Application Process


Application Deadlines:

  • Current Application Deadline: October 1, 2019 for Spring 2020 entry
  • Additional Application Deadlines: February 15, 2020 for entry into the Summer 2020 cohort, May 15, 2020 for entry into the Fall 2020 cohort

Upload the following documents to the online application prior to submission:

  • Your résumé.Please format the document to allow us to ascertain your career progression and accomplishments; the document should not exceed four pages.
  • Essays: Applicants should answer the following two questions:
  1. In approximately 500 words describe what has led you to apply to the PennCLO Executive Doctoral Program. Please address how your previous personal, professional and educational experiences have prepared you to succeed in an accelerated doctoral program and what you can bring from these experiences to the learning community.
  2. In approximately 500 words describe your most significant leadership challenge to date. (This experience should be no more than five years ago.) Describe the incident, the critical issues it presented and how you reacted. Reflect on lessons you've learned from that incident, and describe ways in which you might analyze the situation or act differently.

    Please note that these materials are reviewed very carefully by the admissions committee. All instructions must be followed exactly.

    Arrange to have the following forwarded directly to the Graduate School of Education Office of Admissions at the address listed below:

    1. Transcripts

    Admission to Penn GSE requires satisfactory completion of a baccalaureate degree at an accredited U.S. university or its equivalent (i.e., a degree from a college or university outside of the U.S.). Please arrange for all academic transcripts from all higher education institutions you have attended, or are currently attending, to be sent directly to the Penn GSE Office of Admissions from the issuing institution in which you were, or are, enrolled.* Transcripts are required for all institutions you have attended and must contain both the course name and grade earned. We reserve the right to request transcripts for significant amounts of transfer credit reflected on the degree-granting transcript. These must be official copies, signed and sealed by the institution(s). The envelopes must be sealed when they are received at the Penn GSE Office of Admissions. If you are currently enrolled in an academic institution, a final transcript will be required prior to your matriculation into a degree program.

    *Applicants who have completed or are completing undergraduate and/or graduate degrees at institutions outside of the United States will need to contact a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) to have a course-by-course evaluation of your non-U.S. transcript(s) for each post-secondary institution you've attended outside the U.S. sent directly from the NACES member to Penn GSE Admissions and Financial Aid. For admissions review purposes, evaluations must include the following:

    • Degree(s) conferred, or currently in progress
    • Your full coursework, including grades and credits received for each class, and the periods of enrollment 

    Please note that NACES provides several types of evaluations, some of which do not include coursework information. Please opt for the Course-by-Course evaluation offered by NACES to meet our requirements for admissions review purposes.

    All transcripts should be mailed to:

    Graduate School of Education
    University of Pennsylvania
    Office of Admissions
    3700 Walnut Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216 

    All transcripts submitted become property of Penn GSE and will not be released.

    For more information pertaining to international applicants, please click here.

    2. Two professional letters of recommendation

    Two letters of professional recommendation are required. Ideally, one letter should come from your direct manager/supervisor and another from a prior manager, senior colleague, mentor, or client. Both letters should be from people with whom you have an ongoing relationship and people who know you well now, as opposed to in the distant past. Note: The letter of recommendation should be submitted via the online application. Instructions on how to upload letters are sent to recommenders using the email address the applicant provides for each in the recommendations section of the online application.

    The online application system supports the electronic submission of the letters of recommendation. Be sure to carefully read the "Agreement of Confidentiality" in the applicants section of the form. If you are willing to relinquish your right of access to these recommendations, please make certain you indicate that, since the response of the recommender may be affected by whether or not you relinquish your right of access. 

    3. Additional materials

    • Your standardized test scores. The GRE is not required for admission to the PennCLO program. However, the admissions committee reserves the right to request your GRE scores as additional admissions criteria. You may elect to submit scores from the exam if you have taken it within the past five years. If you submit GRE scores, they will be considered as part of your application. Scores must be reported directly to Penn GSE by ETS using the institutional code 2943.
    • English language proficiency. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam is not a requirement for applying to the PennCLO program. However, the admissions committee reserves the right to request your TOEFL or IELTS scores as additional admissions criteria.

    If you accept our offer of admission, there will be a $1,000 deposit required to hold your place in the class.