Master's Program Admissions

The MSE program offers students and scholars the opportunity for advanced study in the scientific foundations of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. If you want to pursue an advanced Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree, the MSE program will prepare you for careers in industry, research, and development, government and, academia.  Some students also apply to medical school. The program requires 10 course units, and students may choose a thesis or non-thesis path to the degree.

The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program was founded in 1893 making it one of only 5 of America’s oldest continuously operating degree-granting programs in chemical engineering.

For questions regarding Graduate Admissions, please read answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Graduate Admissions or email

Questions regarding admissions procedures may be directed to the CBE Graduate Assistant at

All academic standards relative to admission, performance, and requirements for degrees are the same whether the student is on a full-time or a part-time basis. Part-time students must satisfy all course requirements for the degree within eight years of the date of admission. Learn more about admissions here.


How to Apply

All MSE applications must be submitted electronically.

For more information about the application process, please visit the official SEAS Graduate Studies admissions web page. 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.

*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

The deadline to apply is February 1st.

Please note that applications received after the deadlines may be considered at the discretion of our faculty.

For more information please visit the official SEAS Graduate Studies admission web page.

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)

*Submitting your GRE scores is optional, but recommended for all of our graduate programs during the 2022-2023 application cycle. If you are/were able to take the GRE exam and have valid scores to report, we encourage you to do so. If you are not able to take the GRE exam, we will evaluate your application holistically. Your candidacy will not be negatively impacted if you do not report GRE scores.*

GRE: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required for admission to the master’s graduate program in CBE.

The Reporting code for the GRE:

  • University of Pennsylvania institution code: #2888


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.

Transcripts, official TOEFL scores issued by ETS, IELTS scores, letters of recommendation, etc. are required to complete the application dossier – all materials for the application should be submitted electronically. Please send your TOEFL/IELTS score report electronically. Test results should be sent to: “University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science”

You will find additional information on these tests from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Test score reporting should be completed only through ETS, as only official scores received from ETS will be considered.

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.  For more information go to:

Accelerated Master’s Application

Full details on the Accelerated Master’s process (formerly called Submatriculation) through SEAS may be found here. In addition to the Penn Engineering requirements undergraduate applicants must include: 1) a personal statement (1 page or less) along with their application; 2) a minimum cumulative STEM GPA of 3.2 in order to apply.

The external Accelerated Master’s (4+1) process and information may be found here.

After You Apply

Tracking Your Application

Track your application online.

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

Process for Admissions Decisions

When a completed MSE application is received, it is evaluated by our faculty. Admittance is based on an estimate of the applicant’s ability to successfully complete our graduate program and on the compatibility of student interests with our programs and research.

Applications received after the deadlines may be considered at the discretion of our faculty. Learn more from the Graduate Admissions FAQ.

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.