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How to Get Into UPenn: Admission Requirements & How to Apply?

Yocket Editorial Team

Do you, too, dream of joining one of the eight Ivy League institutes worldwide? With thousands of applicants vying for admission at such institutes, only a small percentage of the numerous applications are accepted, indicating their rigid selectivity and prerequisites. 

Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is a private Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university has 12 schools and colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the Wharton School of Business, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Perelman School of Medicine. Its worldwide popularity is depicted by its consistently high rankings on the global level, being ranked 12th by QS World University Rankings in 2024.

So, what are the requirements to enroll at Upenn? In this blog, we will discuss the University of Pennsylvania's admissions data, explain some challenges international students encounter, and offer professional advice to increase your chances of getting accepted at UPenn, amongst other relevant topics.

If you want to gain admission to one of the top graduate schools at UPenn, you have landed on the right page! In 2023 alone, Yocket has gained 45 IVY League admits, and assisted numerous students to get scholarships worth USD 9.5 Million! With 100% personalized counseling and end-to-end assistance, Yocket Premium Services is your one-stop solution for everything studying abroad.

Table of Contents

Why Study at the University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is a prestigious institution with a lot to offer potential students. UPenn consistently ranks among the best universities globally, with graduate programs like Nursing, MBA, and Finance, ranked 1st, 3rd, and 8th by U.S. News & World Report in 2023, respectively.

The University of Pennsylvania's graduate and professional programs strongly emphasize the interdisciplinary integration of knowledge. More than 6,000 graduate and professional students pursue 300+ degree and certificate programs in subjects ranging from women's health to accounting. It offers students the opportunity to learn from world-renowned faculty and have access to cutting-edge resources.

In 2023 alone, 13,309 international students applied for admission to the University of Pennsylvania's graduate schools, and 419 (3.1 percent) received admissions offers. Altogether, Penn had 6,887 international students enrolled at all levels in Fall 2023. This means that despite the selective acceptance rate of 6%, international students have a decent chance of getting in.

Approximately 35% of the international student population at the University of Pennsylvania consists of Asians, notably China, South Korea, and India. The diversity and inclusivity at UPenn will allow international aspirants to engage with people from varied ethnic groups, and the comprehensive programs will help them develop the skills and knowledge necessary to excel personally and professionally.

Now, let us discuss some prerequisites that Indian and other international students must meet to increase their chances of admission to the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Get into the University of Pennsylvania(UPenn)?

With a GPA of 3.68, Penn State requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need at least a mix of A's and B's, with more A's than B's. You can compensate for a lower GPA with harder classes, like AP or IB classes. It should come as no surprise that the admissions process at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school with an acceptance rate of just 6%, is demanding and extremely competitive. You must create an effective SOP, take standardized exams, submit other required paperwork, and meet specific requirements regarding English language tests to improve your chances of being admitted to UPenn as an international student.

International students applying to the University of Pennsylvania(UPenn) must meet the following criteria:

  • You should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1560 SAT or a 35 ACT.
  • Get a GPA of 3.9 or higher, with 96% of admitted students graduating in the top 10% of their previous university.
  • TOEFL score of 100, IELTS score of 7.5 or 135 in DET.
  • GMAT score of 728 or 162 in GRE verbal and quantitative.
  • Personal essays showcasing unique traits and diverse contributions
  • Strengthen your application with relevant extracurricular activities or achievements.
  • Recommendations from instructors who know your academic abilities and research potential.

In section will help UPenn comprehend who you are, what matters to you, and how you have positively impacted people around you. So, be honest, share truthful information, and include specific responsibilities for each activity.

Suggested: University of Pennsylvania - Acceptance Rate, Fees, and Courses

In the next section, explore some tips for getting into UPenn, which help you stay on track and be more confident with your application.

Tips to Get into the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is an incredibly selective school, with an acceptance rate of only 7.7% for the class of 2028. However, don't let that discourage you! With careful planning and execution, you can increase your chances of getting into this prestigious institution. Here are some tips to help you on your journey:

  • Academic Excellence: Aim for a GPA as close to 4.0 as possible and take the most challenging courses available to you, including honors classes. Demonstrate intellectual curiosity, by participating in class discussions, asking questions, and seeking out opportunities to do research or independent projects.
  • Seek Out Diverse Experiences: Branch out and try new things. This will help you develop well-roundedness and demonstrate your potential to contribute to the vibrant campus community at UPenn. Don't just join clubs to pad your resume. Find activities that you genuinely enjoy and where you can make a meaningful contribution.
  • Tailor Your Application to UPenn: Don't wait until the last minute to start working on your application. Give yourself plenty of time to gather all the required materials, write thoughtful essays, and ask for strong recommendation letters. Research the school's unique offerings and programs, and utilize the essays to highlight why you're specifically interested in attending UPenn and how you see yourself fitting into the campus community.

There is no guaranteed formula for getting into any college, but by following these tips and demonstrating your academic excellence, well-roundedness, and genuine passion for UPenn, you can increase your chances of joining the Quaker family.

Challenges of Getting into the University of Pennsylvania

As an international student, you might face certain challenges in your pursuit of study at the University of Pennsylvania. Read on to familiarize yourself with these challenges, so that you can prepare better and ahead of time. Some obstacles faced by international students when applying to UPenn include:

  • Some international students may need help to overcome linguistic and cultural challenges, which include everything from adjusting to a new teaching method to comprehending regional lingo. To facilitate this shift, the International Student and Scholar Services offers tools and assistance to international students.
  • For many international students, attending school in the United States can mean making a sizable financial commitment. In addition to tuition, which can cost anywhere from USD 60,000 - 1,20,000 / INR 49,82,130 - 99,64,260, other expenses including housing, healthcare, and personal costs must be borne too. Although UPenn provides some financial aid to overseas students, many still need to rely on loans, grants, or scholarships to pay for their education.
  • International students' psychological health and well-being are vital. Moving to a new place that is far from home can be stressful and harm a student's mental health. However, UPenn provides resources such as the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for students needing mental health support.

In the next section, let us discuss the MOST important aspect of studying at UPenn - the costs of attending.

Cost of Studying at the University of Pennsylvania

Tuition fees and living costs for international students at the University of Pennsylvania's graduate schools vary depending on the programs. Analyze the table below to get a rough idea about the total tuition costs at UPenn’s top graduate schools. To get information about program-specific costs, visit the official website.

Graduate School


School of Engineering

USD 34,065 / INR 28,28,450

Weitzam School of Design

USD 63,168 / INR 52,44,910

Penn Carey Law

USD 71,226 / INR 59,13,970

School of Medicine

USD 71,935 / INR 59,72,840

Wharton - MBA

USD 124,476 / INR 1,03,35,380

In the last section, we will discuss the unburdening factor of tuition and living costs for international students. Read on to learn about some scholarships and funding options available in and outside the University of Pennsylvania that can help you fund your education!

Scholarships for Studying at the University of Pennsylvania

To draw the top graduate students from throughout the globe, the University of Pennsylvania has been steadily boosting graduate student financial aid. One such move is the minimum stipend, which has risen to USD 38,000 / INR 31,54,870 starting in Fall 2024 from USD 30,547 / INR 25,36,100 in the previous academic year. The graduate aid package yearly consists of more than just a stipend. Instead, it covers general fees, health insurance payments, and tuition.

Apart from the in-house scholarships at UPenn, many external scholarships are also available to Indian students who want to study abroad. These scholarships can be awarded by government agencies, private foundations, or non-profit organizations. Some popular scholarships for Indian students include the following:

  • Fulbright-Nehru Master's and Doctoral Fellowship Program helps international students with at least three years of work experience pursue education in the US.
  • Aga Khan Foundation's International Scholarship Program provides funding for Indian students to pursue postgraduate programs at top universities across the world.
  • The TS Ambedkar Abroad Nisha Vidya Scholarship Program helps deserving SC and ST students pursue their studies in the States.

Admission Deadlines at the University of Pennsylvania

By the deadlines listed below, the application and all necessary supporting documents must be uploaded. The deadlines for UPenn's graduate school programs vary widely. Check the table below to familiarize yourself with the semester-specific deadlines, and for program-specific deadlines, check the official website.




April 2024

Fall 2025

December 1 - February 1, 2024

Spring 2025

September 1 - November 1, 2024

From the Desk of Yocket

Originally established as a charity school, the University of Pennsylvania has evolved into a prominent academy and eventually an Ivy League university. It is renowned for its interdisciplinary education and its twelve graduate and professional schools that cater to diverse fields like medicine, law, education, and design. UPenn's vibrant campus life with active student organizations, cultural events, and community service initiatives, serves the needs of every student.

Embarking on your study abroad journey alone could get overwhelming, wouldn't you agree? Well, do you know who can serve as a great companion? Yocket Premium! We are here to simplify every complicated step. Whether it is shortlisting and applying to prestigious universities like UPenn, or getting loans and student visas, our Yocket experts can guide you throughout. Book A FREE Consultation Call Today!

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Frequently Asked Questions on Getting Into University of Pennsylvania

Is the University of Pennsylvania a top-rated university?

What is the Ranking of University of Pennsylvania?

How many Indian students are at the University of Pennsylvania?

What is the cost of attendance at the University of Pennsylvania?

Is UPenn an ivy?

Is UPenn or Harvard better?

Is it hard to get into UPenn?

Is UPenn a top 10 school?

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