Thank you for your interest in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

The application system for Fall 2021 will open on October 1, 2020.  Please refer to this site for current information.

Fall 2021 Application deadline* ~ December 15, 2020 11:59 pm P.S.T.

(Fellowship and Scholarship consideration for most programs)*

2021-22 Penn Arts & Sciences Graduate Division Admissions Update

The School of Arts of Sciences (SAS) has made the difficult decision to pause school-funded PhD admissions for the 2021-22 academic year. In the wake of the pandemic, we believe that there are ethical and moral imperatives to support our current students who need extra time and funding to complete their degree. Some graduate groups regularly support students with external grants and so may be able to admit graduate students, albeit in smaller numbers. Please consult individual graduate group websites for specific admissions information.

Graduate Groups

Statement on Arrest for Civil Disobedience

We assure you that an arrest record that occurred due to Black Lives Matter protest related civil disobedience will not adversely affect graduate admissions into our program.

While the Office of the Graduate Division serves as the processing center for all graduate admission applications to the School of Arts and Sciences, the best sources of information about our graduate programs are the graduate publications and the graduate groups themselves. Information about Non-Traditional Graduate Studies Programs can be obtained from the Office of Professional and Liberal Education. A good source for information about graduate student life in general is the Graduate Student Center.

Prospective graduate students begin the application process by getting in touch with the specific graduate group. Each graduate group supplies the latest information on programs and application procedures, either via the web or by mail. It is recommended that you find information specific to the program in which you intend to study, as you may apply to only one program per entrance year.

*Consult the Admissions Calendar for important fellowship and admissions deadlines. Anyone interested in competing for fellowships must have a complete application on file by December 15th.

Be advised that most admissions decisions for the PhD degree are made in the Spring.  Applicants should contact their graduate groups for further information.  If you visit the Program section of this website, you will have access to all department web pages.

All applications for admission are submitted to the Office of the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences for processing. Applicants are responsible for submitting complete applications, including scanned copies of your unofficial transcripts and recommendations. It is important that applicants continue to check on the status of their applications until all supporting materials have been received. After an application is complete, the original application remains on file in the Graduate Division Office at 3401 Walnut Street, Suite 322A; the graduate group has immediate access as well.

Admission decisions are made by individual graduate groups. The official acceptance letter is generated by the Office of the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences, although students may also receive a separate letter from the chair of the graduate group. Once you have been admitted, you will be required to submit an official copy of your transcript.  It should be mailed directly to the Graduate Division (see address above).

The Graduate Division uses an on-line application system. This application is easy to use. You may access your application to update or change your information any number of times until you submit the application to us. Once your application has been submitted, you will be able to check its status and note the receipt of supporting documentation. Since many graduate groups are reviewing applications on-line, We strongly suggest that you take advantage of the option to scan unofficial copies of your transcript into your on-line application. This will save money and help us to expedite the review of your application. An official copy of your transcript will be requested when you have been admitted. The application fee for Fall 2021 will be $90.00.
McNair Scholars, please ask your program coordinator to send an email to the Associate Director for Admissions and confirm your participation in the program.

Listed below is the electronic application option for the graduate groups in this school. We no longer accept a paper version. In addition, we now allow unofficial copies of your transcripts and some writing samples to be uploaded to your electronic application. Please see the application for additional details. We strongly recommend that you link in to the application only after viewing the information made available by your specific graduate group.

  • If you are applying from abroad, certain special instructions apply to you.
  • International students must pay the application fee using a credit card. All major credit cards are accepted.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit proof of English proficiency (TOEFL). Please visit the following site for test locations and dates in your country
  • Upon admission, your name will be forwarded to the University's International Student and Scholar Services They will provide you with a link to their database and a temporary social security number (9-digit admissions number)if you do not have one, so that you can begin the visa application process. The visa will be issued by their office. Any questions regarding that process should be directed to them.
  • A helpful site to visit during your application process is EducationUSA. This website provides information and a list of advising centers in your country that can help you begin your graduate studies in the United States.

How do I get a printed copy of the Graduate Catalogue?

We no longer print a paper copy of the catalog. The on-line version of the Policies and Procedures site is updated frequently and is more current than the printed version.

What are the dates for admissions deadlines?

Very few graduate groups accept applications until July 15, since most departments make admission decisions before April 15th. Applicants are advised to apply by the December 15th deadline for consideration. Contact the specific graduate group for further information on the admissions process in that group.

Where should GRE and TOEFL scores be sent? Do you accept IELTS in lieu of TOEFL?

The scores are to be sent to the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences office electronically thru ETS. The school code is 2926. GRE scores are valid for 5 years and TOEFL scores for 2 years. Some groups will accept IELTS, GMAT and LSAT score results in lieu of the GRE and TOEFL. The Graduate Division cannot receive these scores electronically. An official copy of these results should be mailed to the Office of the Graduate Division.

I am applying from abroad--what form of payment should I use for my application fee?

In payment of the application fee, applicants should use a credit card.  All major cards are accepted. See the payment page of the on-line application for further details.

I am not a United States citizen--how do I get a visa?

Upon your admission, You will receive an electronic letter from the Graduate Division office. Within the electronic letter, there is a link to access the enrollment form. In order to complete this form, you will need a temporary social security number (9-digit admissions ID) which will be assigned to you if you do not already have one. Do Not use any number in this field except a valid social security number or the temporary one assigned to you. Once you complete the enrollment form, your information will be sent to the International Student and Scholar Services on-line database. Once the information is received by their office, they will send an email that will provide all necessary information on how to obtain a visa; if you do not receive a response from them, please contact this office.

Where can I access the Campus Safety and Security brochure?

To review the University's most recent annual report containing this information, please go to the current brochure. You may request a paper copy of the report by calling the Division of Public Safety at 215.898.4482.

I've been admitted! What should I do next?

Congratulations! You will be sent an email that a decision has been reached, Sign into your application and click on the 'decision has been made' link. You will be taken to an electronic version of your admit letter. Click on the link embedded in the letter to record your decision. If you accept the offer, you will be required to pay an enrollment fee, by credit card.  After you decide to accept the offer, visit the following site for a Checklist of things to do before your arrival.