Master of Liberal Arts application deadlines
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|
|Spring 2022||November 1, 2021|
|Summer 2022||April 1, 2022|
|Fall 2022||July 1, 2022|
International student admission deadlines
|Term of Entry||Deadline|
|Spring 2022||October 1, 2021|
|Summer 2022||March 1, 2022|
|Fall 2022||June 1, 2022|
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.
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.
*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, listed below
- Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system
- Standardized test scores, if applicable (details below)
- Two letters of recommendation (details below)
After a complete application is received and reviewed, candidates under serious consideration are invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee on campus or remotely.
Master of Liberal Arts application essays
Your application will include essays addressing the following topics. Please compile all essays together in one document. Number your essays clearly and begin each essay on a separate page. Responses may be as long or as short as you feel necessary.
- In a 350-word essay, discuss your interest in the program and your reasons for wanting to enroll, drawing on your previous academic experiences, your current intellectual interests, and including any biographical information that may be relevant.
- To help up advise you, identify as concisely as possible the topical area, intellectual problem or set of issues you hope to explore within the program.
- If you believe your transcripts and other records do not present an accurate picture of your ability, please explain.
- Describe an experience, event or person that has been important to you in your development.
- Is there other information about yourself that you consider important that has not been covered in the previous questions?
Letters of recommendation
Each applicant will submit two letters of recommendation. 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 enter the Master of Liberal Arts program. 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
Standardized test scores are not required for admission to the Master of Liberal Arts. However, you may choose to submit standardized test scores, such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), in support of your application. Request that your scores report for the GRE test be forwarded to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, 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 2021-2022 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.