|Fall 2021||February 1, 2021|
Applications for fall 2020 are now closed. Applications for fall 2021 will open in September.
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. Please note that all application materials become the property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application.
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 may be invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee on campus or remotely.
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
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.
Flexibility for applicants from China: We recognize that upcoming test dates for the GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL have been canceled in China and that some applicants will not be able to report scores by our deadlines. If this pertains to you, we encourage you to complete the application to the best of your ability and to include a supplemental statement that explains your circumstances. Your information will be provided to the appropriate admissions committee and your admissions decision will be based on the materials available at the time of review.
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 or graduate degree. We do not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
International transcripts from institutions outside the United States
Applicants who have attended a college or university outside the US are required to have a course-by-course credential evaluation (with grade point average and course levels) performed by an outside evaluation service. Credential 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. The following two evaluation services are acceptable:
CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service: Applicants from international institutions are encouraged to use the CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service within the College of Liberal and Professional Studies application to request and submit authenticated transcript(s) and other academic documents. This service provides certified documents and course evaluations which are then included as part of your application materials. If using this service, Penn requires the “Evaluation” service at a cost of $190.
World Education Services Inc. (WES): 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 grade point average 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. For additional information about the WES application and their review process, please visit the WES website.
Please note that these services charge a fee for the evaluation.