University of Pennsylvania

Academics are about more than picking a major and showing up to class. Learning how to make the best use of study time, prepare for exams, and use the resources available can help your student not only earn the grades they want, but also learn the skills they need for their future career. UniversityParent has the information you need to guide and encourage your student as they make important decisions about their academic career and learn to manage their class load.

Important UPENN Academic Links for Parents

To keep current on important academic events, visit the following links:



Q: What should my student do if they can’t decide on a major?

If your student can’t decide on a major, encourage them to take a wide variety of classes to help determine what interests them most. Ask them about their passions, interests and goals. Once they narrow their selection down to a few choices, suggest that they try a job, internship or volunteer work in the areas that interest them most. For more great ideas, click an article below for more information.

Q: How can I help my student find tutoring help on campus?

Check out your school's academics page, or encourage your student to speak with their adviser, as tutoring services are often already set up and readily available. Encourage your student to meet with a professor or teaching assistant if they have specific questions or problems. Another great option is to encourage your student to set up a study group with other students. For more ideas see the full article.

Q: Where is the best place to purchase textbooks for University of Pennsylvania classes?

The campus bookstore will often have used textbooks, an option to rent the book, or the possibility of selling it back after the class (for a reduced price). It's a good idea to encourage your student to talk to others who have taken the class, as students are often happy to loan their book out for a year, or sell it for a reasonable price. Checking for used textbooks or e-books online can also be a great option. For more tips or some of the benefits and drawbacks of e-books, check out these articles.

Q: I’ve heard a lot about FERPA. What does this mean?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or FERPA prevents universities from sharing your student's private information (such as grades, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact information and class schedules) with anyone aside from your student. This also means that the university cannot disclose anything about your student's grades to you. For some great ideas of how to encourage your student to take responsibility for their grades and support them academically, see the full article.

Q: How can I support my student’s study habits?

Encourage your student to take good notes during their classes. This will ensure they have the material they need to study and is a great first step for mastering the information. While cramming at the last minute can allow students to remember the information for the day of the test, studying a little at a time over a longer period is better for long-term retention. Finally, testing themselves with flashcards, practice tests or in a group with other students can be a great study tool. For more tips, see the full article.

Q: What if my student wants to transfer schools?

If your student is considering transferring, you as a parent can be a great resource. Ask your student to vocalize their reason or reasons for considering a transfer. If it is not a problem that you can solve together, help them work with the two universities to see how credits might transfer. For more details, see the full article.

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