The alumni interview is an optional aspect of the Penn admissions process. At this time, we are not able to offer an interview to every Penn applicant–however, if you are offered an interview, it can provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about the university and its programs, while presenting you with another forum to share your passion and enthusiasm for Penn.
Individual interviews are available through our alumni volunteers, who initiate contact with first-year candidates following a student's submission of the Common Application to Penn. Interviews cannot be requested; our alumni volunteers will reach out to you via e-mail or phone if they can offer you an interview. Please make sure to check the e-mail address you provided on the Common Application every few days throughout the application cycle, as our interviewers will use this address to contact you to arrange an interview. If you receive an interview invitation from a Penn alumni volunteer, please respond to the request within five business days, even if you intend to decline the interview.
Interviews are both informative and evaluative: they allow you to learn more about the university, while providing a Penn alumnus with an opportunity to ask you additional questions on behalf of the Office of Admissions. Alumni interviews are optional, and interview reports generally confirm what we learn from recommendations and other materials provided in the Common Application. Individual on-campus interviews are not available.
Alumni volunteers currently interview more than two-thirds of applicants worldwide. However, if you are not contacted for an interview, don't worry–not having an interview will not be counted against you in any way. Since interviews are not required, nor are they offered to all applicants at this time, we encourage you to rely upon your application for admission as the best forum for presenting the many unique aspects of your candidacy.
Interviews for Early Decision candidates are typically conducted between mid-October and the last week of November, while interviews for Regular Decision candidates are typically offered between December and February. The interview you are offered may be local (i.e., face-to-face) or virtual (via Skype or phone): both types of interviews are weighed equally in Penn's application evaluation process.