UPenn Graduate School

September 18, 2022
By AdmissionSight

UPenn Graduate School

Outstanding graduate and professional programs have helped the University of Pennsylvania maintain its position as a leader in the field of professional education in the United States, where it was an early innovator. The UPenn Graduate School and professional programs at Penn place an emphasis on the integration of information that spans both disciplinary and geographical barriers.

The university provides almost 300 different graduate degree and certificate programs, ranging from Accounting to Women’s Health, for students interested in furthering their education.

Two female students studying in a living room.

Students and faculty members from all of Penn’s 12 schools come together to build a thriving graduate community at the UPenn Graduate School. This community is both intellectually and socially stimulating. The university provides a wealth of services for students to utilize in their pursuit of academic support and personal growth.

UPenn Graduate School becomes one by combining the resources of 12 Schools, more than 11,000 graduate and professional students, and more than 4,000 faculty members.

This results in a diverse and dynamic community that draws its vitality from a wide range of racial and ethnic groups, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, historical traditions, ages, religions, disabilities, veteran status, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Among our graduate and professional students, there are more than 11,000 students pursuing advanced degrees.

How to get into UPenn Graduate School?

How to get into UPenn Graduate School? The graduate and professional programs offered by Penn are housed in a total of twelve schools across the university’s main campus. Each graduate program has a distinct admissions process. Applicants submit their applications directly to the program that most interests them. It is recommended that you submit any inquiries regarding the admissions procedure to the program that is of interest to you.

Group of students talking in front of the classroom.

The applicant evaluation process at UPenn Graduate School is comprehensive and holistic, and UPenn Graduate School takes into consideration each application in its totality. Students who exhibit a strong dedication to education and the potential for academic and personal success at an Ivy League college are sought out during the admissions process for the purpose of selecting an incoming class of scholars and practitioners. The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School is a vibrant and diverse learning community, and it encourages individuals with a wide variety of life experiences as well as professional backgrounds to apply to study there

It is very exclusive and there is a lot of competition to get into its programs. Applicants to the UPenn Graduate School are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the school’s research centers, programs, and initiatives, its faculty members, and the fields of study in which they have a particular interest.

UPenn takes into consideration your self-reported test scores, unofficial transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and resume or cv when examining your application as a whole. After the conclusion of each application season, our faculty will swiftly review those Master’s applications that have been completed and submitted.

The applicant’s capacity to successfully finish our graduate program is taken into consideration when making admissions decisions, as is the degree to which the student’s interests align with those of our programs and our research. If there is no other indication, decisions will be made public on the date that was previously publicized; applicants will be notified directly through the online application system. The admissions committee does not discuss their conclusions over the phone, they do not expose them before the deadlines, and they do not send them in the mail.

UPenn Graduate School Requirements

What are the UPenn Graduate School requirements needed for admission? Prior to the desired date of admission, candidates for Master’s and Doctoral programs at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School are required to have earned a Bachelor’s degree from an institution that has been granted accreditation.

Two students walking in the hallway.

The time commitment for the degree programs must be a minimum of three years. The following items must be handed in before the application date in order to be considered for the position:

Biographical information or Resume

Include your schooling, accolades, interests, and employment history along with your community service, volunteer work, and community involvement.

Personal Statement

The Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania suggests that applicants follow these principles while writing their personal statements:

  • No more than two pages, in a typeface and size that is easily readable:
  • Offer a thorough and specific example from academia, industry, or research when possible; use the answers to the following questions as a guide for your writing and use those responses to guide your writing:
  1. What aspects of this program particularly pique your interest?
  2. What qualifications do you possess that set you apart from other applicants?
  3. In what ways will this program be beneficial to you?
  4. While you are a part of the SEAS student body, what specific ways do you want to contribute to the student community?
  5. Why do you think you will be successful in this program?
  6. After you have finished the program, what are some things you plan to do or accomplish?

Three formal Letters of Recommendation

Of which at least one must be written by a faculty member who is familiar with the candidate’s intellectual abilities:

Unofficial Transcript

To be Submitted Alongside the Application:

The applicant is required to upload and submit with their online application one (1) transcript from each university or college that they have attended and for which they have received course credit. It is necessary for it to be in the English language.

Application fee of $90, which is not refundable

Along with the online application, you are required to send in this payment. Students from Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, or La Salle University who apply to one of its qualifying Accelerated Master’s programs are eligible to receive automatic fee waivers if they meet the following criteria:

  • they are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and can demonstrate that they come from a low-income background;
  • they have an affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania; or
  • they are in the military. There is no need to submit a request for a code in order to receive the fee waiver; it will be automatically applied to applicants who match one of the requirements listed above. Reach out to your Admissions Contact if you have any queries.


The following is your official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report:

During the application period for the 2023-2024 school year, sending in your GRE scores is completely voluntary. We strongly recommend that you upload your legitimate GRE scores to your application if you are able to or have previously been able to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In the event that you are unable to take the GRE exam, we will consider your application from a more comprehensive perspective. If you choose not to publish your GRE scores, doing so will not have a negative effect on your application.

The findings of any tests must still be current at the time an application is submitted. You are required to complete the examination before the application deadline.


Official test results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System are required from all applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents and for whom English is not a first language (IELTS).

The findings of any tests must still be current at the time an application is submitted. You are required to participate in the examinations before the application deadline. The UPenn Graduate School will accept test scores obtained through the use of at-home GRE and TOEFL administration during this admissions cycle.

Recommendations for the TOEFL Score: A score of at least 100 is suggested for participation in all programs. There is no minimum or maximum score expected.

Group of students working on their desks.

IELTS Score Recommendations: A score of 7.5 or higher is recommended for admission to all programs. There is no minimum or maximum score expected.

In order to avoid having to comply with this criterion, the applicant must meet all of the following criteria by the time they start classes:

  • Have a diploma or degree from a school or program in the United States;
  • Either go to school in a nation where English is the de facto language of communication at the official level; or
  • Have received a diploma from a school where English is used as the primary language of teaching, and have this information mentioned on the unofficial transcript.

An applicant is not required to submit a request for a waiver; the requirement will be waived after an application and all appropriate documentation have been submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office for evaluation, and an applicant is deemed to fit one or more of the conditions listed above.

The Graduate School at the University of Pennsylvania does not have a minimum grade point average or test score requirement. You can find averages in the publications of some universities, on the websites of various departments, and in the media such as US News and World Report. Peterson’s Guide in addition to News & World Report.

It is not possible for the UPenn Graduate School to amend any of the materials for applications that have already been submitted because of the high amount of applications that they are currently processing. Once an application is submitted, it is regarded to be complete.

Only final, official transcripts will be uploaded when they are made available by the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School. Please be aware that after your application is submitted, all of the documents you submit become the property of the University of Pennsylvania, and you will not receive them back. Don’t forget to keep a copy of your application for your own records.

Official Transcripts

If you have been accepted to Penn Engineering and have already turned in your registration form, you should only send your official transcripts to Penn Engineering at that point.

  • An official transcript from each higher education institution that was attended and from which credit was gained in a term of study. This is something that needs to be turned in by the institution that issued the document. It is necessary for it to be in the English language.
  • One (1) official final transcript demonstrating that all requirements for the degree have been met. In the event that the transcript does not reflect the degree that was attained, you are furthermore required to send a certificate of graduation. This is something that needs to be turned in by the institution that issued the document. It is necessary for it to be in the English language.
  • The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School does not call for an examination of your transcript by WES or any other third-party evaluation business.

Students currently enrolled at Penn as well as alumni of the university who began their studies at Penn on or after August 2017 do not need to present official transcripts. Instead, they will be uploaded through the University Registrar at no additional expense to the student who has been accepted. Anyone who graduated or whose enrollment was terminated prior to the month of August 2017 is required to submit a request for an official transcript to the University Registrar and pay any fees that may be associated with the request.

Applicants to the UPenn Graduate School who are planning to submit transcripts from universities located outside of the United States are strongly encouraged to make use of review and translation services for transcripts (if the original transcript is not in English).

You can receive papers from Educational Perspectives by making use of the Certifile/College Net Document Service that is made available through our web application. This will help to speed up the process of placing an order for documents. It is strongly recommended that applicants coming from Chinese institutions make use of the China Credential Service (CHESICC) service.

After you have finished all of the elements of your application that are required, you will have the opportunity to pay an extra cost in order to have your official transcripts and evaluation documents ordered. You can even place your order for them via the application checklist after you have already submitted your application. Only if you have been accepted to the program and plan to enroll are official transcripts required from you.

Financial Aid Information

The graduate tuition and various additional expenses at Penn vary according to the school. For more information, please contact the respective schools and programs directly. The level of a student’s demonstrated financial need is taken into consideration when determining eligibility for some loans offered by Penn.

Penn is the only institution that can make these loans available to students as part of their overall financial aid package. The loans are not subsidized and must be repaid in full by the student either at the conclusion of the student’s study or when the student withdraws from school.

What is a Good GRE Score?

What is a Good GRE Score?  The fact that standardized examinations can have a substantial influence on your life can make taking them a stressful experience. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is essential since it helps determine which graduate programs you may be accepted into.

Student answering a text in a desk.

If you don’t do well on the GRE, you might have to settle for a program that you’re not as enthusiastic about as an alternative if you want to get into the school that you want to attend.

Most standardized examinations, including the GRE, do not employ the letter grading scale or the scale ranging from 0% to 100% which is common practice among students. Because of this, it may be difficult to determine whether or not your score is satisfactory.

Because of the odd nature of the grading structure, it can be difficult to determine what constitutes a decent score on the GRE. On a standard exam, a score of 130, along with any additional credit earned, would be considered excellent performance. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) has a minimum score requirement of 130.

You are in luck because ETS occasionally publishes data that includes average test scores in addition to scoring percentiles, both of which you can use to evaluate how well you have performed.

The GRE was taken by approximately 1.64 million persons between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2019, inclusive. The following is the typical score on the GRE:

  • The score for verbal reasoning was 150.37.
  • The numerical reasoning score is 153.39.
  • Critical Thinking in Writing: 3.58

If you achieve a score that is higher than these values, you can have a degree of confidence in the fact that you have outperformed the average score on the GRE.

However, if you have your sights set on enrolling in a prestigious graduate school, you could get the impression that you need to do more than just outperform the other applicants.

Researching the programs that interest you will give you an idea of the goal GRE score that you should strive to get. Many educational institutions provide information about the average GRE score of their incoming class on their websites. Although receiving a score that is higher than the program’s average will not ensure that you will be accepted into the program of your choice, it certainly won’t hinder your chances either.

UPenn Graduate School Acceptance Rate

What is the current UPenn Graduate School acceptance rate? The acceptance rate for the class of 2024 is approximately 14 percent. There were 6,319 students who applied, but only 877 were accepted. There is 34 percent of students from other countries enrolled in the class of 2024 at the University of Pennsylvania. They are the representatives of 77 countries around the world.

It should go without saying that gaining admission to Penn is a challenging process. To be accepted into either the undergraduate or graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania requires an extraordinary amount of effort.

This includes performing exceptionally well on standardized tests, putting forth significant effort to achieve outstanding grades in high school or college, accumulating glowing recommendations, and more.

Simply, you shouldn’t allow any of that to deter you. It is possible to get into Princeton if you put in the work, and a degree from the UPenn Graduate School will open a lot of doors for you in the professional world.

Want to learn more about getting into UPenn Graduate School? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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