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Application Overview

Masters 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 2021 (priority admission) February 1, 2021
Fall 2021 March 1, 2021

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.

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. Please note that all application materials become the property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and remote work assignments, to complete your application file, please submit all supporting admissions documents electronically to lps-admissions@sas.upenn.edu. PDF or JPG files/documents are acceptable. Admissions documents sent by mail or courier service will be processed periodically by the LPS Admissions Office staff due to limited in-office hours.

*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 resume
  • Nonrefundable application fee 
  • Application essays (details below)
  • Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system 
  • Two or three letters of recommendation (details below)
  • Standardized test scores (details below)

Essay questions

Your application will include essays addressing the following topics. (Please compile all essays together in one document.)

  • Please describe your academic and career objectives. Be as specific as you can about the area in which you plan to concentrate (i.e., biological, inorganic, organic, physical and/or materials chemistry) and your reasons for wishing to study at Penn.
  • Describe your career background and development, and any further insight that you think may help the reviewers understand your academic and scientific progress.
  • How do you expect to apply the expertise you would gain in the Master of Chemical Sciences program?

Letters of recommendation

Each applicant is required to submit two letters of recommendation, but you may elect to submit an optional third letter. All letters must be signed and on official letterheads. 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 study chemical sciences at the advanced level. If you have research experience or have worked in a laboratory setting, a letter from your research supervisor or mentor is highly desirable. 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. The GRE Chemistry Subject Test is not required, but it is highly recommended. Request that your scores for the GRE test be forwarded to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies office, 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.

Flexibility for international applicants: We recognize that there may be limited testing opportunities for the GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL exams in your home country and some applicants will not be able to report scores by the application deadline. If this pertains to you, we encourage you to complete the application to the best of your ability and to include a supplemental statement that explains your circumstances. Your information will be provided to the appropriate admissions committee and your admissions decision will be based on the materials available at the time of review. Please note, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies is accepting at-home GRE and TOEFL test scores and the IELTS Indicator exam scores through the 2020-2021 admissions year. Please visit the specific standardized testing websites for exam options in your home country.

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.

Theoretical and technical expertise

Theoretical and technical expertise

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

Want to know more?

Join us this October or November for a virtual information sessions to hear more about the program, curriculum, and application process.

Student and alumni stories

“I was attracted to the program because I wanted to do research on my own and write my own thesis.”
- Jungmi Park, MCS ’19