in Social Impact Measurement
- NPLD 7840: The Nonprofit Sector: Concepts and Theories
- NPLD 7860: Strategic Management and Leadership of Nonprofits
- NPLD 7870: Leadership and Capacity Building in the Nonprofit
- NPLD 7880: Social Media Entrepreneurship Meets Mass Incarceration
- NPLD 7890: Budgeting: Strategic Allocation of Financial Resources for Nonprofits
- NPLD 7900: Social Finance
- NPLD 7910: Transformational Reasoning
- NPLD 7920: Social Entrepreneurship
- NPLD 7930: Leadership Within and Across Boundaries
- NPLD 7940: Fundraising & Philanthropy: The Donor Journey
- NPLD 7960: Philanthropy and Fundraising Tools for Managers of Nonprofit Organizations
- NPLD 7970: Philanthropy and the City: Charitable Giving and its Role in Urban Communities
SP2 takes seriously its responsibility to prepare students for leadership positions both nationally and internationally, and thus has created a wide range of global opportunities.
For graduating Students
Graduates are invited to participate in both the University Commencement ceremony on Monday morning and the SP2 Graduation Commencement ceremony on Saturday evening. Tickets are not required for either event for participants and guests. Graduates are not required to attend either ceremony to receive their degree.
University Commencement Ceremony
The University of Pennsylvania’s 267th Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 15, 2023 on Franklin Field at 10:15 AM ET and will be preceded by student and academic processions through campus. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by the Commencement speaker, who will be announced in the spring.
Please note the University’s Commencement brochure will list only those students who meet the University’s criteria for August 2021, December 2021, and May 2022 graduation dates.
Additional details and updates as we get closed to the ceremony are available online.
SP2 Graduation Ceremony
The SP2 Graduation Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at The Palestra at 6:30 PM ET. The Palestra is located at 223 S. 33rd Street.
(For planning purposes: line up for group program pictures will be around 4:30 PM; line up for the ceremony will be around 5:30 PM. Additional details will be shared closer to the date.)
MSW, NPL, DSW, and PhD students who will graduate in May 2023 or who graduated in August 2022 or December 2022 are eligible to participate in the SP2 ceremony.
MSSP students who will graduate in May 2023 or August 2023 or who graduated in December 2022 are eligible to participate in the SP2 ceremony.
- MSW and NPL students who are in good academic standing and will be taking their final one or two courses in Summer 2023 are eligible to participate in the SP2 ceremony on May 13, 2023.
- Doctoral students will receive detailed information from their program director regarding the date by which dissertation defenses must be completed to be eligible to participate in the SP2 ceremony.
There will be an SP2 Pre-Ceremony Reception in the Caster Building Courtyard from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET that will consist of light refreshments and a meet & greet.
Invitation Letters for International Visitors
The process to request an invitation is outlined on the ISSS website.
To request an enrollment verification letter from SP2 please send the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Legal First, Middle, and Last name
- Penn Id number
We will provide you with an enrollment verification letter within 48 business hours of receipt.
The SP2 ceremony will be available as a livestream. The link will be provided closer to the date.
Questions and concerns regarding all things SP2 graduation should be directed to SP2StudentLife@sp2.upenn.edu.
Alumni Weekend Events
Friday, May 12, 2023, 5:30pm – 8:00pm ET
Sunday, May 14, 2023, 12:00pm – 2:00pm ET
SP2 Ceremony Livestream
View a recording of the 2023 SP2 commencement ceremony below.
University Graduation Application
All expected graduates are required to complete a University graduation application. Failure to apply to graduate may result in delaying degree conferral to another term.
The application is online at https://srfs.upenn.edu/student-records/GradApp.
Click on School of Social Policy and Practice to complete the correct application.
Graduation application deadlines for all SP2 graduate degree programs (MSW, MSSP and NPL) and the Clinical Doctorate in Social Work (DSW):
Fall 2022 Expected Graduates: November 1 to November 30, 2022
Spring and Summer 2023 Expected Graduates: February 1 to February 28, 2023
PhD students are required to follow the deadlines and instructions provided by Graduate Arts and Sciences. The application is available on the same website. PhD application deadlines are earlier then the deadlines listed above. It is the expected graduate’s responsibility to complete their application before GAS’s deadline. For more information about graduation for PhD students, visit https://provost.upenn.edu/graduate-degrees.
If you have questions and concerns regarding applying to graduate and/or degree eligibility, please contact the SP2 Registrar.
Academic Regalia (cap and gown) is required for all participating in the University Commencement ceremony and can be purchased or rented from the Penn Bookstore in the spring. Detailed information will be provided in early spring and from the Penn Bookstore. For planning purposes, students should note that purchase cost for master’s regalia was $87 last year. Purchase cost for doctoral regalia varies depending on fabric choices, etc.
Degrees are officially conferred by the SP2 Registrar 3 to 4 weeks after grades are submitted for the student’s graduation term. Students will receive a detailed email from the SP2 Registrar when their degree has been formally applied to their student record.
Degree Conferral Dates by Term:
- Fall 2022 – December 22, 2022
- Spring 2023 – May 15, 2023
- Summer 2023 – August 5, 2023
Questions and concerns regarding degree conferral should be directed to the SP2 Registrar.
Official transcripts are handled by the Office of the University Registrar, not by individual schools. Graduates are strongly encouraged to review their official transcript online via Path@Penn to confirm that their graduation has been posted prior to ordering an official transcript. Details on how to order and the cost of an official transcript are available online.
If you require a form or letter(s) verifying your degree, please contact the SP2 Registrar directly for assistance.
Diplomas are handled by the University Secretary’s Office, not by individual schools. Diplomas will be mailed approximately 8-10 weeks following the official degree conferral date (i.e., the date appearing on your diploma). Your diploma will be mailed once your degree has been posted by your school and if you are in good financial standing. You can confirm that your degree has been posted by logging into Path@Penn. If your degree has not been posted, you should contact your school.
Additional details including information on CE-Diplomas are available on the University Secretary’s website.
Questions and concerns regarding diplomas should be directed to email@example.com.
Your O365 email account will auto-disable 60 days after graduation (this is not the day of your graduation ceremony). We suggest you back up any emails and files you wish to retain prior to graduation. There is no long-term archiving of O365 accounts, so all emails and files on OneDrive will be purged.
You are able to set up an alumni account at MyPenn (formerly called Quakernet). Please go to www.alumni.upenn.edu and select MyPenn. For further information, please contact Penn Alumni Relations.
PennKeys do not expire, so you can still log into Canvas after you graduate with your PennKey username and password.
Although graduated students retain access to Canvas indefinitely due to PennKeys not expiring, access to particular Canvas sites depends on two-factors:
- A Canvas site is retained in the University of Pennsylvania’s Canvas environment for five years from the term during which its associated course was offered. Once five years have passed since a Canvas site was active, that site may no longer be available.
- Faculty may choose to enable a setting that completely prevents students from accessing a Canvas site after a term ends. Students no longer have access to a Canvas site to which this setting is applied. If a student needs access to content in a Canvas site that is no longer available, they should email their instructor to request to have this content shared outside Canvas.
Additional information can be found online.
Past Commencement Speakers
Public Health Director for Los Angeles County
Founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility and Opportunity
2020 Commencement Booklet (for screens)
Civil Rights activist, podcaster, and support of the Black Lives Matter movement
Social Justice Advocate and Founder of the “Me Too” Movement
Host of NPR’s All Things Considered & Award-Winning Journalist
Former President and CEO of the NAACP
World-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator
Sister Mary Scullion
President and Executive Director, Project H.O.M.E.
Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy
Former United States Representative for Rhode Island
Ambassador Andrew Young
Former United Nations Ambassador and Mayor of Atlanta
Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Vice President of the United States
Andrea M. Porter, MLA
Director of Student Information & Registrar
215 898 5548
Questions about Commencement
Office of Student Affairs