The Registration Process

SP2 students register for courses through the University’s on-line registration system, PENN In-Touch. To register, students should:

  1. Review the SWRK course timetable and select courses for Social Policy & Practice
  2. Consult the relevant program of study or consult with their advisor to determine which courses to take.
  3. Log into PENN In-Touch using PennKey and password
  4. Choose the Registration & Planning menu to use the Course search, mock schedule tools and to register for classes.

Incoming Student Registration

In early May, incoming students are sent registration instructions, including how to access the PENN In-Touch registration system, and the School Class Schedule outlining class times, course numbers, course titles, and course instructors.

Class sizes are limited to a specific number of students. The PENN In-Touch system automatically advises when the class section has been filled and the need arises for the student to register for another section of the multi-sectioned courses.

Registration questions should be directed to:

Continuing Students' Summer and Fall Term Registration

Students register for courses using the university Advance Registration system. Updated information is available each term on the Current Students Registration page. Students are encouraged to meet with their educational advisor before selecting classes for the summer and fall terms. The class schedule, complete with names of instructors and room assignments will be available on the University’s Course Roster and on the SP2 Schedule of Classes. Questions about registration should be referred to:

Registration for Spring Term

Registration takes place in mid-fall. Students will receive the information and deadline date using the same instructions as for fall registration. Students are encouraged to meet with their educational advisor before registering.

Normal Course Load

Normal course load varies among SP2 degree programs. Students should consult the program webpage for information about the normal course load for their degree program. Any deviation from normal course load must be discussed with the educational advisor to insure that the student meets the degree requirements for the program. (Students who have been awarded tuition assistance are reminded that the number of courses taken may affect the amount of the grant or loan). Additional tuition charges will be assessed for courses above the normal course load. Contact the SP2 Registrar for information.

Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (CU).  One CU is equal to 4 semester hours. The majority of SP2 courses are valued at one course unit. Additional information regarding course credit information is available from the university Registrar.


Students who wish to attend the class sessions for a course without completing the assignments or taking examinations may audit the course. Auditing a course requires approval from the student’s academic advisor or the student’s Program Director. Auditors are subject to the normal course tuition and fees. After receiving permission to audit a course, you register in the usual way, but indicate audit as the grade type. You will not receive credit for the course, but it will appear on your transcript with “aud” in the grade column. Courses that are required for completion of the student’s degree program, including courses that are counted towards the required number of CUs for the degree, are not eligible for audits.

Course Withdrawal

After the official course selection period ends (usually after the second full week of classes), an instructor may permit a student to withdraw from his/her course. Students are permitted to petition for withdrawal from a course until the end of the tenth week of classes with the permission of the instructor. The course remains on the student’s academic record, however, with a mark indicating the withdrawal. The withdrawal is not considered in the computation of the grade point average. To withdraw from a course, the student should print a Course Withdrawal Request Form. After completing the form and obtaining the required signatures, the student is to return the form to the School Registrar’s office.

Students are not permitted to withdraw after the end of the tenth week except in extraordinary circumstances. In such cases, requests to withdraw must be accompanied by a Course Withdrawal Request Form and a letter explaining the extraordinary circumstance. Withdrawals after the tenth week also require the permission of the Dean of Students.

A student who withdraws (or is requested to withdraw for failure to maintain a satisfactory scholastic standard or who is granted a leave of absence from a full-time division of the University during either term of the academic year) will be eligible for a refund of tuition and general fee in accordance with the conditions set forth below.

Separation occurring within………..percent refund of tuition and fees
The first two weeks of class…………….100%
Third and fourth weeks of class………..75%
Fifth & Sixth weeks of class………………50%
Weeks thereafter……………………………….0%

A student who is required to withdraw because of violation of University regulation shall receive no refund by reason of such a withdrawal.

Satisfactory Academic Progress - MSW Students

All requirements for the MSW degree must be completed within five years of the date when the student first registered for the degree. Students who have not completed the degree in five years will be withdrawn from the program and will need to reapply if they wish to continue as degree students.