Gate at Houston Hall entrance to Penn's campus on Spruce street

Comprehensive Review

When our Admissions Selection Committee reads applications (and we read all of them), we look for students who are inspired to emulate our founder Benjamin Franklin by being in service to society — to our community, the city of Philadelphia, and the wider world.

We take your desire to come to Penn as seriously as you do. We meet in teams to discuss all parts of your application so we can look beyond the words on the page to discover the intangible qualities that make you uniquely you.

The video below describes the elements of the comprehensive review process we use at Penn and what we look for in an application. It also provides advice on how you can approach each section of your application. This video is helpful for students, parents, counselors or anyone wanting to further understand the comprehensive review process at Penn. We discuss academics, activities, essays and interviews – give it a watch!

And when you’re done, be sure to explore the additional information provided on this page about all the elements of the comprehensive review process at Penn, what we look for, and how you can prepare your strongest application.


“What you seem to be, be really.” - Benjamin Franklin