For Incoming Freshmen

Class of 2021 meet your peer and pre-major advisors!

Welcome to Penn and to the College of Arts and Sciences! We know you are looking forward to the exciting and life-transforming opportunities that await you. We would like to direct your attention to the first steps in that journey.

Your primary guide for academic information and next steps in the College can be found online in Compass which is in Penn's learning management system, Canvas. A tool you will eventually use for many of your classes. Compass will answer many of your initial questions and present new ideas that you may want to incorporate into your academic plans. You will need to move through Compass, complete the Advising Questionnaire and speak with your pre-major advisor in order to request fall courses by July 14th.

For more information about accessing Compass, see below.

Should you and your advisor agree that you will need a math course here at Penn, the results from Penn’s Math Diagnostic in Canvas will help determine your best placement. You have already been enrolled in the Diagnostic and can find further instructions in Compass on how to proceed.

You will have countless decisions to make this summer and throughout your time at Penn, but rest assured that you will not have to make them alone. In mid-June, you will receive another email from the College Office with contact information for your peer and pre-major advisors. Your pre-major advisor will help you craft your academic path this summer and over the next two years at Penn.


You should have an invitation to join Compass in your email inbox. Please accept the invitation to join.

If you do not have an invitation in your inbox, go to Canvas (where Compass is hosted), choose "Courses" on the left-hand menu, choose "Compass" and then accept the invitation to join.

If you have any questions including those that pertain to Compass, please call the College Office at 215.898.6341.

249 S 36th St
Philadelphia, PA | 19104

Important Dates:
May 3 Incoming Freshmen: Create your PennKey between now and May 31
June 1 Incoming Freshmen: Begin to Move through Compass and Complete the Advising Questionnaire and Math Diagnostic Before Speaking with Your Pre-Major Advisor
14 Incoming Freshmen: Receive a Second Email from the College with Contact Information for Peer and Pre-Major Advisors
19 (approx. date) Incoming Freshmen: Advance Registration Starts on 6/19 and Continues to 7/14
July 14 (approx. date) Incoming Freshmen: Advance Registration Ends
September 18 Course Selection Period Ends
October 25 Course & Majors Fair: Talk with reps from courses, College majors and more. 11:30-2:30, Hall of Flags, Houston Hall
August 22 New Student Orientation Begins
27 Incoming Freshmen: Meet Your Peer Advisors and Attend Welcome to the College and Opening Exercises
28 First Day of Class

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