Penn Program for Mindfulness

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What kind of programs does PPM offer?

PPM offers introductory workshops and our highly acclaimed 8-week foundation courses to the public three times per year in the Fall (late September), Winter (late January) and Spring (late April). An additional 8-week program specifically for healthcare professionals is offered 1-2 times per year in the Winter and/or Spring sessions. (See current calendar for details.)

Advanced programs, are offered in a variety of formats and are offered throughout our active sessions (September through June). Our Intensive residential retreat is held twice a year in January and June. Special programming is offered throughout the year, including visiting speakers, educator/parent programs and practice support sessions.

View Our Programs

Can anyone take these courses?

Introductory workshops and 8-week foundation courses are open to the public and do not require any previous mindfulness experience. Individuals must be at least 18 years old to participate. Advanced programs and retreats are reserved for individuals who have taken our 8 week foundation course (or a similar program) and have an active meditation practice. Our programs are not intended solely for cancer patients or people dealing with health issues.

Where are the classes held?

The classes are held in a variety of locations in and around Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties as well as in South Jersey. Morning and evening options are available. See the current class list for details.

View Our Locations

What does it cost to take a mindfulness course?

Our 2-hour introductory Workshops cost $49.00. The 8-week foundation programs cost $569 which includes eight 2 ½ hour sessions, an all-day retreat and all materials. Advanced Programs, special events and intensive retreats vary in length and cost. See individual programs for specific costs.

When can I enroll for a course and how do I do that?

Registration for most of our programs typically opens approximately 6 weeks prior to the start of a session (Fall, Winter, Spring). We send out an e-mail to our mailing list announcing the start of enrollment. All registrations must be completed online. We cannot take registrations over the phone. Enrollment typically closes 48 hours prior to the start of a program.

How can I join the mailing list?

To join our mailing list to, email us at mindfulness@uphs.upenn.edu

How do I pay for my course?

We accept checks, money orders and credit cards (VISA, MC, AmEx, Discover), and full payment is expected when your registration is approved. Participants should make checks or money orders payable to Penn Program for Mindfulness. Payment by check could delay your enrollment process.

Do you offer any discounts?

For individual's that demonstrate true financial difficulty, we will work with you to create a payment plan that will assist you. A minimum of $100 will be required to reserve your space in an 8-week class. Contact our offices for details regarding this option.

Are your programs covered by health insurance or can I be reimbursed under a flex spending plan?

We do not process or accept insurance through our office. You are welcome to contact your healthcare plan to seek coverage. We can provide you with attendance verification and/or receipt of payment if you choose to submit directly to your healthcare plan. We do accept budget transfers within the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Can I get Continuing Education Credits for taking PPM courses?

The Penn Program for Mindfulness collaborates with several accredited providers of CE credits for psychologists, social workers, nurses and, in some cases, physicians for both the 8 week foundation course and some advanced programming. CE credits are available for an additional charge and the cost and number of credits provided varies depending on the type of CEs requested and length of program. See individual courses for details.

Do any of these programs provide certification in mindfulness or mindfulness training?

This is not a certificate program. We can, however, provide you with a document confirming completion of a course.

What if I want to learn to train others in mindfulness?

The Penn Program for Mindfulness does offer training for professionals in the form of a Practicum in Mindfulness-based Stress Management. This program is for individuals who wish to apply mindfulness-based practices in their professional life or want to take the first step towards teaching mindfulness. The 9 week program is offered 1-2 times per year and specific pre-requisites apply. Contact our offices for information.

Learn more about Professional Development and Training

What if I have to cancel my registration?

Program fees are 100% refundable up until 48 hours prior to commencement of the program. Once classes have begun there will be no refunds, no exceptions. Cancellation after the program begins results in forfeiture of the program cost.

Foundation Course FAQs

What are the reasons people take the 8-week foundation course?

Individuals take the program for a variety of reasons. Generally, participants come to the program to improve mood, increase focus, deal with significant life changes, live more in the moment, decrease worry and negative thinking or to increase productivity and focus. Some people come for more specific reasons such as anxiety, pain management or illness.

What will I be asked to do when taking an 8-week foundation course?

Participants in the foundation course will be asked to commit to practicing the mindfulness techniques learned in class at least 40 minutes per day on their own. Additionally, there will be weekly reading assignments and exercises to complete during the days between classes.

What if I cannot make all eight sessions or have to miss the all-day retreat?

Because each class builds upon the previous week's lesson, it is important that you plan your schedule in order to attend all eight sessions as well as the All Day retreat. If missing your class is unavoidable, you can make it up, during the same week, at another location.

Do I have to bring anything or wear anything special for the 8-week program?

Most people sit in chairs in our foundation courses, at least initially. Some locations have meditation cushions available for participants, but you are welcome to bring your own. We ask you to bring a yoga mat for weeks 2 and 4 as we will do some mindfulness movement and a meditation technique that involves lying on the floor. We recommend casual, comfortable clothing and suggest dressing in layers to accommodate temperature changes in your classroom.

For additional questions, contact mindfulness@uphs.upenn.edu.