Academic Initiatives

Theme Year

Explore the 2019-20 Provost's Theme Year website and learn about local resources, faculty and fellow students doing research in innovative fields, related courses, and events.

Penn Reading Project

Learn about Cathy O'Neil's Weapons of Math Destruction, discover the author, and look up additional resources.

Take Your Professor & Host Your Class Programs

Opportunities for students and faculty to engage in casual conversations over a meal help break the ice, foster good relationships, and even improve what goes on in the classroom.

First-Year Experience (FYE)

NSO is just a week, but the First-Year Experience continues all year long. Join your fellow first year students for a number of activities meant to ease the transition into college and provide a fun venue for making new friends and learning about out great university and what it has to offer.

Second-Year Experience (SYE)

Penn’s Second-Year Experience (SYE) program is designed specifically to address the unique needs of second-year students. SYE highlights existing programs and creates new events. It features collaborations between faculty, staff (both academic and student affairs), and student leaders such as the Class Board 2022 to provide support for Career Development, Engagement in Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Activities, Selection of Academic Opportunities, and On and Off-Campus Living.


Preceptorials are short not-for-credit courses taught by Penn faculty or senior staff, that explore a subject of the instructor’s special interest. These courses are developed by faculty and are for Penn students in all academic schools. NSOAI manages all logistics and advertising of the course. Courses can be offered at Penn, or include an off-campus component, incorporating these into the curriculum, such as performances, museum trips, or other site visits.