Education. Business. Entrepreneurship.

Admissions Questions 

Q – When should I apply?
A – The application process for each cycle opens in September. Though we encourage you to apply early, when you apply will not affect the application decision. 

  • February 1, 2019 is the Priority admissions deadline
  • Rolling Admissions after February 1, 2020

After May 1, 2020, we will continue to accept applications only if space is available. If applying late, please contact us at the to inquire regarding any openings.

The application deadlines are subject to change from year to year. Hence, please be sure to check the GSE Admissions website for the most up-to-date information.

Q – Will I have to pay an application fee?
A – We offer a free application from September 1st to March 1st. Beginning March 2nd, you will be charged a nonrefundable fee of $75.

Q – What are the prerequisites for applying to the Education Entrepreneurship Program?
A – To be eligible for consideration, all applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree before beginning the program along with 3 years of full-time, post-college professional experience. Internships during your undergraduate degree do not count towards the minimum 3 years’ full-time work requirement. 

Q – What is the minimum GPA required to be considered for your program?
A- The program does not have a cutoff GPA requirement. We review applications holistically and consider an individual’s interests, background, and experience to determine his or her candidacy.

Q – What if I have already taken the GRE?
A – The GRE is not required and hence there is no penalty for not submitting the scores. However, if you have already taken the test, you are welcome to submit the scores.

Q – Who should write my recommendations?
A – The three recommendations must be from your academic and/or professional networks. You can choose any number of academic or professional recommendations.

Q – Would I be able to send the Admissions team copies of my letters of recommendation or resume to assess if I am a competitive candidate?
A – Unfortunately we do not pre-review application materials. Each applicant must submit their application through the Penn GSE application website for it to be formally evaluated by the faculty review team.

Q – What should I write about in my statement of purpose? 
A – Unlike most programs at Penn GSE, we ask that you answer two specific prompts in your statement of purpose:

1) Please briefly describe the education venture that you would like to work on in the program and specify if this is a new idea or existing venture. (suggested but not limited to 125 words or less)

2) Explain how this innovation adds value to the education ecosystem. (suggested but not limited to 125 words or less)

Q – What else are you looking for in an applicant?
A – Aside from fulfilling general admissions requirements, we are interested in those who demonstrate a commitment to finding innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to educational challenges. We highly recommend that applicants have a clearly articulated vision for a potential education venture as part of their statement of purpose.

Q – Where do I go for additional admissions information?
A – You can find detailed application instructions on our admissions website. If you have any further questions related specifically to your own application, please feel free to call the Penn GSE Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at (215) 898-6415, or email us at

Q – I would like to visit Penn’s campus. Whom should I contact?
A – Prospective students are welcome to visit Penn GSE for an information session and a campus tour. The Penn GSE Office of Admissions staff can provide detailed information. Please visit the Penn GSE Campus Visit page for more details.

International Students

Q – When should I apply?
A – We highly encourage all international applicants to submit their applications by the priority deadline in order to allow sufficient time for visa application processing.

Q – I am an international student. Which visa am I eligible for?
A – All international students are eligible for an I-20 and an F-1 visa which will cover the duration of the entire program. Visas should ideally be applied for at least 2-3 months before the program start date.

For further information regarding visas please visit the ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) website.

Q – I received my bachelor’s degree from a non-US institution. Do I need to get my transcript evaluated?
A – All applicants with international transcripts must provide course-by-course evaluations performed by any member of the National Association for Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Every international institution you list as part of your educational background will require a course-by-course evaluation. We recommend that you do not list study abroad experiences that only span 1 semester as a separate entry in your educational background section.

Q – How do I know if I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?
A – If you are not a native English speaker, you will need you take the TOEFL exam. You are exempt from this requirement if your undergraduate and/or graduate degree is from an institution where English was the sole medium of instruction.

Q – Can I take IELTS instead of TOEFL?
A – Yes. We have no preference between the two tests.

Q – How can I request a TOEFL/IELTS waiver?
A – The request must be made to the Penn GSE Office of Admissions ( Please remember that this waiver can only be requested by applicants whose undergraduate degree is from an institution with English as the sole medium of instruction.

Q – What is the average TOEFL and IELTS scores of the international students who join your program?
A – Our students on average have an overall score of 100 on the TOEFL exam and a 6.5 on the IELTS exam. However, exceptions can be made on a case by case basis.

Q – Do you have funding options for international students?
A – Please contact the ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) office for more information.

Financial Aid Questions

Q – Do you offer financial aid?
A – The Education Entrepreneurship program offers a small number of merit-based scholarships. All applicants are automatically considered for these scholarships during their application review and no separate application form is required to be considered. The scholarships are announced shortly after admissions decisions are released.

Please contact the Penn GSE Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at (215) 898-6415, or email them at for all questions regarding further funding opportunities.

Q – What is included in my tuition?
A – Your tuition will cover hotel accommodations, meals, and coursebooks.  The only additional expense to students (in addition to tuition) is the cost of travel to and from campus. 

Q – Do you provide graduate/research assistantship positions?

A – Since the program format enables students to both to reside in their home communities and to maintain full-time employment, we do not grant on-campus research assistantships or graduate assistantship positions.

Program Questions 

Q – What is the program format?
A – The program follows a non-traditional executive-style format which requires that the students meet at the University of Pennsylvania campus for extended summer sessions (between 5 to 10 days), as well as for 6 weekends throughout the regular academic year. Students come together on site a total of 9 times across the 13-month program. This makes it possible for the students to continue their current jobs while residing in their home cities or countries during the course of their program.

Q – What does "executive style" mean?
A – This means our program was designed with a schedule that allows full-time working adults and those living outside of Philadelphia to be able to participate in the program fully, without having to move to Philadelphia or quit your full-time jobs.  However, please note we do have significant on-campus class sessions, and this program cannot be completed online.

Q – What is the on-site program structure?
A – The Education Entrepreneurship program only holds classes on-campus during the summers (for 1-2 weeks each) and over weekends (6 separate weekends from September to May).

Q – What is the program time commitment?
A – Students only need to travel to campus for in-person class sessions 8 times over the 13-month program duration, approximately once every 1.5 months.  See here for a detailed program calendar.

Q – What are the costs and logistics for the on-campus class sessions?
A – For the 8 times when you come to campus for classes, the program arranges and pays for housing at the local Sheraton University City Hotel.  Students are assigned one roommate from the cohort for the entire year, but students can opt for a single room at an additional cost if desired.  All meals during on-campus class sessions are provided by the program.  

Q – What is the program of study?
A – The curriculum includes 10 core courses plus a capstone project.

Q – Are there practical or field opportunities?
A – There are opportunities for mentorship and collaboration with edtech entrepreneurs, school leaders and designers, education business innovators, practitioners, researchers, and investors, among others. Individual field experiences often can be arranged based on student interests and background.