Admissions FAQ

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NOVEMBER 15 AND MARCH 15 APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR MASTER'S APPLICANTS?

No, there is no difference in the deadlines except for when you will receive a decision. You should receive a decision 4-6 weeks after the submission deadline. Please note that deadline for the IPD program is February 1. Click here for the most up-to-date Application Deadlines.

We strongly recommend that international students apply as early as possible, as it can take multiple months to complete the Student Visa process.

What is the institution code for the TOEFL and GRE?

The institution code is 2888. If you have used our previous code of 2926, we will still receive your results. You do not have to use a department code.

I have sent my official scores but they do not show up as being received in my application. Should I be concerned?

We use your self-reported scores for the application review process. If you are admitted, we will then search our system to make sure we have the official version. If we are unable to locate it, you will be notified.

What are the minimum GRE and TOEFL scores?

There are no minimum test scores, as applications are evaluated as a whole portfolio and not on a single criterion. Averages can be found in some university publications and media such as U.S. News & World Report and Peterson's.

Can my TOEFL be waived?

The TOEFL requirement can be waived if the candidate has completed at least three (3) years of academic work on a full-time basis at a university-level institution: in the United States, in a country in which English is recognized as the official language or where the medium of instruction is English.

The international transcript must note that the medium of instruction was in English in order for you to have the test waived. If this information is not noted on the transcript then the university will have to send verification.

How recent should my TOEFL Scores be?

TOEFL scores are only available for the last two (2) years, so you must report scores taken within that time period. If your scores are older than two (2) years, you will need to retake the TOEFL exams.

I already have an advanced degree. Do I need to take the GRE?

The GRE is required by all applicants. If you have taken it within the previous five (5) years, you can have the official test scores submitted by the testing service. Otherwise, you will need to take the GRE and have your official scores submitted by the testing service.

How recent should my GRE scores be?

You must have taken the GRE within five (5) years. If your scores are older than five (5) years, you must retake the exam.

I just took the GRE/TOEFL but my official scores have not yet arrived. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply. Please manually enter the test scores you received upon completion of the exam. You must, however, make sure that your official scores are also sent to Penn Engineering (code 2888). Your self-reported scores will be used for the review process.

(In the case of the GRE you will not immediately receive your Writing score, but that is fine for initial submission of your application.)

What documents should I mail to the admissions office?

Please only send the official transcript from the university or college-level study. The only documents to be mailed to the admissions office are your official transcripts from your university level study. These documents must be sent to us in sealed envelopes from each university you have attended. Opened documents are not official and will not be accepted. No other documents are necessary as all other required documentation should be entered online.

When should I send my official transcript?

You should send your official transcript once you submit your application, or as soon as it becomes available, if it is not available at the time of your submission. We must receive an official transcript prior to your matriculation date.

I have sent my official transcript. Can I confirm that it has been received?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, we may be unable to verify all of the documentation we receive in a timely manner. Therefore, we use the unofficial transcript that you have uploaded when reviewing your application. In the event of admission we will then search for the official version in our files and verify what you have reported in your application.

I have uploaded my unofficial transcript. Should I also fill in the self-reported form?

If you have uploaded a transcript you do not need to complete the self-reported transcript form. This form is for those who do not have a transcript to scan.

Have my supplemental documents been received?

Once you have submitted an application, you can log in to your application or Grad CONNECT at any time to check the status. However, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to verify your documentation in a timely manner. We use the unofficial information you submit in the application to begin the review process.

How long does it take for the online system to show that my documents have been received?

The online system will show your documents are received as soon as they have been processed by our admissions staff. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we may be unable to verify all of the documentation we receive in a timely manner. Processing time for received documents varies based on the time of year and mail delivery times, which are out of our control. During the peak season we rarely post the official documents as we use the unofficial documents for review.

When will my application be reviewed?

Completed applications are evaluated following the application cycle deadline. Application decisions are usually made within 4-6 weeks after the application deadlines. You can find those deadlines here.

I WOULD LIKE TO APPLY TO MORE THAN ONE PROGRAM BUT THE ONLINE SYSTEM WON'T ALLOW IT.

To apply to more than one program, you must complete the application process for each program, using a different username, password, and email address for each application. This includes paying separate application fees for each application.We apologize for any inconvenience, but this is necessary for keeping different accounts for each application.

You can use supporting documents, such as official test scores and transcripts, for multiple applications. Please email engstats@seas.upenn.edu and indicate that you would like to use your supporting documents for your multiple applications. For all other parts of the application, we recommend submitting information specific to each program.

DO YOU NEED ANY FINANCIAL INFORMATION?

No, the Admissions Office does not require any financial documentation. Please do not send it.

Do I need to use an ID number when submitting documents?

We do not use ID numbers to match documents to applications, we use your name.

Where do I send my official transcript?

University of Pennsylvania
School of Engineering & Applied Science
Graduate Admissions
111 Towne Building
220 S. 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Can my recommender send a paper recommendation?

Recommendations should be submitted online. If it is not possible for your recommender to use the online system, a paper letter may be submitted. Please note that it will take longer to process and be uploaded to the system, due to the large volume of documents we receive.

I entered more than two (2) recommenders. Do all of those recommendations have to be submitted in order for my application to be reviewed?

No. Most programs only require two (2) recommendations. Once we have received two (2), (including one faculty recommendation) that requirement is fulfilled.

If more recommendations come in before the application has been selected for review, then all of the recommendations received will be reviewed.

CIS Ph.D. applications require three (3) recommendations, so you must have three (3) for your application to be reviewed.

Why haven't my recommenders received an email yet?

The application system asks you to input the name and correct email address for each recommender. If they have not received an email after you have completed your application, please follow the below instructions:

  • Make sure you have provided a valid, correct email address for each recommender.
  • Notify the recommender that they should check their junk/spam mail folder, in case it was marked as junk/spam by their email provider.
  • Re-notify your recommender through your application.

What is the cost of the application fee? Can this fee be waived?

The application fee is $80. Unfortunately, we do not waive our fee.

As a master's student, am I eligible for any teaching/research assistantships?

The School of Engineering and Applied Science does not provide financial assistance for master's students. Master's students may apply for a limited number of positions as research assistants and teaching assistants. Upon enrollment to a master's program, students may contact the program department to check availability.

Where can I find information about tuition and an estimate of a graduate student budget?

You can find financial information about attending graduate school here:

I have been admitted but I would like to defer my admission. What should I do?

You must first accept our offer and pay the deposit. Afterwards you must contact us at engstats@seas.upenn.edu. You would include a brief reason for the deferral and indicate the fall term that you are planning on attending.

When will I receive a decision?

Master's applicants that have submitted a completed application should receive an admission decision within four to six weeks following the application cycle deadline. Ph.D. applicants are reviewed following the application deadline.

How will I receive a decision?

You will be notified by email that a decision is available to be viewed online. You will need to log into your application to view the actual decision.

Will I receive an official letter by mail?

No, the letter you view online is your official letter and our system allows you to print a copy to use as needed.

What is the deadline for submitting the enrollment decision form online?

Ph.D. enrollment decisions are due by April 15.

For master's applicants we strongly recommend a response within 30 days of receiving admission, especially for international students. All decisions and deposits must be received by June 1 for matriculation into the next fall term.

Who should the acceptance fee check be made payable to?

If paying by check, please make it payable to the "Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania."

I am not a U.S. Citizen and will need a student visa in order to study in the United States. What should I do?

If you are admitted to a graduate program, you will be emailed the information and web address for beginning the I-20 application process. Please allow one week from the date of acceptance to submit the I-20 application to ensure your record is in the system.

Admitted students should address all matters related to the I-20 process with the University's Office of International Programs

Questions regarding the application process may be sent to the following staff members.

Abby Whittingtonabby@seas.upenn.eduBE, EE, ESE, MSE, MEAM, SE
Sherry Ferraiolosherry@seas.upenn.eduBIOT, CBE, CIS, CIT, EMBS, NANO, ROBO

Questions regarding our programs may be sent to the following:

Bioengineering:beoffice@seas.upenn.edu
Biotechnology: biotech@seas.upenn.edu
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering:chebiom@seas.upenn.edu
Computer and Information Science:mfelker@cis.upenn.edu
Computer and Information Technology:mfelker@cis.upenn.edu
Computer Graphics and Game Technology:cggt@cis.upenn.edu
Electrical and Systems Engineering:esegrad@seas.upenn.edu
Embedded Systems:mfelker@cis.upenn.edu
Integrated Product Design:meam-ipd@seas.upenn.edu
Materials Science and Engineering:mse-grad-info@seas.upenn.edu
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics:meam@seas.upenn.edu
Nanotechnology:nanomast@seas.upenn.edu
Robotics:mfelker@cis.upenn.edu