Penn-wide Policy on Secular and Religious Holidays

The University also recognizes that there are several religious holidays that affect large numbers of University community members, including Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover, and Good Friday. In consideration of their significance for many students, no examinations may be given and no assigned work may be required on these days. Students who observe these holidays will be given an opportunity to make up missed work in both laboratories and lecture courses.

Ben Tweets

BFS is now on Twitter.

"Best new thing since the printing press." -- B.F.


Post your BFS Events to the Lightning Rod!

Send us your BFS announcments! If there is an annoucement that you want to share with the other 455 scholars in BFS, please email Linda Wiedmann the information to be considered for inclusion..  We'll post it as soon as we get it.  And all items we receive by 11 AM  on Thursday will also be included in the upcoming email blast of The Weekly Lightning Rod.


The BFS summer reading meeting has changed its date.  Come talk about about the Family Fang on THURSDAY, Sept. 13th., 6-7, in the New Fireside Lounge at the new BFS location.  TO RSVP go to

BFS has a new (temporary) home

In case you hadn’t heard, our old BFS headquarters, in the Arch building, is closed for much needed renovations. Soon enough it's going to be spectacular! ( For now, you can now find us on 40th street above Ben and Jerry’s. (Hamilton Commons, 220 S. 40th street). We’ll be here until at least 2014.  Stop by and pick up a compass to help you find your way to us.

Penn bureaucracy

While our main concern are your academics, we will periodically remind you of important Penn details.  1) If you haven't posted your current phone number, please go to PIT and add your local contact number.   2) We'll post important Penn dates on the calendar  to your right. Sept dates include, Friday the 14th last day to add a WRIT or introductory language course; Friday the 21st, last day to add other courses.  Friday, October 12th is the last day to DROP a course, or change grading option.

Wednesdays With Ben -- Wed. Evenings in Riepe Open to ALL BFS

Watch our Upcoming Events list for details.  Every Wednesday night in Riepe College House, Provost Tower 5th floor Library, from 7-9pm, something BFS will occur.  Some weeks, a students will talk about their research, other weeks a faculty tea, other weeks Integrated Studies conversations (open to all BFS).  So mark your calendars and save the dates, details below

2/6/13 Being in the World, movie Directed by Tao Ruspoli, discussion lef by Julio Tuma

2/20 6:50 start time

Open Fall Seminars

The following BFS seminars still have space (see below).  See  for all BFS course descriptions