The Penn State’s Graduate Student Association formally passed its constitution on October 1, 1951. Over the years, the GSA took the lead on numerous issues affecting graduate students, has aided in shaping the way Penn State is today, and continues to play a vital role in University life. On July 1st, 2014, the GSA officially became the Graduate and Professional Student Association to reflect its representation of all non-undergraduate students at Penn State. Today, the GPSA stands as the oldest continuously existing student governing organization at Penn State.
The primary goals of the Graduate and Professional Student Association are to represent and support the interests of the University’s current and future graduate and professional student community. GPSA accomplishes this goal by:
- Providing unified and informed voice representing graduate and professional students to the University’s administration, Board of Trustees, academic units, and other external organizations that make decisions on behalf of students;
- Creating a forum to address the ideas and concerns of graduate and professional students;
- Supporting scholarship activities and professional development;
- Promoting leadership, social, and service opportunities to the graduate and professional student body; and,
- Planning events and activities to promote a sense of community among graduate and professional students and their families.
The GPSA, officially recognized by the University as the collective voice of the graduate and professional student body under the Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees 7(4), is appropriately organized to accomplish the following unique functions: advocate the position of the graduate and professional student body to other University and external constituencies; represent the broad interests of graduate and professional students to the University’s academic units through a network of departmental delegates; furnish accessible, reliable, and valuable information, services, and programs to current and prospective graduate and professional students; provide a forum for interaction among an extraordinarily diverse graduate and professional student population; encourage and facilitate communication with and interaction among other graduate and professional student organizations; seek funding to support organizational activities; and promote a sense of community among graduate and professional students and their families.
The Graduate and Professional Student Association is available to help you with any questions you may have. Members and officers of GPSA can help you become more involved (academically or socially) in university life. If you need help navigating campus, finding resources around campus, or connecting with other organizations, we can help you.
The GPSA also welcomes volunteers to help with various GPSA projects and we look forward to your suggestions to help us better serve Penn State graduate and professional students. If you would like to get involved in GPSA, please send an email to email@example.com, and feel free to provide any details about any specific projects or initiatives you want to participate in.
Involvement in Campus Decision Making
Penn State operates under a shared governance system in which students are consulted on student affairs, as mandated by the Board of Trustees. As part of this shared governance mission, the GPSA has representatives and liaisons on numerous committees and governing bodies to ensure the graduate and professional student voice is heard. These committees include (list not exhaustive):
Penn State Governing Bodies
- Penn State Board of Trustees
- Penn State Alumni Council
- Student Fee Board
- Faculty Senate
- Graduate Council
Campus Advisory Boards & Committees
- Counseling and Psychological Services Advisory Board
- Student Advisory Committee to Project LionPath
- Smoke Free Campus Task Force
- Student Health Advisory Board
- Student Insurance Advisory Board/Council (SIAB/C)
- Student Legal Services Advisory Board
- Campus Recreation Advisory Committee
- Student Transportation Advisory Committee
- Student Sustainability Advisory Council
- Student Child Care Advisory Committee
- Student Leader Scholarship Selection Committee
- Lion’s Pantry Advisory Board
- “All In” Campaign Structural Planning Committee
- University Libraries Advisory Board
- We Are…Worth Funding Task Force
- Sexual Violence Awareness/Prevention Roundtable
- LMS (Canvas) Academic Transition Steering Committee
- Libraries Graduate Student Advisory Group
- Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure Governance Advisory Council
- Student Technology Advisory Council
- Advisory Council for Continued Excellence (ACCE)
- Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Advisory Council
- Academic Strategic Planning Implementation Task Force
- Legislative Outreach Commission
- Council of Lionhearts
- Men Against Violence
- Movin’ On Concert Series
- State College Borough Roundtable
- Penn State S-Book Editorial Team
- Graduate School Alumni Society
- Student Trustee Selection Committee
- Association of Big Ten Graduate and Professional Students
You can find us in our office in the HUB-Robeson Center Room 315 on Monday from 9:30 AM-1:30 PM and on Thursday from 9:30 AM-11:30 AM. The office is typically staffed by our undergraduate Communications Manager. If you need to speak with a particular member of the GPSA Executive Board, you can make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
GPSA is governed by two primary documents:
Graduate and Professional Student Association Constitution, Last Amended March 29, 2017
Graduate and Professional Student Association Bylaws, Last Amended March 29, 2017
GPSA receives an annual $59,542 allocation from the Student Activity Fee. We are committed to utilizing this money in responsible and transparent ways to benefit graduate and professional student life. Please find our recent budgets below, which we will update periodically throughout he year.