Non-Traditional Graduate Studies
(Non Degree Graduate Studies)
Considering graduate study but not sure where to start? Well-prepared and highly motivated, you’re in the right place!
Your doorway to part-time, non-degree, graduate-level courses at the University of Pennsylvania is the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS). Here, you’ll find the point of contact, as well as preliminary academic and career advice. And you’ll get the needed referral to an appropriate graduate group, as programs in arts and sciences are known.
Penn’s graduate groups, rather than departments, offer a range of study options, and it’s important for you to consult closely with the chairperson of the group that holds your interest to discuss what’s possible. Some groups offer a “terminal” master’s degree; others award only the Ph.D.
Before contacting a graduate group chairperson, you must schedule an interview with a Penn LPS program coordinator to discuss your plans and ambitions and to discover the best combination of undergraduate and graduate courses or get a referral to a specialized program at Penn or elsewhere.
When you’re accepted into the program, you’ll register for courses through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies by presenting written permission from the chairperson of the appropriate graduate group for each graduate course.
Step Up to a Graduate Degree
After you complete four graduate-level LPS courses, you’ll choose one of several options.
- Take additional graduate courses through LPS on a non-degree basis, with the approval of the graduate group.
- Apply for formal admission to a graduate program as a non-degree special student in the School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Division.
- Apply for admission as a regular graduate degree student.
If you’re seeking a Ph.D., you must apply to one of Penn’s graduate schools, including the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Up to four LPS graduate courses may be counted toward your Penn graduate degree.