Fellowship and Financial Policies

Duration of Support

Annenberg students normally receive a fellowship stipend and a waiver of tuition. The duration of support depends upon the number of course units transferred for credit (see table below). Students entering with an undergraduate degree receive eight semesters of support, while students entering with a relevant Master’s degree and transferring the maximum number of credits (five) are eligible for seven semesters of funding.

Funding Provided by Annenberg For Incoming Students

Student Enters With:

Course Units Transferred

Semesters of Support

Relevant Master’s Degree

3-5

7

Relevant Master’s Degree

1-2

8

Bachelor’s Degree

0

8

Students on stipend must maintain a full schedule of courses (three course units per semester) while working toward completing their minimum of 20 courses. With the permission of their advisor, students may take four courses in a semester to speed completion of the program. Students may not register for any classes at Penn as an auditor.

If a student completes the minimum of 20 courses for the Ph.D. and is still eligible for support, the student may take additional courses beyond the 20 (with approval from the advisor) within the Annenberg School, but not in other schools. Tuition for courses outside of ASC will NOT be paid once the student has completed 20 courses.

All students must remain in good standing and be participating in a program of active scholarship in order to receive continued funding. All funding decisions are subject to the approval of the Annenberg Dean and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

Bridge Support

  1. Before exhausting their approved semesters of TF/RF support, students may “bank” the unused semesters of support in case they are needed after the DRF is exhausted (i.e., if their dissertation has not been successfully defended by the end of DRF).
  2. For students in good standing who have exhausted their TF/RF support but not yet begun DRF support, ASC will cover one an additional semester of tuition (Comm 995), fees and health insurance (“bridge support”). If additional semesters (beyond the one semester) are needed before moving to DRF, the student is responsible for the costs of tuition (Comm 995), fees and health insurance. These costs will not be reimbursed by ASC.
  3. For students in good standing who have exhausted their DRF (and if applicable, their “banked” TF/RF) support but not yet defended their dissertation, ASC will cover up to two semesters of bridge support. If additional semesters (beyond the two semesters) are needed before defending the dissertation, the student is responsible for the costs of tuition (Comm 995), fees and health insurance. These costs will not be reimbursed by ASC.
  4. The combined number of semesters for which ASC will provide bridge support cannot exceed two semesters.
  5. Bridge support will be paid directly by ASC in the semester in which it is used.

Dissertation Tuition

Ph.D. candidates must be enrolled continuously in COMM 995 from the time they complete coursework until they graduate. This includes the semester in which the degree is conferred. Candidates who have successfully defended their dissertations are eligible to be reimbursed for COMM 995 tuition for the term in which they graduate if they fulfill the following requirements:

Students who don’t fulfill all these requirements are fully responsible for all fees and tuition costs for that semester and each semester until completion.

Continuous Registration / Leave of Absence and Withdrawal 

A Ph.D. candidate who has completed all course requirements for the degree but lacks successful completion of the preliminary (comprehensive) examination, or who is currently working on the dissertation either on or off campus, must register and pay the “General Dissertation Enrollment” (Comm 995) tuition. This fee does not include Student Health Service coverage. Registration is required each succeeding semester until all degree requirements are met. A student without an approved leave of absence who fails to register each semester will be considered to have withdrawn from candidacy for the degree and will be dropped from the program.

Ph.D. Student Leave of Absence Policy
Ph.D. students will be granted a leave of absence for military duty, medical reasons, or family leave; any of these may require documentation. Military, medical, and family leave “stops the clock” on time to completion. Personal leave for other reasons may be granted with the approval of the Graduate Group Chair in consultation with the Graduate Dean of the student’s school, but does not, absent exceptional circumstances, “stop the clock” on time to completion.

Notification of permission or denial of leaves of absence will be communicated in writing by the student’s Graduate Group Chair. The terms of the leave will be specified at the time the leave is granted, including the extent to which the student will have access to resources, facilities, or campus — either physically or remotely — during the leave period. Requirements for return may be imposed by the Graduate Chair in consultation with the Graduate Dean of the student’s school; such requirements will be provided in writing to the student when the leave is approved.

Leaves of absence from Ph.D. studies are typically granted for one or two semesters. Leaves requested for a longer period are approved only in exceptional circumstances (for example, mandatory military service). Students may request an extension of leave, to be approved by the Graduate Chair in consultation with the Graduate Dean. Extension requests should be made by the student at least 30 days before the expiration of the original leave of absence.

Continuous registration as a graduate student is required unless a formal leave of absence is granted. A student is considered to have withdrawn from candidacy for the degree if the student: (1) fails to return from leave as scheduled, (2) fails to secure an extension of a prior leave, or (3) does not have an approved leave of absence and fails to register each semester. In these cases, approval to return by the Graduate Dean and recertification are required as outlined in the Academic Rules for Ph.D. Programs.

While on leave, a student’s funding from the University is deferred until the student returns from leave. Students receiving funding from external sources, such as government grants, are subject to the conditions established by the funding source. No language or other degree examinations may be taken while a student is on a leave of absence. Students may not earn credit for courses taken at another institution during a leave of absence. Leave should not be granted for the purpose of evading tuition charges. 

Students returning from leave are not guaranteed to return to the same research group, project, or lab. If necessary, Graduate Group will make every effort to find a suitable new research group, project, or lab for the student.

In order to ensure successful completion of the Ph.D., a student’s leave(s) should generally not exceed two years over the course of the doctoral program. If, however, it is determined in an individual case that extension of the leave period(s) beyond two years is appropriate, students may need to repeat coursework or other requirements, as determined by the Graduate Group Chair. Original funding limits remain in place for students who must repeat requirements. In addition, the Graduate Group Chair, in consultation with the Graduate Dean, will annually review each case in which a further extension has been granted, or repeated leaves have been taken, to assess if the length and/or number of leaves have made it impossible for a student to make sufficient continuous academic progress to complete the degree. In such a case, the student will be advised that no further extensions will be granted and that they will be withdrawn from the program.

Important note: Students taking Family Leave who anticipate adding a dependent (e.g., newborn) to their Penn Student Insurance Policy must remain in active student status at the start of the fall semester. See more information at https://catalog.upenn.edu/pennbook/family-friendly-policies-phd-students/.

Procedure for Ph.D. students to request leave

How does a student request a leave?
Students wishing to take a Family Leave should fill out this form. Students wishing to take other types of leave — military, medical, or personal — should fill out a Ph.D. Leave of Absence Request.

How does a student request a return from leave?
Students should fill out the Ph.D. Request to Return from Leave of Absence form available in each school. Requests to return from leave should be made at least 30 days in advance of the term beginning that a student wishes to return.

How long can a leave be?
Leave is typically for one or two semesters. In order to ensure successful completion of the Ph.D., a student’s leave(s) should generally not exceed two years over the course of the doctoral program. If, however, it is determined in an individual case that extension of the leave period(s) beyond two years is appropriate, students may need to repeat coursework or other requirements, as determined by the Graduate Group Chair. Original funding limits remain in place for students who must repeat requirements.

Leave of Absence Checklist for Students:

  • Student Bills/Financial Aid – check your student account; any outstanding balance will result in late fees and your account will be placed on hold. Students who have borrowed from the Federal Loan Program must complete the online exit loan counseling session http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/loans/loans-exit-interview.htm. Please note that depending on the length of the leave, students may be required to begin repayment of federal loans before returning to Penn.
  • Tuition – if the leave is requested before the end of Add/Drop students will receive a full refund of tuition and fees. If the leave occurs after Add/Drop, partial refunds may apply. Leaves processed after the 6th week of classes are not eligible for any tuition refund. Consult your school for tuition refund information.
  • Penn Student Insurance Plan – Consult your Graduate Dean’s Office about continuation of PSIP.
  • On campus housing (Sansom) – if the leave occurs within the semester, complete Request for Early Termination. For more information see http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/residential-services/images/terms%20%20conditions%202016-17.pdf
  • International students – Immigration status is dependent upon full-time enrollment and students are required to depart from the U.S. within 15 days of a posted leave, except in certain cases requiring medical care in the U.S. International students must communicate their intention to take a leave of absence with their ISSS advisor. https://global.upenn.edu/isss/absence. You may need to obtain new immigration documents for re-entry.
  • Medical Documentation – If medical documentation is requested, please ask your healthcare provider to fax documentation to Student Health Service (attention: Request Leave of Absence at 215-746-1032) and/or CAPS (attention: Request Leave of Absence at 215-573-8966). Do not provide medical documentation to faculty or staff in your Graduate Group.
  • Students with an approved leave of absence will receive a letter from their Graduate Group Chair outlining the terms of the approved leave and any conditions for return.

NOTE: All students are fully responsible for paying their own tuition, fees, and health insurance after the completion of the approved Semesters of Support. 

Funding and Payroll Issues

For the academic year, the stipend level is to be paid in equal monthly installments beginning in September and ending in May. Stipends are paid the last weekday of the month. Payroll accounts may also be accessed online.  

Research (RF) and Teaching (TF) Fellowships

The purpose of ASC fellowships is to enable students to develop exemplary research and teaching skills while also completing their courses of study. Each semester, fellows are assigned to faculty mentors under whose supervision they will conduct research or teaching duties. While the specific mix of teaching and research fellowship assignments varies depending in part on each student’s career goals, all students are expected to have both types of fellowship experiences during the duration of support. 

While the amount of time devoted to an RF or TF assignment will vary during the course of a semester, ASC fellows are expected to devote an average of no more than 19 hours per week to their position. Students may not accept outside employment during the period when supported, nor may they reduce or interrupt their full-time program while on fellowship support. Exceptions to these rules on academic grounds may occur with written permission of a student’s academic advisor, the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, and the ASC Dean. Awards of financial support are normally renewed each semester the student is eligible, as long as the student makes satisfactory progress in coursework and fulfills the terms of the fellowships.

At the completion of each TF or RF assignment, faculty mentors will provide students with feedback on their performance. Students are responsible for scheduling a time to meet with their mentors to review and evaluate the work completed during the term.

Teaching Fellow Roles and Responsibilities

Teaching fellowships are meant to help ASC graduate students develop their pedagogical skills, while also assisting the instructor with various aspects of the course. For this reason, it is important for instructors to consider how the experience can be maximally beneficial for students’ future roles in the classroom. A key responsibility of an instructor is to help the fellow learn the skills as well as the arts of teaching. Prior to the beginning of the semester, it is a good idea to meet to review the goals for the semester’s teaching fellowship. The teaching fellows may have specific skills that they are interested in developing (e.g., lecturing, designing assignments, etc.) and the instructors may have educational goals for the class that the fellow should learn to carry out.

It is important that the instructor make the norms of teaching explicit. The TF and instructor should meet regularly to discuss the best ways to approach student-related concerns, timelines for creating and grading exams and assignments, and other class needs and pedagogical issues.

Teaching fellows, like instructors, are expected to hold a minimum of two office hours each week. Ideally, the TF hours should be different from the instructor’s hours (and from other TF hours, if there is more than one assigned to the course). Office hours should be consistently held and students notified if they are canceled or changed. Office hours are an opportunity for students to meet with TFs about exam preparation, paper writing, and course material clarification. In addition, TFs are expected to be present at each class session and to do all of the class readings so as to effectively assist students and evaluate their performances. Finally, a TFs responsibilities continue until all grading is complete and final grades have been submitted.

Instructors should help the fellows learn effective teaching techniques by providing the opportunity to carry out some of the following activities with appropriate supervision:

  • Creating study guides
  • Meeting with students about assignments
  • Developing exam questions
  • Grading exams and assignments
  • Setting up classroom technology
  • Recording attendance
  • Maintaining the course Canvas site
  • Sending course problem notices
  • Helping to organize outside speakers
  • Guest lecturing

Annenberg School regulations state that TF duties should not exceed 19 hours per week, on average, so as not to infringe on their other scholarly activities. While it is recognized that there will be some weeks that require more hours (e.g., during periods when grading occurs), and others that require fewer, an average of no more than 19 hours must be respected.

If either the teaching fellow or the instructor have questions or concerns, please contact Associate Dean for Undergraduate studies.

Research Fellow Roles and Responsibilities

Research fellowships can take many forms, from assisting on a faculty member’s new or ongoing research, to working on a project initiated by the RF him or herself. For this reason it is important that RFs and their faculty mentors meet (ideally before the start of the semester) to review the goals for the research fellowship. The RF may have specific skills that they are interested in developing (e.g., developing research questions, certain data collection or data analysis techniques, etc.) and the faculty mentor may have specific research goals that the fellow will be expected to carry out. In addition, the RF and faculty mentor should meet regularly to discuss ongoing assignments, assess the quality and progress of work, and assure that the needs of both the faculty mentor and the RF are being met.

While the specific structure and substance of an RF assignment is ultimately determined by the faculty mentor, it is important that faculty consider how the experience can be maximally beneficial for students’ future roles as researchers. Common activities for RFs include:

  • Literature reviews
  • Developing research questions and hypotheses
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Report and paper writing
  • Grant writing
  • Attending research team meetings
  • Helping to identify speakers or organize events

Annenberg School regulations state that RF duties should not exceed 19 hours per week, on average, so as not to infringe on their other scholarly activities. While it is recognized that there may be some weeks that require more hours, and others that require fewer, an average of no more than 19 hours must be respected.

If either the research fellow or faculty mentor have questions or concerns, please contact Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

Summer Fellowships

Purpose: To provide graduate students with summer financial support and additional academic and professional training, and/or to provide ASC faculty with summer research assistance.

Amount: $4,000 per summer to be paid in three equal amounts in June, July and August. (NOTE: summer stipends are considered taxable income)

Eligibility: All ASC graduate students who held a Research Fellowship (RF) or Teaching Fellowship (TF) in the previous semester are eligible for a Summer Fellowship. Students receiving a Summer Fellowship are eligible to engage in additional paid activities (including working on faculty grants) of up to 20 hours a week. Summer funding is NOT guaranteed. 

Primary activities eligible for summer funding:

  • Providing research assistance for an ASC Graduate Group faculty member
  • Working with an ASC Graduate Group faculty member on a joint project or activity
  • Revising a paper for submission to a conference or journal
  • Writing a grant proposal 
  • Conducting new research/data collection
  • Working at an unpaid internship relevant to one’s research interests
  • Working on a dissertation proposal
  • Taking one or more summer courses relevant to one’s research interests. (NOTE: Tuition for summer courses will be covered up to a maximum of $4,000)

Process: Interested students should talk with their advisor and/or other ASC faculty about possible summer research and educational opportunities of the sort listed above, and identify a “sponsor” from among the faculty who will supervise their summer research or training (this person can but need not be their advisor). Once a specific project or activity has been agreed upon, the student should complete the Summer Fellowship Application Form. These applications require signed approval by a member of the ASC Graduate Group, whose signature indicates a willingness to oversee and assess the student’s performance during the summer. Students must also obtain the signature of their academic advisor, if different from the sponsoring faculty member. Final approval for summer funding is made by the dean. At the end of each summer, Summer Fellows must submit a second form, along with supporting documentation, indicating what was accomplished. This second form must be signed by the sponsoring faculty member acknowledging that the specific project or activity has been completed to the satisfaction of the faculty sponsor. Students who do not fulfill this requirement may be asked to reimburse the school for all or part of the funds received.

Specific Summer Programs:
 

SummerCulture is an immersion experience for students and faculty to better understand together the challenges facing culture from political intimidation and how they take shape in different places around the globe. SummerCulture began in 2005 through the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication and is now hosted by the Center for Media at Risk under Director Barbie Zelizer. It takes place in a different country each year and is hosted by an international university.

  • SummerCulture is an accredited course.
  • SummerCulture is considered part of the Spring semester. Accepted students must attend in-class, on-campus sessions in April and the full two-week program during the summer.
  • Participation is limited to six students from the Annenberg School.

The Center for Media at Risk covers the cost of travel, accommodations, and most meals during the two weeks. Students will be responsible for full participation in the program while in the host country y and independent work on a project related to the SummerCulture theme, which will be both presented as an ASC colloquium in the fall and submitted as a term paper.

Those interested in applying should submit a two-page statement of intent (with title) when requested to the Media at Risk Center Coordinator.

The statement should address three issues:

  • Your dissertation interests;
  • Aspects of the SummerCulture theme that exemplify those interests, as they relate to the host country;
  • A proposal for examining those aspects of in conjunction with your interests during SummerCulture.

Statements of intent will be evaluated in accordance with how much the suggested proposal both reflects your dissertation interests and the host country context, as well as how doable its examination is within the parameters of the program.

COMPASS (Consortium on Media Policy Studies) is designed to provide Ph.D. students in Communication and Media Studies with hands on experience in the development and implementation of communication policy. COMPASS is administered out of the Media, Inequality & Change Center (MIC) and co-directed by ASC professor Victor Pickard. Successful applicants will have a fellowship (8-10 weeks from early June thru early August) in DC-based government offices or agencies, think tanks, advocacy organizations, or other communication-related institutions. All Fellows are required to participate in a weekly seminar on the practice of communication policy to take place in Washington, D.C. ASC will provide Ph.D. course credit for those who successfully meet the requirements of the course. Additional opportunities for Fellows to attend other scholarly, applied and social events will also be provided. Please watch the COMPASS video for more information and to hear about experiences from past Fellows.

Fellowships include assistance in locating an appropriate placement with a host institution, and a stipend of $7,000. NOTE: This stipend is in lieu of the more general $4,000 summer fellowship stipends we provide.

A limited number of Fellowships are available. Interested students should provide a letter indicating how a summer fellowship would connect to/enhance the research and/or teaching and what kind of placement would be most useful in this regard. If fellows have specific organizations with which they would like to work, please also include that in the application letter.

The Washington DC Summer Fellowship Program is a project of the Consortium on Media Policy Studies (COMPASS), a collaboration of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, the Department of Communication at the University of Michigan, and the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas.

Dissertation Research Fellowship (DRF)

A twelve-month Dissertation Research Fellowship (DRF) is normally available to students who complete an acceptable dissertation proposal in a timely manner. The award of a DRF is subject to available funds and approval by the Dean. Students making normal progress in the program should plan to defend their proposal the semester following the end of coursework. Any student whose dissertation proposal is not approved within two semesters after coursework is complete is unlikely to receive a DRF. Any student whose dissertation proposal is not approved by the end of the fifth semester after coursework is complete is not eligible for DRF funding, unless s/he obtains approval from the Dean and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Doctoral candidates who have done the following may apply for a DRF:

  • Completed all coursework
  • Passed the Qualifications Evaluation
  • Passed the Comprehensive Examination
  • Defended the dissertation proposal successfully
  • Been certified by the advisor as ready to begin work on the dissertation.

The DRF provides a 12-month stipend and covers dissertation tuition and the student health insurance. Eligible candidates may apply for DRF at any time after a successful proposal defense by submitting a completed Form # 15 (Dissertation Research Fellowship Application) to the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies. The application must include a schedule of work approved by the dissertation supervisor and certification by the supervisor that the student’s committee has accepted the candidate’s dissertation proposal without further revision. Please be advised that DRF FUNDING IS NOT GUARANTEED and is always subject to approval by the Dean and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. 

If the candidate does not demonstrate satisfactory progress toward completion of the dissertation the award can be discontinued with the Dean’s approval. To begin funding in a given month, the Business Administrator must receive the student’s approved Form #15 before the 15th of the month; payment is made on the last weekday of the month. Since the DRF is intended to provide students with an uninterrupted period to complete their dissertation in a timely fashion, students may not be employed elsewhere during this period. In addition, once started, it is presumed that the DRF will be continued without interruption for 12 contiguous months. The only exceptions to this will be for health or personal emergencies, or if a student has a teaching or research opportunity that will add substantially to professional development.  Under these special circumstances a student may request to have DRF “suspended” for a limited period. Such requests must be approved by both the student’s dissertation chair (and primary dissertation advisor if different from the chair) and by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

IMPORTANT Tax Information
Please note the policies on the DRF request form that inform you that taxes are not withheld when you are on DRF. You are responsible for declaring the income and paying taxes on it.

Dissertation Budget
The usual dissertation budget is $1,200. Students must meet with the Business Administrator to discuss expenses related to the payment of incentives or other payments to individuals (such as for coding) before the budget will be approved. If these funds are awarded, students will be reimbursed for expenses related to the grant as they are incurred. Students requesting reimbursement from an approved dissertation budget must submit Form #9 along with all relevant original receipts to the Business Administrator.  The dissertation budget can be used once the dissertation proposal is passed and the budget form is approved until two weeks past the final dissertation defense date.  

Rules for Reimbursement:

  • Doctoral candidates have access to a dissertation budget of up to $1,200.
  • Only expenses incurred while performing research related to the dissertation are eligible for reimbursement and all receipts must be turned in within two weeks of the defense. The dissertation deposit fee is not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Only expenses incurred AFTER the budget has been approved will be considered for reimbursement.
  • Eligible candidates should submit a request for a dissertation budget as soon possible after the dissertation proposal has been accepted by the Dissertation Committee.
  • Candidates requesting funds for payments to individuals (such as coders, study participants, etc.) must discuss these plans with the Business Administrator when submitted the budget for approval.
  • All non-consumable research materials (e.g. audio/video tapes) must be submitted to ASC with the request for reimbursement.
  • Original receipts must accompany all requests for reimbursement of expenses.
  • Candidates must initially pay all dissertation expenses out of pocket.
  • To request reimbursement, the candidate must submit full documentation of all expenses and original receipts to the Business Administrator.

External Funding

Although Annenberg provides fellowship support to all students accepted into the program, doctoral candidates are encouraged to seek out and apply for support from outside sources. Fellowship awards from external groups carry prestige and honor along with the monetary rewards, and Annenberg students are strong competitors for such awards.

Candidates who receive outside fellowships may make arrangements, subject to approval of the Dean, to reschedule the award of the DRF. Students who are funded by the DRF may not accept outside employment during the period of the fellowship except in unusual circumstances, such as when the employment is necessary to the conduct of the research. Such exceptions must be approved in advance by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Grants for Scholarly Projects
Proposals for internal and external grants to fund activities involving School facilities, supplies, or faculty, and/or staff time must be approved by the Dean. The Business Administrator reviews proposed budgets for said activities before they are submitted to the Dean. The Dean then reviews and approves both the project and its budget in writing. The Business Administrator must receive a copy of the approved proposal and its budget before any funds can be disbursed. Grant proposals and contracts with external funding sources must also be approved by the Office of Research Administration of the University prior to their submission to the granting agency.

Reimbursable Expenditures

Occasionally, a student may incur an out-of-pocket expense relating to a grant project, Graduate Council function, or other such School-related activity. In order to avoid incurring unbudgeted and/or unauthorized expenses, the student should submit written notice of the expense to the Business Administrator at least three working days prior to the planned expenditure. The notice should contain the nature, purpose, and date of the proposed expense; itemized cost estimates; the budget to be charged; and the appropriate authorization (signature of the Dean or the administrator of the budget to be charged). The University has a number of specific policies and procedures regarding purchases of goods and services. Consult the Business Administrator for additional information.

Travel & Research Support

All Annenberg doctoral students receiving a regular fellowship from the school (research, teaching, or dissertation) have access to a yearly personal travel and research budget (currently $1,200 an academic year running from September 1 to August 31). The primary purpose of this fund is to provide travel and lodging support for attendance at professional and academic conferences at which a student has some formal role (e.g., presenting a research paper or poster; acting as a discussant, group chair, or panel moderator; performing administrative duties, etc.). However, funds may also be used to support other legitimate educational and research purposes.     

The rules for the use of travel & research funds are the following: 

  • Students are responsible for managing their yearly budgets, including keeping track of balances, by prioritizing how best to use them and planning carefully over the course of the year. Except in instances where additional funding is announced (e.g., for international travel) or a student has access to separate funding sources (e.g., grants), no additional funds will be available. If you were granted access to an additional funding source, be sure to indicate in the comment section which fund your Concur expense report should be charged to.  
  • Any planned use of travel & research funds requires prior approval by a student’s faculty advisor as indicated by a signature on Form #9 (Travel & Research Approval). The faculty advisor is responsible for ensuring that the intended use is appropriate to the student’s professional advancement.
  • Legitimate travel & research expenses are identical to those made available to faculty and are determined by University and IRS policy. If a student or his/her advisor has questions regarding whether a particular expense is reimbursable they should check with the School’s budget office prior to formally submitting a request.
  • The completed Travel & Research form should be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies for final approval. Since the approval process takes time and might require additional information, submissions should be made in a timely fashion, ideally no less than two weeks prior to when funds need to be expended.
  • Travel support is provided on a reimbursement basis only. Once formally approved by the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, students may make expenditures, submitting (within two weeks) original receipts (accompanied by an itemized list of expenses and a copy of the approved Travel & Research form) for all approved expenses to the ASC Business Administrator. Reimbursements are processed through the electronic Concur system. NOTE: ASC will not reimburse for Acela train travel.
  • In situations where the School pays in advance for a student’s expenses toward a trip or project, and the student defaults on using the funds, the student must reimburse the School. That reimbursement should include any cancellation penalties.
  • An additional pool of funds (up to $500 per person a year) will be available for travel to international conferences at which the student is presenting a paper and with the approval of the advisor. However, students are responsible for planning their travel and budget so that they can participate in the conferences that are most beneficial to their own academic and professional development. All student travel undertaken as part of Annenberg School business or scholarly activities is subject to the restrictions stated within this policy, regardless of the source of funding.
  • Students are encouraged to use the Global Activities Registry Penn’s central resource for collecting information about the travel plans and activities of faculty, staff, and students preparing to travel abroad for academic, educational, clinical, research, or University business purposes. This secured information is used to contact travelers in emergencies; to assist individuals and groups, as needed, with pre-travel preparations; and to identify opportunities for closer collaboration on international research and operations.

Student Health Insurance Benefit

All University of Pennsylvania students must carry health insurance, either through the University under the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP), or through an outside provider. Those students with coverage through an outside provider must provide proof of insurance by completing the on-line waiver form found on the Penn Student Health Services website.

All Annenberg Ph.D. students who are eligible for tuition may enroll in the single PSIP and Annenberg will cover the cost of the single health premium for the plan. Students are required to enroll in the plan directly by using the website noted above. The insurance premium will appear on the student’s bursar bill, and the school will pay the cost. Students who elect to waive coverage will are not eligible for any cash allowance. Please note that ASC reserves the right to alter this benefit at any time at its discretion. Students with families are encouraged to apply for Penn’s Family Center Grant.

Students who have completed all coursework and have been approved for DRF are eligible for student health coverage through the semester in which the degree is conferred but no more than 2 full semesters after DRF is approved (NOTE: Penn’s Student Insurance Plan ends 12/31 for those graduating in the Fall and 7/31 for those graduating in the Spring). More on Penn’s coverage period.