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 PennKey Help

Did you know you can now use your UPHS login credentials to log in to Knowledge Link? Click here to review the UPHS login instructions.

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PennKey is the user login ID for Knowledge Link. PennKeys are distributed by the University of Pennsylvania. The PennKey is different from your network login username and password.

Refer to the information on this page for help getting a set-up code, registering a PennKey, and recovering your PennKey and password. For additional help, you may also contact the Service Desk at 215-662-7474 (for LGH, call 717-544-4357) or use our KL Support Request Form.
The first step in getting a PennKey is to request a Set-Up Code. Before proceeding, please note:
  • Don't get a set-up code unless you need it!
    Requesting a new set-up code will deactivate your current PennKey. You won't be able to use your PennKey again until you reset your password using the Set-Up Code you requested.
  • Don't request more than one set-up code!
    The second request will nullify the first set-up code. If a set-up code is taking an unusually long time to arrive, send email to the PennKey administrator rather than requesting a second set-up code.
  • Once you've gotten a set-up code, use it!
    Your set-up code will expire within 60 days.
To request a set-up code, visit one of the locations in the sections below. You will be asked for two (2) forms of identification to vouch for your identity. Valid forms of ID are:
  • State Issued Driver's License
  • State Issued Identification Card with Picture
  • Passport
  • UPHS Employee Badge
Once you receive your set-up code, you will register your PennKey and create a password. Refer to the "Register Your PennKey" section below.
Students:If you are a full-time student at the University of Pennsylvania you must visit the University's Registrar (221 Franklin Building; 3451 Walnut).

Physicians: You are welcome to go to any of the below locations for your PennKey. PennKey Set-Up Codes may also be obtained at the School of Medicine's 410 Anatomy Chemistry Building administration point. Hours are by appointment only. (215) 573-INFO

  • 3600 Civic Center Blvd. (Philadelphia)
    (Penn Medicine Talent Acquisition)
    Hours are by appointment only. Email to set-up a date and time.
    Audience: All Employees from any entity
  • HUP Security at Ground Gates
    Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
    Audience: Contractors, Outsourced Resources, Temporary Staff, Non-University of Pennsylvania students working at UPHS, Visiting Physicians
  • Presbyterian Human Resources at Wright/Saunders (W186)
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
    Audience: Employees for the Presbyterian Medical Center, Contractors, Outsourced Resources, Temporary Staff, Non-University of Pennsylvania students working at Presbyterian, Visiting Physicians
  • Pennsylvania Hospital - Human Resources
    Harte Memorial, 732 Delancey St. Philadelphia PA 19106
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
    Audience: Employees at Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Chester County Hospital – HROD and Medical Library Departments
    701 E. Marshall St., West Chester, PA 19380
    Hours 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
    Appointments encouraged: please call 610-431-5136
    Audience: CCH Employees, Student faculty, Agency/Contract personnel, Physicians
LGH Employees Only: please visit this StarNet Page for PennKey locations.
  • Princeton HealthCare System - Human Resources
    One Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536
    2nd Floor Education Building
    Hours: 7:00a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
    Audience: Employees, Volunteers, Contractors, Outsourced Resources for Princeton HealthCare System
  • Princeton HealthCare System - Medical Staffing Office
    One Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536
    1st Floor Education Building
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Audience: Physicians, Allied Professional Staff for Princeton HealthCare System
Once you have a PennKey set-up code, follow the steps below to register your PennKey:

  1. Log in to the PennKey registration application that will ask for the last four digits of your Social Security Number and Date of Birth.
  2. Follow the prompts to register your PennKey and password.
  3. Enroll in Challenge-Response so you can initiate the password reset process online should you forget your password.
  4. Test your new PennKey and password.


It is essential that you keep your password secure to avoid possible compromise of critical systems on campus, and to prevent others from accessing your personal information. With that in mind, you should take the following precautions:
  • Never share your PennKey password. Sharing your password gives others access to everything your PennKey gives you access. Once you share your password, you have lost control over how your account is used, though you are still responsible for anything done in your name. Sharing your password is also a violation of University policy.
  • Don't leave your password written on a post-it note or other piece of paper that is prominently displayed in your work area.
  • Don't allow programs to save your password for you. Any one else who uses your computer could then access your information.
  • Don't use the same password for public Web sites (e.g., online bookstores, airlines, etc.) that you use with your PennKey. Rather, choose two passwords: your public password for use at public web sites and your private password for sensitive Penn systems.
  • Beware of anyone claiming to need your password; no Penn system administrator will ever ask you for your password.
  • Change your PennKey password immediately if you feel its security may have been compromised and report the incident to the Service Desk. To learn more about how to change your password, see the "Reset Your Password" section below.
If you forget your password, you may reset it yourself using one of the methods described below.

  • Method 1: UPHS PennKey Password Reset Application (using network login)
    You will need to log in using your network username & password, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Your network login is the same login you use to log onto your computer and/or e-mail.
  • Method 2: Challenge-Response Reset
    Only use this option if you enrolled in Challenge-Response option when you set up your PennKey.
  • Method 3:Get a PennKey Set-Up Code
    This should only be used as a last resort. Refer to the instructions in the "Get a PennKey Set-Up Code" section above.

The University of Pennsylvania requires that all University faculty and staff complete TWO-STEP VERIFICATION when creating their Pennkey. Health System employees are not required to complete two-step verification set up. If you enrolled in two-step verification and would like to unenroll, and you are NOT University faculty or staff, please click here for instructions.

In some situations, our system may not have your actual SSN. If the system is not recognizing the last four digits of your SSN, please contact
  • This error indicates that some of your information (Setup Code, date of birth, or last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN)) was entered incorrectly. Be sure to observe the following when you enter this information:
    • Setup Code - Setup Codes have seven characters and are case-sensitive. A Setup Code must be typed exactly as given.
    • Date of birth - Four digits are required for the year, e.g., "1980" not just "80."
    • SSN - Enter only the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN). The eight-digit number you received with your Setup Code letter is your PennID, not your SSN, which has nine digits.

  • If you are absolutely certain you are entering correct information, you may be mistyping your information.
    • Check that caps lock and the num lock are not turned on.
    • Some web browsers have "autocomplete" features which automatically capitalize the initial letter when filling out web forms. Be sure to disable this feature.
  • This is a common and frustrating problem. "Dictionary" does not simply mean a standard English language dictionary -- it also includes foreign language dictionaries and all kinds of specialized dictionaries that hackers use to crack passwords.
  • For example, the string "xyzzy" is found in a computer dictionary -- it's a term from an early computer game and has found its way into password cracking dictionaries, so it is not a suitable password.
  • The following approach can be helpful in choosing a password: Make up a sentence that's meaningful to you. Then use the first letter of each word as a letter in your password; if you wish, add additional characters to make it more difficult to guess.
    • Start with the phrase such as Orange elephants invade Alaska; film at eleven.
    • Take the first letter of each word as your password: OeiAfae
      (This is an acceptable password; it follows the rules but is hard for someone to guess since it's essentially a random string of characters.)
    • To make the password even harder to guess, add punctuation, numbers, and other non-alphanumeric symbols: OeiA;f@11
  • You may be entering your PennKey and password incorrectly or there may be a problem with the service you are trying to access. To determine a course of action, do the following:
    1. Be sure you are using the correct case when entering your PennKey and password.
      • PennKeys are all lowercase. If your PennKey is "smith" you must enter smith not SMITH or Smith.
      • Passwords are case-sensitive. You must enter your password exactly as you created it.
      • Some browsers have an auto-complete feature which capitalizes the first letter of anything entered in a Web form field. This can interfere with PennKey and password entry, so be sure to turn off this feature if it's on.
      • CAPS LOCK may have been on when you set your PennKey password. Type your PennKey in all lower case, but try typing your password with all CAPS to see if that works.
    2. Try accessing the PennKey test page to rule out problems with your PennKey.
    3. If you can access the test page after entering your PennKey and password, but cannot access Knowledge Link, then contact the Service Desk at 215-662-7474 or use our KL Support Request Form.
    4. If you can't access the test page after entering your PennKey and password, refer to the sections "Reset Your PennKey Password" and/or "Get a PennKey Set-Up Code" above.