Undergraduate Admissions

International Requirements

Admissions Requirements

As an international student, you provide us with a unique perspective. To help us efficiently evaluate your application for admission, we need some additional information:

Help Us Help You

Please make sure the name on your application matches the name on your passport. If it is different than how it appears on your transcript, please notify us.

Please provide an e-mail address that we can use as the primary way to communicate with you. Be sure that we have a current e-mail address at all times, and that Penn State (psu.edu) is indicated as an eligible sender to the account.

Academic Records

All documents should be submitted in the original language. All documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified line-by-line, literal English translation.

All documents must be in paper form; electronic copies are not considered official and will therefore not be accepted.

All documents submitted for review must be official, that is, they must be either originals or copies certified by the examining board. A "certified" copy is one that bears an original signature of the registrar or other designated school official, an original impression of the institution’s seal, or signature/seal of the examining board. Uncertified or notarized copies are not acceptable.

All academic records should be mailed to the Penn State Undergraduate Admissions office at:
Penn State Undergraduate Admissions
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802-1294

Secondary School Records

Secondary records are required for both first-year and transfer applicants. Transcripts of course work and grades are required for all years of secondary school study. Records should list subjects studied each year and the mark or grade of proficiency earned in each. A key to the marking system with minimum passing mark should also be included. If you complete secondary school in a country where a secondary school leaving examination (GCE, GCSE, CXC, French Baccalaureate, Abitur, etc.) is administered, you will be required to provide the results of the examination. Certified copies of diplomas or certificates must also be submitted if you have already completed secondary school. Please see our list of required credentials from selected countries.
Required International Academic Credentials

In reviewing an application, we look for students who have successfully completed courses or examinations in the core subjects of mathematics, physical science, social science and language in all years of high school. Students who have not successfully completed these courses may not be eligible for admission to Penn State.

Post-Secondary

If you attend or have attended a post-secondary institution outside the United States, we require official transcripts which include all subjects studied each year and the grade/mark earned in each subject. A key to the marking system with minimum passing mark should be included. In addition, we require course descriptions of all classes you have taken and intend to take prior to the semester in which you hope to enroll at Penn State. If descriptions are not available, please provide 3 to 5-sentence descriptions of each course. Include the content, scope, credits/number of hours for each course or the number of hours per week, and the number of weeks per semester.

If you attend or have attended a post-secondary institution in the United States, official transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to Penn State.

Please see program-specific course requirements.
Transfer Requirements

English Language Proficiency

International students whose native language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency. US citizens and permanent residents are not required to provide proof of English language proficiency, regardless of native language. If you are providing proof of English proficiency based on test scores, please note that the score reports must be official and come to Undergraduate Admissions directly from the testing service. The scores must be less than two years old. The following are ways in which you can satisfy the language proficiency requirement:

  • TOEFL: A minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 550 on the paper exam (score reports must be official and cannot be more than two years old (code #2660);
  • IELTS: A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 on the academic test
  • SAT score of 530 or higher on the critical reading section (code #2660);
  • ACT score of 24 or higher on the English section (code #3656);
  • IGCSE score of A, B, or C on the English language exam,
  • IB score of 5 or higher on the English Language & Literature (SL/HL) exam,
  • U.S.College or University:
    Applicants who have been in a U.S. college or university and have completed two years of full-time academic course work and have a grade of C (2.0) or higher in a standard English composition course will also meet the language proficiency requirement.
  • IECP: Receive official certification through Penn State's Intensive English Communication Program (IECP)

Standardized Tests

SAT or ACT

NEW REQUIREMENT BEGINNING WITH SUMMER 2015 APPLICANTS

The SAT or ACT (with writing) is required for all first-year applicants, regardless of citizenship.
Please visit The College Board or ACT, Inc. to arrange to take the exam.

The code for Penn State that should be listed on the registration form for the SAT is 2660 and for the ACT is 3656. Generally, U.S. embassies and U.S. Information Service (USIS) offices have information on testing dates and places. Please request that your SAT or ACT test scores be sent directly to us.

Special Program Requirements

Please note that special programs such as the Accelerated Premedical-Medical Program and the Schreyer Honors College may have additional requirements such as letters of recommendation or personal essays. Please see the individual program pages for specific information.
Special Program Requirements