Application Information for International Students

We are happy to assist you as you consider Penn GSE. Review the content on this page carefully and direct any questions you have to us.

In addition to the standard application requirements, international students should review the additional instructions for transcript evaluations and standardized test requirements. Due to additional mailing and processing time associated with international credentials, international applicants are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and begin gathering their transcripts at least 12 weeks in advance of the stated program deadlines. All application materials must be submitted by the stated program deadline.

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. Be mindful of the application's deadline and plan ahead to have an evaluation processed. 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. Transcript evaluations can take 8-12 weeks to complete.

Standardized Test Requirements

In addition to taking the GRE, international students who do not have an undergraduate or a graduate degree from a university or college where English is the primary language of instruction must take either the internet-based, Test of English as a Foreign Language: TOEFL (iBT) or the International English Language Testing System: IELTS

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 score to be mailed from the testing center to:

Penn GSE Admissions
3700 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Scholarship Opportunities for International Students

Penn GSE Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships

All students, regardless of citizenship, are automatically considered for Penn GSE merit-based scholarships. Penn GSE merit scholarships provide partial tuition support to full-time students in their first year of study at the master's level. International students are also eligible to apply for graduate assistantships

Penn - Grad Center and Family Center Fellows

The Graduate Student Center at the University of Penn offers several fellowship opportunities for current graduate students interested in work at the Grad Center or the Family Center. Responsibilities include staffing the centers, overseeing events, and/or supporting programs.

Any student who is currently and will be registered as a University of Pennsylvania graduate or professional student during the next academic year is eligible to apply for a Fellow position

Penn-UNESCO Fellowships for Developing Country Scholars

Students accepted into the International Educational Development Program (IEDP) may apply to receive one of two full-tuition international fellowships under the Penn GSE–UNESCO Chair, founded in 2012. This fellowship, under the auspices of the International Educational Development Program, is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is designed to support promising professionals devoted to international education in the developing world.


External Financial Aid Resources

The following is a partial list of scholarships available for international students.

Aga Khan International Scholarship Programme

The Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from select developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies, in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, primarily within the AKDN. Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant: 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July. The Foundation gives priority to requests for master's level courses.

American Association for University Women (AAUW)

International Fellowships are awarded for full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Both graduate and postgraduate studies at accredited U.S. institutions are supported. Scholarships can be up to $18,000 USD.

Becas Don Carlos Antonio Lopez Scholarship Program (Paraguayan Citizens Only)

The Carlos Antonio Lopez Scholarship Program for the Strengthening of Research, Innovation, and Education (CAL Program) is administered by the Ministry of Finance of Paraguay on behalf of the Carlos Antonio Lopez Scholarship Office. This scholarship can cover up to $90,000 of the total cost of a master’s program. Full eligibility and requirements can be found here.

Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship

The Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program confers fellowships for Master’s degree-level study in the U.S. in the fields of business administration, economics, education, environmental policy and management, international affairs, journalism/mass communications, law, library and information science, public administration, public health and public policy for students and professionals from Eurasia. Candidates are recruited through a merit-based competition administered by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX).

Inlaks Scholarship (Indian Citizens Only)

Inlaks Scholarships provide the opportunity to young people with exceptional talent in any field to broaden their vision abroad and improve their skills to operate in society, thus making them a future vehicle of change in their environment.

The Inlasks Scholarship is open to all Indian citizens who are residents of India at the time of application. Applicants must receive an offer of admission from eligible university, prior to applying to the Inlaks Scholarship. 

Margaret Mcnamara Memorial Fund (MMMF)

The MMMF awards education grants on a competitive basis to exceptional women from eligible developing countries who have financial need and are committed to working to empower women and children. Applications are made online at the MMMF website during periods indicated for each program cycle (US/Canada, South Africa and Latin America).

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships

Every year, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports thirty new Americans, immigrants, or the children of immigrants, who are pursuing graduate school in the United States. 

Each Fellowship supports one to two years of graduate study in any field and in any advanced degree-granting program in the United States. Each award is for up to $25,000 in stipend support, as well as 50 percent of required tuition and fees, up to $20,000 per year, for one to two years. 

Applications open in mid-April, for the following academic year, and are due on November 1st. Full eligibility requirements can be found here

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarships

The International Peace Scholarship Fund, established in 1949, is a program which provides scholarships for selected women from non-U.S. countries for graduate study in the United States and Canada. Members of P.E.O. believe that education is fundamental to world peace and understanding. Scholarships can be up to $12,500 USD.

Rotary International Global Grants

The Rotary Foundation Global Grant scholarship funds graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years. Grants can be used to fund scholarships with sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of Rotary’s six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development. The minimum budget for a global grant scholarship is $30,000 USD.