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University of Pennsylvania Admissions

university of Pennsylvania admissions

Get Into UPenn

About the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, is located on a 299-acre urban campus in Philadelphia, PA. There are 4,722 total faculty members in addition to 10,605 undergraduate students and 11,355 full-time graduate students. Penn is ranked #6 of National Universities, according to U.S. News and World Report, and is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Penn is well known for its athletic teams in addition to its academic opportunities. The Quakers have varsity teams in 31 sports and are a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

Within the larger university, students at Penn select one of four colleges for undergraduate study. There are also twelve graduate programs and schools on campus, including the Perelman School of Medicine, the first medical school in North America.

University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences or “The College” offers a liberal arts curriculum and a wide range of majors across the natural sciences, social sciences, and the arts and humanities. This is the largest of the undergraduate schools, enrolling 6,200 of the University’s c. 10,000 undergraduates.

Penn School of Engineering and Applied Science

There are c. 1900-2000 undergraduate students enrolled in the school of Engineering and Applied Science. Undergraduates can pursue majors in either Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) or Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) programs. The faculty-to-student ratio provides many opportunities for undergraduate research with Penn faculty in laboratories during the academic year and in the summer.

Penn School of Nursing

There are approximately 590 undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Nursing—the top nursing school in the world. This traditional four-year BSN program for graduating high school seniors offers clinical experience at nearby hospitals and the chance to participate in faculty-driven research. Students may also enroll in combined programs that integrate a nursing education with a strong liberal arts curriculum.

Wharton School

Nearly 2,500 students are enrolled at the Wharton School. All Wharton students graduate with the same degree: a bachelor of science in economics. However, during their course of study, students choose focused concentrations (such as accounting, business analytics, finance, or marketing, among many others). The Wharton degree, unlike a BA in economics, places an emphasis on how to apply business methods and economic theory to real-world problems.

Penn’s undergraduate students pursue more than 90 majors across these four schools. They also engage in interdisciplinary programs, forge new paths in research, and participate in international study programs offered in more than 50 countries.

Applying to the University of Pennsylvania

Penn accepts either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. They are also a QuestBridge partner institution for high-achieving students with significant financial need. Applicants may choose to apply through the binding Early Decision option (Nov. 1) or Regular Decision (Jan. 5). For those who apply ED, decisions are made in mid-December. Regular Decision applicants hear back by April 1.

In addition to the materials submitted online via the Common App or Coalition App, applicants must submit their official high school transcript, standardized test scores, school report, counselor recommendation, two teacher evaluations, a mid-year report and a final report (for matriculating students).

Interviews are offered based on availability. Although typically, more than 90% of applicants are offered an interview with an alumni volunteer, this depends entirely on availability and not on a candidate’s strength. For Early Decision applicants, these interviews take place from mid-October through early December. For Regular Decision applicants, they take place from December through early March.

Students are also asked to submit a mandatory writing supplement. This year, there are two mandatory essays:

How did you discover your intellectual and academic interests, and how will you explore them at the University of Pennsylvania? Please respond considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected. (300-450 words)

At Penn, learning and growth happen outside of the classrooms, too. How will you explore the community at Penn? Consider how this community will help shape your perspective and identity, and how your identity and perspective will help shape this community. (150-200 words)

Here are the first lines from a few applications UPenn admissions officers reviewed and accepted in recent years:

“My love of history began in a swimming pool parking lot when I bought a book on U.S. presidents from a guy selling stacks of paperbacks from the trunk of his car.”

“Before I even saw her, my adrenaline levels spiked. I had spent plenty of time with girls my age, but never with a woman quite as old and mature as her. My heart raced and beads of sweat formed on my brow as I searched for her. And then, suddenly, there she was: short, delicate—and almost 3,000 years old.”

“Silvia, a Grameen America loan recipient and Bronx resident, described the paint crumbling off the walls and the occasional rodent scuttling across her not-so-beautiful beauty salon; she also described the rewarding week of work she and her co-workers put in to fix “Silvia’s Salon” after receiving $1,500 from Grameen.” (Student admitted to Wharton)

“According to economics, an object becomes more valuable as it becomes scarcer. Having been born with cerebral palsy, I was the only disabled girl in my school—why wasn’t I valuable too?” (Student admitted to Wharton)

UPenn Admissions Wrap Up

Of the 44,960 students who applied to Penn’s Class of 2023 in the early and regular rounds, 3,345 were admitted, leading to an overall acceptance rate of 7.44 percent. Last year’s overall acceptance rate was 8.39 percent when Penn admitted a total of 3,731 students from 44,482 applications. Out of the total 3,345 admitted to the Class of 2023, 1,279 students were admitted through the early decision round.  The admission rate for the ED round was 17.99 percent out of 7,110 applicants. In the Class of 2023, 51 percent of admitted U.S. students self-identify as students of color, with 53 percent the year prior. 15 percent of students in the incoming class, around 500 individuals, identify as first-generation.

Top Tier Admissions Can Help You Get Into UPenn:

“Once again, I am so impressed with your program. I am amazed at the sheer 
amount B. accomplished in four days! Equally as important, she feels
 really great about her essays. She loved working with each of you as well as 
A. (a great pairing for her!).  

I know how hard each of you worked this week; I hope you get to enjoy some
 well-deserved R&R!” –N.G., Application Boot Camp parent
"G is excited to go to her first choice, the University of Miami! She continues to say that Application Boot Camp was the best investment we ever made for her education." –R.J., Application Boot Camp parent
"I liked the process of having multiple people read my essays before finalizing a draft. This made me confident that my essays were clear and concise while also captivating to a diverse audience. Everyone was also patient and encouraging. Boot Camp took away so much stress coming into Senior Fall, allowing me to focus on my academics and earning my highest term average ever." –S.A., Application Boot Camp student
"I know first hand how you run your business.  Off the charts ethical! We look forward to continuing our relationship with Top Tier's Application Boot Camp."
-Parent of Application Boot Camp (Dartmouth) students
"Thank you so much for your help and guidance. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you and the Top Tier Admissions Team! I'm still in between UPenn and Georgetown, but I will make sure to visit both." –S.I., Application Boot Camp student
"Clearly, Application Bootcamp and Top Tier took a lot of anxiety out of the whole situation. Our children know a number of kids who did not get into their top choice ED school, only to be devastated and stressed as they are without a plan for ED II and regular decision and have not worked on a range of essays for other schools. So while F & J’s EA-only strategy is not for everyone but made sense for them since they did not have a clear lead school when they were applying, being prepared made all the difference. The help Bootcamp provided in honing their voice and words into essays that reflect their intent was fantastic.In the end, it is all about having choices they are happy with, and I am happy to say they both have those now!"–F.A., parent of Application Boot Camp students
"E., I just wanted to let you know that I got into Barnard Early Decision! Thank you for everything you have done!!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you did for me! Thank You!!" - H.L., Personal Boot Camp student
Barnard, Class of 2023
"I wanted to say thank you again for all your help! I got into UPenn, Cornell, Barnard, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Tufts, University of Michigan, and Wake Forest, and am waiting to hear from Georgetown; I think I'm leaning towards UPenn. Thank  you so much for all your guidance; I don't think I could have done it without your help!" --I.R., Application Boot Camp student
"We are thrilled! Duke is absolutely fantastic and is the exact right fit for K. Application Boot Camp definitely helped her get into Duke during their most selective year in history, a year in which they turned away well over 2,000 Valedictorians. Thank you!" -Y.R., parent of ABC student accepted to 9 top-tier colleges
Y.R.
"Boot Camp was the most incredible experience. It made me push myself into thinking about my future and prepared me to send in all my applications. I am so thankful that I got the help I needed at Boot Camp because it made my application process effortless once I had completed my essays. I think that the colleges were able to clearly see my goals and ambitions through the writing of my essays. I believe this helped me have a very successful application process." –P.K., Application Boot Camp student
Barnard Class of 2022
"I just wanted to say thank you for all the help that I received during Boot Camp! I was able to do so much work and gain so much knowledge about the procedure of applying to college. I am so blessed to have had you as my best resources. I will definitely keep you posted when I start hearing from schools and thank you very much for all your help and feedback once again.” – L.L, Application Boot Camp student
"If there is any reference or feedback you ever want for a prospective client for Boot Camp, please send them my way. You and everyone handled the students so well - firmly, maturely, but with care and patience knowing this is a time of great pressure and anxiety for them. Having them finish with smiles, prepared for the next steps, and better yet - excited for the next chapter of their lives - is wonderful. I would tell anyone considering the program that for our children, they felt it was valuable, and for us, it delivers on what it promises - getting children ready, well-positioned, and less anxious for their application process." – S.P., parent of Application Boot Camp student
"I just wanted to send you a note of personal and heartfelt thanks for supporting B in Boot Camp. My wife was touched and very appreciative of your approach ('M. is a good soul.') and B left feeling challenged, but also confident, whole and supported. You probably figured out that she’s quite different from her brother! She talks about you warmly - you definitely made a fan and friend! Anyway, thanks for your personal, caring touch. She’s excited about what lies ahead." – J.T., parent of Application Boot Camp student
"I really truly cannot thank you enough for going the extra mile on the follow up call. B was mentally done and you somehow got her back on board! This mother of 3 is personally 'done' too!!! THANK YOU!" – F.K., parent of Application Boot Camp student
"I just wanted to let you know that I was accepted ED to Tulane!!  J, I want to thank you for all the time and effort you put in to working with me both in Boston as well as over the last few months.  M., I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go to Boot Camp. It was incredibly valuable. In fact, the head of college counseling at my high school said my 'Why Tulane' essay was the best she has ever seen!" – C.T., Application Boot Camp student
Tulane Class of 2023
"We are so happy to report that R was just accepted ED to Williams College!! Thank you so much for everything that you did to help her over the past year! She is thrilled!!" –T.S. & F.S., parents of Application Boot Camp student
Williams Class of 2023
"I am emailing you to let you both know that I have been accepted to the University of Miami and will be attending there in the fall! It's been a dream of mine for a long time and I couldn't be happier about it. I wanted to thank you again so much for your help and guidance. I really don't think I could have done this without you guys and I will be forever grateful. Your program is truly amazing and I am lucky I attended. Thank you again." –P.T., Application Boot Camp student
University of Miami Class of 2023
"Haverford's comment on 'awesome application and ...EASY to advocate for you' is due in no small part to you and the Top Tier BOOT CAMP and consulting. Yes, P did the work, but you guided us in the activities that she should spend her time on, and eliminate non 'core' activities that added little value as she became an upperclassman.She has punched above her weight, and because of K. and Top Tier she is on a path for a wonderful academic career.After we recover from the shock and celebrate, get ready for our next child to be a part of the Top Tier family!" – Parent of Private Counseling/Application Boot Camp student

"We want to let you know that S was accepted into Brown. We are thrilled for him and grateful for all your help and support! He also got into UT Austin!" – W.L., parent of Application Boot Camp student

Brown Class of 2023

"K applied ED to Franklin & Marshall and was admitted thanks to your help. They told his high school dean that they were very impressed by the quality of his application. Thanks for your help and all you've done for our family. P continues to thrive at Haverford as a junior." – A.K., parent of Application Boot Camp student(s)

"I wanted to let you know that I have been accepted by my first-choice school — the College of William & Mary! Thank you for your guidance in this process. I couldn’t be happier!" – M.J., Application Boot Camp student

College of William & Mary, Class of 2023
"This is to let you know that H. was accepted at Cornell!!  Cornell was her early decision school, and we learned that she got in this week. Thanks again to M., M., K., M., and the amazing Top Tier team! We very much appreciate all your help and support." – Application Boot Camp parent
"I GOT IN ED to Dartmouth! I am so grateful for all your support and the amazing ABC you run. I hope that other ABC students got good news as well! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! And a HUGE thanks all the TTA staff who helped guide me with my essays! I couldn't have done this without you guys! GO BIG GREEN!!!" - Application Boot Camp student
"R got accepted to Dartmouth! We are overjoyed. Thank you for all your guidance and prepping." – Application Boot Camp parent, Dartmouth
"P was accepted to Stanford (REA) last Friday! She attended ABC this summer as you know and couldn’t have done it without your team. Thank you so much for all your help. I have already referred my brother who has a 10th grader. Thanks again!" – Application Boot Camp parent, Stanford
"On behalf of S, I am pleased to share that she has been accepted to Dartmouth!  THANK YOU, for all you and your colleagues at Top Tier did to assist S with this accomplishment. Your guidance and counsel is truly invaluable. S is extremely happy and very excited about her future at Dartmouth College! She is both honored and humbled. Top Tier played a big part in her success!" – Application Boot Camp parent, Dartmouth
“We would like to personally thank you for your help in preparing P. and S. in the college admissions process. Boot Camp provided invaluable guidance. Those four days were a very productive and extremely worthwhile time. We are thrilled they are starting senior year stress-free in terms of the college application process. Finally, thank you a ton for helping them both from the very beginning and we feel extremely fortunate to have worked with you.” –A.R., Parents of two Application Boot Camp Students
“I am amazed at how much S. got done this week AND he was even smiling when we left!” –P.N., Parent of Application Boot Camp Student
“What a duo you are! Thanks again for your support, patience, and understanding this past week. C. is confident and rejuvenated but realistic. He will consider all that you have said when reaching his strategic decisions.” –T.A., Parent of Application Boot Camp Student
“My wife just texted me that R’s essays are fantastic! Thank you for all the great advice.” –A.F., parent of Application Boot Camp Student

Ready to Apply to UPenn? Try one these Top Tier options!

Application Boot Camp

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Try our flexible Personal Boot Camp!

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Private college admissions consulting starting as early as 8th grade.

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