University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Common Application



Early Decision: Nov. 1, 2016
Regular Decision: Jan. 5, 2017 

Essay Questions:

Common Application Essays:

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)

l   Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please          share your story.

l   The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

l   Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

l   Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

l   Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.


Supplemental Essay Questions:

  l    How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are         applying. (400-650 words) 

Documents Required 

  • $75 Application Fee or Waiver 
  • Official score reports from the SAT or ACT
  • Official score reports for 2 SAT Subject Tests
  • Official score reports of TOEFL
  • Secondary School Report and Counselor Letter
  • Mid-Year School Report 
  • 2 Teacher Evaluations

Other Information 

Address: Office of International Admissions
               1 College Hall
               University of Pennsylvania
               Philadelphia, PA 19104-6376

Phone: 215-898-7901 (Admissions Office)
Fax: 215-898-967
Application Info:

SAT/TOEFL Code: 2926
ACT Code: 3732