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Blackboard PennKey Requests

Access to Blackboard for Non-Penn Users

PennKey is  the required login for access to Blackboard. Instructors can request PennKey accounts for any non-Penn collaborator, visitor, or guest. These accounts only provide access to Blackboard and not to any other Penn services or resources.

There are two kinds of PennKey accounts we can offer for Blackboard access, non-persistent and persistent PennKeys. Please send all requests to and indicate which kind of account is needed.

Non-persistent PennKeys

These PennKeys have a life of 3 months but can be renewed for up to a year. Please notify us prior to the expiration date of these accounts if a renewal is required. Also, please note that the passwords for these accounts are automatically generated and cannot be changed. In the event that a password is lost or forgotten, a new account must be requested.

To request a non-persistent PennKey we require the individual's full name, email address, and mailing address. Once these accounts are created, login information is sent via US Mail. We can send accounts directly to the users or to an on-campus office where they can be distributed in person by the instructor or administrative staff.  

Persistent PennKeys

These accounts are renewable annually and have no maximum life. Usernames and passwords are set up by the user.

To request a persistent Pennkey, we require a full name and email address. A request form is then sent to the user via email which requires both a birth date and a Social Security number. The user then completes this form and faxes it to a secure machine at the PennKey office. Once the PennKey office has the completed form in hand, the PennKey setup code is sent via US Mail within 2 business days.

Please do not send your date of birth or Social Security Number to us via email.

Once the PennKey has been created, the user must contact us at at so that we can add their account to Blackboard and enroll them in the appropriate course site(s). 


Test Student Accounts (Dummy Accounts)

For instructors who want to view their Blackboard tests or assignments as a student, we can create non-persistent PennKeys that serve as test or dummy student accounts. To request a test student account we require the instructor's full name, and a mailing address. On-campus mailing addresses are acceptable. These accounts are active for 3 months but can be renewed for up to a year if we are notified prior to their expiration date. If the account should expire before renewal, a new account must be requested.

BB-Account Holders

With the upgrade to the new version of Blackboard last May, the gateway page is no longer available and as a result we can no longer offer a bb- account log in.  We are taking this opportunity to move all users to the more secure PennKey login.  We can create guest or non-persistent  PennKey credentials for any current bb- users that require access to a Blackboard course site. Instructors must request these accounts on behalf of the users, we do not accept user generated  PennKey requests for access.