History and Introduction


One of the greatest benefits of attending Penn is, inarguably, the opportunity to embrace a culture of intellectualism, innovation, and diversity. It is for this reason that more than 13,000 students each year from across the United States and the world choose to be at one of the twelve graduate and professional schools Penn. In this sea of opportunities, what the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly strives to accomplish is to integrate students with a unique Penn experience spanning disciplines.

The beginning of graduate student government at Penn can be traced to the 1950s, when a group of students began meeting to discuss and work on issues pertaining to graduate student life. In 1979, the Board of Trustees formally sanctioned GAPSA into Statutes of the University, marking GAPSA's entry into Penn's core body of governing laws. The first General Assembly meeting gathered on September 24, 1979.

More than three decades later, GAPSA continues to be a thriving organization with membership open to all membership and involvement of the twelve graduate and professional schools at Penn. It has continued to fulfill its mission in empowering students, advocating on their behalf, and supporting countless academic, professional, and social initiatives. In 2012, GAPSA hosted the Ivy Plus Summit, a gathering of the student government leaders throughout the Ivy League partner institutions and MIT. Furthermore, over the years, Penn has become one of the most well-funded and involved student governments in the world. Even as GAPSA continues to establish and promote relationships among student leaders nationally, it remains committed to what the needs of the students at Penn.

On this website you will find contact information for the GAPSA Executive Board and your school representatives on the General Assembly. Whether you have questions about GAPSA events, ways to get involved, or just want to reach out to us, we want to hear from you. We are conveniently located on the third floor of the Graduate Student Center, and you are more than welcome to schedule a time to meet with us.

GAPSA does not exist without your support. We hope that GAPSA will be a part of your Penn experience, and thank you for being a part of GAPSA.




Access our General Assembly Minutes Archive to review prior years' work.