International student standing for a photo during New Student Orientation

International Application Guidelines

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, Abitur).

Our admissions decisions are made prior to the announcement of the results of many national examinations (such as the A-levels or the French Baccalaureate), so applicants are expected to be enrolled in programs that prepare them for these examinations. 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.

Where national examinations are required for admission to a pre-university program (e.g., GCSE, SPM, WASC, O-levels, or India's "Std X" examination), you should have received high marks on these exams and should present certified copies of the results with your Penn application.

Penn is a diverse community of students who contribute in many different ways, so we’re also interested in learning about your non-scholarly interests, community service, and extracurricular activities (while recognizing that patterns for non-academic involvement vary from country to country).

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.

  1. English is the applicant’s native language.
  2. 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. Where the TOEFL iBT is not available due to COVID-19, applicants can take the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition or the TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution. Please note that Penn does not currently accept the IELTS Indicator exam.

To learn about the TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo English Test and to register for the exams, please visit the websites below.

Prospective applicants who plan to take the TOEFL should register two to three months before the test administration date. Results should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Penn’s school code for the TOEFL is 2926. Penn does not accept the MyBest score feature from the TOEFL.

Be sure to designate Penn as a recipient university each time you register for an exam. If you have already taken a test but did not designate Penn as a score recipient, please do so afterwards.

COVID-19 Update: Testing agencies have cancelled multiple test dates in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We believe these are responsible decisions, and we recognize the impact this will have on students’ plans. Starting with the 2020-21 admissions cycle, we will accept the TOEFL, IELTS and the Duolingo English Test. Where the TOEFL or IELTS have been cancelled due to COVID-19, students can sit for the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition, the TOEFL IPT for China Solution or the Duolingo English Test. Please note we do not currently accept the IELTS Indicator exam.