Application Deadlines and Requirements

Application Overview

The Classical Studies Post-Baccalaureate Program—the oldest of its kind in the world—offers an intensive course of study in Greek and Latin to prepare you for graduate work in ancient languages, archaeology, the civilizations and philosophies of antiquity, and other related fields. The majority of our students have received their undergraduate degree within the last two years. However, we welcome qualified returning students as long as they have the necessary language background. 

Entering students generally have had two years (four semesters) of college-level Greek and two years of college-level Latin, or have reached the equivalent level through intensive language programs. Four semesters of college-level language include a year of grammar and vocabulary and a year of translation classes, usually one semester of prose and one semester of poetry. Students with less language experience may be accepted into the program; however, we generally do not accept anyone who has not started at least one of the languages. Study through the intermediate level in both Greek and Latin is recommended but not required.

Your application to the program will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate academic record at an accredited college or university
  • Career objectives and reasons for choosing the Classical Studies Post-Baccalaureate Program at Penn
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores, if applicable

Classical Studies Post-Baccalaureate Program application deadlines

The application deadline for fall 2024 is now closed.

New Classical Studies Post-Baccalaureate Program student cohorts are admitted for fall terms only. We consider applications submitted by the deadline first, and after that, we will consider applications as they arrive, on a first-come, first-served basis, until the program is full.

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 résumé
  • Nonrefundable $75 application fee 
  • Application essays, listed below
  • Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system. Please note:
    • Final fall semester transcripts are required of all spring graduates
    • Study abroad transcripts are not required
  • Standardized test scores, if applicable (details below)
  • Two letters of recommendation (details below)

Application essays

Please compile your responses into a single document.

Your application will include an essay addressing the following three topics. Your response should not exceed four pages in length.

  • Please discuss your academic background and explain what you hope to achieve in the Classical Studies Post-Baccalaureate Program.
  • Be as specific as you can about your plans upon completing the program and about your eventual career goals.
  • If you wish to provide additional information on your academic record or experience, please do so.

Additional items:

  • Please provide a list of all Greek and Latin courses you have taken and the grades earned for each.

Letters of recommendation

Each applicant will submit two letters of recommendation. Letters should come from individuals with whom you have had a close professional or academic association and who know of your desire to study classical studies (or a related field) at the advanced level. 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 Classical Studies Post-Baccalaureate Program. 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 office, using ETS institutional code 2986. Please contact us if you are unsure whether or not you should take the GRE.

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.

Please note, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies is accepting at-home GRE and TOEFL test scores through the 2023-2024 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 evaluation service is acceptable:

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.

Penn's wealth of resources

Students have access to scholarly and career resources, including colloquia, department special events, and mentoring.

Fellowships are available

Fellowships are available

Students can apply for two fellowships that cover tuition and fees plus a stipend for the year.

Celebrating student success

Our students have gone on to study at some of the finest classics, archaeology, and ancient history graduate programs in the world.