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Application Overview

Bachelor of Arts application deadlines

Apply to begin Bachelor of Arts studies in spring 2019. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

Spring 2019 is the final term of admission for this program.

Regular Admission Deadlines

Admission Cycle Deadline
Spring 2019 November 1, 2018

Priority Admission Deadlines

Admission Cycle Deadline
Spring 2019 October 1, 2018

International Student Admission Deadlines

Admission Cycle Deadline
Spring 2019 October 1, 2018

Start your application now

Applications for the Bachelor of Arts program are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates under serious consideration are invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee on campus or remotely.

Priority application 

The Priority Deadlines were created as a benefit to you because we understand how important it is to have all of the information available when you make a final enrollment decision. New student processes, such as transfer credit evaluation and financial aid evaluations, cannot begin until admitted students officially accept their offers for admission. In other words, the earlier you submit your application, the earlier you can learn how your credits transfer and the financial aid package you will be granted, and ultimately, the earlier you can get settled as a student at the University of Pennsylvania. For all these reasons, we strongly encourage you to finalize and submit your materials by the priority deadlines list above.

If you are accepted into the Bachelor of Arts program in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies and declare your intent to enroll, and if you submit your completed financial aid application portfolio by the financial aid priority deadline, you are guaranteed a decision regarding your financial aid package before you begin classes. Financial aid instructions, checklists and all necessary forms can be found on Penn's Student Registration and Financial Aid website.

Application materials checklist

Since all required supporting documents are submitted through the online application system, hardcopy 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.

*Unsolicited material will not be used for review.

Applications must contain all of the following in order to be considered complete:

  • 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
  • Standardized test scores, if applicable (details below)
  • Two letters of recommendation (details below)
  • Any applicant to the Bachelor of Arts program in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies who is on active duty or a veteran of the United States Military Service is eligible for an application fee waiver. The application fee will be automatically waived in the application for students meeting the criteria.

The following circumstances require that you submit additional material:

  • If you completed less than two years of liberal arts work at the college level (approximately 16 courses in literature, philosophy, history, sociology, science, mathematics, etc.), you must submit an official high school transcript.
  • If you left high school without graduating, and you have completed less than two years of liberal arts work at the college level, you must submit an official score report from the test of General Educational Development (GED).

Bachelor of Arts application essays

Your application will include essays addressing the following topics. The essays are reviewed as a reflection of your writing ability and should be well thought out and polished. Responses should not exceed four pages in length or 750 words for all the questions combined. (Please compile your responses into a single document, but keep them as separate essays.)

  • Write an essay describing in detail your educational history and background, as well as your academic and personal goals, explaining how these will be furthered by study at Penn in general and at LPS in particular. Please make sure to address whether your records and transcripts accurately reflect your academic ability, and feel free to discuss a specific academic topic you have enjoyed studying and explain why it is of interest to you.
  • Describe any nonacademic experiences that you feel strengthen your application such as employment, travel, community affairs, volunteer work, publications, etc.
  • Explain in detail what you hope to accomplish during your first year of study at the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies?

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 Bachelor of Arts program in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. 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 not required for admission to the Bachelor of Arts program. However, you may choose to submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT, in support of your application. Request that your scores be 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.

International transcripts from institutions outside the United States

If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside 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 U.S. 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, please visit the WES website.

Application information

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Spring 2019 is the final term of admission for this program.

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The lifelong learning division of Penn Arts & Sciences

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Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

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