High School Preparation

One University, Four Schools

When applying to Penn, applicants are asked to choose one of the four undergraduate schools or specialized programs that will serve as a home base throughout their academic journey.

All students gain a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and have the ability to take classes in all four schools. Therefore, we encourage Penn applicants to consistently take classes in the core academic disciplines (English, social studies, mathematics, science, and foreign language) throughout their four years of high school.

We review the school report along with any provided school profile to best understand your high school context, including the types of courses available to you, your school’s grading scale, and extracurricular or post-secondary opportunities.  Students are only expected to challenge themselves academically within the offerings available to them at their high school.  Every school is different.

College of arts and sciences School of nursing
We would like to see: We would like to see:
  • a curiosity in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences
  • an ability to apply classroom knowledge to the real world
  • a strong preparation in a balanced and advanced college preparatory curriculum
  • a commitment to patient care
  • a desire to explore issues in health care
  • a strong preparation in the sciences, particularly in chemistry                                                                      
Penn engineering The wharton school
We would like to see: We would like to see:
  • an ability to innovate, design, and practically apply scientific discoveries
  • expressed reasons for pursuing an engineering education
  • a strong preparation in physics and mathematics, particularly calculus
  • an interest in business to fuel positive change to advance the world's economic and social well-being
  • demonstrated leadership
  • a strong preparation in mathematics, particularly calculus