University of Pennsylvania: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League research university with an acceptance rate of 8.4%. While the University of Pennsylvania has a slightly higher rate of acceptance than HarvardYale, and Princeton, it is a highly selective school. To apply, students can use the Common Application, Coalition Application, or Questbridge Application. Penn has an Early Decision program that can improve admission chances for students who are sure the university is their top choice school.

Founded by Benjamin Franklin, Penn should not be confused with Penn State, a public university. From Penn’s location in West Philadelphia, Center City is an easy walk across the Schuylkill River. With nearly 11,000 undergraduates and a similar number of graduate students, Penn has a diverse and bustling urban campus. For its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, Penn was awarded a chapter of ​Phi Beta Kappa, and its strength in research has earned it membership in the Association of American Universities.

Considering applying to this highly selective school? Here are the University of Pennsylvania admissions statistics you should know.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, University of Pennsylvania had an acceptance rate of 8.4% This means that for every 100 students who applied, 8 students were admitted, making Penn's admissions process highly competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 44,491
Percent Admitted 8.4%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 67.3%

SAT Scores and Requirements

University of Pennsylvania requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 54% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 690 760
Math 730 790
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of Penn's admitted students fall within the top 7% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to Penn scored between 690 and 760, while 25% scored below 690 and 25% scored above 760. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 730 and 790, while 25% scored below 730 and 25% scored above 790. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1550 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Penn.

Requirements

The University of Pennsylvania does not require the SAT writing section. Note that Penn participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all SAT test dates. At Penn, SAT Subject tests are recommended but not required. Review the recommendations for your individual major regarding SAT Subject tests.

ACT Scores and Requirements

University of Pennsylvania requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 46% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 34 36
Math 31 35
Composite 32 35

This admissions data tells us that most of University of Pennsylvania's admitted students fall within the top 2% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to Penn received a composite ACT score between 32 and 35, while 25% scored above 35 and 25% scored below 32.

Requirements

The University of Pennsylvania does not require the ACT writing section. Note that Penn participates in the scorechoice program, which means that the admissions office will consider your highest score from each individual section across all ACT test dates.

GPA

In 2018, University of Pennsylvania's incoming freshman class had an average high school GPA of 3.88. These results suggest that most successful applicants to Penn have primarily A and B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

University of Pennsylvania Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph
University of Pennsylvania Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to University of Pennsylvania. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

The University of Pennsylvania, which ranks among the 20 most selective universities in the country, has a highly competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate and high average SAT/ACT scores. However, Penn has a holistic admissions process involving other factors beyond your grades and test scores. A strong application essay, supplemental essay, and glowing letters of recommendation can strengthen your application, as can participation in meaningful extracurricular activities and a rigorous course schedule. Students with particularly compelling stories or achievements can still receive serious consideration even if their test scores are outside of Penn's average range.

In the scattergram, the blue and green represent accepted students. You can see that the great majority of admitted students had a self-reported GPA of 3.7 or higher, a combined SAT score (ERW+M) of over 1200, and an ACT composite of 24 or higher. Hidden beneath the blue and green in the upper right corner of the graph is a lot of red, so keep in mind that even students who seem to be on target for admission get rejected from Penn. For any school with a single digit acceptance rate, it is best to consider the institution a reach school, even if your scores are on target for admission.