Admissions FAQ



Yes, applicants that apply by the Nov. 15 deadline have a smaller pool of candidates to compete against. If you are serious about attending Penn Engineering, we encourage you to apply by the Nov. 15 deadline for master's programs. If you are admitted during this time, we recommend that you send in your decision and deposit prior to the initial Feb. 16 cut off. Otherwise, you will not be able to make your deposit until the 2nd round of decisions, after the March 15 deadline.

Please note that deadline for the IPD program is February 1. Click here for the most up-to-date Application Deadlines.

In addition, we also strongly recommend that international students apply as early as possible and make their decision 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?

Applications are evaluated as a whole portfolio and not on a single criterion. Individual programs may have specific score expectations: the Bioengineering, Biotechnology, Computer and Information Science, Electrical Engineering, Integrated Product Design, and Systems Engineering programs expect a minimum TOEFL score of 100 from all applicants.

There is no minimum GRE score that is required. Average scores can be found in some university publications and media such as U.S. News & World Report and Peterson's. Individual programs may list scores on their specific website, but Penn Engineering does not make this information available.

Can my TOEFL/IELTS be waived?

The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived if the candidate has completed at least three (3) years of academic work on a full-time basis by the time of matriculation. The academic work can be 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. If you have less than three (3) years, it will not be waived. If you have questions about this, please email

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/IELTS Scores be?

TOEFL/IELTS 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/IELTS 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 enter the test scores you received upon completion of the exam into your application. 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 BE sent to the admissions office?

The only documents to be mailed to the admissions office are your official, final transcripts and certificates of graduation (when the transcript does not list the degree earned), from your university level study. These documents must be sent to us, either in sealed envelopes from each institution you have attended, or electronically by the issuing institution. Opened documents are not official and will not be accepted. No other documents are necessary as all other required documentation should be entered online.

If you are using the CHESSIC Document translation service, please request the transcript and the graduation verification certificate. We must receive both documents. Please note it may take at least 20 business days for documents requested through the CHESSIC services to be transmitted electronically. You can find additional information here:

Where and when should I send my official documents and test scores?

You are required to send your official transcript(s) upon receiving your offer of admission. We must receive an official, final transcript from each institution where you earned course credit. You must also send a graduation verification certificate, if it is not stated on the final transcript from your degree granting institution. All final trancript(s) must be received prior to your matriculation date. If your test results will be delivered by mail, they should be sent to the below address:

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

If your institution uses electronic transcripts, the institution should send the transcripts to one of the below administrators, based on the program to which you have applied:

Abigail Whitington,, for - BE, EE, ESE, IPD, MSE, MEAM, SE

Sherry Ferraiolo,, for - BIOT, CBE, CGGT, CIS, EMBS, MCIT, NANO, ROBO, SCMP

If we do not receive your documents by the start of your program, you may be dropped from the program.

my official transcript has been sent. 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. If you waited to send it in until you received your offer of admission, you are required to send it in at that time.

Have my supplemental documents been received?

Once you have submitted an application, you can log in to your application 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, including the CHESSIC transcripts, have 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, the system may still say "materials needed," though we have already received your materials. Processing time for received documents varies based on the time of year and mail delivery times, which are out of our control.

Documents requested using the CHESSIC transcript service for Chinese Institutions may take up to 20 business days to be transmitted electronically. If you are using the CHESSIC transcript service, please make sure to check your document status on the application checklist before emailing the Admissions Office.

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.

How do i apply to more than one program?

To apply to more than one program, you must complete and submit the application for the first program you are applying to before you can begin an application for any additional program(s). You can apply using your same account and login information. However, you will need to pay a separate application fee for each application you submit.

You can use supporting documents, such as official test scores and transcripts, for multiple applications. Please email 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.


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.

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. Please email for the link to the offline paper recommendation form.

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. Please note all recommendations must be received by the application deadline for your application to be reviewed.

If more recommendations come in before the application has been selected for review, then all of the recommendations received will be reviewed. Please note that our current system has a limit of three (3) letters of recommendation.

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. The fee may be waived at the Directors discretion, due to applicant hardship. Please email for more information. 99% of waiver requests are not granted.

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. Most positions require that you complete one semester of your program and bein in good standing. 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 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.

Please note, we do not disclose specific reasons for an applicants rejection.

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?

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

For master's applicants, if you were admitted following the November 15 application deadline, you must submit your enrollment form by February 16. Otherwise you will not be able to enroll until after the March 15 application cycle. If you were admitted following the March 15 application deadline, or admitted following the November 15 deadline, but did not accept before February 16, the deadline is June 1.

Can i pay the acceptance fee by check?

No, we no longer accept checks.

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.




Questions regarding our programs may be sent to the following:
Chemical and Biomolecular
Computer and Information
Computer and Information
Computer Graphics and Game
Electrical and Systems
Embedded Systems:
Integrated Product
Materials Science and
Mechanical Engineering and Applied
Scientific Computing: