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First-Year Admission

We’re interested in learning all about you: what you love, your strengths, your challenges, your interests, and how all of these pieces come together to make you a distinct individual who will actively grow and contribute to the Penn community.

Penn accepts the Common Application and Coalition Application. We have no preference for either format and treat both applications equally in our process. We encourage you to review the features of each application format and use the platform that suits you best. You should submit only one application per admissions cycle and not mix-and-match across platforms.

QuestBridge Applicants

Penn is a proud QuestBridge partner institution and participates in the National College Match program for high-achieving students with significant financial need. We will accept the QuestBridge Application from QuestBridge National College Match Finalists in lieu of the Common Application or Coalition Application. For more details on QuestBridge and the National College Match program, please visit their website.

Application Dates & Deadlines

Early Decision: November 1, 2020
Regular Decision: January 5, 2021
Application Fee: $75 or fee waiver for those who qualify.

Early Decision

Penn’s Early Decision program is binding, meaning that if you are admitted, you are obligated to accept our offer of admission.

By mid-December, you will receive one of three possible outcomes from your Early Decision application:

  • You are admitted into the University of Pennsylvania. As part of our Early Decision program, you are committed to accepting our offer of admission. You must withdraw any active applications you have to other colleges/universities. The only instance in which you could request to be released from our Early Decision binding agreement is if your financial need can’t be met, which would be determined only after consulting with Penn’s Student Financial Services office.

  • You are deferred for consideration during Regular Decision. Your application will be considered among our Regular Decision candidates and you will no longer be bound by the Early Decision binding agreement. You will receive final notification of our decision in late March/early April. Instructions on how to provide updates to your application will be found on your applicant portal.

  • You are denied under the Early Decision program. Your application process for this cycle year is complete. If you are still interested in Penn, you are welcome to re-apply during the next application cycle.

We appreciate that attending Penn is a tradition for many families, so an applicant’s affiliation with Penn, either by being a child or grandchild of alumni, is given the most consideration through Early Decision.

Although applicants considering applying through Early Decision must submit their applications earlier (November 1st) than Regular Decision applicants (January 5th), the process of applying is no different. Please refer to our Checklists & Deadlines page for more information. 

Regular Decision

If you’re a Regular Decision applicant to the University of Pennsylvania and are accepted by another school under a binding Early Decision program, you must inform the Office of Admissions and withdraw your Penn application.

  • You are admitted into the University of Pennsylvania. You have been accepted and are now invited to join the incoming first-year class. You will have until May 1 (of the current cycle year) to accept or decline our offer of admission.

  • You are waitlisted. You have been placed on the waitlist and do not currently have a seat in the incoming class. If you choose to remain on the waitlist -- and if space allows -- you will be considered for admission later in the spring or summer.

  • You are denied admission under the Regular Decision program. Your application process for this cycle year is complete. If you are still interested in Penn, you are welcome to re-apply during the next application cycle.

To learn more about our admitted students, please refer to our Admitted Class of 2024 webpage.

Notification of Decision

  • Early Decision: Mid-December 2020
  • Regular Decision: By April 1, 2021

Admitted Student Reply/Enrollment Confirmation

  • Early Decision: January 6, 2021
  • Regular Decision: May 1, 2021

Please note: These polices are in effect for students entering in the Fall of 2018 and beyond. They remain under ongoing review by the faculty of the University and are subject to change without notice. Current students should consult their home school offices for policies in effect at the time of their matriculation.

COVID-19 Update: Penn will continue to grant credit and placement for these exams. We understand some scores will now be based on online tests, while other scores will be based on year-long academic coursework. Testing agencies are making prudent decisions to prevent large gatherings of people. We are in communication with testing agencies around the world and we support them in the decisions they feel they need to make.

The University of Pennsylvania may award credit or advanced course standing to students who have taken Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other internationally-recognized examinations. Scores warranting University credit vary by department.

  • Matriculating students seeking credit for Advanced Placement (AP) exams must have official score reports sent directly to the Office of the University Registrar by the Educational Testing Service. See Advanced Placement chart below.
  • Matriculating students seeking credit for International Baccalaureate (IB) exams must have official score reports sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the International Baccalaureate Organization. See International Baccalaureate chart below.
  • Matriculating students seeking credit for A-Level exams must bring their original A-Level certificates to the Office of Admissions in order to have their scores evaluated for credit. See GCE Advanced (A) Level Exam Policy chart below.

Pre-College and Dual Enrollment Course Work

Credit is not awarded for college-level coursework undertaken at other institutions while a student is enrolled in high school or in the summer after high school. Such coursework is considered a part of a student’s preparation for a Penn education. It is used in consultation with the student’s academic advisor to inform decisions about placement into appropriate courses at Penn.

Students who enroll in regular undergraduate courses at Penn prior to their matriculation into an undergraduate degree program at the University, during the academic year or in the summer sessions, may elect to have that coursework merged with their undergraduate transcript, in which case it will count toward their undergraduate degree requirements, and the grades will be included in their grade point average.  

Advanced Placement

Examination Score Penn Credit Awarded
Art History 5 Waiver for ARTH 101 or ARTH 102, consult with undergraduate chair
Art (Studio) 5 No credit (possible exemptions for majors, portfolio considered)
Biology   No credit
Chemistry♦ 5 EAS 091 (1 c.u.), for Engineering students only
Computer Science A 5 CIS 110 (1 c.u.) (credit for "A" or "AB" but not both exams)
Computer Science AB 5, 4 CIS 110 (1 c.u.) (credit for "A" or "AB" but not both exams)
Economics    
  • Micro
5 Economics 001 waiver
  • Macro
5 Economics 002 waiver
English    
  • Language/Composition
  No credit
 
  • Literature/Composition
  No credit
 
Environmental Science   No credit
European History   No credit
French Language 5 French 202 (1.cu.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
German Language 5 German 104 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4

No credit, (must pass the department exam to fulfill language requirement)

Government and Politics   No credit
Human Geography   No credit
Italian Language and Culture 5 ITAL 201 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
Latin 5 Latin 204 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
Latin - Literature 5 Latin 204 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
Latin - Vergil 5 Latin 204 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
Mathematics AB   No credit
Mathematics BC♦ 5 Math 104 (1 c.u.)
Music Theory   No credit
Physics-B 5 Physics 101 (1.5 c.u.) and Physics 102 (1.5 c.u.)
Physics 1 5 Physics 101 (1.5 c.u.)
Physics 2 5 Physics 102 (1.5 c.u.)
Physics-C
(Mechanics)
5 Physics 150 (1.5 c.u.)
Physics-C
(Electricity and Magnetism)
5 Physics 151 (1.5 c.u.)
Psychology 5 Psychology 001 Waiver
Spanish Language 5 Spanish 202 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
Spanish Literature 5 Spanish 212 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  4 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
Statistics 5 STAT 101 waiver or STAT 111 waiver
United States History   No credit
World History   No credit

International Baccalaureate

Higher Level Examination Score Penn Credit Awarded
Anthropology   No credit
Biology   No credit
Chemistry♦  7, 6 EAS 091 (1 c.u.), for Engineering students only
Economics 7, 6 Economics 001 and 002 Waiver
English A/B   No credit
French A 7, 6 French 212 (1 c.u.)
  5 French 202 (1 c.u.)
French B 7, 6 French 202 (1 c.u.)
Geography   No credit
German A 7, 6 German 203 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  5, 4 German 203 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
German B 7, 6 German 203 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  5, 4 German 104 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
History of the Americas   No credit
History of Europe   No credit
Latin 7 Latin 204 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  6 No credit (fulfills language requirement)
Mathematics♦   No credit
Mathematics with Further Mathematics♦ 7 Math 104 (1 c.u.)
Music   No credit
Philosophy 7, 6, 5 Departmental review on case-by-case basis
Physics 7, 6 Phys 150 (1.5 c.u.) and Physics 102 (1.5 c.u.) 
Psychology 7, 6 Waiver for Psychology 001
Spanish A 7, 6 Spanish 212 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
  5 Spanish 202 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
Spanish B 7, 6 Spanish 202 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
Theater Arts 7, 6, 5 Departmental review on case-by-case basis

 An internal departmental examination is also available for credit.

GCE Advanced (A) Level Exam Policy

Examination Grade of A* or A or B Grade of C
Accounting No credit No credit
Biology No credit No credit
Chemistry A* or A = EAS 091 (1 c.u.), for Engineering students only   No credit
Economics A* or A = Waiver Econ 001 & 002
B = no waiver
No credit
English No credit No credit
Greek A* or A = Greek 204 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
B = no credit (fulfills language requirement)
No credit
History No credit No credit
Latin A* or A = Latin 204 (1 c.u.) (fulfills language requirement)
B = no credit (fulfills language requirement)
No credit
Math w/Further Math
(Edexel)
No credit No credit
Math w/Special paper w/merit
(Cambridge)
No credit No credit
Physics A* or A = Physics 150 (1.5 c.u.) and Physics 151 (1.5 c.u.)
B = Physics 101 (1.5 c.u.) and Physics 102 (1.5 c.u.)
No credit
Spanish A* or A = Spanish 212 (1.cu) (fulfills language requirement)
A- = no credit (fulfills language requirement)
B = no credit 
No credit