Application Deadlines and Requirements

The International Guest Student Program (IGSP) is designed for students currently enrolled in undergraduate programs at institutions outside the US. Students must have completed the first year of their undergraduate studies and maintained the equivalent of a 3.3 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) or higher in prior college-level work. Students must be 18 years of age by the program start date.

If your first language is not English, you must demonstrate adequate proficiency in English. If you do not meet the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirement, we encourage you to contact Penn's English Language Program to inquire about the Intensive English Program.

International Guest Student Program application deadlines

You may apply to begin your studies during the fall or spring terms. (If you plan to study during the summer term, please apply to the Penn Global Summer Institute.) Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

Term of Entry Deadline How to Apply
Spring 2025 October 15, 2024 Start your application via Slate
Fall 2025 June 1, 2025 Applications open on September 16, 2024

Application materials checklist

Since all required supporting documents are submitted through the online application system, hardcopy material other than official transcripts will not be accepted. 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
  • Institutional supporting materials: official transcripts
  • Application essays, listed below
  • Letter of recommendation
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo standardized test scores  (if not a native English speaker)
  • Nonrefundable $75 application fee

Institutional supporting materials

The following materials must be sent directly to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies office from the individual or organization responsible for authenticating the content (not from the student).

  • Official transcripts from each college and/or university attended, with English translation and US equivalencies must be sent directly from the home institution. If your college/university is sending the official transcript electronically, please request they list, "Transcript for International Guest Student Program" in the email subject line.

International Guest Student Program application essay 

You will be asked to respond to the following essay prompts. This will allow us to assess whether the International Guest Student Program is the right fit for you. Please compile your responses onto a single document to be uploaded with your application.

  • Describe your educational history and background, making sure to address both academic and nonacademic experiences that are relevant to your participation in the International Guest Student Program. Please also be sure to note whether your records and transcripts accurately reflect your academic ability. (250 word maximum)
  • Explain your goals for participating in the International Guest Student Program. Please address why you are interested in studying in the United States, and why you wish to study at Penn specifically, as well as some of the coursework you are interested in, and campus resources you plan to utilize. Be as specific as you can about how this program will support your current academic program and your future academic and professional goals. (400 word maximum)

Letters of recommendation

One letter of recommendation is required of all applicants. However, you may submit up to three letters of recommendation to support your application. Letters of recommendation 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. When completing your application, you will be asked to provide the name and contact information of your recommender, who will then be contacted directly with a link to provide their letter of recommendation online.

Standardized test scores

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), International English Language Test System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test (DET) scores to demonstrate English proficiency. Applicants are encouraged to take a test as early as possible to avoid delays in completing the application.

  • The minimum TOEFL iBT score required for consideration is 100. TOEFL scores 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.
  • The minimum IELTS score for consideration is a 7. We encourage applicants to have IELTS send their official score report to the University of Pennsylvania College of Liberal and Professional Studies IELTS Results Service E-Delivery account. Applicants may also upload a copy of their IELTS test report to the standardized test score section of the application. The test report form (TRF) number must be visible on the uploaded IELTS score report document.
  • The recommended minimum DET score for consideration is 130. Students submitting DET scores should request that their scores be sent to “The University of Pennsylvania, College of Liberal and Professional Studies.” We will also need an unofficial copy of your Duolingo English Test certificate. Please save your certificate as a PDF and send it to

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.

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.

Visa and documentation

When applying to the International Guest Student Program, if you indicate that you are not a US citizen, you will be asked the following question:

If admitted as a full-time student, will you require immigration sponsorship (i.e., F-1 or J-1 status) from Penn to study in the United States?

Please respond YES to this question if you will be applying for a student visa to study at Penn. Only applicants who reply YES to this question will be issued a form I-20.  

Once admitted, you will receive an email from the International Student and Scholar Services office with instructions for applying for your I-20. The I-20 is the form you need to apply for an F-1 student visa at your closest US Embassy or Consulate.

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