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Wharton Computing System Accounts and Policies


The computing systems, software, and networks of the Wharton School provide a wide range of services. The use of these resources involves certain risks and obligates users to certain responsibilities.

The Wharton School's computer systems and networks are the private property of the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania. Access to these systems is a privilege granted by the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania, and may be revoked without prior notice.

The overall policy governing computing and networking at the University of Pennsylvania is the Penn Computing document, Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources available at:


Both the Wharton policy and Penn Computing's policy may be updated from time to time; please refer to the most recent online version to resolve any questions about acceptable use.

Computer Accounts

To use e-mail and certain other computing resources you must have a Wharton Computing Account. Accounts for incoming MBA and Undergraduate Wharton students are generated using the Early Account Program.

Transfer and Dual Degree students can also create an account online using our Account Creation program (choose the Class Account option). PhD students should contact the IT Support representative from their department to obtain an account.

Non-Wharton Penn students taking a Wharton class can apply for an account online using our Account Creation program. These accounts do not include an email account, but do include a Wharton email address that forwards to the student’s home school email account. The account will be valid only for the duration of the class.

A separate University PennKey account is required to access University and some Wharton services. Students who have matriculated will receive an email inviting them to set up a PennKey account. by following the instructions online at http://www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey/ .

For additional information on opening a Wharton Computing account, contact Wharton's Accounts Team in SH-DH 114 or call 215/898-8600.

Account Access and Security

Account owners are responsible for all the activity on their account. Accounts are assigned to individual users; no one other than the account owner should be allowed access to an account. "Shared" accounts are not permitted.

Account holders are required to keep their passwords and account information secret and take reasonable precautions against unauthorized access.
Students are required to respect the privacy and integrity of other users, systems, and data, and are explicitly forbidden to:

  • Access, read, or copy other people's files unless they have been given explicit permission from the owner to do so.
  • Transmit messages, electronic mail, or other information anonymously or identified from another user.

Information on networked systems should not be considered private or secure. Complete privacy of computer files cannot be guaranteed, and Wharton computing staff may view users' files under certain circumstances, such as the appearance of abuse or questionable behavior. For more information, see Penn’s Policy on Privacy in the Electronic Environment [http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v47/n04/OR-eprivacy.html]

Ethical Behavior

Any behavior with respect to the electronic environment that interferes with the mission or activities of the University or members of the University Community will be regarded as unethical and may lead to the revocation of computing privileges, and may also lead to disciplinary action under standard University rule for misconduct and existing judicial, disciplinary or personnel process.

The use of University computer resources for private or commercial activities, advertising, spamming, or chain letters is strictly prohibited. For complete information on unethical behaviors that are prohibited, see the document "Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources", at http://www.upenn.edu/computing/policy/aup.html.

Copyright violation carry ethical and legal repercussions, and is not tolerated at the University. Copyright violation at Universities is actively targeted by media companies and the probability of detection is high. Copyright violations will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and may face further legal consequences. See http://www.upenn.edu/computing/policy/copyright.html

Guidelines for Use of Wharton Email Addresses

Wharton Directory Information

Wharton student email information is accessible through the Community tab in SPIKE, the University’s Online Directory, and from the Wharton Global Address Book (commonly available through Wharton email services). While information listed in the University Directory can be made available to the greater Penn Community and/or to the public, access to information listed in the Wharton Directory requires an authorized current Wharton Account. Privacy settings that are set in the University’s online directory will be honored in Wharton’s Online Directory.

The Wharton Global Address Book lists all members of the Wharton community and is considered to be private, privileged information. Because of this underlying assumption of privacy, it is not acceptable for any member of the Wharton Community to provide information collected from the Wharton Global Address book to outside sources, or otherwise place this information in the public domain.

There may be cases where email addresses of students, faculty or staff need to be provided to outside firms in order to pursue educational studies or other business related to the Wharton Community. (This could include using an outside website or vendor to set up survey sites, or other online tools in line with instructional pursuits.) In these instances you must either:

  1. Retain the actual email address in your possession, without providing it to the outside company, and using alternate means to provide students with the required information, or
  2. After providing full disclosure on how directory information will be used, obtain the consent of each student, faculty or staff member prior to submitting their address to the company.

Exceptions to this policy can include those software vendors that have entered into a contractual agreement with Wharton in order to help Wharton conduct its business; we assume that if a contract has been agreed to, it includes a privacy clause that protects the privacy of email addresses. See [http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/purchasing/images/stories/pdfs/terms-conditions-exhibit-a.pdf]

Wharton's Definition of SPAM

At Wharton, "SPAM" is defined as unsolicited email that does not promote or enhance the educational and research missions of the School. Members of the Wharton Community are expected to respect the need for restricting email traffic to those for whom it is intended, and for whom it will provide benefit. Email that does not fit this criteria is deemed a nuisance, and may be considered SPAM.

In general, Wharton expects members of its community to carefully consider the communication alternatives (SPIKE, Discussion groups, etc) before sending mass emails. For more information on the definitions of SPAM, and a description of how mailing lists are handled with SPAM, see the University’s policy on Mailing list and SPAM:


For questions on this policy or for help with interpreting it, please contact your Program Office.

Phishing and Viruses/Malware

Wharton email servers are affected by phishing and virus attacks. If students respond to phish emails, or get viruses or malware on their computers, Wharton may close the email account until the necessary steps have been taken to appropriately clean the account and any related computer equipment.

System Quotas and Usage Restrictions

Most Wharton computer systems have limits on the amount of space allotted for each service. All central host systems have a policy on the amount of time back-up files are retained, and some have a limit on how long files are retained if they are not accessed. For more information, contact Wharton Computing's Student Support Team in SH-DH 114.

Wharton systems forbid the mass distribution of electronic mail messages without prior approval, as well as other activities that use system resources inefficiently.

A current Penn ID and a PennKey Account are required to use Wharton's computing labs. Smoking, eating, or drinking are not permitted in Wharton's computer labs.

The Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania neither condone nor tolerate the unauthorized copying of licensed computer software by staff, faculty, or students. The University shall adhere to its contractual responsibilities and comply with all copyright laws, and expects all members of the University community to do so as well. Members of the University community who violate this policy may be subject to discipline through standard University procedures. http://www.upenn.edu/computing/policy/copyright.html An individual or University department engaged in the unauthorized copying or use of software may also face civil suit criminal charges, and/or penalties and fines. Subject to the facts of each case, such individuals or departments shall be solely responsible for their defense and any resulting liability. For more information, see Penn's Protocols Handbook on the web at: http://www.upenn.edu/assoc-provost/handbook/v_g.html

Use of Wharton and University-provided Software after Graduation

Wharton provides students with access to licensed software to be used during their academic years at the University of Pennsylvania. Once a student is no longer enrolled at Wharton, usage of software distributed by Wharton is prohibited. The same is true for software licensed by the University.


Anyone who suspects that a computer account has been improperly used or believes there has been a breach of system policies or security should report it immediately to Wharton Computing's Student Support representatives at the address listed below.

Depending on the circumstances, Wharton computing staff may temporarily disable accounts to prevent abuse. When an account is disabled the account holder may be asked to appear in person with his or her Penn ID to reactivate the account and select a new password.

Problems with the equipment in the labs and other computing problems or concerns should be reported to Wharton Computing's Student Support Team:

SH-DH 114



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