University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 College Hall, Room 100, Philadelphia, PA, 19104

University of Pennsylvania Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate 6%
Acceptance Deadline January 5

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the best schools in the nation. It follows, then, that the University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate is one of the lowest in the country. The University of Pennsylvania ranks #6 among national universities according to U.S. News. UPenn is also one of the country’s eight Ivy League schools. 

The University of Pennsylvania provides an appealing academic experience for several reasons. For one, UPenn prides itself on its interdisciplinary approach to learning and a commitment to “service to society.” UPenn also attracts a diverse set of students. The 2027 incoming class represents 97 countries and 48 states. More than half of students identify as students of color, and 25% of those are from historically underrepresented races and ethnicities. Approximately 19% of students are the first generation in their family to go to college.

With such a diverse incoming class profile, it’s normal to wonder how to get into UPenn. Indeed, UPenn admissions are competitive. In fact, UPenn received 59,463 applications for its incoming class of 2027. In an effort to avoid applicants fixating on the UPenn acceptance rate, the UPenn admissions office did not release admission statistics in 2023. As such, we do not know the exact UPenn acceptance rate for 2023. 

However, the 2021 acceptance rate for UPenn of 5.68%. The latest UPenn acceptance rate was likely close to this percentage.

Undoubtedly, UPenn is one of the most sought-after institutions in the United States. As such, the college acceptance rate for UPenn is extremely low. However, do not let this low college acceptance rate deter you from applying.

Lastly, the low University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate does not necessarily make it a better school than any other. An acceptance rate simply shows that a school appeals to many students—not necessarily that it will provide the best environment for each of them. In fact, UPenn saw one of the greatest increases in tuition during the pandemic. This might mean that UPenn is not the right fit for every student, especially those who won’t qualify for financial aid. 

What is the UPenn acceptance rate?

The University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate is very low. However, the exact UPenn acceptance rate for 2023 is unknown. 

Still, the current UPenn acceptance rate is likely the same as or lower than its 2021 acceptance rate. So, you can expect the UPenn acceptance rate to be around 5.68%. 

Without a doubt, the pandemic shifted many aspects of college admissions, including college acceptance rates. In 2021, Ivy League admissions rates fell to the lowest percentages of all time. This stemmed in large part from an increase in applicants as these schools abandoned SAT and ACT requirements. 

As an Ivy League school, the UPenn acceptance rate saw a similar fate. In 2020, the acceptance rate for UPenn was closer to 9% according to Forbes. In 2021, it dropped to below 6%. As such, though the school did not release the 2022 UPenn acceptance rate, the trend indicates that the University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate likely stayed the same or decreased.

Is UPenn an Ivy League School?

Yes, UPenn is an Ivy League school. The school’s status within the Ivy League accounts in part for the low University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate. 

The Ivy League is a group of eight universities in the Northeast. Generally speaking, these institutions are thought to be some of the best universities in the nation (and the world). They have long histories of educating scholars, scientists, and world leaders.

However, being an Ivy League university does not necessarily make one school better than another for a given student. In fact, by definition, the title of “Ivy League” simply refers to schools that are part of a certain athletic conference. While these schools have a reputation for academic excellence, you can find a similarly strong curriculum at many schools without the Ivy League designation.

Indeed, UPenn’s status as an Ivy League school contributes to the low University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate. Several of the schools with the lowest acceptance rates are other Ivy League institutions, such as Harvard and Yale. 

What does the UPenn acceptance rate mean for you?

The University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate trends mean that every part of the UPenn application is important. As stated above, UPenn received 59,463 applications in 2022-23. The school evaluates each applicant holistically. This means that no one factor guarantees a student’s admission to the school.

The UPenn application requirements include your grades, two letters of recommendation, the Common App or Coalition App personal essay, and three short answer questions. Some programs may also require additional essays. While UPenn does not require applicants to complete an interview, you may receive the opportunity to attend one. 

Each piece of the application helps the admissions office understand who you are, what you are capable of, and why you would make a great UPenn undergraduate. So, make sure you approach every aspect of the UPenn application with thought and intention. This will increase your odds against the low UPenn acceptance rate. 

However, the UPenn acceptance rate might also signal that UPenn is not for you. For example, if you already have several “reach” schools on your college list, applying to another highly selective school might not be the right choice. Don’t just apply to UPenn because of its reputation—instead, make sure this top school truly meets your needs. 

Is it easier to get into UPenn Early Decision?

One way to increase the odds of being admitted to UPenn is to apply Early Decision. Applying Early Decision means that you submit your UPenn application by an earlier deadline. More importantly, it almost means that you commit to attending the school if you are admitted. This is known as a binding admissions policy.

Applying Early Decision to competitive schools lets you show the school that you are serious about attending. It generally also increases your odds of being admitted. In fact, for the class of 2026 at UPenn, 15.6% of Early Decision applicants were admitted. This means that the UPenn Early Decision acceptance rate is more than twice that of the Regular Decision UPenn acceptance rate.

Keep in mind that the UPenn Early Decision acceptance rate still isn’t high. Additionally, the ED pool tends to include more qualified applicants than the RD pool at any given top school. However, applying early will likely still boost your admissions odds. 

How to get into UPenn

When faced with the reality of the low University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate, many students wonder how to get into UPenn. The first and most important piece of advice is perhaps the simplest—use your UPenn application to tell your unique story. Allow all the pieces of your UPenn application to showcase your strengths, struggles, skills, and personality in a cohesive manner. 

Whenever possible, demonstrate how your values align with UPenn’s values of commitment to learning, community engagement, cultural engagement, and personal development. Start by learning about how these values show up in UPenn’s student body by reviewing their admissions page, scheduling a visit, and reading student stories

If you decide that UPenn is your dream school, consider applying Early Decision. After all, the UPenn Early Decision acceptance rate is higher than the Regular Decision acceptance rate. Make sure the teachers or individuals who write your recommendation letters know enough about you as a student and community member to speak to your strengths.

Other UPenn admissions statistics to consider

There are a few statistics that may be helpful to consider as you put together your UPenn application. For one, the average GPA of an admitted UPenn applicant is 3.9. This does not mean that having a 3.9 or higher GPA will guarantee you admission, nor does having a lower GPA mean you cannot be admitted. However, students whose GPAs are close to or above 3.9 increase their odds of admission. So, maintain high grades to boost your admissions odds. 

In 2020, UPenn joined the wave of schools that made test scores an optional part of the application process. As such, students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. However, the average ACT score range for the Class of 2027 was 34-35 and the average SAT range was 1510-1560. If your SAT or ACT scores fall within this range or above, they add strength to your application. So, you should consider submitting them.

University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate- Final Thoughts

The University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate is low, as UPenn is one of the best schools in Pennsylvania and in the nation. To be admitted, students need to demonstrate strong academic abilities along with a commitment to serving others and a passion for personal development. 

The UPenn application requirements are comprehensive, and the University of Pennsylvania acceptance rate is dauntingly low. If you want to maximize your admissions odds, personalized advising can make all the difference. Schedule a meeting here to learn more about how can help you craft a strong UPenn application. 


UPenn Admissions

The University of Pennsylvania, commonly known as UPenn or Penn, is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It’s no surprise, then, that the UPenn admissions process is competitive. This means that if you want to stand out in the University of Pennsylvania admissions process, you’ll need to prepare. 

Like other Ivy League schools, UPenn uses a holistic admissions process. The UPenn acceptance rate is in the single digits, making this a “reach” school for even the most qualified applicants. Through the rigorous UPenn admissions review process, the university seeks to admit only the best and brightest.

Since the University of Pennsylvania admissions process is so competitive, you should do all you can to make every aspect of your application stand out. By planning ahead and understanding every aspect of UPenn admissions, students can remove stress and uncertainty from the application process

Is UPenn a good school?

Yes—UPenn is one of the top schools in the nation. Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, UPenn has a rich history and a strong reputation for academic excellence. UPenn is universally lauded for its strong academic programs, experienced faculty, and rich campus life

UPenn academics

The University of Pennsylvania offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs across its 12 schools, which include the renowned Wharton School of Business, the School of Nursing, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Penn’s diverse range of programs allows students to pursue their interests and passions, wherever they may lie. In addition, UPenn’s strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning encourages students to broaden their perspectives and think critically.

UPenn’s faculty includes world-class scholars and researchers across all fields. Students have the opportunity to learn from and work alongside these distinguished faculty members, benefiting from their experience and knowledge. This commitment to excellence in teaching and research reflects the high caliber of education the university provides.

Life on campus

Campus life at UPenn is vibrant and diverse, offering students a rich array of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations. The university’s location in Philadelphia also provides numerous cultural, social, and professional opportunities for students.

Overall, UPenn offers top-notch academic programs, esteemed faculty members, and a diverse campus life. The University of Pennsylvania admissions process, while competitive, ensures that the university admits only the most qualified students. So, as students prepare to apply, they should keep in mind the rigorous nature of the UPenn admissions process. 

UPenn admissions requirements

Understanding how to get into UPenn starts with a review of the UPenn admission requirements. Overall, the UPenn admission requirements resemble the admissions requirements of many other top schools. 

Here are the UPenn admissions requirements:

  • Common App or Coalition Application & Penn-specific Essay
  • Official High School Transcript
  • Midyear Report
  • School Report
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Counselor Recommendation
  • Teacher Recommendation
  • Other Recommendation (either academic or non-academic)

Optional UPenn admissions:

  • SAT/ACT Scores
  • Artistic Portfolio

Academic excellence

First and foremost, the University of Pennsylvania admissions team looks for students with a strong academic background. Applicants should have a high school transcript reflecting a rigorous curriculum and consistent academic achievement. Taking Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses can showcase a student’s commitment to challenging themselves academically. Additionally, students should strive to maintain a GPA of 4.0 or above.

Standardized test scores form another component of the UPenn admissions process. Although UPenn has adopted a test-optional policy for the SAT and ACT, strong test scores can still enhance a candidate’s application. Applicants should aim for scores above the 75th percentile of admitted students—1560 on the SAT or 35 on the ACT. 

Strong extracurriculars

UPenn admissions also looks for students with robust extracurricular involvements. The university values students who have demonstrated leadership, commitment, and passion in their chosen activities. To increase their odds in the UPenn admissions office, applicants should develop a balanced profile that includes academic, community service, and personal interests.

Essays and recommendations

The UPenn admission requirements also include several personal essays and letters of recommendation. The personal essay allows applicants to showcase their personality, values, and goals. This gives the UPenn admissions committee a glimpse of the individual behind the numbers. Additionally, strong recommendations from teachers and counselors can attest to a student’s character, work ethic, and potential for success at UPenn.


Lastly, the UPenn admissions office may ask for an interview for some applicants (subject to availability). While not required, the interview allows students to further demonstrate their interest in the university and discuss their qualifications. If offered an interview, applicants should ensure that they prepare. This includes researching UPenn to ensure they can articulate why they belong at the university. 

Overall, the University of Pennsylvania admissions requirements include an excellent academic record, impressive extracurricular involvement, authentic personal essays, strong letters of recommendation, and potentially an interview. By understanding and preparing for these requirements, students can increase their odds in the competitive UPenn admissions process.

Building a strategy to meet the UPenn admission requirements will help students prepare for the application process. To learn more about UPenn, watch our panel featuring current students. Additionally, check out our essay guide to learn how to approach the UPenn supplements. 

What SAT score is required for UPenn?

There are no official UPenn SAT requirements. However, students should aim for strong SAT scores if they choose to submit them.

According to the 2022-2023 UPenn Common Data Set, the middle 50% of SAT scores ranged from 700-800 for Evidence Based Reading and Writing as well as for Math. 

Still, when it comes to the UPenn SAT requirements, there is no official minimum. However, the UPenn admissions process is highly competitive. This means that strong SAT scores can bolster your application. 

To increase your UPenn admissions odds, you should aim for a high SAT score. Still, the UPenn admissions process evaluates candidates holistically. So, while SAT scores play a role, other factors, such as GPA, extracurricular activities, and personal essays, will also impact UPenn admissions decisions. 

Additionally, the UPenn admissions office has implemented a test-optional policy. This means that, in addition to the lack of UPenn SAT requirements, students do not even need to submit scores at all. 

What GPA do you need to get into UPenn?

Overall, there are no official UPenn GPA requirements. However, students should aim for as high a GPA as possible—around a 4.0. 

During the 2023 UPenn admissions process, over 50% of admitted students had GPAs of 4.0, and another 36% of students had GPAs between 3.75 and 3.99. 

Since the UPenn admissions process is highly competitive, you should consider the unofficial UPenn GPA requirements to be around a 4.0. Once again, UPenn admissions seeks students with strong academic records. 

Understanding the UPenn GPA requirements

To increase your UPenn admissions odds, you should strive to maintain a high GPA throughout high school. The UPenn admissions committee evaluates applicants holistically, so GPA is not the only factor in UPenn admissions decisions. However, students’ grades are still a key component of the application process—after all, UPenn admissions looks for students who will succeed in a high-pressure academic environment. 

Additionally, remember that the UPenn admissions office considers the rigor of your coursework. So, taking challenging classes while maintaining a high GPA can further enhance your UPenn admissions prospects.

Does UPenn have rolling admissions?

UPenn does not have rolling admissions. Instead, students must submit their applications by a specific UPenn application deadline. They will then receive their UPenn admissions decisions all at once, either in December or March/April. 

University of Pennsylvania admissions typically offers two main application cycles: Early Decision and Regular Decision. 

Early Decision is binding, meaning that if a student is accepted, they commit to attending UPenn. In contrast, Regular Decision is non-binding, allowing students to choose among their acceptances. 

Both UPenn admissions cycles have predetermined notification dates. It is essential to be aware of the UPenn application deadline and adhere to it. If you miss the final UPenn application deadline, UPenn admissions will not review your application. 

UPenn Admissions Decisions – What to Expect

When awaiting University of Pennsylvania admissions decisions, applicants can expect a clear timeline. Depending which UPenn admissions cycle you select, you will receive your UPenn admissions decisions on a predetermined date. 

Once again, the UPenn application involves two main application cycles: Early Decision and Regular Decision. For Early Decision applicants, UPenn admissions decisions are generally released in mid-December in the UPenn admissions portal. UPenn admissions decisions for Regular Decision applicants are announced in late March or early April through the same UPenn admissions portal. 

UPenn admissions decisions typically result in three outcomes: acceptance, rejection, or the waitlist. 

Applicants receiving a UPenn admissions acceptance can enroll and pay their deposit through the UPenn admissions portal. Those waitlisted or rejected by University of Pennsylvania admissions may consider alternative options. 

Additionally, students will receive more information about financial aid around the same time that they receive their acceptance letter. 

University of Pennsylvania Tuition

Average Cost* $25,046
Average Total Aid Awarded $54,954
Students Receiving Financial Aid 45.77%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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Student Faculty Ratio 7:1

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Most Popular Majors
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UPenn Alumni at CollegeAdvisor

Ryan Afreen
University of Pennsylvania
I am an aspiring physician, educator, and social entrepreneur, interested in the intersection of medicine, business, and education. A rising junior at UPenn and an independent researcher, completing my BA in Neuroscience before matriculating at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I have cumulative years of experience in education consulting, helping students navigate their passion and highlight their uniqueness on paper. The college application process can be a fun, daunting, and challenging experience. As a college advisor, I ensure that every student feels welcomed, included, and has a success story to this rigorous journey.
Marisa Peryer
Yale University
Marisa graduated from Yale University with a degree in biology and science history in May 2021. She considered herself a born-again premed while on campus—juggling her role as a first-year counselor with freelance journalism in her spare time. Marisa was also the editor in chief of the Yale Daily News Magazine, and her writing has appeared in CNN, Popular Science, Salon, the Columbia Journalism Review, among others. She has coached students through the application process for four cycles, and students she has mentored have been accepted to top schools, such as at Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia. Marisa thoroughly enjoys watching students grow and become more confident in their applications, and she looks forward to joining you in the college admissions process!

Also Accepted to

Jasmine S. Phillips
Colby College
Jasmine attained a B.A. in history and American Studies from Colby College. During her time at Colby, she noticed the link between college accessibility, diversity, ability, and structural inequalities, which led her to pursue a graduate degree in higher education. She holds an M.S. Ed. in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. Jasmine has 5+ years of experience assisting students in their college and scholarship pursuits. Former students have earned Gates, Questbridge, Horatio Alger, and Jack Kent Cooke Scholarships. She has also helped students gain admission to top institutions such as Cornell, WashU, Colby, Bowdoin, Columbia, Emory, UC Davis, Yale, SMU, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Tulane among others. Jasmine's educational philosophy: student learning is the focus; student success is the goal. Jasmine was recently selected as one of six College Board Fellows, where she was recognized as a person-to-watch, national scholar, and rising leader in closing the educational attainment gap. She was also selected as a RESULTS fellow for her work as an activist and leader fighting against poverty.

Also Accepted to

Chi Chan
University of Virginia
Chi (he/him) is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Virginia, and holds a Master's in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania. With 4+ years of experience in higher education, his work in student affairs and admissions seeks to support students from marginalized backgrounds excel in post-secondary education. Chi calls West Virginia home, and enjoys seeking new food sites, hikes, and anything sports.

Also Accepted to

Katie Chiou
Brown University
Hi! My name is Katie and I'm a rising senior in Brown's Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) concentrating in medical anthropology. I've worked for over three years in college advising, with experience in essay editing and extracurricular advising. I specialize in BS/MD applications and interview prep.

Also Accepted to

Lara Van Rooyen
Hi! My name is Lara, and I'm currently a sophomore at Harvard College studying Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Psychology. I grew up in a small town in South Africa, with a graduating class of only 25 people (including myself!) and know firsthand how difficult it can be to navigate the college application process without the help of an academic advisor. Because of this, I am passionate about helping students from under-resourced high schools aim high and succeed in gaining admission to the colleges of their dreams! I am also excited to share my experience of being on a pre-med track at college, pursuing research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, being a STEM major, and engaging in various forms of volunteerism.

Also Accepted to

Deepak Kejariwal
University of Pennsylvania
Hello! I am student at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania studying Finance and Entrepreneurship Management. In high school, I was heavily involved with the start-up space as a founder, and I would especially like to share my experiences crafting my college application with business school applicants. I also can help you shine through your essays and identify your unique theme. At Penn, I am involved with two consulting clubs, the Students Federal Credit Union, a Venture Capital Diligence Team, and the Wharton Undergraduate Cohorts System. I'm super excited to work with you to help you get into the college of your dreams!

Also Accepted to

CollegeAdvisor Reviews from students accepted to UPenn

Shayan Shivji
University of Pennsylvania

Armaan Ramezani deserves an award for the amount of support and dedication he gave me to achieve my dreams. He kept me on track even when I was unmotivated and providing more than just college advice. Armaan has helped me grow as a person. CollegeAdvisor as an institution provides students with the best pairings of advisors who go beyond textbook definitions to invoke your true sense and self into your applications. I very much enjoyed this experience and would recommend it to anyone.

Iyanuloluwa Dare

When I reached out to CollegeAdvisor, they supported me with their program and helped me through the signup step-by-step. I was matched with my mentor. She helped me realize my best fit and find my authentic voice through my passions, experiences and challenges. She encouraged me to weave these experiences into my essays which made them stand out. She went above and beyond to support me through the stressful time of college applications and I am so appreciative of how this program supported me into getting into some amazing schools.

Jennifer Lawrence
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gabe was absolutely wonderful as an advisor. He was very thorough with both grammatical and content edits in my essays, as well as very knowledgeable whenever I had questions about the process. I primarily needed CollegeAdvisor for assistance in crafting my essays and activity descriptions and didn’t really make use of any of the offered webinars/workshops; I also had my college list already picked out when I came to CollegeAdvisor, so I didn’t receive much help there either, but Gabe did help me do some research on schools that I was applying.

Francesco Efrem Bonetti
Harvard University

When I started the application process as an international student, nobody around me knew what it consisted of. The time we had available was short and I immediately got along with Genevieve. I was able to portray the full picture of my personality and interests. The application process for colleges in the US is very specific and as an international student with no experience in the USA, getting advice from “insiders” was very helpful. What I loved about CollegeAdvisor is that I was always at the center of the creative process as the only one writing my application.

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