While there are rare instances where additional information may benefit an application, we recommend that you think very carefully before sending in supplementary material. In most cases, too many extra documents can take away from the strength of an application. In short, keep it simple!
Below are guidelines to follow when submitting anything that is outside of the required documents. We cannot guarantee that supplementary materials will be reviewed during the application process. Materials outside of those listed below will not be considered.
One Additional Letter of Recommendation
As a matter of equity, Penn allows for only one additional supplemental letter of recommendation beyond those required. We ask that you only submit an additional letter from someone who knows you personally and whose perspective would add information not captured elsewhere in your application. (Letters from family members and close family friends usually do not provide information that is helpful to the evaluation process.) If you choose to submit an optional additional letter of recommendation, please submit it directly through the Coalition or Common App.
Expanded Resume or Research Abstract
Students who have completed notable academic research should use the activities section or additional information sections of the application to convey these achievements. If however there is a brief abstract or explanation of your work that you could not include in other required parts of the application, you may submit that as a supplementary material through your Penn Applicant Portal which becomes available to you once you submit the Coalition or Common App and the Penn Supplement.
Art or Music Sample
Students with exceptional and recognized talents in visual arts, performing arts, or music, should use the activities section or additional information sections of the application to convey these achievements. If however there are samples of your work that you could not include in other required parts of the application, you may upload them to an external host (personal website, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.) and then submit a document with any URLs/links as a supplementary material through your Penn Applicant Portal which becomes available to you once you submit the Coalition or Common App and the Penn Supplement.
Portfolios are not required and will only be reviewed in two instances:
Digital Media Design applicants are recommended to submit a portfolio that includes at least one drawing or painting as well as any other work that highlights your talent. All forms of media are welcomed. Submit pieces that highlight your sense of aesthetic taste and vision and your eye for composition. The Program encourages you to explore how the computer transforms your artwork and design ideas. Please limit your selection to 5-12 pieces, or a maximum of 5 minutes of video.
Transfer students applying to Architecture for sophomore standing are required to submit a portfolio. There is no specific number of submissions that must be included. Junior transfers are ineligible to apply to the Architecture major.
File Sizes and Types for Portfolios
We support media files as large as 5GB, but please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. Uploaded documents may contain no more than 75 pages. We support the following file formats:
- Video: .3g2, .3gp, .avi, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .mxf, .webm, .wmv
- Audio: .aac, .m4a, .mka, .mp3, .oga, .ogg, .wav
- Slide: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff
- Document: .doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd
- Upload Link