Master of Environmental Studies application deadlines
You may apply to begin the Master of Environmental Studies degree during the fall or spring terms. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:
|Spring 2021||November 1, 2020
International applicants should submit their application by October 1, 2020, to allow time to obtain visas.
|Fall 2021||December 15, 2020
Priority application deadline
April 1, 2021
You may experience delays in the processing and review of your application due to the COVID-19 virus. We will work with any applicant who is missing documents due to testing delays and closings. Our team may be reached Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please contact us if you have questions at (215) 746-6905 or email@example.com.
Application materials checklist
- 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
- Two letters of recommendation (details below)
- Score reports for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)*
- TOEFL scores for international students*
*If applicable. See “Standardized test scores” below.
Master of Environmental Studies application essays
Your application will include essays addressing three topics. Responses may be as long or as short as you feel necessary. (Please compile your responses into a single document, but keep them as separate essays.)
- How did your interest in environmental studies develop?
- Describe in conceptual terms the curriculum you hope to pursue as a Master of Environmental Studies student.
- How do you expect to apply the expertise you would gain in the Master of Environmental Studies program?
Letters of recommendation
Each applicant will 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 Environmental Studies 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
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required of all applicants, except those with five or more years of professional experience or for University of Pennsylvania undergraduate students who are submatriculating into the program. Request that your scores report for the GRE test be forwarded to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, using ETS institutional code 2986.
Applicants with 5+ years of professional experience should send GRE waiver requests to
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. TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition exam scores will be accepted.
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.
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.