Academics

  • Prior to the expected date of entrance at Penn, an international applicant should have completed a program of secondary education that would enable you to enter a university in your own country (e.g., A-levels, IB).
  • If you are enrolled in a program that will not release external examination results prior to our application deadlines, you must request that your school send us predictions of external examination results along with your grades.

English Language Proficiency Tests

A strong command of the English language is necessary for successful study at Penn.  Applicants who meet one or both of the criteria below are considered proficient in English.

  • English is the applicant’s native language.
  • English has been the applicant’s primary language of instruction for the duration of high school.

If neither of these statements is true, applicants are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test to demonstrate English proficiency (no minimum requirement). Where the TOEFL iBT is not available, applicants can take the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. Please note that Penn does not currently accept the IELTS Indicator exam.

Self-Reported Scores (Standardized Test)

  • Penn will review self-reported SAT and ACT test scores from first-year applicants with some exceptions.
  • No preference is given to the SAT or the ACT. If an applicant submits both tests, we will pay attention to the higher score from either test.
  • For the SAT, we will combine your highest Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing with your highest Math score across multiple tests to calculate a superscore.
  •  For the ACT, we consider the highest individual English, Math, Reading, and Science scores across multiple tests to calculate a superscore composite.

Counsellor Recommendation

A written statement from your guidance counselor or school advisor.

Academic Teacher Evaluation

Penn requires two teacher recommendations, ideally instructors from your junior or senior year in major academic subjects. 

  • We don’t recommend that you submit letters from instructors of the same subject. A letter from a math teacher and one from a science teacher, for example, is acceptable. Likewise, a letter from a history teacher and one from an English teacher.