Penn LPS COVID-19 Update
LPS staff are not onsite, but we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or lps@sas.upenn.edu. Visit coronavirus.upenn.edu, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates. Penn LPS is ensuring that all students have access to the support they need. Visit our Current LPS Students page for more details.
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Application Overview

Domestic Guest Student Program application deadlines

Fall 2020 announcement: Courses available to students enrolled in Penn’s Domestic Guest Student Program for fall 2020 will be offered online only. Plans for the spring 2021 semester have not yet been announced.

You may apply as a domestic guest student during the fall or spring terms. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

Admission Cycle Deadline
Spring 2021 December 1, 2020
Fall 2021 July 1, 2021

Start your application now

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.

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
  • Nonrefundable application fee
  • Application essays, listed below
  • Official letter of permission from current college or university (see “Institutional supporting materials” below)
  • Unofficial transcripts from each postsecondary school attended, uploaded through the online application system 
  • If you have completed less than one year of liberal arts work at the college level, a high school transcript or an official score report from the test of General Educational Development (GED) (if you left high school without graduating) is required.

Institutional supporting materials

Students must have written permission from their Dean or the Academic Director of their undergraduate degree program to participate in the program and to transfer the credits earned at the University of Pennsylvania to their home institution. The letter should identify the semester for which the student is applying and should be sent directly to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies office.

Domestic Guest Student Program application essays

Your application will include essays addressing the topics listed below. The essays are reviewed as a reflection of your writing ability, and should be well thought out and polished. (Please compile your responses into a single document, but keep them as separate essays.)

  • Describe your educational history and background, making sure to address whether your records and transcripts accurately reflect your academic ability.
  • Write a brief essay describing your academic and personal goals and explain how these will be furthered by study at Penn in general and at LPS in particular. Feel free to discuss a specific academic topic you have enjoyed studying and explain why it is of interest to you.
  • Describe any nonacademic experiences that you feel strengthen your application such as employment, travel, community affairs, volunteer work, publications, etc.

Letters of recommendation

Letters of Recommendation are not required for the Domestic Guest Student Program. However, you may submit up to three letters of recommendation to support your application. These should be from individuals with whom you have had a close professional or academic association and who know of your desire to enroll at the University of Pennsylvania. 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 such as the SAT are not required for admission to the program. However, you may choose to submit them in support of your application. Request that your scores 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.

Upon review of an applicant's file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores.

Upcoming application deadline

The application deadline for spring 2021 is December 1, 2020.

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