Are you trying to figure out how to get into UPenn? We've got you! The University of Pennsylvania is one of the eight Ivy-league league schools known for their highly selective admissions process, academic excellence, and large alumni networks. It's no wonder that every year, thousands of students across the globe submit applications in the hopes of getting admitted. With that kind of competition, it is essential to have all the information necessary to create a compelling application. This blog will go over admission statistics, requirements, and everything else you need to know to be a competitive applicant and get into UPenn.

Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa. 

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Article Contents
7 min read

The Mission Statement The Undergraduate Curriculum The Admissions Statistics The Selection Factors Essays Interviews The Application Process The Contact Information FAQs

The Mission Statement

UPenn's mission is “to strengthen the quality of education, and to produce innovative research and models of healthcare delivery by fostering a vibrant inclusive environment and fully embracing diversity.”

The Undergraduate Curriculum

Undergraduate students at the University of Pennsylvania have the opportunity to pursue nearly 100 majors and engage across disciplines to forge new paths in research and scholarship. These majors are offered across the four different undergraduate schools at UPenn. Students actually have to choose between one of the four schools, a coordinated dual-degree, accelerated, or specialized program when applying to the university. This choice will serve as a home base throughout their academic journey. Starting with the admissions process, as the applications are reviewed in the context of the school or program to which the student has applied. It also continues throughout their undergraduate career, as their chosen school or program will shape their curriculum.  

Interested in seeing an overview of what's covered below? Take a look at this infographic:

Penn is home to these four undergraduate schools: 

The College of Arts and Sciences

With over 50 different majors and 2000+ courses, this is one of the largest schools at UPenn. It is the home of various disciplines spanning the natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, and humanities. This particular college looks for applicants who are curious about the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, who can apply classroom knowledge to the real world, and who have a solid preparation in a balanced and advanced college preparatory curriculum.  

The School of Nursing

The school of nursing offers a flexible curriculum that ensures that all nursing students are able to take courses in Penn’s other schools. Beyond just taking courses, they also have dual degrees that are pretty unique. For example, the dual-degree Nursing and Health Care Management program at Wharton is particularly popular. Additionally, the school also partners with top-ranked teaching hospitals and clinical agencies for students to get the best clinical experience. Applicants to this nursing school need to show that they are committed to patient care and exploring issues in health care. They also need to have a strong background in the sciences, particularly in chemistry.


Penn Engineering

UPenn offers two degree programs from this school - the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) and the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS). While BSE is the flagship degree for professional engineers and computer scientists, the BAS gives students more flexibility in combining engineering, science, and technology with interests beyond engineering. Both programs emphasize teamwork, communication, and ethics by providing students with a hands-on and collaborative learning experience. Applicants to the School of Engineering and Applied Science school will need to express their reasons for pursuing an engineering education in their application. The school looks for students with a strong background in physics and mathematics, especially calculus, as well as the ability to apply scientific knowledge and the potential to innovate and design.  

The Wharton School

The Wharton business school is home to UPenn’s famous MBA program, and its undergraduate business program is just as impressive. Wharton school offers a comprehensive program that includes extensive study in the liberal arts and sciences, allowing students to pursue highly customized business degrees. Wharton looks for applicants who show leadership potential and are interested in the world’s economic and social well-being. It is also best to have a strong background in mathematics.

The Admissions Statistics

Acceptance rate: 6%

For every hundred applications that UPenn received, only six applicants were offered admission, making it one of the most selective schools in the country. Since the school does not have a minimum GPA requirement or SAT score, it’s important to learn more about how admitted students perform on some key academic indicators. For the most recent lass of matriculants, the SAT scores ranged from 1490 to 1560, and the ACT composite score is 33-35. Additionally, ninety-three percent of the admitted students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

The Selection Factors

UPenn has comprehensive admissions review process that aims to find students who are inspired to emulate their founder Benjamin Franklin by being in service to society — their community, the city of Philadelphia, and the wider world. The admissions process focuses on getting to know applicants through what they call a comprehensive whole-person review. This review process includes four key components: 


Although a strong academic background alone is not enough to guarantee admission to UPenn, it is an essential factor. The simple truth is that if you’re hoping to get into this college with a low GPA, you will need to have very impressive SAT scores, recommendations and essays. admissions board basically wants to know what kind of student you are, if you're prepared to take on the required courses for your degree and how you respond to a challenging curriculum. To help them answer these questions, the admission board looks at:


In an effort to understand who you are as a person and what you can contribute to the Penn community, UPenn asks applicants for information about their extracurricular activities. This can include things like sports, school clubs such as the debate team or theatre, part-time jobs, or anything that you do outside school that could be relevant to your application. You do not need to put your entire high school resume on your application, but you should provide the admissions board with detailed information about your involvement in the activity in question. You should include a list of your responsibilities and the time commitment the activity requires. This will help the admissions board figure out what transferable skills you may have gained from your chosen extracurriculars. 


UPenn applications require at least three different college essays. Applicants need to submit a personal statement two UPenn-specific supplemental essays, and some programs may also ask for an additional essay. You should give yourself at least six weeks to brainstorm, write and edit your college essays to ensure they are as compelling as possible. Additionally, if you need some guidance or want to maximize your chances of writing an outstanding essay, you may want to reach out to a college essay advisor. 

Would you like to hear some quick tips to help you improve your college essays? Check out this video:

The supplemental essay questions can change from one year to another, but to give you an idea of what to expect, here are the recent prompts provided by UPenn: 


UPenn interviews are organized through a volunteer alumni program, which means that you will be sitting down with a former UPenn student. Interviews are offered based on volunteer ability rather than the strength of your application. That said, typically, 90% of applicants receive an invitation for an interview. They are not a required part of the admissions process, but we highly recommend accepting the invitation if you receive one.

Alumni interviewers will contact Early Decision applicants between mid-October and the last week of November, and Regular Decision applicants between December and February. It would help if you started preparing for UPenn interview questions as soon as you submit your application, instead of waiting till you receive an invitation. You should review common college admissions interview questions and prepare answers to tricky questions such as "tell me about yourself" or "what will you contribute to your future college campus community." 

The Application Process

UPenn is one of the many schools that use Common app, and they also accept the Coalition Application. Applicants have the option of applying through the Early Decision program or the Regular Decision. UPenn's Early Decision application program is binding, meaning that applicants have to agree that if admitted, they will be withdrawing all pending applications to other universities and enrolling at UPenn.   

There are three possibilities when you apply for an early decision at UPenn. The first, and what most applicants are aiming for, is acceptance. The second is a deferral, which means that your application will be considered further down the road in the context of the regular decision applicants pool. The last possibility is a denial of entry. Early Decision applicants have to submit their application by November 1st. They will be advised of the exact date and time of the decision release at least one week ahead of time. They will have until January 5th to confirm their enrollment to UPenn.

If you're a regular decision applicant, the deadline to submit your application is on the 5th of January. You will receive a response from the admissions board by mid-April, letting you know which of the three possible outcomes is applicable for you. You could be admitted into the University of Pennsylvania. In which case, you will have until May 2nd to accept or decline the offer of admission. You may also be placed on the waitlist and do not currently have a seat in the incoming class. In this case, your application will be reconsidered for admission later in the spring or summer. The last option is rejection. If you are still interested in attending UPenn, you are welcome to re-apply during the next application cycle. 

The Contact Information 

University of Pennsylvania (Upenn) Website

University of Pennsylvania (Upenn) Admissions Website

Email: [email protected]


1. Is UPenn a state school?

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is a private ivy league institution. It has no affiliation with Pennsylvania State (Penn State) University. 

2. What GPA do you need to get into UPenn?

UPenn does not have a minimum GPA requirement. Still, considering that over 90% of the recently admitted class graduated in the top 10% of their high school class, we can confirm that you need to have a strong academic background to get admission. 

3. What are the undergraduate schools at UPenn?

There are four undergraduate schools at UPenn. The School of Engineering and Applied Science, The College (School of Arts and Sciences), The Wharton School, and The School of Nursing.

4. Is UPenn really the most selective Ivy League school?

UPenn is one of the most competitive schools in the country, but it is not necessarily the most selective of the Ivies. Columbia and Harvard actually have lower acceptance rates. 

5. Does UPenn accept international students?

Yes, it does. Almost 15% of the most recently admitted class is made up of international students from across the globe. 

6. Is the University of Pennsylvania a good school?

UPenn is a great school with a rigorous curriculum, a great reputation, a large alumni network and great campus life, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good school for you. You should take the time to research the school and find out if it is right for you! 

7. How hard is it to get into UPenn?

The average acceptance rate of UPenn is 6%, which means that for every 100 applicants, 6 of them received an offer of admission. You need a strong application to be one of those 6. 

8. How can I improve my chances of getting into UPenn?

You can improve your application by working to ensure you have high grades and good SAT scores, giving yourself time to research the undergraduate school you will be attending, and preparing strong application components. You should consider investing in college admissions consulting to increase your chances even more. 

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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