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Admissions and Eligibility

The typical student in the Master of Chemical Sciences program will hold an undergraduate degree in chemistry, engineering, mathematics or the equivalent. An adequate undergraduate background will vary, depending on area of concentration and will include some combination of coursework in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics and/or engineering.

At a minimum, applicants will need to have completed two terms of calculus, two terms of introductory chemistry and the equivalent of two terms of organic chemistry with associated labs, and two terms of physics. Given these requirements, a degree in chemistry, physics or biology would be ideal preparation.

Your application will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Academic record
  • Work or laboratory experience
  • Career objectives and reasons for choosing the program at Penn
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if applicable

See Application Overview for specific requirements.

COVID-19 and admissions reviews 

Recognizing the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Penn’s admissions committees for graduate and professional programs will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their regular practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant. In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail and other grading options during the period of COVID-19 disruptions. An applicant will not be adversely affected in the admissions process if their academic institution implemented a mandatory pass/fail (or similar) system for the term or if the applicant chose to participate in an optional pass/fail (or similar) system for the term. Penn’s longstanding commitment remains to admit graduate and professional student cohorts composed of outstanding individuals who demonstrate the resilience and aptitude to succeed in their academic pursuits.

Master of Chemical Sciences application deadline

New Master of Chemical Sciences program student cohorts are admitted for fall terms only. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadline:

Admission Cycle Deadline
Fall 2022 (priority admission) February 1, 2022
Fall 2022 March 1, 2022

Start your application now

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 lps-admissions@sas.upenn.edu.

Theoretical and technical expertise

Theoretical and technical expertise

A blend of core concentration courses and electives allows students to create an individualized academic schedule.

MCS information session video

MCS information session

Meet our assistant director and hear more about the MCS curriculum, application process, faculty, and more.

Creating the right chemistry

See how our Master of Chemical Sciences program makes it possible for students to link their academics to industry experience.