University of Pennsylvania Requirements for Admission

What are University of Pennsylvania's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into University of Pennsylvania and build a strong application.

School location: Philadelphia, PA

This school is also known as: Penn


Admissions Rate: 8.4%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at University of Pennsylvania is 8.4%. For every 100 applicants, only 8 are admitted.

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This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don't meet their expectations, your chance of getting is nearly zero.

After crossing this hurdle, you'll need to impress University of Pennsylvania application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. We'll cover more below.


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University of Pennsylvania GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.88

The average GPA at University of Pennsylvania is 3.88.

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(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.88, University of Pennsylvania requires you to be near the top of your class, and well above average. Your transcript should show mostly A's. Ideally, you will also have taken several AP or IB classes to show that you can handle academics at a college level.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.88, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.


SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

University of Pennsylvania hasn't explicitly named a policy on SAT/ACT requirements, but because it's published average SAT or ACT scores (we'll cover this next), it's likely test flexible. Typically, these schools say, "if you feel your SAT or ACT score represents you well as a student, submit them. Otherwise, don't."

Despite this policy, the truth is that most students still take the SAT or ACT, and most applicants to University of Pennsylvania will submit their scores. If you don't submit scores, you'll have one fewer dimension to show that you're worthy of being admitted, compared to other students. We therefore recommend that you consider taking the SAT or ACT, and doing well.

University of Pennsylvania SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1500

The average SAT score composite at University of Pennsylvania is a 1500 on the 1600 SAT scale.

This score makes University of Pennsylvania Extremely Competitive for SAT test scores.

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University of Pennsylvania SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1440, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1560. In other words, a 1440 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1560 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Composite150014401560

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.


University of Pennsylvania ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, University of Pennsylvania likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 33

The average ACT score at University of Pennsylvania is 33. This score makes University of Pennsylvania Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.

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The 25th percentile ACT score is 32, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 35.

Even though University of Pennsylvania likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 32 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 33 and above that a 32 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 35 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to University of Pennsylvania, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 35.


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SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have an optional essay section.

University of Pennsylvania hasn't reported their stance on SAT Essay/ACT Writing, but most likely they consider it to be optional. Thus you don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that University of Pennsylvania requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



Final Admissions Verdict

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Because this school is extremely selective, getting a high SAT/ACT score and GPA is vital to having a chance at getting in. If you don't pass their SAT/ACT and GPA requirements, they'll likely reject you without much consideration.

To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1560 SAT or a 35 ACT. You should also have a 3.88 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.

For a school as selective as University of Pennsylvania, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application. We'll cover those details next.

But if you apply with a score below a 1560 SAT or a 35 ACT, you unfortunately start out with the odds against you and have a tiny chance of getting in. There are just too many students with high SAT/ACT scores and strong applications, and you need to compete against them.


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Want to build the best possible college application?

We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools.

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

Get Into Your Top Choice School

Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at University of Pennsylvania?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

Pick your test: New SAT ACT

ACT Score
Your GPA

Note: Your admission decision relies not only on your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but also on your coursework difficulty, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. This tool provides only a simplistic estimate of your chances of admission. Instead of treating this tool as a crystal ball, we recommend you consider the big picture of what your chance means:
  • 80-100%: Safety school: Strong chance of getting in
  • 50-80%: More likely than not getting in
  • 20-50%: Lower but still good chance of getting in
  • 5-20%: Reach school: Unlikely to get in, but still have a shot
  • 0-5%: Hard reach school: Very difficult to get in
We recommend you apply to schools across a range of chances. Applying to some safety schools will guarantee you have a college to go to, while applying to some reach schools will give you a shot at getting into the school at the top of your range.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

At PrepScholar, we've created the leading online SAT/ACT prep program. We guarantee an improvement of 160 SAT points or 4 ACT points on your score, or your money back.

Here's a summary of why we're so much more effective than other prep programs:

There's a lot more to PrepScholar that makes it the best SAT/ACT prep program. Click to learn more about our program, or sign up for our 5-day free trial to check out PrepScholar for yourself:

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Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of University of Pennsylvania here.

Application Requirements Overview

  • Common Application
  • Universal Application
  • Electronic Application
  • Essay or Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Interview
  • Application Fee
  • Fee Waiver Available?
  • Other Notes

Testing Requirements

  • SAT or ACT
  • SAT Essay or ACT Writing
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • Scores Due in Office

Coursework Requirements

  • Subject Required Years
  • English
  • Math
  • Science
  • Foreign Language
  • Social Studies
  • History
  • Electives

Deadlines and Early Admissions

  •  
    • Offered? Deadline Notification
  • Regular Admission
    • Yes
  • Early Action
  • Early Decision

Admissions Office Information

  • Address:

  • Phone:
  • Email:

Other Schools For You

If you're interested in University of Pennsylvania, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to University of Pennsylvania.





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Want to build the best possible college application?

We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools.

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

Get Into Your Top Choice School

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