Application Fee and Checklist
Transcripts and Evaluations
You are required to upload transcripts from each college and university that you have attended for credit. You should request either an official paper transcript or a digital version to be sent to you from your school and then upload it to your application. Our online application will not accept or properly display encrypted or password-protected documents. Official electronic transcripts (e-transcripts) must be printed first, then scanned and uploaded.
Applicants who have attended international institutions must upload transcripts or certified attestations of study. If these documents are not written in English, certified English translations are required. Once translated, the original transcript as well as the certified translation should be scanned into one file and uploaded to the online application.
Scan or save each transcript (and its English translation, if applicable) as a PDF. Multiple pages from the same transcript must be combined into one file, not to exceed 10MB.
Applicants are required to send official transcripts and/or course-by-course evaluations from their previous institutions to the Weitzman School of Design ONLY if they are admitted and decide to enroll. Directions for submission of these documents is as follows.
US Institutions and Canadian AAU-Affiliated Schools—Official Transcripts
If you are admitted and plan to enroll in the Weitzman School of Design, you must have one official transcript (sealed and stamped) from each college or university attended for credit sent directly to the Weitzman School of Design Office of Admissions, 110 Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311. Alternatively, we will accept official electronic transcripts sent directly from the US institution to us at email@example.com. Be sure the electronic transcript is sent to the Weitzman School of Design, and not to the general University of Pennsylvania.
Non-US Institutions (except Canadian AAU-Affiliated Schools)—Course-by-Course Evaluations
If you are admitted and plan to enroll in the Weitzman School of Design and are completing undergraduate and/or graduate degrees from institutions outside of the United States or have completed more than one year of study for credit at a non-US institution, you are required to submit a either a BASIC course-by-course evaluation from World Education Services (WES) or a course-by-course evaluation from Educational Perspectives for each institution. You do not need to send us an official transcript from your school. Credentials received via the WES or Educational Perspectives service are considered official. Both services charge a fee to evaluate your credentials.
You do not need to submit this course-by-course evaluation if you have taken courses for one year or less, or if you have attended an AAU-affiliated school (McGill University or University of Toronto); however, you will need to submit an official paper or electronic transcript from that institution. If you are admitted to your program before you have received your degree(s), you may be required to submit a second evaluation or upgrade showing your conferred degree prior to entering the Weitzman School of Design in the fall. Note: There is an additional charge for this service.
Study Abroad Programs. If you are receiving a degree from a US college or university and have participated in a study abroad program, you do not need to submit a course-by-course evaluation for that program IF the course names and grades from the program abroad appear on your main transcript. If the course names and grades from the exchange program do not appear on your main transcript and you attended the program for only one or two semesters, you may have the study abroad institution send us an official (paper) transcript instead of submitting a course-by-course evaluation. However, if the study abroad program was longer than two semesters, you must submit a course-by-course evaluation for the study abroad program in addition to your official main transcript.
Letters of Recommendation
You must submit three letters of recommendation with at least two from college instructors. Applicants who have been out of school for several years may submit recommendations from employers or others in a position to evaluate their professional abilities and academic potential. You will need your evaluators’ e-mail addresses when you fill out the recommendation section of the application.
You must upload a personal statement, no more than 500 words long, describing your background, interest in your field, and your academic and career objectives. You should be as specific as you can about the area in which you plan to study. If you are an MFA applicant, you should include your ideas, as well as the stylistic and conceptual priorities for your work.
A digital portfolio must be submitted for applicants to Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Fine Arts, and Urban Design programs as well as the post-professional MSD: Historic Preservation program. Applicants to the Master of City Planning with a Concentration in Urban Design are also required to submit a design portfolio in digital format. The portfolio is defined broadly to include graphic representations of a wide range of creative work related to architecture, landscape, city and community planning, art and design, as well as other experience related to the shaping of urban environment. Applicants to the MS in Historic Preservation and the Master of Urban Spatial Analytics have the option to submit a portfolio, although this is not required. All work in the portfolio, including images and concepts, must be original material created by you, and should be identified as academic, professional, or personal. If professional or team projects are included in the portfolio, you must clearly identify your specific role and responsibility in the production of the project. Labels and writing should clearly explain the work. Paper portfolios are not accepted.
Architecture, MSD, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design Portfolios
Every applicant to the Master of Architecture, Master of Science in Design (Advanced Architectural Design, Environmental Building Design, Historic Preservation, and Robotics and Autonomous Systems concentrations), Master of Environmental Building Design, Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Science in Architecture, PhD in Architecture, or Certificate in Urban Design program is required to submit a digital portfolio. Paper portfolios will NOT be accepted, and if submitted, will not be returned. The portfolio is a synopsis of one's creative work. As a visual essay, it tells a story of a person's interests, skills, and development over time. It should include projects that best express one's visual, spatial, and constructional abilities. These projects might include drawings, paintings, sculpture, or photography; graphic, industrial, or interior design; architectural, landscape, or urban design. The faculty who evaluate the portfolios look less for competence in architectural or landscape architectural design and more for a coherent demonstration of visual and spatial abilities expressed through a basic understanding of material and construction. Applicants to the MSD programs should include at least five fully developed projects done solely by the person submitting the portfolio; other group work can be added. If this is a school project, you must clearly identify the professor who led the project, along with his/her contact information, email, and phone number. Student group work from applicants to the MLA programs is limited to 5 pages. Professional work from MLA applicants is limited to 2 pages and one letter of recommendation must be from the office in which the work was produced.
The digital portfolio should be formatted as one PDF document no larger than 10 MB, with no more than 20 pages (maximum page size 10 x 12") or 10 pages (maximum 10 x 24") if you use spreads. Cover pages or table of contents do not count towards total pages. We suggest that you keep the format consistent. For instance, if you are using spreads, use all spreads. If you are using pages, don't mix in spreads. Once your application is submitted, you will not be able to make changes to your portfolio or upload a new one.
City Planning, MS in Historic Preservation, and MUSA Portfolios
Applicants to the Master of City Planning program with a concentration in Urban Design are required to submit a portfolio, and applicants to the MS in Historic Preservation and MUSA programs have the option to submit a portfolio. Applicants with professional experience who wish to include examples of their professional work may do so, but are advised to limit these to projects in which they had principal design roles. If examples of collaborative projects are submitted, the applicant's contribution should be specifically described. The digital portfolio should be formatted as one PDF document no larger than 10 MB, with no more than 20 pages (maximum page size 10 x 12") or 10 pages (maximum 10 x 24") if you use spreads. Cover pages or table of contents do not count towards total pages. We suggest that you keep the format consistent. For instance, if you are using spreads, use all spreads. If you are using pages, don't mix in spreads. Once your application is submitted, you will not be able to make changes to your portfolio or upload a new one.
Fine Arts Portfolios
A portfolio is required of all applicants to Fine Arts, Time-Based and Interactive Media, and Emerging Design and Research programs. The portfolio should indicate your major interest, represent your best work, and demonstrate your abilities. At least half of the portfolio should consist of work completed in the last two years. Applicants may choose to provide still images and/or video. All work in the portfolio, including images and concepts, must be original material created by you, and should be identified as academic, professional, or personal. If professional or team projects are included in the portfolio, you must clearly identify your specific role and responsibility in the production of the project. Labels and writing should clearly explain the work.
NOTE: The following instructions are guidelines. You may have to take additional steps to reduce the size of your portfolio if it is larger than 10 MB before you can upload it into your application.
You will need to combine your images into a single PDF to upload. The portfolio should contain a total of twenty (20) RGB JPEGs. The review panel reviews slides at 1920 x 1080 pixels. If your images are larger than this, please follow these directions:
1. Resize in Photoshop, Image->Image size
2. First set the Resolution to 72 Pixels/Inch
3. Set the Width and Height as Pixels and adjust the measurements so that the total file size is at or around 500.0k, or 0.5mb (you can see the image size at the top of the window as you adjust). Be sure that the width is less than 1920 and the height is less than 1080.
4. Save a copy of each image as jpeg at 90% quality (or 11/12 quality) for your submission
5. Each file should be just around 500kb or 0.5mb.
To create your pdf, in Photoshop, go to File->Automate->PDF Presentation
1. Add your files
2. Check Presentation
3. Make Background Black or White
4. Don't include any text options
5. Leave "Advance Every" unchecked
6. No transitions
7. Click OK
8. Use the "Press Quality" Preset in the next PDF dialog box (at the top of the window under the Adobe PDF Preset dropdown menu).
We will accept up to 5 video links. Each video can be up to 10 minutes long. It is acceptable to provide excerpts if videos are longer than 10 minutes. Submit all video work by providing up to five links to your Image List. Copy and paste the link to your video along with the title, date, running time, and intended format of presentation and save and upload the list as a Word document so that the links are clickable. Please do not save the list as a pdf. Video hosting sites include (but are not limited to) YouTube and Vimeo.
Image List for Fine Arts Portfolio Submissions
To describe your work, please include a list as follows. For stills, upload an additional PDF document titled "Image List" that lists and describes your images. The list should be headed with your name and list the image number, title, date, medium, and dimensions of each work. For video submissions, list the link, running time, and intended format of presentation (for example video installation, online video, cinema screening, or not specified) for each video. Save and upload the list as a Word document. This will allow the faculty to click and open your links directly from the document during the review.
Not all programs require or even allow video interviews; however, some of our programs have optional video or other types of interviews. The Master of City Planning, PhD in City and Regional Planning, Master of Fine Arts, MSD: Advanced Architectural Design, MSD in Environmental Building Design, Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Urban Spatial Analytics programs all encourage their applicants to submit an on-line interview through the ApplyWeb system. After you submit your application, you will receive an interview invitation. If you don’t receive an invitation after submitting your application to one of these programs, please check your spam mail before contacting us. You will need a webcam and mic to do the interview, which is recorded and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. For best results, we suggest using a computer with hard-wired internet connection, not wifi. While this interview is optional, we do strongly recommend it so that the faculty can get to know you better. If you encounter any technical problems please contact Help@applyweb.com.
Applicants to Master of Science in Architecture, Master of Science in Historic Preservation, Master of Environmental Building Design, Master of Science in Design (Advanced Architectural Design, Environmental Building Design, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and Historic Preservation concentrations), and Ph.D. programs must submit a writing sample. M.S. in Architecture and Ph.D. applicants must submit an essay or research report in English on the subject of their field of specialization. M.S. in Historic Preservation applicants must submit an essay or research report related to Historic Preservation and/or the history of the built environment. Applicants to the Master of Science in Design (Advanced Architectural Design, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and Environmental Building Design concentrations) and Master of Environmental Building Design must submit one sample of writing and a description of their computing skills and software proficiency. The latter can be either a paragraph or a list. Applicants to the Master of Science in Design (Historic Preservation concentration) must submit one professional or scholarly writing sample.
Applicants to the PhD programs must submit a research statement. In a statement of no more than 500 words, describe the area or field of study you propose, and if possible the topic or kinds of topic you would like to research, explaining the importance of such a study, and the ways in which you are prepared to undertake this research and writing.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required of applicants to the following programs:
Master of Architecture
Master of City Planning
Master of Fine Art
Master of Science in Historic Preservation
MSD: Advanced Architectural Design
MSD: Historic Preservation
Master of Landscape Architecture
MSD: Robotics and Autonomous System
Master of Urban Spatial Analytics
Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required of applicants to the following programs:
Master of Science in Architecture
Master of Environmental Building Design
MSD: Environmental Building Design
PhD in Architecture
PhD in City and Regional Planning
For applicants whose programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), registration for the exam is made through the Educational Testing Service at www.gre.org. Official test scores must be sent by ETS to the Weitzman School of Design. The correct institution code to use when requesting scores is 2926; you do not need a departmental code. Our system will automatically match your scores from ETS based on your first name, last name, sex, and birthdate. Be aware that any discrepancy between this information in your ETS record and what you have filled out on your application will result in a delay in score matching. We suggest a minimum of 160 Verbal, 148 Quantitative, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. Keep in mind that these are not cut-off scores as we look at all of your supporting material when evaluating your application.
Applicants whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate training of at least 4 years has not been conducted in the English language must submit satisfactory certification of adequate English proficiency sufficient to pursue graduate study, both comprehension and expression in the spoken and written word. Applicants must submit scores of either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic), Duolingo English Test, or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). We will accept the TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition offered by ETS. We suggest a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL, 135 for Duolingo, and a band score of 7.0 for the IELTS, but these are not cut-off scores and we will review any complete application we receive. If you have spent a minimum of 4 years in an English-speaking institution (for your Bachelor's, for example), you will not be required to submit a TOEFL, Duolingo, or IELTS score.
Applicants may register for the IELTS at www.ielts.org, for the TOEFL at www.ets.org/toefl, and for the Duolingo English Test at www.englishtest.duolingo.com. Candidates admitted to the Weitzman School of Design may be required to successfully complete an English Language Program prior to matriculation. They will be notified of this condition in their letter of admission. Please find information on submitting your scores below as they vary for each company:
- IELTS – Please email a copy of your Score Report to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then verify your scores and add them to your application.
- TOEFL – Log in to your TOEFL iBT account and follow the prompts through “Order Score Reports.” The correct institution code to use when requesting official TOEFL scores is 2926; you do not need a departmental code.
- Duolingo – Log in to englishtest.duolingo.com with the email address you used to take the test. Scroll down to your certified test results and click the "SEND RESULTS" button. Once there, please select University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design.