State College, PennsylvaniaLocation
    UniversitySchool type
    EStd 1855established year

    Pennsylvania State University 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

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    Rekha Solanki

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    The Pennsylvania State University is a public university which was established in 1855 and has its campuses spread across Pennsylvania. Penn State is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". This public university is considered among one of the best ranking national universities and is a great option for quality education in America.

    Pennsylvania State University is a well known university in Pennsylvania and admission in university can be competitive. Acceptance rate of the university was 50.3% in fall 2019.

    • The academic requirements vary in terms of graduate and undergraduate courses.
    • If not accepted for the main campus of Penn State, the applications are further considered for other campuses irrespective of the selected majors
    • 1st-year international applicants must complete the required number of credits in subjects like Mathematics, Physical science, Social Science, and Language in their high school.
    • The university does not provide admissions to the applicants on a conditional basis and hence meeting the academic requirements is a must.
    • International transfer applicants are assessed based on the strength of post-secondary curriculum


    Application portal International applicants: My penn state
    Acceptance rate 50.3% (in 2019)
    Application fee 75 USD for international applicants
    Mode of payment By credit card
    Penn State GPA (middle 50% range) 3.55 – 3.97
    Penn State SAT (middle 50% range) 1250 – 1430
    Penn State ACT (middle 50% range) 28-32
    Estimated tuition cost (International) 34,800 USD
    Academic calendar Semester-based
    Intake seasons Fall, summer, and spring
    Interview requirements Depends on course
    Financial aid Available for international students

    Pennsylvania State University Deadlines

    The graduate school of Pennsylvania State University does not have specific deadlines and applicants must ascertain their program’s deadline by contacting them individually or through their program page. Graduate school international applicants are suggested to submit their complete applications at least four months before their intended program begins.

    Semester Early action Final filing
    Fall semester December 24 July 1
    Summer semester December 24 May 1
    Spring semester Not available November 1

    Penn State University International Student Admission

    The University accepts applications from international students from over 130 countries and enrolled 7,497 international students in 2018. The application process for the first year and transfer applicants has different requirements. Pennsylvania State University does not partner with any agents or consultants in the world who assist applicants with any part of their application. International applicants are advised to contact the admissions office in case of any assistance.

    General Requirements

    International students may need to provide many different and additional documentation to complete their application for Pennsylvania State University.

    • Secondary and post-secondary Self-reported Academic records (SRAR)
    • Official transcripts
    • English Language Proficiency
    • Different standardized test scores
    • Program-specific requirements
    • Certificate of Finances
    • Mandatory health insurance (to be used after admittance)

    Financial and visa-related documents are not to be sent along with the application. Applicants must provide them only when requested by the Office of Global Programs.

    English Language Proficiency Requirements

    Since the medium of instruction at Penn State University is English, all international applicants must provide the minimum required test scores to prove their proficiency in English language.

    Program TOEFL iBT Paper-based TOEFL IELTS
    Undergraduate 80 550, 20 in each section(old) 6.5
    Postgraduate 80, minimum 19 in the speaking section A combined total of 3 sections should be minimum 60 (revised) 6.5

    While the scores mentioned are minimum requirements, some graduate programs may require a higher or different requirements.

    Country specific requirements

    Country Under graduation Post-graduation
    India Final examination scores of Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE)
    Council for Indian School Certificate (CISCE),
    State board result of X, XI .(mention score of XI while form filing.)
    4-year bachelor degree OR 3-year bachelor degree plus 1-year post-graduate diploma
    4-year bachelor degree OR 3-year bachelor degree plus 2-year master degree
    4-6 year bachelor degree
    Bangladesh Secondary School Certificate (SSC) AND
    Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC)
    4 year bachelor degree
    China cheng ji dan from junior year 3 and senior years 1, 2, and 3
    High school diploma
    4-6 year bachelor degree
    Nepal School Leaving Certificate.
    Higher Secondary Certificate Examination results.
    4-year bachelor degree OR 3-year bachelor degree plus 1-year master degree
    4-5 year bachelor degree
    Pakistan Secondary School Certificate/School Leaving Certificate and
    Higher Secondary School Certificate
    4-year bachelor degree OR 3-year bachelor degree plus 1-year master degree
    4-6 year bachelor degree
    • All the documents provided by the students must have an official stamp and signature of the issuing authority.
    • If the documents are in any other language than English then those documents must be translated in English.
    • Post-graduation students will have to provide their official degree certificate in which date of degree awarded must be mentioned.

    Visa Process

    Once admitted, international students will be contacted by the Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising (DISSA). Students will need to provide appropriate evidence of their finances. DISSA only processes a student's visa eligibility documentations, students must then refer to the admissions office.

    Pennsylvania State University provides an online system called iStart which hosts a set of pre-arrival instructions for all newly admitted international students.

    All international students will be provided eForms which must be completed with the required biographical and immigration- related information. I-20 or DS-2019 forms will be issued for the F-1 or J-1 visa requirements once all the forms have been filled, submitted and reviewed.

    Admitted students must pay the SEVIS fee at least 3 days prior to their visa interview. After scheduling an appointment with the US Embassy/Consulate, they must prepare the necessary documents. Once approved, a stamp will be issued on their passport.

    Penn State International Undergraduate Admissions

    Pennsylvania State University has over 7.000 international students from over 130 countries- about 10% of the undergraduate population. Penn State offers more than 275 majors, with 4 years of baccalaureate degrees in all 20 undergraduate campuses. At present, the university holds students for undergraduate courses. Applicants can contact Penn State undergraduate admissions for detailed information.

    Admission portal: International applicants can only apply via MyPennState to submit an online application for undergraduate courses.

    Application fees: 75 USD, which is non- refundable.

    Academic requirements: Applicants who have been instructed to complete their application without SRAR must send the following:

    • School records including each subject studied with marks/grade earned each year
    • A key of the marking system with minimum required passing score
    • Examination results of the secondary school leaving exam
    • Copies of diplomas or certificates
    • Standardized test scores
    • Minimum required scores proving English language proficiency
    • Course descriptions of all the classes taken (post-secondary institutes)

    Supporting documents: Applicants are required to provide an audition (fine arts/ music courses), a portfolio review, the geographic and cultural background of the student, the personal statement, and the activities list.

    Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institute to the university.

    Penn State International Graduate Admissions

    The university admitted only 1,938 graduate students out of 14,348 applicants in 2018 and provides more than 200 graduate programs.

    Application portal: Applicants can apply via MyPennState to submit an online application for the courses of their choice.

    Application fee: 75 USD (nonrefundable fee)

    Academic requirements: The admission requirements are program specific and may vary for some courses.

    • Applicants need to provide a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, comparable in standard and content to a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution
    • An overall scholastic average of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).
    • Official transcripts (mark sheets, courses records diploma)
    • English proficiency evidence
    • Special-program requirements (SOP, Resume/CV, essays)

    The Graduate school has the final approval of admission to all the programs. international applicants must provide all the official documents necessary within the specified deadline. Offer for admission may be revoked if the documents are not received in time by the graduate school or any false information is discovered.

    Courses Requirements Agricultural and Biological Engineering MBA MS in CS MHA MS in Engineering
    Application Deadlines Throughout year and semesters Spring and Fall
    Spring – August 1
    Fall – December 15
    Priority(with financial aid) – December 1
    Final deadline( with financial aid) – February 1
    Final deadline (without financial aid) – April 1
    Fall – December 15
    Spring- August 31
    February 1 Spring – August 1
    Fall – December 15
    GRE and GMAT scores Required Required Required Required Required
    IELTS/ TOEFL Required Required Required Required Required
    Letter of recommendation Three required Required Three required Required Three required
    CV/Resume Required Required Required N/A Required
    Statement of interest Required Required Required Required Required
    Additional Requirements Official transcripts of each institute attended Academic essay, video application response, Contact information of one reference N/A TOEFL score must be 550(PBT) or 213(CBT); GRE: 550 (for MHA) One official transcript as specified/needed
    GPA N/A 3.4(minimum) 3.0 (minimum) 3.5 (minimum) 3.0 (minimum)

    Applications are reviewed in a comprehensive manner, wherein high school grades, GPA, test scores, audition, a portfolio review, the geographic and cultural background of the student, the personal statement, and the activities list are taken into account.

    Pennsylvania State University does not provide financial aid to international students who are enrolled in an undergraduate program. However, there are several options for scholarships and financial aid available for international students.

    Applications are intimated about the admission decision in January for early actions. International applicants will be informed via mail about the admission decision. Decision time may vary depending on the program opted. International students may contact admission counselors for detailed information regarding Pennsylvania State University admissions.


    Ques. How much is the application fee?

    Ans. Application fees for Pennsylvania State University is $65.

    Ques. If I want to cancel my application can I get my application fees back?

    Ans. No, you cannot get your application fees back as it is non- refundable.

    Ques. Does Pennsylvania State University waiver application fees?

    Ans. No, Pennsylvania State University does not waive the application fees.

    Ques. Which type of payment mode is accepted by the University for Payment of application fees?

    Ans. You can pay you application fees by credit card, checks or money order.

    Ques. Do I have to make a new application if I am reapplying to the university?

    Ans. Yes, you will have to apply again and provide all the required documents and also you will have to pay application fees again.

    Ques. Is TOEFL/ IELTS necessary for applying in Pennsylvania State University?

    Ans. If you are from non-English speaking country then it is compulsory for you to take these tests and satisfy the minimum requirement.

    Ques. What is the acceptance rate of Pennsylvania State University?

    Ans. In fall 2019 acceptance rate of university was 49%.

    Ques. Is it necessary to convert scores into GPA?

    Ans. Yes, it is necessary to convert your scores into GPA. You can find the method of calculation online.

    Ques. Is it compulsory to provide a SAT/ACT score for international students?

    Ans. International students do not have to submit their SAT/ACT score.

    Ques. Which documents are considered official documents?

    Ans. Documents which are stamped and signed by the university, institution or issuing authority. Documents that are required to be provided must be in English and have stamps and seals from recognized authority.

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