Application Procedure

Students can learn field techniques in courses such as Regional Field Ecology.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Admission Deadline: April 15 
  • Spring Admission Deadline: October 15    

    * All applications materials must be received in 
      our office by the application deadline.


Applications may only be submitted through our online application system. Click button to begin:

Apply Online

An application must contain all of the following in order to be considered complete:

  • Completed application
  • Current resume
  • Non-refundable application fee (Make checks payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania).
  • Application essays
  • Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system (*international transcript policy)
  • Score reports for GRE*
  • TOEFL scores for International students*
  • Two letters of recommendation

* if applicable. See “Standardized test scores” below.

Application Essays

Please respond to each of the following questions. Upload all essays together in one document. Responses may be as long or as short as you feel necessary.

  1. Have you ever been placed on probation, dismissed or suspended from any college or university for reasons pertaining to academic integrity? Yes/No

    If yes, please include any facts that you believe bear on the significance of this circumstance.

  2. How did your interest in environmental studies develop?
  3. Describe in conceptual terms the curriculum you hope to pursue as an MES student.
  4. How do you expect to apply the expertise you would gain in the MES program?

Standardized Test Scores

Request that your score report for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test be forwarded to LPS. Use ETS institutional code 2986 when requesting GRE scores. The GRE is not required for applicants with five or more years of environmental professional experience or for Penn undergraduates submatriculating into the program. Please contact us if you are unsure whether or not you should take the GRE.

Most international applicants must also submit TOEFL scores (see: If the medium of instruction for your undergraduate degree was not English, you must submit an official TOEFL score. The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions consideration are: 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT), or 600 (PBT). The TOEFL must be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986. To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the TOEFL website.

Upon review of an applicant's file, the admissions committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores.

Letters of Recommendation

You must submit two letters of recommendation, but you may submit an optional third letter of recommendation. Letters should come from persons with whom you have had a close professional or academic association, and who know of your desire to study environmental studies at the advanced level. Recommendations may be submitted online or by mail. For online recommendations, please follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application. For paper recommendations, please use the required form for the recommendation letter, which can be downloaded here.

Contact Us

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

Telephone: 215.898.7326
Fax: 215.573.2053
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