How to Apply

Application, admissions, C&I

Thank you for your interest in studying with us! Applicants with appropriate academic and professional backgrounds are carefully considered for admission, subject to the availability of program resources. Most application materials are submitted online through the Graduate School application website. Our program admissions requirements:

  • Either (1) a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or (2) a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree, from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.
  • A written statement of purpose (your goals and objectives relative to graduate studies).
  • Contact information for two references. The application system will contact your referees to request the actual letters of reference.
  • Recent scores (no more than five years old) for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants for the doctoral degree are strongly encouraged to take the GRE. Students with excellent academic records who wish to be considered for fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships should take the GRE, as must applicants to the Language, Culture, and Society (LCS) emphasis area. At the discretion of an emphasis area, a student may be admitted provisionally for graduate study without these scores, subject to scheduling and taking the exam.
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended.
  • A written review of a relevant publication. (For details, see our Admissions FAQ)
  • Most international applicants are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, with some exceptions (see Admissions FAQ).
  • Payment of a non-refundable graduate application fee.

Please note that you may apply to only one Penn State graduate degree program and campus at a time. The Graduate School will not consider concurrent applications for admission and does not act upon application without a specific program's recommendation to offer admission. Individuals who already hold a doctorate are discouraged from applying for a second doctoral degree (see the Graduate School's Policy on Second Doctorates).

Applications for M.S. and M.Ed. studies are considered as they are received and coursework may begin in the Fall or Spring semesters or the Summer Session. Most doctoral programs begin in the Fall, and Ph.D. applications should be submitted by December 15 if you wish to be considered for fellowships and assistantships.

When you apply, you will electronically upload copies of transcripts for all of your post-secondary studies, as well as copies of an official English translation if English was not the language of instruction.  Applicants who accept an offer of admission will be notified by the Graduate School that official transcripts and related documents must be received via post to finalize the offer of admission. Offers of admission will be revoked if requested documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission.  For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.

To apply for admission to a different graduate degree program at Penn State, review the instructions on the respective program's website. A list of degree program web sites may be found on the Graduate Programs of Study web page. The website of each graduate program will lead you to the Graduate School online application.

If you wish to apply only for Level I Instructional, Supervisory, Educational Specialist, and Administrative certification (issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education upon the recommendation of the University), but not for a graduate degree, choose "Pennsylvania Educators Level I Certification" as your degree selection. Additional information regarding certification may be found at The Penn State College of Education or by calling (814) 865-0488.

The application requirements and review process for graduate studies in Curriculum and Instruction through the World Campus is identical to that of residential study at University Park; however, you will indicate "World Campus" as your desired campus in the online application. For more information, including further admissions requirements for international applicants, please consult the Penn State Graduate Degree Admissions Bulletin and our Frequently Asked Questions about Applying.