Application Overview

Pre-Health Student in a lab

Pre-Health Programs application deadlines

You may apply to begin the Specialized Studies program during the fall, spring or summer terms, and the Core Studies program during the fall or summer terms. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

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

February 15, 2025: Early Decision Deadline
Students who complete their application by this date will receive an admissions decision 4-6 weeks after submission.

May 1, 2025: Core Studies Program Regular Decision Deadline

May 15, 2025: Specialized Studies Program Regular Decision Deadline

How to apply

Applications for summer and fall 2024 are currently being accepted online through PostBacCAS.

Apply for summer or fall 2024 now

Watch Program Director Jackie McLaughlin give an introduction of the Pre-Health Programs and explain the difference between Core Studies and Specialized Studies.

If you have a problem viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.

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 or CV
  • Nonrefundable $45 application fee
  • Program-specific application essays, listed below
  • Official transcripts from each post-secondary school attended should be uploaded in the application system
  • Applicable standardized test scores—SAT, ACT, GRE—details below. If you have already taken the MCAT or DAT, you must upload these results with your application.
  • Letters of recommendation (details below). We require letters to be on letterhead with an original or digital signature.
  • TOEFL or IELTS exam scores (required for applicants whose native language is not English)
  • Copy of verified professional school application, such as AMCAS and/or AACOMAS, if you have previously applied to medical school
  • Calculated GPA for science courses, including biology, chemistry, math, and physics. For help calculating your GPA, visit

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. Admissions decisions are generally made within two weeks of the interview.

Pre-Health Programs application essays

Your application will include essays addressing several topics. Responses should not exceed four pages in length for all the questions combined. (Please compile your responses into a single document, but keep them as separate essays.)

  • In 400 words or less, describe the path that brought you to your current interest in the health professions. Give a brief personal history, describing your previous career (or career goals), explaining why you have decided to pursue professional training in the healthcare field. This should include a description of previous experience in healthcare; please be specific about the amount of time spent (either paid or volunteer).
  • In 250 words or less, describe any experience you have, either paid or volunteer or observational, which is relevant to health research or the provision of healthcare services. Please be specific about the amount of time you devoted to each activity.
  • In 150 words or less, please explain if you believe your transcripts and other records do not present an accurate picture of your ability.
  • In 150 words or less: Is there other information about yourself that you consider important that has not been covered in the previous questions?
  • Please list the college-level science courses you have completed, noting grades earned for each course. To calculate your GPA for biology, chemistry, math, and physics courses, visit
  • Please list the college-level social and behavioral science courses you have completed, noting the grade earned for each course.

Letters of recommendation

Each applicant will submit two individual 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 enter a Pre-Health Program. We will also accept a Pre-Medical or Pre-Dental Committee Evaluation as fulfillment of the minimum letter requirement.

Recommendations may be submitted online (preferred) or by mail. Submitted recommendations are required to be on letterhead with an original or electronic signature. For online recommendations, please follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We require letters to be on letterhead with an original or digital signature. Letters received without this information will not be accepted and could delay your admissions process. 

Standardized test scores

Standardized test scores are required of all Pre-Health Programs applicants.

Please submit ACT, SAT, or GRE exam scores. Your ACT or SAT scores may be added to your online application in the self-reported standardized test score section of the application. Your score report must show your first and last name along with the date when the test was taken. ACT or SAT scores printed on an official high school transcript are also acceptable.

GRE scores should be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986.

If you have taken the MCAT or the DAT, you will need to provide an unofficial copy of your test scores within the application.

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 that 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.

** Note to applicants: The default test score in the application system is the GRE. If you are supplying other accepted test scores, your application may appear incomplete. When the admissions office receives your test score(s), your record will be updated and that requirement will be satisfied.

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:

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.

Need support? Contact us.

Please call the College of Liberal and Professional Studies at (215) 746-6905 if you have any questions regarding the application process, or email us at

Which program is right for me?

Which program is right for me?

Learn more about applicant qualifications for each of the Pre-Health Programs.

Pre-Health information session

Pre-Health information session

Meet our program team and hear more about the curriculum, application process, faculty, and more.

Student & alumni stories

"Academically, I wanted to develop a solid foundation in the sciences, which I found in Penn's challenging, yet collaborative learning environment."
- Mark Meisarah