Steps to Apply for International Students

These steps to apply for international students will help you understand what is required for your Penn State application. 

Steps to Apply

The first step of the application process is to create a MyPennState profile, if you do not have one already. MyPennState is where future students can access the online application.

If you are new to MyPennState, you will need to establish a Friends of Penn State (FPS) ID and password, which you will access during the MyPennState profile creation process. Once you have your log in information, you can sign in to begin work on your application.

When creating the profile, please use the name that is on your passport. Because materials are filed alphabetically under the family name on the application, it is important that all correspondence and records consistently use the same name (family and given) and spelling. If this name does not match your academic records, please notify us of the difference. Please note: In the U.S., the family name is usually referred to as the last name, and the given name is referred to as the first name.

Additionally, Penn state requires a current, valid email address, as that is our primary means of communication with international students. To ensure deliverability, please make Penn State (psu.edu) an eligible sender to the account.

While you can create a MyPennState profile at any time, the application for admission becomes available on the following dates:

Fall/Summer Admission: September 1

Spring Admission: June 1

The application submission dates vary by applicant type and intended program of study. Some programs have specific deadlines or admissions requirements. Please refer to our Dates & Deadlines for more information about application deadlines, as well as our Admissions Requirements to review information about any additional materials required for your intended program of study.

Click Apply Online to start your Penn State application. Before starting, you can also review the Applying Online Worksheet for more details and helpful hints about the application.

Your application work can be saved at each step of the process by clicking the Save and Continue button at the bottom of the page. This feature will allow you to move back and forth within the application or log off and return to complete your application at a later time.

After completing your profile information, you will need to provide your academic history. This section will focus on your high school coursework, as well as any college coursework you may have taken or in which you are currently enrolled.

After this section, you will need to complete the Program of Study portion. Here, you will indicate your desired starting semester, your intended program of study, and your starting and ending campus. For further details on how to complete this portion based on your applicant type, please see the steps to apply for either first-year students or transfer students.

After this portion, you will provide some additional application information, an activities resume, and a personal statement. You will be able to paste in this information from other sources, but note that the formatting may not always paste in as intended.

The application requires a nonrefundable application fee of $65 for international students. Be sure to complete the last step after Summary and Review, which finalizes payment of your fee, and be certain it is successfully submitted. Once the application is submitted, you can verify its completion by accessing your MyPennState profile.

At the end of your application, we will ask first-year international students to print out a counselor form. You should take this form to your school counselor to complete and send to us along with your official secondary school records. (This form is waived if you are an adult student.)

In order to complete your Penn State application, we need the following materials:

  • Application
  • Official secondary school records
  • Official test scores: SAT (code #2660) or ACT with writing (code #3656)
  • English language proficiency, if your native language is not English

Please note: We require the writing component for the ACT and do not accept the test results without a writing score. Additionally, we do not require the SAT Subject Tests.

Please see the admissions requirements for international students to review the details about the required application materials. Some programs require additional items to complete your application. Please review our Admissions Requirements for those details.

Penn State does not require letters of recommendation, nor are they used in a student’s evaluation (unless required for a specific program).

You can always check the status of your application in MyPennState. We will communicate with you via MyPennState and through a series of emails regarding the missing items for your application. When everything has arrived, you will see a status in MyPennState confirming the completion of your application.

Please note: It is your responsibility to check on the status of your application and send us any missing materials.

Once we have reached a decision regarding your application, we will update your status in MyPennState and provide a printable PDF of your decision letter. Review our Dates & Deadlines to see when you should expect your decision.

If accepted, you can accept your offer of admission in MyPennState to begin the process of becoming a Penn State student. Visit our Accepted Students section to review the next steps in this process.