PennKey Accounts

A PennKey is a University of Pennsylvania username used for online authentication. This article provides an overview of PennKeys, including the services they govern and how to obtain or reactivate your PennKey.

Before You Start 

You will need the following before you can complete this task:

  • Access to a standard internet browser
  • Students: To create a PennKey, you must have received an email from the University containing a setup code. If not, please contact
  • Faculty / Staff: Work with your hiring contact to obtain the appropriate PennKey setup instructions.
  • Alumni: Contact the Alumni PennKey team to help you set one up, or reset your password:

Note: All Penn-affiliated users must have a PennKey to log in to Penn Canvas. This is a University of Pennsylvania policy, one for which we can't offer exceptions.

Creating a New PennKey

Your PennKey is the username you use to access many of Wharton and Penn's networked systems and services. You will want to begin this process well before access will be needed; we recommend at least a week. Depending on whether you are a student, faculty, staff, alumnus, or guest, the process will vary a bit. 

We strongly recommend that once you obtain your PennKey you enroll in the Self-Service Password Reset service (also known as SSPR). This will allow you to reset your PennKey password online if you forget it. If you do not enroll in SSPR, it will make resetting a lost password far more difficult.

Access and Privileges

Curious about what services your PennKey allows you to use?

Understanding Your Accounts

The University has many online services -- you may find you have more than one account and wonder what each one does.  

Canvas Caveats

New PennKeys will automatically work on Canvas for users already enrolled (or the instructor of record) in a course where Canvas has been requested. Teaching teams may contact Courseware to arrange access for TAs, auditors, and other users.

If you're unable to login to Canvas 24 hours after creating your PennKey, please contact the Courseware Team and provide them with the following information:

  • First & Last Name
  • Email Address
  • PennKey Username
  • PennID

NEVER send passwords via email. Wharton Computing will never request that you reveal your password.

PennKey Reactivation

If you previously had a PennKey (eg, you're an alum), and you need it reactivated to gain access to a Canvas site, please see the table of contacts below.

PennKey Help 

Resetting or testing a known PennKey
  • PennKey website (Recovery Service is located there)
Activating PennKeys for Canvas
  • In courses that use Penn Canvas, PennKeys will work for users already enrolled (or for the instructor of record). TAs, auditors, and other types of users who need access to Penn Canvas should ask their teaching teams to contact for assistance.
Faculty and Staff