Moving to Philadelphia

Penn is situated in the University City section of West Philadelphia, just across the river from Center City Philadelphia. The city’s neighborhoods and suburbs offer a wide range of housing choices, nightlife, culture, and recreation. We encourage you to visit Philadelphia and explore its diverse neighborhoods.


Checklist for Incoming Students

Here’s a list of everything you need to do before you arrive on campus, including info on how to find housing.

Online Housing Resources for Incoming Students

Each spring, the University offers live, interactive, online sessions about housing for incoming graduate students, so you can get this critical information before you arrive on campus. These online sessions are held in March, April and May, and you can log on from wherever you are in the world. See the online orientation sessions web page for more details.

Also, be sure to review the online resources at Off-Campus Services

On-Campus Housing


On campus housing is available in Sansom Place, a high-rise residential community conveniently located on Penn’s campus. Units include fully furnished single rooms and apartments. Monthly rent includes utilities, cable, and internet. The complex includes 24 hour front desk services and monitored security access as well as, free laundry machines, study and social meeting rooms. Spouses or life partners may live with a grad student, but no children or pets are permitted. Applications are accepted and processed on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply now at as availability becomes limited as the summer progresses. Sansom Place is a great option for graduate students new to the University or the Philadelphia area. The Sansom Place staff can share their knowledge of the University’s many resources and opportunities.

Some graduate students apply to work as a Graduate Associate in the undergraduate College Houses or as a Sansom Advisor in Sansom Place, in return for free housing. Sansom Advisors live and work in Sansom Place to create activities and a welcoming environment for residents. Learn more about applying for a position. Each of the undergraduate College Houses has a team of Graduate Associates (GAs) who advise, assist, and mentor the undergraduate residents, as well as organize activities. GAs are provided with a free single occupancy room and a generous meal plan in the College Houses. Learn more about applying for a position.

Off-Campus Housing

If you plan to live off-campus, there is a wide range of options and costs to consider in terms of location, convenience, type, condition of rental unit, and size. For students interested in off-campus housing, the Office of Off-Campus Services provides access to a database of rental listings, as well as useful information on the housing search process. Please visit the Off-Campus Services website for more information.

Students living off campus will also need to sign up for local utilities:

Local utility companies include:

In addition, the University has partnered with AT&T Wireless, Sprint, and Verizon to offer Penn students discounted cellular phone service.

Banks close to campus: