Application Overview

Non-Traditional Graduate program application deadlines

You may apply to begin the Non-Traditional Graduate program during the fall, spring or summer terms. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

Spring 2015 admission
Application deadline: December 15, 2014

Summer 2015 admission
Application deadline: May 1, 2015

Fall 2015 admission
Application deadline: August 15, 2015

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Application materials checklist

Since all required supporting documents are submitted through the online application system, hardcopy material other than official transcripts or letters of recommendation will not be accepted.* Please urge your recommenders to submit their letters through the online system.

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

*Unsolicited material will not used for review.

  • Completed online application
  • Current résumé
  • Nonrefundable application fee
  • Application essays, listed below
  • Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system 
  • Standardized test scores, if applicable (details below)
  • Letters of recommendation, if applicable (details below)

Non-Traditional Graduate program application essays

Your application will include essays addressing four topics. Responses should not exceed four pages in length for all the questions combined. (Please compile your responses into a single document, but keep them as separate essays.)

  • Have you ever been placed on probation, dismissed or suspended from any college or university for reasons pertaining to academic integrity? If this does not apply, please write N/A in your response. If yes, please include any facts that you believe bear on the significance of this circumstance.
  • Describe your educational history and background, making sure to address whether your records and transcripts accurately reflect your academic ability. Explain fully if you have ever withdrawn, taken a leave of absence, or been dropped by any school, college, or university.
  • Write a brief essay describing your academic and personal goals and explain how these will be furthered by study at Penn in general and at LPS in particular. Feel free to discuss a specific academic topic you have enjoyed studying and explain why it is of interest to you.
  • Describe any nonacademic experiences that you feel strengthen your application such as employment, travel, community affairs, volunteer work, publications, etc. 

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendations are not required for the Non-Traditional Graduate program. However, you may submit up to three letters of recommendation to support your application. These should be from individuals with whom you have had a close professional or academic association and who know of your desire to enroll in the Non-Traditional Graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania. Recommendations may be submitted online or by mail. For online recommendations, please follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application.

Standardized test scores

Standardized test scores are not required for admission to the Non-Traditional Graduate program. However, you may choose to submit standardized test scores, such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), in support of your application. Request that your scores report for the GRE test be forwarded to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, using ETS institutional code 2986.

International applicants whose first language is not English must also submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores to demonstrate English proficiency. If the medium of instruction for your undergraduate degree was English, you may request to waive the TOEFL requirement by sending an email to lps@sas.upenn.edu. 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.

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