Penn GSE is one of the most diverse schools on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus. We have students from all walks of life in various stages of their education and careers, coming from more than 35 countries across the globe, representing nearly 40 percent of our student body. 

International Student Application Requirements

In addition to the standard application requirements, international students should review the instructions for English language requirements and transcript evaluations. Due to the additional time associated with the international credential evaluation process, international applicants are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and begin gathering their transcripts at least 12 weeks in advance of the stated program deadlines.

English Language Proficiency Exams (TOEFL/IELTS)

The internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language: TOEFL (iBT) or the International English Language Testing System: IELTS is required of applicants whose native language is not English. If you have an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in which the sole language of instruction is English, you are exempt from this requirement. 

If you are submitting TOEFL (iBT) scores, request an official copy of your scores to be sent directly to Penn GSE using institution code 2943. To submit IELTS scores, request an official copy of your standardized test scores to be sent directly to Penn GSE using the IELTS E-Delivery Account Name: University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Confirm that you have selected the correct department by verifying that the associated address is for the account is: 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216.

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid and reportable within a two-year period from the original test date.

Transcript Evaluation

All students must have (or will have prior to matriculation) the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree to be considered for admission. Applicants with international degrees and/or coursework must have their educational credentials evaluated, course-by-course, using a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation includes elements related to your prior studies: (1) the courses taken as part of your studies; (2) the grades received for those courses; (3) the actual degree or title conferred; and (4) the date the degree was conferred or awarded. For a list of NACES agencies, go to

Penn GSE does not accept transcripts directly from institutions outside the U.S. nor English language translations of such transcripts. Any document uploaded as a transcript for an institution outside of the U.S. without the NACES course-by-course evaluation will not be reviewed and your application will be considered incomplete. Be mindful of the application's deadline and plan in advance; transcript evaluations can take 8-12 weeks to complete.

While Penn GSE accepts course-by-course evaluations from any NACES member,  many of our applicants have been successful using: 

Financial Aid for International Students

Find information on funding and financial aid on the Penn GSE Funding Opportunities and External Funding Opportunities pages.

Applicants seeking an F-1 or J-1 Visa

International applicants seeking a non-immigrant visa must submit additional documentation to obtain their I-20 or DS-2019. Please visit the Office of International Student & Scholar Services for a list of these required documents. Once your complete I-20/DS-2019 application is submitted, it will take approximately three weeks to process. We encourage all international applicants to apply for admissions early to have ample time to complete the entire visa process. 

STEM OPT Eligible 

Did you know that several of our programs qualify as approved STEM fields of study? Eligible F-1 students with STEM degrees who finish their program of study and participate in an initial period of regular post-completion OPT (often for 12 months) have the option to apply for a STEM OPT extension (for 24 months). Qualifying STEM programs include:

Resources for International Students

Row of national flags.

International Student and Scholar Services

ISSS aims to provide immigration assistance, extensive FAQ, an online step-by-step guide (with a video to help walk new international students through the I-20 application process), and a sense of community for the international population at the University of Pennsylvania.

A globe with a Penn GSE ribbon painted on it.

First Steps to Studying in the U.S.

EdUSA is a U.S. Department of State network of over 400 international student advising centers in more than 170 countries. Locate your nearest advising center.

Contact Information

Office of Admissions & Financial Aid
University of Pennsylvania
Graduate School of Education

3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-6415