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 2020||November 1, 2019
International applicants should submit their application by October 1, 2019, to allow time to obtain visas.
|Fall 2020||December 15, 2019
Priority application deadline
April 1, 2020
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
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.