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Application Overview

Application Overview

Application deadlines

Admission Cycle Deadline
Fall 2018 (priority admission)March 1, 2018
Fall 2018May 1, 2018

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Application materials checklist

Since all required supporting documents are submitted through the online application system, hard copy 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 to be considered complete:

    • Completed online application
    • Current résumé or CV
    • Nonrefundable application fee
    • Personal statement (details below)
    • Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system 
    • Standardized test scores, if applicable (details below)
    • Two letters of recommendation (details below)

After a complete application is received and reviewed, candidates under serious consideration are invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee on campus or remotely. 

Personal statement

Your application requires that you complete the following:

  • Please describe your interest in the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences at Penn and what you hope to gain from the experience.

Letters of recommendation

Each applicant must submit two letters of recommendation. Letters should come from individuals in a position to evaluate your professional and/or academic work, such as a supervisor or professor, and who know of your desire to enter the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program. Recommendations may be submitted online (preferred) 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 optional for admission to the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences. If you choose to submit the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in support of your application, we request that your scores report for the GRE is forwarded to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, using ETS institutional code 2986.

A strong command of the English language is necessary for successful study at Penn. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores to demonstrate English proficiency. Please note that the TOEFL is rarely waived; therefore, we encourage applicants to take the test to avoid delays in completing the application. 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. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted and the minimum score for consideration is a 7. You may upload a copy of your IELTS test to the standardized test score section of the application.

Upon review of an applicant's file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores. TOEFL scores are not required from international students who are attending or have attended English-speaking institutions or programs for their undergraduate degree.

International transcripts

If your university credentials are from an institution outside of the US, you must submit all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency, for a course-by-course evaluation.

World Education Services Inc. (WES) must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. The course-by-course evaluation should include the comparability level of your education and list each of your courses along with the equivalent US marks and credit. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course levels) and request that WES send your evaluation to Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions. The school can be found by searching "the University of Pennsylvania" and then selecting "College of Liberal and Professional Studies." The evaluation becomes an official academic record and sole property of the University upon its receipt.

World Education Services Inc. evaluations will be reviewed by our administrators, and the determination of degree equivalency to US degrees is at the discretion of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. For additional information about the WES application and their review process, you may visit their website at http://wes.org/application/apply_now.asp.

Upcoming application deadlines

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The priority admission deadline for Fall 2018 is March 1st and deadline for regular admission is May 1st. Get your application started!

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Course descriptions

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See the courses and electives available to master's students.

See Courses & Curriculum >

Program contacts

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Our Associate Director can help you plan your path through the Master of Behavior and Decision Sciences degree.

See Program Contacts >

Penn MBDS

311 Cohen Hall
249 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

TEL: (215) 898-3023
FAX: (215) 573-2231
penn-mbds@sas.upenn.edu