Doctoral Program Admissions

This program is designed to train students for careers in academia, government, or industry where research is fundamental. The curriculum prepares students for the field’s rapidly-changing character by developing the intellectual capacities necessary for research excellence.

How to Apply

All Ph.D. applications must be submitted electronically.

Applications are accepted for the Fall Semester only.

For more information about the application process, please visit our Graduate Admissions Website.

*Notice to potential applicants with disabilities

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to providing access and equal educational opportunities to all students, including students with disabilities. Penn does not discriminate against students with disabilities. The University provides reasonable accommodation to a student’s known disability in order to afford that student an equal opportunity to participate in University-sponsored academic and extracurricular programs, activities and services. If you require an accommodation during the admissions process please contact our department or Penn Student Disabilities Services


When to Apply

Applications must be submitted by December 15 for admission the following year. For full consideration for fellowships and other awards, all materials must be received by this date.

Application Fee & Waiver

$80 non-refundable application fee – This payment must be submitted with the online application.

The Graduate School of Engineering is pleased to offer fee waivers for US Citizens and US Permanent Residents who identify as an underrepresented minority, a first-generation student, a member of an engineering honor society like Tau Beta Pi, a Member of a URM consortium such as Meyerhoff, McNair, GEMS, etc., Attended a Penn Engineering recruiting event or visited campus, or are current or former members of the US Armed Forces. The waiver will be automatically applied upon submission of your graduate application.

Prerequisite Requirements

Academic prerequisite requirements for the degree are an undergraduate degree in an engineering subject or an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a physical science, natural science, or math major.

Criteria for candidates, application requirements, and procedures may be found on Penn Engineering’s Graduate Admissions page

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admissions to the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering PhD program.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL/IELTS* – If your native language is not English, or you are an international applicant, or you are a non-US Citizens/Permanent Resident and English is not your native language, you must submit official scores for either the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS)*.

  • The institution code for the TOEFL exam is 2888.
  • Test results must be valid at time of application submission.
  • You must take the exams by the application deadline.

TOEFL Score Recommendations – a minimum of 100 is recommended for all programs. There is not a required score.

IELTS Score Recommendations – a minimum of 7.5 is recommended for all programs. There is not a required score. *We do not currently accept electronic score results for the IELTS. Test results should be sent to:

University of Pennsylvania
SEAS Graduate Admissions
Levine North Building (GRW) Room 166B
3330 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
Attn: (Enter Your Admissions Contact’s Name)

TOEFL/IELTS* Waiver Process

To have this requirement waived, the applicant must, by the time of matriculation, the candidate must have:

  • Graduated from a program in the United States or,
  • Attended school in a country in which English is recognized as the official language or,
  • From an institution where the medium of instruction is English and this is indicated on the unofficial transcript

A waiver request does not need to be submitted by an applicant; the requirement will be waived after the application and necessary materials are submitted and reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Office and an applicant is found to meet one or more of the above criteria.

We do not have minimum required test scores or GPA. Averages can be found in some university publications, on some departmental websites and in media such as U.S. News & World Report and Petersons Guide.

For more information go to:

Fellowships and Support

The Department encourages all students to apply for graduate training fellowships during their graduate studies. Students who apply for and receive fellowships prior to matriculating to Penn gain tremendous flexibility in choosing a lab for research. Fellowships are available from several sources and can allow student s to focus on a specific cross-disciplinary area.

After You Apply

Tracking Your Application

Track your application online.

We cannot respond to individual inquiries. We will contact you if materials are missing.

Campus Interviews

Campus Visit

By invitation only, you will be scheduled for a three-day visit, occurring on a Thursday through a Saturday. This visit is arranged by the department, and includes travel to and from Philadelphia, lodging, and meals.

We strongly ask you to respond to Ken Lambert as quickly as possible upon invitation.

When selecting an interview date, please note “exception” dates for recruiting faculty, as we cannot schedule return visits.

We regret that we cannot honor unauthorized requests for reimbursement.

Admissions Decisions

When an admissions decision is reached, the applicant will be notified directly through the online application system. Please note that department staff may not reveal admission decisions over the telephone or by email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more from the Graduate Admissions FAQ.