BA
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FAQ

Am I required to have completed a minimum number of college-level courses before applying to the BA program?

There is no required number of college-level courses that need to be completed prior to applying to the BA program; however, the majority of admitted applicants have completed a minimum of 6 to 8 college-level liberal arts courses.  The admissions committee reviews each application file carefully to determine an applicant’s proficiency in academic writing and research skills demonstrated through academic transcripts and the required essay responses.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement for applicants to the BA program?

You must be a high school graduate and have the equivalent of a 3.0 (B) grade point average in your previous academic high school or college work.  Although a 3.0 is usually sufficient to warrant serious consideration, it does not guarantee admission.  Students with prior course work in the liberal arts will generally be viewed more favorably.

What items are required for the BA application?

-- Completed Online Application
-- Current résumé
-- $70 Application Fee
-- Application Essay Responses
-- Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system
-- TOEFL Exam Scores for International applicants

The BA application page and requirements can be found here.

Is the BA application process completed online?

Yes – the majority of the application process is to be completed online.  The BA application, essay responses, and résumé must all be submitted through the online application system.

The application fee can be paid through the online application system or it can be paid via check.  If paying the application fee by check.  Please make the check payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Official transcripts are to be sent directly to the LPS Admissions Office.  Official transcripts and application fees being paid via check must be sent to:

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

Aside from the official transcripts and the application fee all other required application materials are submitted online.  The BA application page can be found here.

Is there an option for submitting a paper-based application?

No – LPS does not offer the option of submitting a paper-based application.  The BA online application and all required materials can be found on this page.

Do I have to submit transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions that I have attended previously?

All applicants are required to upload unofficial transcripts through the online application system. This includes any courses you have enrolled in at the college level.  

If you completed less than two years of liberal arts coursework at the college level – approximately 16 courses in literature, philosophy, history, sociology, science, mathematics, and so forth – you must also upload a high school transcript.

Transcripts for certificate courses taken that do not issue college-level grades or academic credits – real estate licensure, medical technician certification, and so forth – are not required for the BA application.

If you are offered admission, you will be required to provide official final transcripts of all previous academic work to verify the information provided.

The University of Pennsylvania reserves the right to cancel admission and registration of any student if there is a misstatement or omission on the application.  No tuition or fees will be returned in such cases.

Please visit our transcript page for more information.

Are high school transcripts required?

If you completed less than two years of liberal arts coursework at the college level – approximately 16 courses in literature, philosophy, history, sociology, science, mathematics, and so forth – you must also upload a high school transcript.

If you completed 16 or more college-level courses, or if you have received an Associates Degree, you are not required to submit a high school transcript.

Can I apply to LPS if I have a GED?

Yes – if you have not graduated from secondary school you may also apply if you have taken a high school equivalency examination or GED (General Educational Development) test.  A total score of 450 is needed to be considered for admission.  For information about the GED, you should contact your local board of education or community college.

How do I submit the $70 application fee?

The easiest and most expedient way to submit your application fee is through the online application system.  Once you have completed all required fields within the online BA application and have uploaded your essay responses and résumé you will be directed to submit your application fee through the online system.

If you choose not to submit your application fee through the online system you can send a check to the LPS Admissions Office.  Please make checks payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.  All application fee checks can be sent to:

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

Please note that all application fees are non-refundable.  If you have submitted your online application but have not paid your application fee, your application will not be processed until the application fee has been received.

Are application fee waivers available?

No, LPS does not offer application fee waivers.

Are Letters of Recommendation required?

Two letters of recommendation are required for the Bachelor of Arts program. 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 College of Liberal and Professional Studies.

You may ask your recommenders to complete their letters online or to submit hard copy letters of recommendation. To submit online recommendations, follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application. If your recommendations will not be submitted online, please complete the LPS cover sheet for letters of recommendation, give it to your references, and have them complete and attach the form to their letter.

Please download the letter of recommendation form here.

Are Standardized Test Scores required?

Standardized test scores are not required.  However, you may opt to submit standardized test scores such as the SAT if you took it within the past four years.  If you’ve not taken the SAT you are not required to take it prior to applying to LPS.

Most international applicants must also submit TOEFL scores.  Use ETS institutional code 2986 when requesting test scores.  Upon review of an applicant's file, the admissions committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores from applicants whose first language is not English.

English proficiency requirements by country can be found on this page.

Will LPS read and review my application if I am missing supporting documents?

Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete.  Once you have submitted the online portion of the application – including the transcripts, essay responses, résumé, and application fee – you will be able to log in to your online application to see which items have been received and which items are still pending.  It is up to each applicant to ensure that all documents are received on a timely basis to ensure that your application will be sent to the admissions committee.

When will I learn of my admission decision?

LPS accepts applications on a rolling basis. Once your application is complete, you should expect a decision within 2 weeks.

If I applied to an undergraduate degree program at Penn and was denied admission can I apply to LPS?

Applicants who have been denied admission to any Bachelor's degree program at the University of Pennsylvania must wait one year before applying to the LPS BA program.

I received my admissions decision and was offered admission to the LPS BA program. What happens next?

If you are offered admission to the BA program you will receive an electronic Intent to Enroll Form in your admission letter.  You must complete the Intent to Enroll Form in order to have your student record created.

How many courses do I need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree?

Depending on your major you will need to complete between 32-36 course units (CUs).  A minimum of 16 CUs must be completed at the University of Pennsylvania.

What is a Course Unit (CU)?

Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (CU). Generally, a one-cu course at Penn is equivalent to a 3 or 4 semester hour course elsewhere. Credit earned through LPS is full University of Pennsylvania academic credit. In general, the average course offered at Penn is listed as being worth 1 CU; courses that include a lecture and a lab are often worth 1.5 CUs.

Can I transfer credit from a previously attended university?

Up to half of your graduation requirements may be met with work completed at another institution – a maximum of 16 CUs.  In general, you may receive transfer credit for work taken at regionally accredited institutions – passed with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better – that is similar in focus and classroom hours to courses at Penn.

Can I register for both daytime and evening courses as an LPS undergraduate?

Yes – as an LPS undergraduate you are given the opportunity to register for both daytime Undergraduate Arts and Sciences courses and LPS evening courses.  Please note that tuition varies depending on whether the course is offered through the Undergraduate division or through LPS.  Please see this page for up-to-date tuition grids for each academic year.

Can LPS students be enrolled at Penn full time?

Yes.  LPS students may take a part-time (less than 4 course units) or a full-time load (a minimum of 4 course units/CUs for undergraduate students).  Undergraduate students under 21 are limited to a maximum of 2 CUs per term.  LPS students are eligible for full or partial refunds if they drop a course within the LPS deadlines.  A complete schedule for each semester, including deadlines, may be found on the LPS Academic Calendar page.

Is an LPS undergraduate degree equivalent to a College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate degree?

LPS students earn the same degree, receive the same diploma, and in many cases study with the same professors as traditional, day school undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences.

How is tuition determined for the BA program?

Tuition is determined by the number of CUs that you register for.  Please note that tuition varies depending on whether the course is offered through the Undergraduate division or through LPS.  Please see this page for up-to-date tuition grids for each academic year.

Why do LPS courses cost less than day courses at Penn?

This is the case for several reasons.  LPS was founded more than a century ago as the School of Arts and Sciences' outreach division, and has a commitment to keeping tuition costs down for part-time students and to making Penn more accessible to the Philadelphia community.  There is also less financial aid available for part-time students, an issue LPS seeks to address through lower tuition costs and specialized scholarships for part-time students.  In addition, LPS hires individual instructors from Penn and elsewhere to teach its courses and so does not have the financial obligation and overhead of supporting entire departments.

When and how can I register?

You can register for courses after you have been formally admitted to the BA program at LPS and have submitted your Intent to Enroll.  You will register online through Penn InTouch.

Is there financial aid available for LPS undergraduates?

There are a number of financial aid options offered through Penn’s Office of Student Registration and Financial Services (SRFS).  Student Registration and Financial Services is a resource for students to learn more information about loans and other forms of financial aid.

If you wish to speak with a representative from Student Financial Services, you can call to schedule an appointment at 215-898-1988 or visit the office for walk-in service.  Hours of operation are available at: http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/contacts/index.htm

A financial aid application checklist for Penn LPS students is available at: http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/finaid-checklists/checklists-lps-degree-2012-2013.htm
 

What majors and minors are available to LPS undergraduates?

LPS undergraduates may select from a list of more than 50 majors and minors.  For more information please see this page.  Please note the asterisked majors are available to be completed through evening study.

Can I participate in varsity-level sports at Penn as an LPS student?

LPS students are not eligible to participate.  Students who would like to pursue varsity-level sports should apply directly to Undergraduate Admissions.

What is the refund policy?

LPS students are eligible for full or partial refunds if they drop a course within the LPS deadlines.  A complete schedule for each semester, including deadlines, can be found on the LPS Academic Calendar page.

When will my bill arrive, and where will it be sent?

Penn.Pay is an electronic billing service that enables you to receive your Penn Monthly Student Account Billing Statements online, as well as providing an option to pay them electronically.  During the months of July and August, paper statements are mailed to newly admitted Penn students; continuing students receive electronic billing only.  Effective with September's bill, paper bills are discontinued, and Penn.Pay becomes the only way to receive your student account billing statements.  The statements provided by Penn.Pay are in the same format as the paper statements, and you are notified by email each time a new statement becomes available.  For a current billing schedule, please visit this page of the SFS website: http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/billing/billing-schedule.htm.  Penn.Pay can be accessed from the Penn Student Portal at: http://medley.isc-seo.upenn.edu/penn_portal/view.php

How do I pay my bill?

Payment may be made in person to the University Cashier at the Franklin Building, 3451 Walnut Street, by mail, through wire transfer, or online through Penn.Pay.  Bills should be paid in full by the due date to avoid a late penalty.  The bill includes your charges for tuition, fees, room, board, and other expenses from a variety of offices across Penn in a central billing statement.  It may show both actual and "temporary credits" from a variety of sources.  If you have questions about any transaction on your bill, please contact the office responsible for the transaction.  For complete information about how to pay your bill, please see the SFS website: http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/billing/paying-your-bill.htm


Contact Us

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

Telephone: 215.898.7326
Fax: 215.573.2053
Email: lps@sas.upenn.edu
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