Admissions and Eligibility

The Master of Liberal Arts program (MLA) is designed for individuals from a variety of backgrounds and requires no specific prerequisite courses. However, for your admission to the program, it is necessary that you have previous coursework in the liberal arts and evidence of preparedness for graduate-level work, such as independent research and writing experience.

Applicants must hold either a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution. International students should make sure that their degree is the equivalent of a four-year degree in the US. Successful applicants to the Master of Liberal Arts program must possess at least a 3.0 grade point average in their undergraduate studies.

Standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are not generally required when applying for the Master of Liberal Arts. However, you may choose to submit standardized test scores in support of your application. Most international applicants are required to demonstrate English proficiency via Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.

Application and deadlines

The first step toward earning your Master of Liberal Arts degree at Penn is completing the online application.

You may apply to begin Master of Liberal Arts studies during the fall, spring, or summer terms. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

Regular admission deadlines

Term of Entry Deadline
Summer 2024 April 1, 2024
Fall 2024 July 1, 2024
Spring 2025 November 1, 2024

International student admission deadlines

Term of Entry Deadline
Summer 2024 March 1, 2024
Fall 2024 June 1, 2024
Spring 2025 October 1, 2024

Start your application now

Applications for the Master of Liberal 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.

Individualized curriculum

With Penn's MLA program, you design a curriculum centering on a particular theme that interests you.

Want to know more?

Want to know more?

Join us for one of our upcoming virtual information sessions to hear more about the program, curriculum, and application process.

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